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Try the Trend: Curtain Bangs

This trendy fringe style looks good on all hair types.
  • Beauty Magazine
May 14, 2024

If you’ve always wanted to get bangs but aren’t sure if you’re ready to go full steam ahead, curtain bangs may be worth considering. The trendy cut features long, layered fringe that frames your face, allowing you to play with a new look without the commitment of straight-across fringe. Plus, a haircut with curtain bangs is easy to maintain, versatile, and flatters just about every face shape.

Ahead, we break down everything you need to know about getting curtain bangs. You’ll also discover some of our favorite ways to style the retro-inspired cut, from cute updo hairstyles with curtain bangs to long straight hair with curtain bangs and more. Find it all—and get ready to finally cross “get bangs” off of your bucket list—below.

What Are Curtain Bangs?

Curtain bangs were a super-popular ’70s hairstyle that featured long, layered fringe that hit around the top of the cheekbones. It’s typically worn with a middle part for a flattering, face-framing effect and often features a soft wave for a lived-in vibe.

Part of the appeal of curtain bangs is their versatility. The layered cut is easily adaptable to suit different hair textures and works beautifully on both long and short hair (in fact, a wavy lob with curtain bangs is among our favorite ways to wear the laid-back look). Curtain bangs also pair beautifully with updos, especially high ponytails and loose low buns.

What is the difference between curtain bangs and drape bangs?

The main difference between curtain bangs and drape bangs is length: Curtain bangs tend to hit around the cheekbone, while longer draper bangs usually begin around the jawline or chin. While this longer layered cut is chic in its own right, it also serves as a great style to adapt as you’re growing out your fringe—you can tuck the pieces behind your ears without having to navigate that awkward in-between period.

Are Curtain Bangs Easy to Maintain?

Curtain bangs are both low-maintenance and easy to style, making them an ideal pick for those who don’t want to spend a ton of time on their hair. Depending on how quickly your hair grows, you’ll likely want to visit the salon for a trim roughly every six to eight weeks to maintain their length and shape. That being said, curtain bangs are meant to look a bit lived-in, so you can typically get away with stretching out the time between appointments a bit.

Daily maintenance depends largely on your hair type, but for most, styling is pretty straightforward—it’s all about having the right products and tools on hand (more on that shortly).

Who Should Get Curtain Bangs?

Anyone can get curtain bangs—this style of fringe flatters just about every face shape. Cheek-grazing curtain bangs are ideal for those with round faces, while slightly longer, softer fringe is ideal for those with more angular features. Your stylist can help determine which version of this flattering cut is best for your features.

Curtain bangs also work on just about every hair type and texture. How they’re cut and styled, however, may differ depending on your hair’s texture, length, and density.

Curtain bangs for fine hair

You may be under the assumption that bangs just don’t work well on finer hair, but that’s not always the case. In fact, the movement and body that curtain bangs create can help make fine hair appear fuller and thicker. A few styling tricks can also help create the illusion of more bounce.

First, we recommend swapping out your go-to shampoo and conditioner for a volumizing duo, such as L’Oréal Paris EverPure Volume Sulfate-Free Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris EverPure Volume Sulfate-Free Conditioner. The color-safe pair helps condition and revive fine, flat hair, giving it long-lasting body and lift. You may also want to consider adding a volumizing mousse, such as L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle BOOST IT Volume Inject Mousse to your haircare routine for added bounce.

Curtain bangs for thick hair

Curtain bangs are a great style for people with thick hair so long as they are cut and styled the right way. To help prevent your hair from appearing poofy or fluffy, consider keeping your curtain bangs on the longer side—somewhere between your cheekbone and jaw—with longer layers that blend into the rest of your mane. If your strands are super thick, you can also ask your stylist to thin out the ends to help remove some weight.

As for how to wear curtain bangs, the world is your oyster. For a chic look that complements your thicker strands, consider short straight hair with curtain bangs—you’ll get the face-framing effect you’re after without any unwanted weight or bulk. Or, try pairing your layered fringe with a bit of a wave for soft, effortless-looking movement.

Curtain bangs for straight hair

Curtain bangs can work well for straight hair, though you may need to lean on styling aids to give your fringe the shape and movement you desire. A choppier, more textured cut—like a long shag or wolf cut—can give your straighter strands body and movement (and these layered cuts pair perfectly with a tapered layer bang). If a choppy cut isn’t quite your speed, consider prepping your strands with a heat protectant then using a round brush to blow out your bangs, flipping the ends away from your face for a playful, retro vibe. When you’re satisfied with your look, lock it all into place with a flexible-hold hairspray, such as L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hairspray - Unscented.

Curtain bangs for curly and wavy hair

If you’re looking to experiment with curtain bangs on naturally wavy hair or curly hair, good news: this style should work beautifully for you. To get the best results from your cut, you’ll want to visit a stylist who is experienced in wavy and curly cuts. Go in with air-dried hair and have your stylist dry-cut your fringe. This technique can help ensure that your bangs are the length (and shape) you want them to be when dry. If you usually blow out and straighten your wavy hair, let your stylist know so they can adjust the cut accordingly.

What’s the Best Way to Style Curtain Bangs?

Styling curtain bangs is usually fairly straightforward and involves little more than blow drying your bangs into shape. Here are the general steps you’ll want to follow:

  1. Shampoo and condition your hair: Start your styling routine in the shower using a shampoo and conditioner designed for your hair type. A volumizing duo is best for adding body to fine, flat hair, while a hydrating pair, like L’Oréal Paris Hyaluron + Plump Hydrating Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris Hyaluron + Plump Hydrating Conditioner, can help give dry strands a much-needed moisture boost.
  2. Apply a heat protectant: After showering, squeeze excess water out of your hair and work L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Blow Dry Primer for 48 HR Frizz Control throughout your strands. The nourishing formula protects against temperatures up to 450oF and helps fight frizz without any weigh-down.
  3. Blow dry: Rough-dry your hair until it’s about 80% dry then clip your lengths back while you blow dry your bangs. Next, use a wide-barreled round brush to blow dry your bangs upward and away from your face. Drying them this way will help give your curtain bangs some shape. (We suggest using a smaller round brush for a more defined curl or a larger round brush for blowout-like bounce). Once you’re satisfied with your bangs, unclip your lengths and finish drying your hair.
  4. Complete the look: Next, part your hair down the middle and use your fingers to lightly tousle your fringe for a windswept effect. Then, lock it all in place with a flexible-hold hairspray or complete the look by working a tiny amount of L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Frizz Killer Serum Leave-In throughout your lengths and ends.

5 Hairstyles That Look Amazing with Curtain Bangs

Once you know how to manage your curtain bangs, you might be wondering how to enhance your look with updos or other fun styles. Check out these five easy hairstyles that you can pair with your curtain bangs.

1. Messy bun

If you’re between wash days—or need to get out the door quickly—try pulling your hair up into a tousled messy bun. This is a great option for those with a medium haircut with curtain bangs, as it keeps your lengths off of your face while still letting your face-framing layers shine. Start by spritzing your roots with an oil-absorbing dry shampoo to refresh your hair and add lift. Then, mist your bangs with water and blow-dry them into shape as outlined above. Once your bangs are set, twist your lengths into a loose bun either at the crown of your head or the nape of your neck and secure it with an elastic. If your bun looks too neat, use your fingers to pull out individual strands for that laid-back, lived-in effect.

2. High ponytail

A high ponytail is one of the coolest—and easiest—styles to pair with curtain bangs. Simply blow dry your fringe into place, then pull your hair into a ponytail at the crown of your head. You can wear the style as-is for a laid-back look, or add a chunky headband to give your easy updo a chic ‘60s vibe.

3. Curly shag

Curls and waves pair beautifully with curtain bangs, especially when cut into an edgy shag shape. To nail this rock-and-roll look, work L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Leave-In Conditioner throughout damp hair then diffuse your lengths to give your curls body, bounce, and definition, then, use a flat iron to lightly flip out the ends of your curtain bangs to create a face-framing shape that blends perfectly with your curls, coils, and spirals.

4. Pin-straight

Pair long curtain bangs with straight hair for a sleek look that draws attention to your favorite features. Start by blow-drying your hair straight (don’t forget to use heat protectant), then grab your trusty flat iron and begin straightening your strands. Once you’re ready to move onto your bangs, part your hair in the middle and grab one half of your fringe at the roots with the flat iron. Move the iron down the lengths of your bangs, moving the tool toward your temples to create a sleek look that delicately swoops over your forehead. If needed, you can work a bit of serum throughout your bangs to help tamp down on frizz—just be sure to use the smallest amount possible to avoid overloading your fringe with product.

5. Retro waves

If you’re looking for a way to style your curtain bangs for a special occasion, consider pairing them with bombshell waves: this glam look never fails to wow. Start by working a volumizing mousse through your hair, then rough-drying your strands until they’re about 90% dry. Then, wrap one-to-two-inch sections of hair around rollers and clip them into place. As your hair sets in the rollers, style your curtain bangs as outlined above, using a round brush to pull the fringe up and away from your face. Once your bangs are set—and your lengths are completely dry—take out the rollers for a seriously glam style you’ll find yourself coming back to time and time again.

Next Up: Flat Hair: 20 Tips To Get More Voluminous Hair

Photo credit: IG/@hairbylessan

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