Curtain Bangs Are Trending: Would They Look Good on You?

The '60s trend started by Brigitte Bardot is back in style.

Bangs are controversial, but there’s no doubt that curtain bangs are trending. Curtain bangs first shot to popularity in the 1960s when French actress Brigitte Bardot debuted the soft, wispy tresses. Farrah Fawcett and Goldie Hawn adopted the look and an iconic cut was born.  They fell out of favor for a while, but with modern actresses like Zooey Deschanel, Jennifer Lopez and Selena Gomez all sporting the look, there’s no doubt that curtain bangs are back.

It’s easy to see why curtain bangs are so popular. According to hair stylist to the stars Cody Renegar, “Curtain bangs work beautifully on any face shape, hair texture and hair length. They create an effortless yet sophisticated look and add softness to your face.” Even better, they’re low maintenance.

If you’re wondering whether one of the hottest beauty trends is right for you or if this hairstyle will draw attention to your gorgeous eyes, see what experts have to say about when curtain bangs will — and won’t — work. The curtain bang trend is here to stay. Find out what they are and whether they’ll work for you.

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What are Curtain Bangs?
Curtain Bangs
Dani Bauer/Hierophants Work

For the uninitiated, curtain bangs are longer than regular bangs. While traditional bangs are cut blunt and straight across, curtain bangs are softer and feathered — and they can be customized. With a good cut, curtain bangs should naturally split down the middle. Just as curtains frame a window, curtain bangs frame the face.

“Curtain bangs work well for just about anyone because they are so versatile,” says Renegar. “You can cut them long or short,” he adds. According to Sam Villa, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Sam Villa and Global Artistic Ambassador for Redken, “Curtain fringe works best parted down the middle and can be longer to sweep back to frame the face and eyes… You can sort of hide behind them, yet people see your eyes.” Villa notes that a true curtain bang has a part down the middle, but some people choose to wear their part on the left or right. “If you choose to part on the side, then you’ll have a drape on one side and curtain on the other,” he explains. 

Why Curtain Bangs Work

Curtain bangs put almost all emphasis on the eyes of the wearer, Ghanima Abdullah, a hair expert and cosmetologist at The Right Hair Styles, explains. “If you have other facial ‘flaws,’ that’s one of the best things you can do,” he says. Curtain bangs can also be used to draw attention to what you think is the most flattering part of your face. If you like your cheekbones, shorter curtain bangs will work well. If you prefer to highlight the shape of your jawbone, Abdullah suggests making the sides of the fringe a little longer.

Who Should Wear Curtain Bangs

Renegar thinks that curtain bangs work well for just about everyone. “They add depth to your hair and look gorgeous on those with a round and square face.”

Abdullah agrees. “Curtain bangs are great for all face shapes and ages” Abduallah says. “They’re extremely flattering. They help shorten and narrow up prominent foreheads.” They also work for almost any kind of hair. “Whether someone has straight, wavy, or curly hair, as long as they are tailored to suit the best features, they look beautiful,” says Villa.

When Won’t They Work? 

There is one type of person for whom curtain bangs won’t work. “It may be challenging to have curtain bangs if you have a cowlick,” says Renegar. That’s because with a cowlick, pieces of hair near the frontline will not easily and effortlessly split down the middle, which is the signature look for a curtain bang.

How Big a Commitment Are Curtain Bangs?

Unlike regular bangs, curtain bangs don’t require a long-term commitment. Regular bangs are typically hard to grow out because they take months to grow out and not all lengths are flattering. However, Renergar says that curtain bangs are easy to manage as they grow out since they blend into your hair and become face-framing layers. Villa adds, “Curtain fringes are a perfect middle ground for those who want to keep their length but want something a little different. They’re also really versatile and they can be styled in different ways for a total change.” That makes them a great choice for anyone who doesn’t want a radical change but is looking for an on-trend update.

The Dos and Don’ts of Curtain Bangs

Although curtain bangs are lower maintenance than many other hairstyles, they do require some care and attention. Villa suggests using creaseless clips to hold each side in place until they dry. That’s because it’s easier to control the direction of curtain bangs when they’re damp. One mistake Villa sees a lot of people with curtain bangs make is using a large round brush to wrap their back on top of the head when styling. “This creates too much volume and exposes the eye entirely. There’s some mystique to curtain fringe as you can sort of hide behind them, but people can still see your eyes,” explains Villa.

Between trims, Villa says you will need to pay a little more attention to your curtain bangs. “The longer they become, the more unruly — so focus on blow drying them under and then sweep back, especially the longer they get,” he says. To softly control curtain fringe to stay back and behave without looking to stiff, he recommends using a Sam Villa Signature Series Paddle Brush with Redken Quick Dry 18 hairspray and then brush the curtain fringe back and away. If you do blow dry, it’s important to not blow for volume. “Just smooth to control the ends so they don’t flip out,” explains Villa. He recommends using a Sam Villa Signature Series Thermal Styling Brush to smooth the bangs.

Can You Trim Curtain Bangs at Home?

Curtain bangs aren’t something you want to attempt to cut yourself or trim at home. “People always tend to go too short,” says Renegar. “For curtain bangs, they’re not an easy cut to make. So just invest in yourself and head for a salon.”

Are Curtain Bangs Appropriate for Work?

Curtain bangs are undeniably adorable, but are they too casual for work? “It looks very professional if you pin the hair up in a half-up/half-down look,” says Renegar. “Just let the curtain bangs drop — it adds a hint of a flirty style without looking unprofessional. You can set the bangs with hairspray to ensure they stay in place,” he says.





Jamie Davis Smith
Jamie is a mother of four, writer and attorney. Read more
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