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How to Style Curtain Bangs



If you regularly scroll through your IG and TikTok feeds you’ve no doubt noticed the wispy, face-framing hair trend that’s everywhere. Curtain bangs have taken over social media, seeing a 600% spike in pins on Pinterest. With roots in the 1960’s and 70’s, curtain bangs are one of the hottest hairstyles coming out of quarantine. Curtain bangs are an easy way to update your look without doing anything dramatic. And who isn’t ready for a glow-up after a year in lockdown? These fringe are effortless and make any hairstyle look a little bit cooler. There’s a curtain bang for almost everyone and they are ridiculously low-maintenance; plus, they’re easy to grow out once you’re over them. It’s safe to say the curtain bang hair trend is dominating 2021.


What are curtain bangs?

Curtain bangs are the most low maintenance bangs of all the fringe. These long bangs are swept to the sides of the temple. Unlike blunt bangs, curtain bangs are angled shorter in the center and longer on the sides. They're parted down the middle, creating a curtain effect that frames the face and eyes. Most often, the bang is shorter in the middle near the brow, then angles longer as you get toward the temples. Curtain bangs typically have a soft, feathery texture, and are easy to style in a number of ways. And they’re super customizable- there's a curtain bang for almost everyone.


What hair type is best for curtain bangs?

Curtain bangs work best on medium-length and long hair. Hair that’s too short will give too much of a square silhouette, and this hairstyle looks best with a rectangular silhouette. As for texture, straight or wavy hair is better suited for a curtain fringe. That’s not to say they can’t work with curly hair; they'll just require a lot more maintenance. If you have curly hair, your hair stylist will likely recommend a slightly longer version.


How are curtain bangs cut?

Curtain bangs should only be cut by a professional who will consider specific considerations — like face shape and features — before cutting. The perfect curtain bang is all about proportions. How long your face is in comparison to your overall hairstyle and length determines how long your bangs should be cut. Your hair stylist will start by splitting your part at the center and sectioning off the hair on both sides of your head. The sections should start an inch from your hairline. Then they’re cut at a slight angle—starting short at the center of the hairline and gradually getting longer toward your ears. The longest part should hit the jawline.
 

What is the maintenance for curtain bangs?

If you’ve had bangs before and hated the upkeep, these are the fringe for you. Unlike typical bangs, curtain bangs don't need to be trimmed every two to three weeks. You can go twice as long with these. And the best part is if they get a little too long in-between trims, or you decide to grow them out, they blend easily into the rest of your hair as face-framing layers.


Davines curtain bangs how to

photo by Cassell Ferere


How to style a curtain bangs

Curtain bangs are surprisingly low-maintenance in comparison to other bangs, and can be styled a number of different ways. How you style your curtain bangs depends entirely on the look you're going for. The signature of curtain bangs is the middle part. Beyond that, you can rock them with easy at-home hairstyles as well as professional hairstyles. A round brush and a blow dryer are musts for styling, and flat irons, curling irons, and a texturizing spray are also great for styling curtain bangs. To style your curtain bangs:

  1. Spray a heat shield for hair before parting your hair down the middle.
  2. Wrap your bangs around a round brush and blow dry them away from your face, twisting the brush through your bangs all the way to the end.
  3. Follow up by running a curling iron or flat iron through your bangs if they need a little extra definition.
  4. Finish with a texturizing spray adjusting your curtain bangs with your fingers so that they lay the way you like them.


Types of curtain bangs


Bardot curtain bangs

We can’t talk curtain bangs, without acknowledging the icon who made them popular: Brigitte Bardot. Retro, lived-in, and easy to grow out bangs? Yes please! A longer curtain fringe feathered and roughly parted in the middle is so effortlessly chic.


Voluminous curtain bangs

If you’re feeling nostalgic for the 90’s a voluminous, blown-out curtain bang is for you. Keep it modern, and scrunch your bangs with a texturizing spray for volume after blowing them dry.


Curly curtain bangs

Curtain bangs help give curly hair shape and definition. These bangs are meant to frame the face, so no matter your hair texture, they will flatter your features. Even on the days when you throw your curls in an updo, curtain bangs make it look a little more put-together. Remember to use a curl shampoo regularly and leave your bangs curly so that they fall to the front.


Long curtain bangs

Before going all out with a bold bang hairstyle, try a long, layered version. Long curtain bangs bend easily into your hair and are easy to grow out if you hate them. The longest layer should hit just below your cheekbones. This will give you soft, face-framing layers when your hair is up, and long bangs when you take your hair down.


Short curtain bangs

Tiny curtain bangs that stop an inch short of your eyebrows, give a look that's both retro and modern. This curtain bang hairstyle looks even edgier with extra-long hair.


Shaggy curtain bangs

Thinner, wispier curtain bangs often go hand in hand with a shag. Adding layers to both your bangs and the rest of your hair looks edgy and bold, giving a nod to the 70’s rock scene. Depending on your hair texture, shaggy curtain bangs can be worn extremely messy or ultra straight.


Arched curtain bangs

Like the name implies, these curtain bangs are cut in the shape of an arch, with the shortest lengths skimming your eyebrows, and the longest layers curving around the edges of your jaw. Play up your texture and volume with a texturizing spray.


Davines this is a dry texturizer

photo by @goldandglowco


Piecey curtain bangs

Bangs can look greasy fast, especially on second day hair; take advantage of this by rocking piecey curtain bangs. Spray a dry shampoo into your roots and rub it into your scalp to absorb excess oil. Then rake a dry wax through your bangs and twist the rest of your strands into an updo. Cut down on washing while keeping your fringe fresh.


Barely-there curtain bangs

Looking for something a bit more subtle? Go for a softer, more blended curtain bang with more volume on the sides than in the middle. Ask your hair stylist for a shape that you can hide. With barely-there curtain bangs, you can choose how to wear them daily.


Curtain bangs with a pop of color

Maybe the most bold curtain bang of all is one that’s highlighted by a pop of color. While traditional curtain bangs are more subtle and meant to blend in, this fringe hairstyle really stands out. Try a color-blocked pastel or neon hue. Grab a color depositing shampoo or a temporary hair dye if you aren't sure you want to commit.


Celebrity hairstylists agree, curtain bangs are the trend of 2021. Just take a look at the celebs currently rocking it

  • Jameela Jamil — Jameela shows that even the thickest tresses look amazing with curtain bangs. For bangs like hers, aim for them to fall just under your eyebrows.
  • Alexa Chung — Alexa is the queen of effortlessly chic. Her curtain bangs are the ultimate accessory.
  • Dakota Johnson — Dakota versatile curtain bangs have been thick and wispy, long and short, and everything in between.
  • Halle Berry — Halle proves the curtain bang trend is ageless. If you fear you’re past your prime fringe years, let us assure you that you aren’t.
  • Selena Gomez — Selena is a perfect example of how curly haired girls can make this look work for them. 
  • Priyanka Chopra — Priyanka’s fringe is a classic curtain bang, middle-parted and tapering down towards her longer face-framing layers.
  • Taraji P. Henson— Taraji P. Henson styles her curtain bangs both parted down the center, curled to the side, and blunt across.
  • Chloë Grace Moretz — Chloe gives major Farrah Fawcett vibes with her flipped out curtain bang style. Her bangs are long, so that they still appear soft when flipped out.
  • Sandra Oh — If the thought of blow-drying your bangs is stopping you from chopping your wavy hair, Sandra proves that curtain bangs look incredibly cool with practically all textures.


Final word on curtain bangs

Curtain bangs have taken over social media as one of the hottest hair trends coming out of quarantine. These fringe make any hairstyle look a little bit cooler and are ridiculously low-maintenance. There’s a curtain bang for every hair type and face shape, so if you’re ready to rock this trend, grab your favorite hair essentials and book that appointment with your stylist!

by Jaclyn LaBadia, featured contributor
cover photo by @michelledufflocq

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