A guide to curtain bangs: how to cut and style this trendy haircut

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Here’s a guide to navigating the look of curtain fringe, from the right cut to style at home.

What is a curtain fringe?

Curtain fringe does for your face what an artfully draped set of curtains does for a window. This is a softer, more tailored take on straight bangs meant to flatter the bone structure and highlight certain facial features, such as the eyes or cheekbones. “The perfect curtain bang creates softness and balance around the face,” says Velasquez. “Whether you opt for a longer version with a central part to open your cheekbones or more forward and frame the brow line, their aim is to bring out all your positive features.”

Photo: Getty Images

Should I have a curtain fringe?

While curtain fringe is coveted for good reason, you need to weigh whether it’s right for you on all counts. “Before taking the plunge, ask yourself if bangs will suit your lifestyle,” says François. On the one hand, there is the sheer physicality of the bangs. “Some people find the feel of hair on the face uncomfortable or it might be more practical to have the hair fully swept away day-to-day,” he says. Along with more trips to the salon for fringe trims, there’s also the added upkeep like more cleaning (the fringe tends to get greasy as it absorbs oil, sweat, makeup, and SPF from your face) and daily refining – although many consider the latter to be well worth the effort. “If you can give your bangs 10 minutes, you’re done,” Townsend assures.

How to cut curtain fringe

Simply put: leave the curtain fringe to the pros. “Always have your bangs cut by a professional hairstylist who will give you a consultation first, taking into account your face shape, features and lifestyle,” says Francois. Before meeting with a pro, Townsend recommends doing your own research to figure out what will work best for you. “When people come to me for a haircut, they often show me pictures of bangs on a different face shape,” says Townsend. “I learned that a lot of people don’t know their own face.” To that end really take the time to understand your face shape and from there he recommends drawing a rough sketch of your face on a piece of paper and shading in the corners and/or the top of the head to see what helps give the illusion of an oval shape, which usually tends to be the go-to goal for the most flattering results. “It’s a great way to prepare for a conversation with a hairdresser and set more realistic expectations.”

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