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 • Hair  • Haircare Guides  • How To Style (and Rock) Your Curtain Bangs Like a Pro Every Time

How To Style (and Rock) Your Curtain Bangs Like a Pro Every Time

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Main image – Susanaramirez/Stocksy

If you’re in the market for a hair tweak this season but you don’t want to commit to a whole new style, what about cutting in some bangs? 

They’re flattering, face-framing and oh-so chic. But how do you style them? Well, it’s easy peasy when you’ve got the expert know-how.

Read on for some handy step by steps from hair experts Robin Emtage, Lisa Abbey, Ryan Sanger and Kate Ross on how to maintain polished curtain bangs, whatever your styling preference. Stay tuned for some serious fringe appeal.


What are curtain bangs?

Think fringe, but with a grown-out twist. “Curtain bangs are a timeless and versatile hairstyle where the hair is cut into long, face-framing layers that part down the middle, resembling a curtain,” explains Emtage. And no, definitely not the 90s boy band type curtains – much, much chicer.

“These bangs are usually longer at the side, creating a soft, effortless look that beautifully frames the face.”


Who do they suit?

Emtage says they complement most face shapes as well as straight and wavy hair. Hallelujah! “They can soften angular faces and highlight cheekbones, making them a fantastic choice for many,” she says.

“They’re an excellent choice for someone looking to add a touch of chic to their hairstyle without committing to full-on bangs.” 


Image – Amorburakova/Stocksy


How to style your curtain bangs with a blow-dryer

  • Step 1: “Start with clean, damp hair and apply a heat protectant to shield your strands from the blow dryer’s heat,” suggests Emtage
  • Step 2: “Use a comb to separate your curtain bangs from the rest of your hair, ensuring you have a clear section to work with.”
  • Step 3: Then it’s blow dry time. “Starting from the roots, wrap the curtain bangs around a round brush while directing the heat from the dryer onto the hair,” Emtage continues. “Roll the brush outward to create a slight curl at the ends.”
  • Step 4: When they’re dry, “apply a small amount of hair oil to your fingertips and use them to gently tousle and position the bangs, adding a natural shine and preventing frizz.” My favourite hair oil is Kerastase Elixir Ultime L’Original Hair Oil (£49.45 from Look Fantastic UK /$58 from Kerastase US) which is like a big drink of water for the hair.


How to style your curtain bangs with a curling iron

  • Step 1: “Part bangs down the middle, or slightly off-centre if you prefer,” advises Abbey
  • Step 2: “Split each side into 3 vertical sections, front middle and back,” she continues.
  • Step 3: “Then, holding your curling iron vertically as well, slide it into the root area of each section and bring the iron forward, over the forehead, curling the section forward and away from the face.”
  • Step 4: “Move the curling iron quickly through from root to tip without holding it in one spot,” Abbey adds. “This will provide a wave in the right direction, not an actual curl.”


How to style your curtain bangs with straighteners

  • Step 1: Because of the extreme heat of a flat iron, use heat defence before you’ve even picked your straighteners up. “Apply a heat protectant to your dry bangs, then part them down the middle and use the flat iron on small sections,” explains Ross
  • Step 2: “Twist the iron outward as you reach the ends to create a soft, outward flick,” she continues. 
  • Step 3: “Allow your bangs to cool for a moment to set the shape then a quick spray of light hairspray will help maintain your style throughout the day.” Try Philip Kingsley Finishing Touch Hairspray (£13.50 from John Lewis UK /$18.70 from Look Fantastic US) which adds shine and hold but zero stiffness.


How to style your curtain bangs with rollers

  • Step 1: “Begin with damp hair,” Ross says. “And apply a heat protectant even though you’re not using direct heat – this helps minimize frizz.”
  • Step 2: “Use large rollers for your bangs, rolling them away from your face to achieve the curtain look,” she adds.


  • Step 3: “Dry the bangs with a hairdryer on a low setting while they’re still in the rollers,” Ross says. 
  • Step 4: “Once dry, remove the rollers and style your bangs with your fingers or a comb to get the desired look.”


How to style your curtain bangs without using heat

  • Step 1: “Wash and gently towel dry your hair, focusing on the bangs,” says Ross
  • Step 2: “Apply a light mousse or styling cream to give your bangs hold and structure,” she says. 
  • Step 3: Next, “part your bangs in the middle to create the curtain effect and comb them smoothly to each side,” Ross says. “Let them air dry, occasionally combing them to maintain their shape.”
  • Step 4: “Once they’re dry, a bit of light hairspray will help keep them polished and in place.” 


Pro tips for brilliant bangs

  • Always use a round brush over any other when blow drying curtain bangs. “This technique will help the bangs fall in the ‘curtain’ style,” says Sanger.
  • “Keep your bangs looking sharp and maintained with regular trims, ideally every 4-6 weeks,” Sanger adds.
  • Curtain bangs falling a little flat? “To keep bangs fresh and voluminous, use dry shampoo at the roots,” he adds.
  • Sanger also recommends not over-cleansing. “Washing your bangs too often can strip them of natural oils and make them frizzy, making them more difficult to style.”


The takeaway

So, it seems that cutting in some curtain bangs is just the right mix of new ‘do, but not getting rid of your old ‘do. A great way to freshen up and put a twist on your signature style. It’s a haircut compromise!

And whether you reach for the straighteners, or you’d rather skip the heat altogether, there is a simple way to style them. Just don’t forget to add some lift at the roots, don’t over-wash your bangs and remember to book in for a regular trim to keep them looking tip-top.


Meet the experts

Kate Ross is a dedicated Hair and Beauty Specialist at Irresistible Me, a renowned brand known for its premium human hair extensions and wigs. With a deep passion for the beauty industry and an eye for the latest trends.


Ryan Sanger is master hair extentionist at Hair Lingerie The Studio, Los Angeles, California. 


Robin Emtage is a beauty stylist and the founder of beauty company Silktage.


Lisa Abbey is the founder and CEO of Strength x Beauty, a brand of healthy and plant-based hair and body products that use only clean, luxury ingredients.


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Beauty Editor

The former Beauty Editor of Glamour UK, Philippa has been a beauty and lifestyle journalist for over 16 years, picking up countless tips and tricks from makeup artists, hair stylists, dermatologists and celebrities. In that time she’s written for names like Cosmopolitan, The Sunday Times Style, The Telegraph, Grazia, Refinery 29 and Byrdie. Philippa lives in the UK with her husband, two children and their hyperactive cockapoo, Paddy.

Expertise: Makeup, hair care
Education: Oxford Brookes University

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