The wispy style can be a bit tricky, but we chatted with experts to learn how to achieve the look with just a few key products and techniques.
If your eyes truly are the windows to your soul, then maybe curtain bangs make sense for you. Clearly, they've been piquing the interest of folks on social media, as they've been impossible to escape on TikTok, Instagram, and Pinterest. The celeb set seems to be embracing them, too. Can you blame them? The wispy style that frames the sides of the face essentially provides the perfect draping for your visage.
If you're about to take the plunge on curtain bangs yourself, don't be afraid to get super specific about what you want with your stylist because curtain bangs can come in many different lengths and looks, depending on your hair texture — and can be created with a plethora of techniques because of that. At the end of the day, all curtain bangs are longer toward the outside and shorter toward the inside. Some are smoother and swoopy and others are textured and tousled, so do some research, bring references photos, and collaborate with your stylist on what your definition of "curtain bangs" really is.
Be forewarned, curtain newbies; these face-framing bangs look oh-so-easy but can be tasking to actually pull off. At their best, curtain bangs are dreamy and romantic — but on a bad day, they can look like one hot mess of unruly hair. The look requires major styling with the right products and, like other bangs, can look a little awkward once they grow out to a certain length. Don't let that prevent you from trying this hyper-trendy look, though, because it's totally worth it if you're ready to put in a little effort.
To help you on your curtain-bang journey, we asked some of our favorite hairstylists for their go-tips. Below, get expert advice on how to style (and grow out) curtain bangs.
Your blow-dryer is your new best friend
On most days, those with straight or wavy hair should be able to style their lived-in bangs with a couple of key products, their bare hands, and a blow-dryer. New York City hairstylist Jordi Martinez says to use a leave-in conditioner or serum, plus hairspray, to keep the hair in place.
Some of our favorite styling options are the Best of Beauty-winning Dove Amplified Textures Moisture Lock Leave-In Conditioner and Big Sexy Hair Spray & Play Volumizing Hairspray.
Once you've got those on hand, the rest is pretty simple. "The most important thing is to know how to use the direction of the blow-dryer. You blow them out just using your fingers and the dryer, going in one direction first and then in the other direction," says Martinez. "Then smooth them out a little bit with a round brush if you need to."
Curls and cowlicks need extra attention
Days you wash your hair are a bit of a different story, though — especially if you have cowlicks. Those will require you to dry and style on freshly washed, wet hair because "once the follicle has had a chance to air-dry, it's also had a chance to set," California-based hairstylist Kristin Ess (who has cowlicks herself) previously explained.
To get those uncooperative hairs in place, she recommends using a round brush like Spornette G-36XL Porcupine Brush. When drying, put the thumb of the hand that's holding the brush underneath the bangs before putting the brush on top of the thumb and squeezing the bangs between the two. "The thumb is underneath to get extra tension because you have got to pull on the follicle from the root," she says. After you've taken care of that stubborn bit, you can continue drying while brushing to the left, the right, then downward.
Like cowlicks, natural curls require a fresh wash and a little bit of finesse as well, according to New York City hairstylist Matt Newman. "For naturally curly curtain bangs, take advantage of the ability to perfect the pattern and placement of each tendril in your bangs while the hair is wet," he recommends.
To secure the curls you craft, prime that wet hair with a curl cream and gel. Allure editors love Curls So So Def Vitamin C Curl Defining Jelly and Taliah Waajid Protective Styles Bamboo, Biotin & Basil Curl Activator, both of which are Best of Beauty winners.
Then, you can use your fingers to sculpt each section exactly how you want it. "You can lift the root for volume, you can finger coil to elongate the curl pattern, or you can crunch to enhance the definition." To sculpt curls between washes, Newman elaborates, you re-dampen the hair or spritz on a curls refresher to start over again.
Awkward growth stages are totally preventable
At some point — maybe tomorrow, maybe years from now — you will decide to grow out your curtain bangs, and that can come with an awkward phase where they're somehow too short and too long at the same time. This can be pretty easily dealt with, though, as Newman explains. "The best and most simple tip is to tuck [your grown-out bangs] behind your ears while wet and they will dry blended in with the next-shortest layer," he explains. "If your hair is textured, do the same thing but just after heat styling the section, while the hair is still slightly mailable."
Once they get even longer, you can start styling them like you would the rest of your hair. "If they're hitting at the cheek or jaw, you can blend them into the next closest section with any hot tool by combining the bang with the section next to it and styling the two sections together on the same iron or wand," Newman recommends. "Use a no-crease clip to hold the shortest bits of the bangs onto the longer layer while the sections cool off."
While curtain bangs do take a little time and effort to style, if you keep them for long enough, it'll all become an easy reflex.
Original article appeared on ALLURE | Author Nicola Dall'asen