Bangs are a telltale sign that something is wrong. Nobody just wakes up one morning and thinks, “I should get bangs today.” No, bangs are premeditated. They take planning and plotting and panicking. And when judgment day comes, the verdict is most definitely going to be guilty.

I have spent hours — nay, nights — searching through the depths of Pinterest for the perfect bangs. My research has shed light on the fact that each face shape is conducive to a different style of bang. Therefore, to select your most bangable bangs, you must first identify the shape of your face. The problem is that my face increases in circumference proportionally to the amount of MSG, carbs and alcohol I consume in any given week. But bangs are forever. Or, at least until they grow into side bangs that — like froyo, shrugs and Victoria Secret lip-gloss — should stay in the mid-2000s.   

And yet, there comes a time when you find yourself thinking about getting bangs at 2:00 in the morning. You Google messy bangs, Reese Witherspoon bangs, bangs that will draw attention away from your chin. You’re frantically pinning, pinning, pinning … until the melatonin kicks in.

There will inevitably come a time when you ask your friends, “Should I get bangs?” If they are good friends, loyal friends, they will tell you “NO!” with the fury of a hundred monsoons. If they are liars, they will lie and say you are someone who can totally pull them off. Let me be clear: Bangs have only ever looked unspeakably fantastic on Julian Casablancas, but that’s a different story entirely.

Bangs are, really, a cry for help. So, I have created this choose-your-own-adventure to help a lost, bang-ridden soul in need. Also, I overheard a girl telling her friend she “like, literally, can’t stop doing Buzzfeed quizzes” and all I have to say to that is: I aim to please.

If you’re the poster child for unrequited love, you should get: Side-swept bangs

I’ve always been an avid supporter of break-up hair. Your boyfriend cheated on you and smashed your gullible heart into a million shards of damage? Go blonde! Who cares if your hair no longer matches your eyebrows. But what if you didn’t have a boyfriend to cheat on you in the first place? If your particular brand of low self-esteem stems from years of getting the short end of the unrequited love stick, side-swept bangs are here to say “loneliness” so you don’t have to.  

If you have no direction in life, are broke and have a liberal arts degree, you should get: Long bangs

You’re trying to be someone you’re not. Your bangs looked OK for a total of two seconds just after they were professionally styled, and in that moment you vowed to make them look whimsical every goddamn morning. You even purchased a round brush. But, honey, you will never have the patience to style your bangs. Not ever. You will not get the right products, or blow-dry them when they are just the right level of dampness. They will (dare I say) air dry, and they will not look good. But, you chose to major in English, and think you can adapt to whatever challenges come your way. Let’s hope you’re Zoey Deschanel.

If you fear you are not interesting, you should get: Baby bangs

You hopped on the manic-pixie-whatever train and haven’t quite been able to hop off. Sure, you’re a feminist, but it’s 2018 and that should be the bare minimum. Your quirkiness has run its course and you fear that you may be, simply, boring. In the Voltaire vs. hair debate (See “The Princess Diaries” if you are drawing a blank on this particular witty reference), you’d rather pin bangs ceaselessly into the night. So, you sign up for a class. You try finger painting so you can tell people that you do finger painting, but you really, really hate finger-painting. Then you take a wine seminar, but realistically there is no way you can afford such a bourgeois hobby. You could be interesting, you think, if you had the funds. Having interests is so expensive these days. Good thing narcissism is in.

If you push people away and need an emotional laxative, you should get: Blunt, straight-across bangs

I am the most worried about you. Especially if you have curly hair, but choose to straighten just your bangs. This eludes to Christopher Nolan level psychological labyrinths à la “Inception” that not even the cutest version of Joseph Gordon-Levitt can lead you out of. Blunt bangs are just the first line of defense into the emotional turmoil that you keep locked away. The key lies in pinning those babies back.  

If you can’t commit to anything, not even bangs, you should get: Parted Bangs

Get parted bangs, and not a tattoo.

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