Bangs in Berlin

Bangs in Berlin

What it takes for me to do a minor change in my hairstyle? Getting yelled at by a German hairstylist. Apparently.

 Passport photo 2011. I mean, the cut was good. Just not on my face.

Passport photo 2011. I mean, the cut was good. Just not on my face.

Once upon a time, I would tell my hairdresser to do whatever she wanted. It usually worked fine, although I sometimes ended up looking like the picture to the right. 2011 was not a good look for me, let’s all agree on that.

When I started traveling, I decided to just let it grow, stop coloring it, and mostly stick with bangs. This has been my signature style for years now. Nothing spectacular, but it works, and besides cutting my bangs once a month, it’s low maintenance.

Last week I went my to my usual studio here in Berlin for trimming my bangs. So far I’ve been with different stylists every time, all of them great, but this time was the first with a man named Tomas. Tomas starts by asking when my last cut was, which I cannot remember. I mention, in a semi-joking way that it has been a while, and I considered growing them out, but as always, I started to miss them.

“You shouldn’t have told me that”, he said, dead serious. “What you just told me is that you’re lazy and I can’t work with that. That’s not what I do.”

Interesting turn of events. I came in expecting the usual routine of me telling them how short I wanted it, they don’t cut it enough, I ask them to cut it a little more, but still covering my eyebrows, done and pay, out in five minutes.

Instead, I was now being lectured by someone I didn’t know who was calling me lazy and refused to cut my hair. “What? I’m not lazy. Just miss my bangs”, I said, slightly offended, and oh so aware of how childish I sound. But honestly, how do you defend your choice of hairstyle without sounding like you just celebrated your seventh birthday?

He goes on a long monologue on how he can’t work with someone who changes her mind as soon as it gets uncomfortable, he works long-term, I’m too pretty to hide my face, I’m too young to know what hairstyle I want for the rest of my life, it was looking way too cutesy now, which was clearly not my personality, and on it went for quite a while.

I think there might have been a compliment in there somewhere. And possibly another insult. When I finally got a word in, I asked him, “alright, what would you do?”.

“A-line cut, like Brigitte Bardot”, he said and showed me a picture of her classic side swept bangs. “It will frame your face, without being too cute, and it will work if you want to grow it out.”

“Sure, let’s go with that.”

It took him two minutes to cut it (obviously not counting our ten minutes of arguing), and he refused to accept the five euros it cost, because “now he actually wants me to come back”.

Still not clear on where he stands on the genius/crazy scale, but if there’s one thing I appreciate, it is when people have integrity and speak their mind. We should all question each other more. That’s how we grow. Including hair.

And, I will definitely be back.