Fringe Benefits

I realize this is not a big deal, but I got a haircut.


Actually no, that’s my hair before I cut it. But you know I have to build up to it a little, right?

The thing is, I’ve been saying for years as I’ve been wearing wigs and growing out my hair that I do not look good in bangs, and for the most part I refuse to review wigs that have distinct bangs cut into them. I’ve never felt bangs looked good on me, and I’ve honestly never much liked the way they look at all. I’ve never really understood why people would choose to wear their hair that way, either.

This is pretty much my ideal hairstyle.

As I’ve mentioned before, though, my hair is baby-fine, and although all of the photos above are supposedly good cuts for fine hair (I mean, would Pinterest lie?) try as I might I couldn’t get my hair to look like that. Perhaps it’s because all those hair models are 22 years old; more likely they all are wearing hair extensions, or at the least they’ve just been professionally styled (my own hair MIGHT look like this right after leaving the stylist, too). But for the most part, although I had the length for something like this, what I usually ended up with was completely lacking in style. It was the photo I snapped with old Mattress Mack last week that cinched it for me:

Photo Jun 17, 10 09 56 AM

I swear when I left the house (all of 10 minutes before this photo was taken) I had a nice sweep to the front that curved under just so, and fell perfectly over my right eye like every good bob or lob should. But here, it’s just a limp, shoulder-length pile of meh. What’s a truly fine-haired gal to do when she’s 47 years old and lives in the real world? I figured I had two choices: shorten it into a chin-length bob, which I’ve worn before and which does work with my face and hair; or, keep my hard-earned length and cut in some bangs. In the end, I just couldn’t bring myself to part with the length, and I still want to go longer, so I called up my stylist and made an appointment (no way in hell I’m trimming my own hair; I’ve learned that lesson the hard way).

As I already mentioned, I knew from all my wig-wearing that bangs looked terrible on me, so I was torn about doing this. But I did some reading about not only hairstyles that are good for fine hair, but also for long faces. My face shape is oval, which is always nice, but it’s also always been oblong, and as I get older it gets, well, longer. I’m sure it doesn’t actually get longer, but without fillers it starts to appear that way. And one of the most common recommendations for people with long hair and long faces is – you guessed it – bangs, because they shorten the face, basically. So I took that first photo I posted above (it’s just a quick crappy cell phone pic, and no, I am not wearing any makeup) and found a copy of a celebrity whose hair reminds me a lot of my own and who always has a pretty heavy bang: Rashida Jones. I basically pasted her bangs over that photo, and voila:

Had to make it black and white because Rashida’s bangs didn’t match my hair color

I still wasn’t sure about it, so I tested the hairstyle out by making this my Facebook profile photo, and enough people liked it that I figured it was worth a go. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I certainly didn’t expect to freaking love it. I figured it would add a little bit of style to what was rapidly becoming a completely nondescript, style-less hair do, but I really did not expect the transformation that the addition of the bangs made to my hair:

And yes, my face is Photoshopped – notice the slightly shorter chin? That’s only partially due to the optical illusion of the bangs.

Yes, that is really all my own hair. I kind of still can’t believe it. For at least five years my hair has been in one stage or another of still-growing-out, and here it really looks like an actual style. I love it.

Took this for my tutoring blog I’m currently working on; thought I’d share it here because you can see what my hair looks like without the hair being blown about Beyonce-style. And is anyone else seeing how much this looks like RW’s Star Quality, or is it just me?

But what strikes me most right now is how, when I go back and look at wigs I’ve reviewed that have heavy bangs, I still don’t like how they look on me. And I still think some of the best long wigs I’ve ever worn (on me anyway) are styles without them. Which brings me to my point, more or less: if you’re wearing wigs, you probably need to re-think what looks good on you. Because the style of your bio hair may not look as good on you in wig form. The bangs on the wigs I’ve tried have been too heavy, and too long (and I’m not willing to trim them myself), and I think when combined with the thicker density of wigs in general those styles overpower me. But if I were to continue to insist that the styles that look best on me in wig form are therefore the styles I should wear as far as my bio-hair goes, I’d still have a shapeless hair-curtain. So the reverse must also apply: the styles that looked amazing on your bio hair just might not be the styles you wear best in wig form. So, try to be open to completely new and different styles and cuts when trying out your wigs. Perhaps the goal of finding a wig that looks exactly like your biohair isn’t always the best to have? Who knows.

I’d say, at least be open to the possibility of finding something completely different in wig form that really works on you. You never know.

34 thoughts on “Fringe Benefits

  1. So pretty! And love the highlights too. I have been doing the side-swept bang for a few years but let it grow out recently. I just might take some inspiration here to take a little risk!

    • I am letting the highlights go for as long as I can stand it, ombre-style, since I am trying to conserve funds right now. I’m a bit bugged that my stylist says I’ll need a bang trim every 2-3 weeks because I was really trying to get away from so much damn maintenance (can’t like without my nails and pedicures!) but it just looked so damn BLAH and it needed something. I am really loving it! 🙂

      • I am letting my highlights and all color grow out and my few grays grow in because my scalp could no longer stand it. I finally decided that a few gray hairs are better than a bleeding, angry scalp, although this decision took many years! I am enjoying the less maintenance aspect for sure. It will be interesting when it all grows out to see if I can handle it…

        • Yikes! I’ve never had a reaction like that to hair dye but I will also go a year or two without it from time to time. My hair is just still so dark that as I get older I think it ages me. So I eventually end up lightening it again.

    • I won’t although they may slow down – or I’ll be reviewing cheaper wigs because I’m trying not to spend as much since quitting my job! Funny if anything getting a new hairdo makes me want to buy NEW wigs that match my new style, LOL!

  2. Your hair looks beautiful! It’s very pretty, both the colour and the bangs.
    I think the way you put the bangs of Rasida on your photo was very clever actually.
    I had masses of hair until I was 17, it was wavy, curly, unruly and my hairdressers nightmare. At 17 I got Alopecia and been wearing wigs ever since, (now 50) I have a few tuffs of rubbish hair ( that’s now salt n pepper and wire like)which I shave, but interestingly I have never had a wavy, or curly wig and when I try one on I cringe. In essence I don’t wear wigs that remotely look like my hair did. I have always said I don’t care if I never have my own hair now because I’d have to dye it and get it straightened! LOL but true. I love you’ve had this light bulb moment on your hair, good on you and thanks for sharing it:)

  3. Wow – quite striking with the feathering cut and light bangs. I hadn’t thought about it until you showed heavy bangs vs light bangs. What a transformation. I love your ability to change your look simply through your photo savvy and you do look lovely. Funny how one’s face changes as age creeps up. I combat that by looking at myself without my glasses – everything looks so much smoother and younger lol. Cynthia, you are still a young chick – enjoy your beauty. Deb

    • I do get Botox although not as regularly as i used to, and i’ve tried fillers but didn’t much care for them, so making myself look younger in Photoshop is the route I’m taking. LOL. Honestly I am fine with what I see in the mirror but for photos, why not have some fun? All the celebs and models so it anyway!

    • I recently switched a few things about my makeup out of necessity (MAC stopped making the powder I like and their foundation started to irritate my skin) – I now wear Smashbox Second Skin foundation and Photo Finish primer, and I also switched my loose powder to Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder in Translucent. Mercier also makes this Mineral Illuminating Powder that has sparkle in it but it’s very finelly-milled so it gives a real dewy look and I love that stuff too!

  4. Great, informative post! Very good reading. I enjoy your reviews so much.

    Incidentally, what you said about wig style vs bio hairstyle also applies to color as well. I’ve found that I like the look of darker wig colors but when I’ve had my bio hair that dark color, it doesn’t look good. I’m sure that’s because my bio hair is baby fine. Hair texture really matters!

    • I was thinking about that, too, and wondering if it were the same. My bio hair is naturally very dark (I’ve had it highlighted over the past year) and when I tried to match it perfectly to my wigs it was approximately a color 6 which is just too flat a color for me overall. So the wigs didn’t look all that great in that color even though it was an almost exact match for my hair. So kind of the opposite of your experience!

  5. I love you in bangs!! I wear bangs because I always wear wigs (alopecia) and I think it covers my sad and aging forehead but makes me feel a little younger too. Love your posts, keep them coming.

  6. Your bio-haircut is lovely….if you want added volume, have you tried clip in pieces or extensions? Wigs are fun and you wear them well. I was mortified when my hair literally fell out over a weekend and remember the self conciousness I had the first time I went out in a wig. Then a veteran wig wearer friend gave me some advice that ended that forever. I love my collection of hair and am learning to have a relationship with my bio-hair that’s regrown. I would love to have my age 47 hair (and waistline) again but that’s not gonna happen. And so it goes….

    • I have never been comfortable with extensions; I am picky about color matching and I always feel they are going to fall out! I would rather just wear a full wig then extensions or toppers, but I know for other people it’s the exact opposite.

      I have known people to lose their hair very quickly, almost overnight. What a shock! Then again others have told me watching it fall out little by little is torture…there is no good way to have it happen, I reckon. But it is good to have friends who can help others get past the fear. Thank god for all the advances in wigs over the years, especially since there’s been no advance in curing the hair loss.

  7. A very lovely hair cut and color. This looks amazing.
    I’m big into bangs, but for cover-up reasons.
    Thanks for this very informative posting. Maybe some more photos?

    • Thanks! I can’t believe how much I like it. Weird how just bangs can make so much difference – she literally did not do any other cutting and it looks like a completely different style; to me it even looks fuller!

      • It does look fuller. Softens your face as well like a insta facelift yup I just made that up lol. I’m growing mine out at the moment. That’s the fun thing about hair you can always change it up.

        • Yeah especially since my face is long and it appeared to be getting longer…I don’t know what it was, but the no-bangs look just wasn’t working as my hair got longer. Not enough fullness up top, maybe.

          • Maybe, I plan to keep growing out my hair and then have another side bang cut in again. Once I get tired of the style I’ve grown out lol. I just had my hair trimmed and he sightly trimmed everything. It makes such a huge difference because I can feel the smoothness of the ends.

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