Take a wild guess: What hairstyle is popular at salons these days?
It's the Michelle, duh.
Admit it: When first lady Michelle Obama celebrated her husband's second inauguration with a bangtiful new look, you asked yourself, could I pull off bangs?
Like the Jennifer of the '90s, women in Tampa Bay are asking their stylists about her youthful cut, reports the Times' Patti Ewald in today's paper. Even though Michelle didn't really launch the Great Bangs Revolution -- see Zooey Deschanel
The look is proving especially popular at salons that specialize in hairstyles for African-American women.
From the story: If clients aren't committing to bangs, they're talking about them, salon owners say.
And, while Obama may not have started the trend, she's definitely causing it to take off.
"Bangs have been on the runway for a while," Chad Malm, owner of Salon Jack in Tampa, said.
"(Model) Elle McPherson started it but it wasn't a big hit — until now," he said. "They look good on Michelle Obama. She'll definitely bring longevity to it."
Micheline Barber, a stylist at M Salon I, a Tampa shop that specializes in hairstyles for African-American women, said her shop has been busy cutting bangs since women have seen how youthful they make the first lady look.
"If you want to make your eyes stand out, you need a solid bang like Michelle has. If you want to accent your nose or slenderize your face, you need asymmetrical, or sway, bangs that slant downward," she said.
Styles by Tonya, another Tampa shop with an African-American clientele, is bracing for a stampede of clients looking for the bang cut. "There's a lot of people talking about it and whatever Michelle Obama does, everybody does," owner Tonya Bostick said.
Last week I shared tips about bangs maintenance with the lovely ladies of the Clearwater Yacht Club, who hosted the Deal Divas for lunch (we had a blast).
I'm not a hair professional, but these are the simple steps that have worked for me this past year: Stop in for a trim every few weeks, unless you have a cut that allows for side-sweeping. Be specific with your stylist about the length you want. And for smooth bangs that don't look straightened by a flat iron, comb way way more hair over your forehead while it's wet (think Cousin It), then blow dry at medium power as you continuously comb it forward.
How's the Michelle working out for everyone? Anyone else have tips they'd like to share?
Deal Diva Katie
Photos: Getty, Times (2012)