Everything You Need to Know About Getting Curtain Bangs

Everything You Need to Know About Getting Curtain Bangs featured image
Getty Images / Kevin Winter / Staff

Curtain bangs have made a huge comeback lately, almost as exciting as Linsday Lohan’s resurgence. This style of bang has always been around but was super hot in the ‘90s, and here we are again. “There has been an influx of people getting curtain bangs,” says colorist and Wella Professionals brand ambassador Dereq Clark. He adds that they’re trendy, versatile and very flirty. 

Celebrity hairstylist at Rita Hazan’s salon Sean Chin-Sue, who cut my curtain bangs, suggests getting this style if you want to lean into your femininity a bit more and are looking for something sexy. “It’s what’s going to make you look pretty when you get up in the morning,” says Chin-Sue. “You have something framing your face, even when you’re in bed just laying there.”

Bangs are big in many ways this season, points out celebrity hairstylist Mia Santiago. “There is a lot of buzz around different bangs right now like the Birkin Bang, the Butterfly Bang, etc.,” says Santiago. She feels this is making people more curious about what bang style might suit them. Curtain bangs are “a little less committal since they are longer bangs and will grow out more quickly,” which contributes to their popularity, Santiago believes. Also, she adds that “people tend to lean into bangs during the winter months.” With the winter fast approaching and the trend going full steam ahead, we’ve got some great tips from experts about how to get the perfect curtain bangs for you.

Make it clear you don’t want traditional straight-across bangs

“Most hairstylists are very privy to the current trends, but I’d be very specific to state that you want your bangs shorter in the middle and significantly longer on the ends,” when getting curtain bangs, says Santiago. Clark agrees, advising that “when discussing curtain bangs, make sure to ask for bangs that are longer in length and not traditional bangs. You want to emphasize the length.”

Bring photos of what you do and don’t like

Experts always recommend bringing in social or celebrity photos of the style you want, but what’s more surprising is that Santiago suggests bringing photos of things you don’t like. “It gives a very specific direction,” she explains. While photos are extremely helpful, you can’t expect your stylist to nail the exact look. “Always bring a photo of what you’re hoping for with realistic expectations because the photos you love might not be the same type and texture as yours,” says Santiago.

Consider the shape of your face

It’s always good to go into a salon with a goal in mind, but since you’re not the expert, you have to put a little faith in your stylist, which is why it’s so important to pick a good one. When I went into Rita Hazan’s salon, Chin-Sue evaluated my face and hair. I could see the gears turning in his head, trying to calculate which type of curtain bang would be best because it’s not one size fits all.

“I think you should choose according to the thickness of your hair and the shape of your face to decide what length the bangs should be because there are about three lengths,” says Chin-Sue. He advises people with rounder faces to go for longer curtain bangs. For those with longer faces and “tapered fine features,” he prefers shorter bangs so they can open up, displaying cheekbones. “All faces can rock a bang,” says Santiago. “It’s the expertise of your stylist that will help to help decide where they feel the length of your bangs will be the most flattering.

Also, consider the thickness of your hair

I went in with a photo of Denise Richard’s iconic ‘90s curtain bang layered look because who wouldn’t want that? However, Chin-Sue informed me that since I am, in fact, not Richards, that style needed a few tweaks to suit me. Since my hair is finer towards the front but thicker in the back, he “had to make the choice to make them a little shorter” so that they’re easier for me to handle, he explained. Those with thick hair in the front of their face can get away with more of a variety of bang lengths.

Consider getting highlights with your curtain bangs

Chin-Sue says it helps give the curtain bangs a boost if “you have really beautiful highlights that frame your face.” He suggests that if you get curtain bangs, you should have your hair highlighted either right after the cut or before. “They’re going to just brighten up your face depending on the color of your eyes and your base color.”

When do curtain bangs need to be cut again?

Of course, this all depends on how fast your hair grows, but Chin-Sue says in about six weeks it will be time for another chop. However, he notes that they will grow out beautifully if done right, which is a nice perk you don’t always get with standard bangs.

Styling tips for curtain bangs

“Round brush,” says Chin-Sue, “large round brush.” He notes that not only can you roll it forward and under, but you can also go backward. “Hold it and heat it for about three to five seconds when it’s almost dry, and wait for it to cool. Then put the blow dryer on cool. It’s going to set them and make them behave and flow away from the face and look really pretty.”

Santiago is also a fan of the round brush. She recommends taking the whole bang on a round brush when damp and misting them with UNITE BOOSTA Volumizing Spray ($30), which Jessie James Decker rocked on the red carpet recently, then rolling it all backward. “When dry, the bang should split in the middle, and you can manipulate it with your fingers to lay perfectly. Allow the bangs to cool off for max hold,” says Santiago. “If your bangs seem a little limp, add my best friend, TEXTURIZA Spray ($35) to the roots.”

Clark’s best style tip is to “have as much fun as possible when wearing your curtain bangs. Wear them to the front for more of a shag look or to the side for more of a swoop or split them down the middle to expose your face and eyes.” He likes to lock it all in with Wella Professionals EIMI Stay Firm Workable Finishing Hairspray ($21) for hold and protection.

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