And it’s that feeling of freedom – perhaps more needed after lockdown after lockdown – rather than any desire to bring down actual years that sees more of us in our fifties asking for one. At least if my informal investigation of those who adorn Gonçalves’ chair is something to be done. “Two yesterday and another later today,” he said.
I dare say it, with bangs you will never need Botox on your forehead which could be the reason some women try it for the first time at a later stage in their life. “Not only are these bangs very young,” Gonçalves says, “but a lot of women who have bangs don’t have Botox on their foreheads.” If you’ve never tried it before, it’s worth revisiting the notion – your face shape may have changed slightly over the years – something a good hairstylist can identify and get the most out of. “It all depends on where the hair lands on the eyebrows, cheeks and jawline. Soft bangs highlight the cheekbones, jaw line and widen the eyes, ”says Gonçalves. “If you cut a little further from the eye, the eyes may appear a little wider – this has a very strong impact on the bone structure.”
Her preference is to go for the kind of bangs where the center, just above the bridge of the nose, is quite short, and the rest flares out to the sides and cheekbones. This way the longer strands also blend into the rest of the hair as they grow, meaning the bangs last longer between cuts. “Square bangs will just grow into your eyebrows and attack them, all at once,” he explains.
Color is also critical. “It’s important to think of the bangs as a part of your hairstyle and connect it to the rest of the cut,” says Nicola Clarke, colourist and founder of the eponymous salon Nicola Clarke at John Frieda (where Goncalves is artistic director), who has added a few light pieces in the actual bangs and left a small dark root visible. Elsewhere, it was sweeping. “It’s a great way to wear bangs when you’re older, because it keeps it soft and more feminine,” she says.
The other very important detail is how you dry it. A hairdresser at David Mallet’s chic Parisian salon once taught me a great trick: roughly dry the bangs, then tumble them first on the left, then on the right, keeping them near the forehead. If your hairstylist takes one of these round brushes and starts peeling your bangs off your forehead, curling them up and out, head over to the sink and politely ask them to start over. “Do do not try drying the bangs underneath, ”says Gonçalves. “It’s about using your hands or a flat brush. Bangs go wrong when people overdo it.