Have you grown weary of sporting Covid hair? Are you sick of hiding your neglected mane in a ponytail or beneath a toque? After months of living in yoga pants and hoodies, going makeup-free, and letting your hair do its own thing, you may be craving a change. Nothing radical. Just a little pick-me-up to make you feel a little more human. Why not opt for curtain bangs—the latest trend hitting celebrity tresses in 2021? We turned to the pros to learn more about this banging trend as well as how to get the perfect curtain bangs for your hair type.
What Are Curtain Bangs?
If the term "curtain bangs" is new to you, think of Briggit Bardot's wispy fringe. In fact, they are still sometimes referred to as "Bardot Bangs." Farrah Fawcett sported them in the '70s. And Selena Gomez, Camila Cabello, Dakota Johnson, and January Jones have all recently adopted this in vogue style.
Curtain bangs frame your face in the same way that a pair of drapes frame a window. They tend to be shorter in the middle with lengthier wisps on the sides. And, due to their longer length, they are a great way to test-drive wearing bangs as they can be easily grown out. Phew!
Why Are Curtain Bangs Popular?
So why are so many people opening up to curtain bangs?
1. Curtain bangs are commitment-free
Many of us are leery of anything that involves cutting our hair, especially if you've finally achieved that long flowing mane you've always dreamed of. The nice thing about curtain bangs is that they do not involve the same degree of commitment as shorter bang styles. If you opt for a long version with the outer hairs about ear length, Pelfrey says they are easy to be pinned back or blended while you grow them out.
2. Curtain bangs suit almost every face shape and hair type
"Curtain bangs are universally flattering and require much less upkeep because the goal is a more French, effortless chic vibe," says Pelfrey. "I favor this style because of the cheek bone accentuation, and the face framing element."
Curtain bangs flatter all face shapes, suit many hair textures, require infrequent trims, can hide hairline imperfections, and need much less styling than other fringe styles. They can help hide breakouts on your brow and forehead. And, as an added bonus, these bangs can also make you look more youthful by concealing those pesky fine lines. Who knew that bangs could accomplish so much?
3. Now is the perfect time to experiment.
"People are feeling stir crazy during quarantine and are itching to change up their hair vibe, says Pelfrey.
NYC stylist, Emily Heser, says that the increased interest in bangs may due to people's willingness to take a fashion risk during a time period when they won't see many people and they don't have a lot of social obligations. If your bujo's weekly spread is pretty much blank, you may as well try something new like curtain bangs.
Who do curtain bangs suit?
If you're sick of being told that certain hair styles won't suit you, you are about to do the happy dance. Curtain bangs are an apt choice for almost everyone with only a tiny handful of exceptions. They suit most face shapes perfectly well, especially those with round or square faces. They elongate these facial types, making them appear more oval-shaped.
While the curtain bang is said to be universally flattering, there are a few things to consider before opting to adopt this style. People with smallish foreheads may find that curtain bangs make their faces look too small. And, if you have an uncontrollable cowlick, it is often best to avoid bangs completely.
Other than this very short list of caveats, most people can rock the curtain bang. Let your happy dance commence.
Wait. There's even more good news. If you are in the throes of trying to grow out short bangs, you are going to love the curtain bang. As your bangs get longer, they will make for perfect curtain bangs, enabling you to turn that awkward "in between" phase into a trendy, "I did it on purpose" fashion statement. Yay!
What to ask your hairstylist
Admittedly, it isn't easy to get a haircut during a pandemic. Thanks to Covid and its requisite lockdowns, you may have to watch some YouTube videos and transform your look yourself. If it is possible to safely have a professional introduce your coif to bangs, this remains the best option. Your hair stylist possesses the special techniques required to properly achieve this look and enable you to avoid a follicle disaster. But, hey, if you do decide to take on the challenge, here's how to cut your own hair. If you manage to book a coveted appointment with your hairstylist, celebrity hairstylist Anthony Perez mentions to ask your hairstylist first whether bangs are for you.
"If you are a low to medium maintenance person getting a fringe may not be for you. If you don’t mind getting a fringe trim every 2-3 weeks then I would say go for it!"
Curtain bangs for fine hair
If you have fine hair, the main issue you may run into is your bangs looking thin and sparse, according to Pelfrey. In this case, it's important that enough hair is brought forward for the cut.
"If the cut is done well curtain bangs can give an illusion of thicker hair and add volume," she says.
Curtain bangs for thick hair
"For thick hair it's all about keeping the length of the fringe a bit longer so that it can blend into your face framing pieces," Pelfrey explains. The good news is if you have thick hair you can achieve the wispy bang look with much less hair and using texturizing styling products.
Curtain bangs for curly hair
Yes, it's possible! Pelfrey advises if you have curly hair, however, to come to the salon with your natural texture intact. Then, have your stylist cut your fringe dry so you can be sure the length is shaggy and long enough to achieve a curtain bang.
Curtain bangs for textured or coarse hair
If you have textured or coarse hair, the challenge will be in creating bangs that are natural and airy. Pelfrey advises to ask your hairstylist to use texturizing shears to make the ends wispy and light.
Curtain bangs for wavy hair
If you have wavy hair, be sure to discuss styling options with your hairstylist first before the chop, so that they can determine the best technique to cut your hair.
"If you embrace your natural wave then ask for a dry cut. If you will be blowing them out then you should style your hair the way you plan to rock the bangs the day of the appointment so your stylist can recommend the appropriate cutting technique," Pelfrey says.
Curtain bangs for straight hair
Similar to fine hair, the cutting technique to create volume will be key.
"Using texturizing shears to create movement and volume in the hair along with using a combination or volumizing root spray and a dry texture spray can transform the effect of curtain bangs with straight hair," says Pelfrey.
Both Pelfrey and Perez agree, that before the snips begin, it's important to consult with your stylist to address your hair texture, level of maintenance, and how you plan on styling your hair to determine if curtain bangs are indeed right for you.
Also, a great way to ease into a new look and prevent snippers' remorse is to start with long bangs—ones that graze your cheekbones and can be tucked behind your ears.
How Do You Maintain Curtain Bangs?
To be blunt, the curtain bang is the perfect "lazy girl's bang." Thanks to their length, they are very low maintenance and, if they're long enough, they can even be thrown up into your ponytail—the preferred pandemic style choice. You can choose to keep the length with trims, or choose to to go longer between trims and grow them out. Plus, you can easily trim them yourself with a small pair of scissors.
Dry shampoo can work magic on a set of sweeping bangs, making them more controllable and mopping up any grease that has developed from pushing them out of your eyes.
How Do You Style Curtain Bangs?
If your curtain bangs have been professionally cut to suit your hair's texture and length, styling them should be a breeze. The one tool that will prove most valuable is a good quality round brush as this is the key to adding body and direction to your curtain bangs. Perez, recommends the GHD Rise Hot Round Brush. A flat iron can also add texture, but it is important to remember to turn it away from your face. A great styling tip from Pelfrey, is to use volumizing root spray and a dry texture spray to add life to very straight curtain bangs. You can also use a curling wand to add a soft wave to your hair.
Do curtain bangs sound like the perfect remedy for your Covid hair despair? If you're eager for a change, but remain unsure if this transformation is right for your tresses, you might want to take this quiz to find out if bangs are right for you. Seriously, what are you waiting for? Now is the time to bid farewell to that pandemic pelt and transform your hair from blah to beautiful.
Written by: Kimberley Laws