In the Spring of 2020 in NYC, like many women in the big city, I was abruptly laid off without warning and then my boyfriend almost died from appendicitis because the hospital wouldn't admit anyone with non-covid illnesses.
And I had just one thing on my mind— who is going to cut my bangs? I looked like shit.
Even after the lockdowns ended in Brooklyn, due to all the new restrictions required to re-open, many salons stopped offering bang trims. There was once a time where you could stumble into any old place, hand over $10 and get your bangs trimmed no questions asked.
Not in this economy! Today, you must make an appointment, pay twice as much, and until recently one was made to wear a mask – that collects all the fallen hair bits inside it to tickle your nose.
So. I tried to do it myself. Over and over. It looked terrible. Never as good as when a professional did it. I'd wind up looking slightly unhinged and feeling discouraged. I watched countless tutorials and still couldn't get it to look as nice as when the pros effortlessly slid their sheers across my bangs, a technique that they likely spent years perfecting.
I kept doing it though. I figured, if I do any one thing enough times that eventually I'll figure it out. Why was I assuming I should know how to do a new thing I'd never done before right away without any failures or practice? I've found myself doing this with many things throughout my life...
One day, almost two years after I started cutting them myself, a hair stylist that works at my favorite restaurant enthusiastically complimented me on my bangs. To be honest, they still look terrible — but the point is, everything is fake and you can do whatever you want! Especially when it comes to anything even remotely creative.
This expectation to complete a new task correctly the first time is completely unrealistic and worst of all, it discourages us from trying new things. Craft is important and requires practice and patience. This whole concept of needing to be an expert in a certain field in order to do something well is false. Besides, haven't we learned a lot about the credibility of experts lately?
Sure, you might be doing it wrong, but you also might have a unique or particularly innovative approach due to a different background. Everyone has to start somewhere.