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With these expert tips, you’ll be a pro in no time.
To get bangs or not to get bangs? It’s a question stylists hear all of the time from people who show up with bang inspo pics wanting to change up their look. Because the style is such a commitment (they take about a year to grow out fully!), they typically ask: Will this type of bang look good on me?
Luckily for anyone who wants to give it a go, experts say bangs look good on any and every hair type—from short and straight to curly and layered. But if you’re still buzzing with nervous energy just thinking about those shears making the first cut, consider wetting your feet with curtain bangs.
This sideswiping style splits open in the middle to frame the forehead, and you’ve likely seen the style on the likes of celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Dakota Johnson, Nicole Richie, Halle Barry, and Ariana Grande.
Curtain bangs are exactly what they sound like they might be. "Curtain bangs are bangs that appear to open in the middle of the face and frame it like a curtain does for a stage in the theater when it is pulled open," says Paul Labrecque, creative director and master stylist and colorist at Paul Labrecque Salon and Skincare Spa. Typically, they drape in a way that the middle is the short point and tapers to each side, with the sides being the longest points, adds Dani Everson, owner and hairstylist of Clementine’s Salon and Founder of SkinForYou.
Meet Our Experts: Paul Labrecque, creative director and master stylist and colorist at Paul Labrecque Salon and Skincare Spa, Dani Everson, owner and hairstylist of Clementine’s Salon and Founder of SkinForYou
Overall, bangs get a bad rap. Naysayers say they’re hard to pull off and even more difficult to maintain. But our experts disagree, saying bangs—and particularly curtain bangs—are actually pretty universal. Though they look best on those with oval and rectangular face shapes, curtain bangs are suitable for almost anyone, says Everson. The two tiny exceptions? People with more prominent noses typically look better with longer, side-swept bangs, says Labrecque. And, if you have a cowlick, a longer, heavier curtain bang will help ensure it doesn’t pop up, adds Everson.
Are you convinced yet? If you’re ready to take the plunge, call your stylist. While you might be tempted to DIY—how hard could it be?!—it’s actually quite challenging to nail the look, especially with an untrained hand. And butchered bangs aren’t easy to remedy, particularly if you cut them too short right off the bat.
Once you’re in the chair, Everson says your stylist will likely section out the bangs. Then, with either scissors or a razor, they’ll cut so that the shortest length is in the middle of the face and cascades out to longer pieces hitting the sides of the face. To do this, your stylist may use a technique called "slide cutting," says Labrecque. "Slide cutting is when we angle the scissor behind our hand, keeping the blades steadily open and then pull from a shorter point to a longer point." This gives curtain bangs a soft, feathered edge as opposed to a blunt and more severe look.
It’s best to style curtain bangs with a blowdryer and a medium-barrel round brush, says Everson, who recommends blow drying the bangs going away from the face backwards. (You can start with damp or dry hair, but beginning with damp hair will better set the look.) When they’re dry, take some pomade (or dry texturizing spray) and pinch the bangs into the right place. Finish with a quick hairspray to set.
If you’re better at wielding a curling iron, you can achieve a similar look with this hot tool:
Prefer to a flatter look with a little less volume? You can also style curtain bangs with a flat iron for a sleeker look. Here’s how:
If your hair is color-treated or prone to split ends, you may wonder if you can style curtain bangs without using any hot tools, blowdryer included. Luckily, experts say it’s totally possible—you just need a set of rollers and a little bit of time to let your hair air dry (overnight is ideal!). Here’s how:
"Curtain bangs don’t need daily upkeep other than blow drying or dry shampooing if they get oily," says Everson. "If you feel like the ends aren’t as curled as you’d like, I recommend either wetting them down and drying them or taking a curling iron and bending the ends to your liking." Of course, you can always use dry shampoo for a quick refresh, says Labrecque.
Brigitt is a freelance writer, editor and craft stylist with nearly 15 years of experience at premier lifestyle publications. She specializes in creating SEO and affiliate content in a wide range of coverage areas, including home, health, parenting, beauty and style, food and entertaining, travel, and weddings. She also has significant experience creating native and branded content.
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