Hair salons getting lots of requests for Michelle Obama bangs

Chad Malm gives Sara Hanlon-Banks of Tampa a haircut she describes as a “modified Michelle.”

AUSTIN ANTHONY | Times

Chad Malm gives Sara Hanlon-Banks of Tampa a haircut she describes as a “modified Michelle.”

She hasn't had bangs since third grade.

But last week, some 20 years after grade school, Jenny Branch walked out of the Disco Dolls Salon in Tampa with the front of her long hair cut straight across her forehead.

She's doing The Michelle.

About a week after first lady Michelle Obama stole the show at the second inauguration of her husband, President Barack Obama, with her new 'do, hair stylists across the Tampa Bay area say their shops are buzzing with talk of the trending style.

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.

If some women are a little hesitant, it may be because it makes them look like they did in their grade school pictures. And possibly because once bangs are cut, it could take a year to grow them out.

"It's a retro thing," said Jim Ferguson, owner of Ferguson & Friends Hair Salon in St. Petersburg. "It's a full bang — like a fourth-grader would have — with the ends texturized."

Ferguson said it's a look he's been pushing at his salon since seeing it on the runways of Milan and New York a year ago but it didn't really take off, especially with young people. But that's changing since the first lady wowed the world with her new look.

At least one stylist is having a hard time giving Obama credit for the big bang boom.

"Bangs have been on the rise since actress Zooey Deschanel and singer Nicki Minaj started wearing them," Roberto Rolon, a stylist at Tribeca Color Salon in Tampa, said.

But now that Michelle Obama has gotten behind them, expect to see a whole lot less of women's foreheads.

She hasn't had bangs since third grade.

But last week, some 20 years after grade school, Jenny Branch walked out of the Disco Dolls Salon in Tampa with the front of her long hair cut straight across her forehead.

She's doing The Michelle.

About a week after first lady Michelle Obama stole the show at the second inauguration of her husband, President Barack Obama, with her new 'do, hair stylists across the Tampa Bay area say their shops are buzzing with talk of the trending style.

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.

If some women are a little hesitant, it may be because it makes them look like they did in their grade school pictures. And possibly because once bangs are cut, it could take a year to grow them out.

"It's a retro thing," said Jim Ferguson, owner of Ferguson & Friends Hair Salon in St. Petersburg. "It's a full bang — like a fourth-grader would have — with the ends texturized."

Ferguson said it's a look he's been pushing at his salon since seeing it on the runways of Milan and New York a year ago but it didn't really take off, especially with young people. That's changing since the first lady wowed the world with her new look.

At least one stylist is having a hard time giving Obama credit for the big bang boom.

"Bangs have been on the rise since actress Zooey Deschanel and singer Nicki Minaj started wearing them," Roberto Rolon, a stylist at Tribeca Color Salon in Tampa, said.

But now that Michelle Obama has gotten behind them, expect to see a whole lot less of women's foreheads.

Not the first First Bangs

Before Obama Bangs, there were Mamie Bangs.

Mamie Eisenhower, wife of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, entered the White House with the short curled-under bangs that became the trademark of the First Lady known for her bubbly personality and legendary parties.

It wasn't a new look for her. She started wearing her hair that way in 1922, when she was about 25. Her look was critized as well as praised but lots of women started copying the cut in the 1050s.

In fact, a novelty company even made fake paper bangs people could buy and stick on their foreheads as a gag, Carl Sferrazza Anthony, an expert on first ladies and the author of a book by the same name, told fashionista.com. Apparently, Mamie even had Elizabeth Arden draw up detailed directions on how to get the look. Today, we'd see it on YouTube.

Source: Encyclopedia Britannica, fashionista.com

Hair salons getting lots of requests for Michelle Obama bangs 01/28/13 [Last modified: Monday, January 28, 2013 5:44pm]

© 2014 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...