Bang fever.

So far on Square Piece I’ve been silent about this issue, but I have suffered with a serious condition since childhood.  My mom used to manage it for me.  As I grew older I went through seasons where I was completely unaffected and seemed to have had a miraculous healing.  But all the signs started reappearing when I was 22.

Have you ever suffered from certain signs and symptoms, but after extensive googling diagnosed yourself strictly based on the knowledge you’ve gained from the web?  Once when menstrual cramps had me balled up in a fetal position on the floor, Brian came over with his lap top to diagnose me.  (Men, don’t try that at home.)  The internet can be a wonderful resource for a variety of conditions, sure.  Very little ground, however, has been explored in my own area of illness, an area that I like to call Bang Fever.  Much like malaria, if you’ve gotten Bang Fever once, you’ve got the rest of your life to monitor flair ups!  I come down with a case of Bang Fever about twice a year.  Sometimes I just drink lots of fluids and rest up so that I can carry on with my life; other times I’m paralyzed by the Fever.  And I’m not the only one!  Many women suffer with this ailment.  In spite of the growing numbers, there are little to no prescriptions, support groups or hot lines to care for us.  Neither does anyone ever consider, say, a walk or marathon to raise money so that we can research this curious disease.  Oh yeah, it’s curious!  You know why?  Because there are no SYMPTOMS!  You go to bed one night feeling like yourself, then the next morning – BAM!  You’re so sick with Bang Fever that you’re practically trembling, wrestling within yourself!

There are two ways in which you can manage the Fever.  One is to ignore it.  (Though it never hurts to take lots of vitamin C and eat an apple a day.)  Yes, if you ignore the Fever, eventually it will tame itself from a roaring, internal bonfire to a distant tiki torch.  Though I’ll warn you, ignoring Bang Fever is like ignoring a sprained ankle.  Sure, if you spend more time sitting and less time walking, you might not even remember that you’ve got a sprained ankle!  But TRUST ME.  It’s still there.  Even if you’re not tending to it.  Likewise with the Fever.

The second way to manage Bang Fever is to cure it.  And there’s only one cure.  You’re going to have to cut your bangs.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not necessarily an advocate of self-trimming.  But as a self-proclaimed Bang Fever expert who has been studying cases for years, I’m TELLING you, the ONLY cure is to cut your bangs.  Yes, your hair appointment might be tomorrow.  Doesn’t matter.  The Fever will consume you regardless because it doesn’t care when your hair appointment is.  All the Fever cares about is instant gratification.

Two weeks ago I woke up with the Fever.  I had kept the symptoms at arm’s length for a year.  Every time Bang Fever would flair up, I’d just remind myself how much I was determined to try out long, 70’s hippy hair.  I ignored the symptoms and tried to carry on with my life.  One week before my brother’s wedding, however, the Fever starting whispering sweet nothings in my ear.  I swear there were hallucinations – hallucinations of a frightfully large forehead in a future family photo that would be taken at the wedding.  And so in my sickness I reached out to Brian.  I let him know how miserable with the Fever I was.  He did his best to talk me off the ledge, reminding me of my efforts in the last year to manage the Fever.  But the problem was that after the conversation he left me alone to run an errand.  Listen.  When someone is as sick as I was, you must NEVER leave them alone in a house with scissors.  A half hour later Brian came back to this mess in the bathroom:

But I was cured.  And I don’t regret it.  Especially since it’s suddenly gotten so chilly, it’s nice to have something to keep my face warm.

Forehead before:

Forehead after:


  1. Okay. This is serious… I have had this fever for decades!!! So much so, that I just look wistfully at other lovely foreheads out there having a good time, while mine is safely hidden away. My condition has been so severe over the years that my husband can attest to the fact that part of our Lamaze training included bang instructions. On my list of things NOT to do during labor and childbirth was to touch my bangs. Or mop my sweaty brow and muss them up! Because bang fever tells me that mine is a forehead that’s better tucked away. And I have a pair of scissors and thinning shears that live in very close proximity to my bathroom sink. Thank you SO much for addressing this issue. I’m so relieved to know that I’m not alone. And that I don’t have to feel shame while I am snipping away at a few hairs now and then. No matter what my hairdresser says!

  2. October 3, 2011

    A HA HA HA! Sweet nothings…. oh my I like this one!

      • October 6, 2011

        mm hmmm mom loved to cut bangs on us when we were little. Do you remember her ever saying “get your hair out of your eyes?” I’m trying to recall….

  3. November 19, 2011
    LauriLauri Cornman

    I haven’t had bangs in about 10 years, and almost gave into it at my last haircut appt, but my nice beautician was wise enough to talk me out of it. I have way too big a cowlick for such a thing.

  4. January 21, 2012

    I can feel the fever coming on for the past few days. Yikes my appointment with you is still several weeks away! No promises.

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