If we learned anything during the last year, it’s this: everything that was once old will be new again. Just consider the tie-dye, pearls, padded headbands, shags and French manis having a renaissance in the fashion and beauty world.

But perhaps no trend is currently exploding more than curtain bangs, the wispy and retro fringe taking over foreheads in 2021. While this look has been long-adored, there are modern twists that keep us returning to the style over and over. That is, at present, a curtain bang makeover has the power to breathe new life into a haircut with low effort and little commitment, as we navigate longer stretches between salon visits in life after lockdown.  

Here, fringe experts share their favorite cutting and styling techniques that keep curtain bangs in the spotlight and clients begging for the look.

Bardot Bangs

Sam Villa, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer Sam Villa and Global Artistic Ambassador for Redken

Hair: Sam Villa ArTeam
Photo: Katie Parker
MUA: Teal Druda
Wardrobe: Amia Serrano
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Hair: Sam Villa ArTeam
Photo: Katie Parker
MUA: Teal Druda
Wardrobe: Amia Serrano

Women don’t want to look the same every day, they want the best of both worlds!  The Bardot fringe, a natural progression from curtain fringe, gives the ability to play without commitment so clients can wear their fringe however they want, whenever they want.

  • Take a small center triangle section and point cut hair short with a Sam Villa Signature Series Wet Cutting Shear 6.25” to create a statement piece in the center.  
  • Cut curtain fringe with the rest of the face framing hair to craft soft texture and duality.   
  • Sweep fringe to one side to showcase softness and hide the mini pieces or go with a middle part to highlight the bold shorter fringe.

Shaggy Fringe

Katie Pattison, Haircutting Specialist and Owner at Love Salon in Portland, OR

Hair: Katie Pattison
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Hair: Katie Pattison

Shaggy bangs are customizable and great for most hair types. Since they are textured with ample weight removal, and are left longer in the corners, they tend to fall effortlessly across the forehead and can be easily swept to the sides as they grow out to create a soft curtain bang.

  • Determine the bang section by creating a triangle from hairline recessions to middle round of head. Part bang section down the middle and – following the hairline – take a small cutting section on each side to create your guide. 
  • Using a razor or shears, cut a guide from middle part to recession/temples on each side, creating an inverted V shape on the forehead, and choose the appropriate length/angle to suit your client. Using your guide, continue this through the entire bang section with no elevation.
  • Take vertical sections – starting at middle part and working out to each side – and layer bangs by point cutting with shears, using lower elevation for thinner/finer hair (less layering) and higher elevation for thicker hair (more layering).
  • To create more texture, go back though vertical sections with thinning shears or slide cut down through the bangs while they are in their natural fall.
  • To style, diffuse with Cult+King Pink Himalayan Sea Salt Jelly and finish with AG Hair Dry Lift for extra pieciness.
  • Tip: For wavy hair, be sure to cut your guide about twice as long as where you want the bangs to lay. For a wavy bang that sits right above the brow, start the shortest length around the bridge of the nose.

Glam J.Lo Bangs

Raquel Silva, Styling Specialist and Owner at V’s Beauty Lounge in Hemet, CA

Hair: Raquel Silva
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Hair: Raquel Silva

If there’s one celebrity who manages to pull off every beauty trend imaginable, it’s Jennifer Lopez. J.Lo-inspired bangs pair well with long, wavy hair, and are always timeless. While low-effort, appropriate styling can deliver high-impact glam worthy of the red carpet.

  • After cutting soft, wispy curtain bangs, take a center triangle section and blow dry vertically using Olivia Garden Ceramic + Ion Speed XL-45.
  • Over-direct fringe down the center and round brush each side, holding to create volume and a light bounce.
  • Go back and tease the base of each bang side with a comb to amplify volume even further.
  • Spray near the root lightly with Sexy Hair Spray & Play to add hold. The finished product will be an alluring, face-framing shape.

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