How to Style Curtain Bangs in 2022
Forget the side part, center part debate. If there’s one hair trend millennials and Gen Z’ers can agree on, it’s curtain bangs. Heck, it’s the rare trend that seems to appeal to all generations. Though the look is certainly not new (Farrah Fawcett famously wore the look in the ‘70s), it’s gained popularity with the younger crowd over the past year thanks to TikTok.
Ahead we’ll explore the curtain bang phenomena. Plus, share tips on how to style them in 2022.
First, what are curtain bangs?
Curtain bangs are bangs that split open at the center of your forehead (like a curtain; hence the name) and frame either side of your face with slightly longer pieces at the ends to blend in with the rest of your hair. They are extremely versatile, as you can also wear them straight across or swept to one side, and require less upkeep because the grow out is more seamless than other types of bangs.
Will I look good with curtain bangs?
If you have hair and a face, then yes, curtain bangs will look good on you—and we don’t usually make those kinds of declarations when talking about hair trends! Curtain bangs are the rare exception because they really are universally flattering.
Unlike blunt bangs or even side bangs, curtain bangs don’t compete with or detract from your face shape or natural texture. You can customize their length to fit your face and preference.
Prefer a low-maintenance style? Keep your curtain bangs on the longer side, so they’re less in your face and the grow out period is shorter in case you change your mind or get bored.
Want a more obvious change? Cut them on the shorter end so they’re more front and center. Shorter or longer, curly or straight, curtain bangs have a flattering effect because of the way they subtly frame your facial features. Therein lies the reason why they’ve made a major comeback recently and seem to be growing in popularity.
Why did curtain bangs become so popular?
Like many beauty trends, the surge of popularity for curtain bangs can primarily be attributed to TikTok and other social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. Peep the hashtag #curtainbangs on any one of those platforms and you’ll find thousands upon thousands of inspiration photos and videos featuring the flattering cut.
Considering making the cut yourself but feeling a bit apprehensive about how you’d style them? We’ll take you through some key tips for making the look work for you.
How to style curtain bangs in 2022:
1. Decide on the part
For a classic curtain bang like Halle here, part your hair down the middle. Then, while your hair is still damp, blow-dry your bangs away from your face using a round brush.
2. Prep with mousse
To add more volume to your fringe a la First Lady Jill Biden, add mousse to your roots before you dry your hair. Again, you want to use a round brush to brush your bangs up and away from your face. (Option to set them with a roller for a few minutes as they cool for added lift.)
3. Add a texturizing spray
If you’re rocking a slightly shaggier or shorter style, mist a texturizing spray (a dry shampoo also works) throughout your strands—concentrating on the bangs and roots. This extra step will add soft volume, which is especially helpful if you have fine hair that tends to fall flat quickly.
4. Hold the brush the right way
The difference between a puffy, ‘80s-anchor style fringe and a cool curtain can come down to the way you’re holding your brush as you dry your hair. Always hold your brush perpendicular (never horizontally) to your hairline, which can cause that exaggerated puff up front.
5. Change direction to change your style
Take a cue from Alexa Chung (who is arguably the queen of curtain bangs) and style your fringe slightly to the side as they get longer. Using your round brush, gently pull your hair down and to your desired direction to coax them into position. Finish with a light misting of hairspray to lock everything in place.
6. Use your fingers if you have curly hair
To style curly curtain bangs like Yara Shahidi’s above, there’s no need for a round brush. You can simply use your fingers and a blow dryer to set your fringe in place. (Bonus tip: If you have a particularly stubborn cowlick or are worried about frizz, apply a small amount of leave-in conditioner to damp hair beforehand.)
7. Air dry your bangs
For looser curls and curtain bangs like Selena, you can always opt for a heatless style. Apply a moisturizing cream to damp hair and let it dry about 85 percent of the way before parting your fringe to either side and pinning them down with two creaseless hair clips to set them in place until your hair is fully dry.
8. Wear them sleek
There’s a reason why Taylor Swift has kept curtain bangs in steady rotation throughout the years even though her curls have come and gone: they effortlessly add style to whatever look you’re wearing at any given moment. Keep your fringe sleek like Taylor’s by quickly running a flat iron over them to smooth down any frizz. (Note: We emphasized quickly because you don’t want to spend too much time, nor do you want to clamp down too hard with your iron, because that can cause your hair to flatten.)
9. Pair them with an updo
Lest you’re still unconvinced on the versatility of curtain bangs, let Kerry Washington show you yet another way to wear them: to accessorize a simple updo. To replicate the look yourself, pull your hair up as high as you want and then pull out some of the side pieces of your bangs, so they loosely frame your face.