How to Style Curtain Bangs, According to an Expert

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How to Style Curtain Bangs, According to an Expert


Photography courtesy of launchmetrics.com/spotlight

All the tips, tricks and tools you’ll need to master this chic style.

In this modern age where we can rely on the internet for hairstyling tips and reference photos before committing to a big chop, we’re able to embrace bangs in (almost) all of their forms: Blunt-cut, micro, Birkin-style — you name it. But no snipped look seems to be as currently trendy as the casually cool curtain bang.

Fringes have come a long way since their less-than-admirable reputation of the past (we’re looking at you, bowl cuts), and this face-framing curtain cut comes with an effortlessness that we all seem to be flocking to the salon for these days. But how, exactly, do you style it? We tapped hair expert Jason Lee, founder of Mela & Kera and hairstylist at Jason Lee Salon, for answers.

To the salon!

Long before you attempt to style your bangs at home, the process begins in the salon chair. According to Lee, the term ‘curtain bang’ can be interpreted in many ways, and each stylist will have their own technique for executing them, so it’s important to bring a reference photo to your appointment. “A curtain bang can give your look a French feel, a retro ’60s feel, or even a bit of a ’90s vibe, so you want to be clear on showing a reference of what you like,” he says.

For a more current take on the trendy trim, look to pop princess Sabrina Carpenter, who constantly keeps her Barbie blond fringe cut into this signature style. Over the years, we’ve also loved the look on stars like Naomi Campbell, Sydney Sweeney, Dua Lipa and Zendaya.

 

In terms of shaping, this style is distinctly draped (hence the curtain reference) and much less severe than traditional bangs that are typically cut straight across. “Ultimately, you want to ask your stylist for bangs where the shortest piece is in the centre (between the eyes) and then goes longer towards the sides of your face to frame it,” Lee explains. While you’re at it, request a softer, slightly feathered cut to avoid a fringe that looks too blunt.

How to style curtain bangs

When you’re ready to style your new bangs, start by picking up a small to medium-sized round brush or blow-dry brush. Then, for Lee’s most important tip, grab your blow dryer and begin blow drying away from your face. “[If you] take your round brush or blowdryer brush and blow-dry away from your face, once the bangs drop down, they”ll swoop off of it.” Flat bangs, where?

After you’ve blow-dried, shake out your bangs and allow them to fall naturally. “If you really like a curtain bang to cover a lot of your forehead or to swoop but the centre tends to separate, you can take a little clip and pinch the centre base of the bangs together as your hair cools down so that it sets,” suggests the stylist. Lastly, complete the look with a spritz of dry texture spray for a fluffy finish with a slight hold that won’t weigh your bangs down.

What not to do

Though Lee tells us that curtain bangs are super low maintenance and require the least commitment of all — they can last around six to eight weeks without needing another trim, since they blend in with the rest of your hair easily as they grow — there are a few key things to keep in mind as you style.

When brushing, remember to steer clear of overly large brushes and avoid brushing your bangs straight down. “If your brush is too big, your bangs will just go limp and have no shape to them,” says Lee. “Always think: Back and off your face,” he advises. And, whenever it’s time to hairspray, stick to sprays with a lighter hold to keep your hair feeling effortless and loose. “If you use a hairspray that is too firm, the bang will not move and appear overly stiff,” he warns.

What you’ll need

Now that you’ve mastered the art of the curtain bang, scroll on for five tools and products you’ll need to achieve the look at home — with expert recommendations straight from Lee.


Crafted from marbled resin sourced from sustainable wood pulp, Oribe’s Medium Round Brush is made with premium-quality boar bristles and soft nylon pins to help boost volume and shine. Plus, it’s the perfect size for styling curtain bangs.

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how to style curtain bangs

To avoid heat damage when blowdrying, Lee advises reaching for a good blowout cream. The Netsu Design Blow Dry Cream by Shu Uemura protects against up to 450 degrees of heat, while simultaneously fighting against frizz and providing a workable hold.

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“A dry texture spray is a great idea once you’ve blow-dried your curtain bangs because it will create a fluffy finish and add some fullness to your curtain bangs,” says Lee. His recommendation? Design Me’s volumizing Puff Me Dry Texture Spray.

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how to style curtain bangs

“Once you’ve styled your hair and need a bit of a finisher, the Mela & Kera Balayage Exceptionnel Smooth Ends is a lightweight finishing cream that will help to position your curtain bangs into place without making them greasy or heavy,” explains Lee.

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When you’re ready to lock in your style, opt for a lightweight hairspray that will keep your bangs in place but won’t make them feel too stiff. SexyHair’s Healthy So Touchable Weightless Hairspray provides a shiny and soft yet buildable hold, so your bangs can move with you.

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