Michelle Obama’s bangs: Are their days numbered? See how they grow (photos)

April 9, 2013
The first lady greeting the cast of "42" at the White House, Tuesday, April 2. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
The first lady greeting the cast of “42″ at the White House, Tuesday, April 2. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Is it time to write a requiem for Michelle Obama’s bangs? That’s certainly what her public comments — not to mention the daily photographic evidence — seemed to suggest in recent days.

“The bangs are a day-to-day proposition,” the first lady told “Entertainment Tonight” last week, her fringe brushed to the side and grazing her eyelashes. “They’re starting to grow out, getting a little irritating. But it’s okay!”

Ever since she debuted her new look in January, the smart money was on her growing the bangs out — and, indeed, in subsequent weeks we watched them grow thicker, shaggier, eventually welcoming a little feathering out to the side. From some angles, the first lady recently appeared to be a woman without bangs. In the ET interview, she sounded ready to move on: “It’s fun, but. . . well, I’m like a girl. What’s next?”

And she seemed so close to growing them out! But at White House musical presentation Tuesday with Justin Timberlake and other artists, the bangs were sleek, full and clearly newly trimmed. So looks like they’re here to stay — for a little longer, anyway. (The White House did not comment.)

Why this remains a matter of national interest: Because there are few more polarizing or agonizing choices in hair care than the decision to get bangs and the decision to keep them. So with one of the most photographed women in the world grappling with these choices, we have a window into the complications and best practices of bangs through their many stages.

“You’re talking six months before you’re fully able to get them out of the way,” said Dennis Roche, noting that hair grows about half an inch a month. The owner of two D.C. salons, he told us that those who want to grow theirs out need to layer them and work through some mousse so they won’t just hang into the face.

But what’s the rush? “Bangs are very big in fashion right now,” he told us. “Personally, I think it took 10 years off the first lady.”

Michelle Obama’s bangs: A chronology


January 17, 2013: Bangs are debuted just ahead of the inauguration as the first lady meets with inaugural citizen co-chair David Hall. (Lawrence Jackson / The White House)

 


Feb. 28, 2013: Obama visits Chicago to discuss physical activity in schools. (M. Spencer Green / AP)

 


March 13, 2013: Speaking to the Chief Executive Officers of the Business Roundtable in Washington. (Susan Walsh / AP)

 

 


March 18, 2013: At a Women’s History Month reception at the White House. (Jewel Samad / AFP/Getty Images

 

 


April 1, 2013: At the White House Easter Egg Roll. Why, those aren’t bangs anymore; they’re mere layers! (Alex Wong / EPA)

 

 


April 9, 2013: At a White House workshop for students on “Soulsville, USA: The History of Memphis Soul.” Those bangs have a new lease on life!

 

 

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Amy Argetsinger · April 9, 2013