Behold, Everything You Need to Know About Curtain Bangs


Thinking about getting curtain bangs? I feel you. My itch to get the fringe began during the lengthy quarantine period—between my phase of scrolling through banana bread recipes and stint as a whipped coffee barista for my best friend. I decided to take the plunge as photos of celebrities with the look, like Ariana Grande in her 34+35 music video and new mom Gigi Hadid (who, BTW, garnered 3.6 million comments on her fringed look in the first few hours of her posting her selfie) made it that much more covetable.

Admittedly, I was apprehensive before making my hair appointment. Even though I wasn’t scheduling a full-blown haircut, I knew that the slightest tweak to any hair look can have a transformative effect. (Again, did you see Hadid’s hair?) I had what seemed like 3,000 questions—so I asked top experts to weigh in. Ahead, learn more about the fringe and my experience getting the look.

What exactly are curtain bangs?

“It has the feel of a grown-out fringe,” says Levi Monarch, a stylist at New York-based Rob Peetoom Salon and the maestro scheduled to cut my hair. He explains that the bangs are cut at a slight angle—starting short at the center of your hairline and gradually getting longer toward your ears.

“They’re fun, don’t sit directly on your forehead, and fall softer on your face,” adds celebrity hairstylist Riawna Capri. She says the look “was very popular in the 60s and 70s.” Think: The hairstyle popularized by film icon, Brigitte Bardot.

Capri thinks the look made a comeback in the last year due to quarantine. “We were all looking for a change,” she says, “Change is fun and it’s healthy so I feel we all leaned towards that, without the full commitment of blunt bangs.”

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How are curtain bangs cut?

First thing’s first: Both Monarch and Capri say that curtain bangs should be cut by professionals who make specific considerations before cutting—one being face shape. While the look works with almost every face shape, Monarch says that it can help determine the length of the bangs. “It’s all about proportions,” he says, explaining that he looks at how long the face is in comparison to the overall hairstyle and length of the body to determine how long the bangs should be.

Monarch says that he also considers facial features when determining how long to cut bangs. “If you really want to enhance a person’s cheek or jawline, you want the [bottom of the bangs] to hit those points,” he says.

jesa marie calaor

Jesa Marie Calaor

jesa marie calaor

Jesa Marie Calaor

After taking into account my heart-shaped face and the length of my hair (which was very long), Monarch decided to have the longest point of my curtain bangs hit the top of my jawline. He split my part at the center and sectioned off the hair on both sides of my head that would ultimately become my fringe. (The sections should start an inch from the hairline.) Then, he started at the center of the hairline and cut my bangs at a slight angle from long to short.

How do you style curtain bangs?

Styling curtain bangs can be simple. Capris suggests having a heat protectant (her go-to is the InCommon Magic Myst Universal Elixir), a round brush, and blow dryer on-hand. Monarch adds that you should have a product to help seal in the look.

Style your curtain bangs in three steps:

  1. Protect: Spray your curtain bangs with a heat protectant.
  2. Roll and Flip: “Hook your bangs forward on your brush, and twist up and elevate as your dryer hits your hair directly,” says Capris. “Roll your brush forward. Then blow the sides forward and roll the brush back for the flip on the sides.”
  3. Seal in the look: Monarch suggests a lightweight oil, like the Davines This is an Oil Non Oil.

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