How to Style Curtain Bangs for All Hair Types, According to a Hairstylist

January 21, 2022
Sophie Dweck
By: Sophie Dweck | by L'Oréal
curtain bangs

We’ve all thought about it at least once — that is, the idea of getting bangs. With the new year in full swing, there couldn’t be a better time to go for it and shake things up. One styling option you should definitely consider? Curtain bangs

If there’s one thing we learned from our TikTok For You pages and Instagram feeds in 2021, curtain bangs are back and hotter than ever. The cool-girl, face-framing fringe knows how to make a statement and is extremely versatile and flattering on all face shapes, hair textures and lengths. 

But like most bangs, curtain bangs require a bit of extra work and if not shown tender loving care, they could spell disaster. In order to avoid a bad hair experience, we asked TikTok’s resident hairstylist, Matthew Newman, for tips and tricks in case you’re ready to make the chop. 

What are curtain bangs?

The ’70s are back, and they're groovier than ever! First made famous during the disco decade, curtain bangs are a layered fringe that is styled with a part down the middle of your face, framing each side. They typically start at the brows and then slightly taper off at the sides, much like how a curtain frames a window (hence the name). 

Newman, a New York City-based hairstylist, has noticed that curtain bangs have become increasingly popular at the hair salon. “Curtain bangs were the breakout style star of the pandemic.” says the pro. “They can be customized to any face shape or hair texture. You can wear them with a natural air-dried texture or heat-styled.”

How should I style curtain bangs?

Because of their versatility, curtain bangs can be styled in a plethora of ways on a variety of hair textures and lengths. If you have short hair, you can elevate your look with a sleek, straight bob or a “I woke up like this” textured lob. If you have long hair, the world is your bangs oyster: you can let them shine in a snatched high ponytail or go wild in a half-up, half-down bun

Not to mention, they’re the perfect starter style for anyone who isn’t ready to commit to something a bit more dramatic like blunt bangs or micro bangs. “They can be a great way to dip your toe in the world of bangs,” says Newman.

The best part of all? Anyone can rock curtain bangs — especially curly hair folks. Once considered a big no-no, curly bangs are proving to be one of the biggest trends of the ‘20s.

If you have  curly or wavy hair, Newman recommends finger coiling and setting your curls while your hair is wet with your go-to styling product. Try Matrix A Curl Can Dream Moisturizing Cream for Curly and Coily Hair or Kérastase Crème De Jour Fondamentale Hair Cream, both of which are designed to shape and style all curl types.

When styling curtain bangs on straight hair, a blow dryer is essential. In order to maintain your fringe, Newman advises using a medium-size round brush to blow out your bangs. 

Just don’t forget to apply a heat protectant to your hair first. The Kérastase Discipline Fluidissime Anti Frizz Spray is super lightweight and ensures your hair has a smooth, shiny and frizz-free finish without any heat damage. For a drugstore option, we love the L'Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Frizz Killer Serum Leave-In.

matrix a curl can dream styling cream

How do you maintain curtain bangs?

While curtain bangs are on the more manageable side of bangs, Newman says they are not completely low maintenance. “Like most bangs, they do require daily styling of some sort,” he explains. “The upside is that it’s a small amount of hair to refresh, and it’s totally OK to wash or refresh just your bangs, and rock your day two (or three or four) hair.”

Newman also notes that the upkeep of curtain bangs depends on how fast your hair grows. However, the tapered effect allows them to grow into long face-framing layers pretty easily. To maintain the perfect length and avoid awkward growth, he recommends getting them trimmed every four to eight weeks, depending on how fast your hair grows. 

If you do decide to embark on a curtain bangs journey, “don’t be afraid to try new styling products or techniques,” says the pro, “because these new shorter hairs require a bit of a different approach for styling than long hair.” 

Written By: Sophie Dweck, Photo: Hannah Packer, Design: Juliana Campisi

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