Sure, going red has become a major 2021 hair color trend, but when it comes to cuts, nothing can quite compete with a curtain bang. From Jennifer Lopez’s shaggy, ‘70s inspired take to Hilary Duff’s longer, face-framing look, the chic style is everywhere. If you’ve been eyeing the look, you may be wondering how to cut curtain bangs yourself. Good news: It’s achievable with a little expert help.
With the uptick in DIY haircuts and colors in 2020, more people than ever are switching up their looks all on their own. While this may seem like a recipe for disaster at first (because who hasn’t attempted to cut their own bangs only to wind up with a mess on their hands), the process is definitely possible to do on your own.
Bustle spoke with celebrity hairstylist Clariss Rubenstein, owner of Salon deZEN in Alexandria, Virginia, Maria Elizabeth, and co-owners and master stylists at Salon 120 West Taylor Portanova, and Kasey Bertucci on how to cut curtain bangs yourself without sabotaging your entire ‘do. Basically, you’re about to get a curtain bangs 101 master class, and you’ll be sporting this trend just like your favorite celebrity style icon in a flash.
Contemplating cutting your own curtain bangs? Here’s everything you need to know.
What Are Curtain Bangs?
If you haven’t been acquainted with the style yet, curtain bangs are an it-version of the traditional fringe you already know. They get their name because, well, they frame each side of the face like curtains do, and they work well with all different hairstyles (plus they give off an effortless je ne sais quoi vibe).
The best news about curtain bangs? They look good on everyone and they’re low-maintenance, according to Elizabeth. “Curtain bangs are such an amazing option, because not only are they chic and crush-worthy, but they are also low-maintenance and grow out naturally into face-framing layers,” she says. “Also, curtain bangs are not as big of a commitment as blunt, micro, or arched bangs which require frequent visits to the salon to maintain and often lead to an awkward stage of growing out.” Skipping that transitional phase is a huge perk.
How To Cut Curtain Bangs
Elizabeth explains to Bustle that she prefers using a styling razor to cut curtain bangs because it gives her “more artistic control and allows [her] to naturally blend the wispy layers into the overall style of the hair.”
She says to start with the hair dry, because the movement and placement of the bangs will be different from when they’re wet. Part your hair down the center and separate out the width of the section you’d like to become your bangs (the bigger the section, the thicker the bang). Elizabeth says to then use the razor to “shorten” the bangs between the middle and end of the eyebrow. From the center, move outward with the razor, gently feathering the hair to create wispy layers around the face.
If a razor seems a little too advanced for you, scissors are also an option, according to Portanova and Bertucci. The pair strongly suggests making sure you have the most professional pair of scissors you can find at your local beauty store to ensure precision. Once you have them, section damp hair into two diagonal forward sections going toward your temples. As a pro-tip, Rubenstein says to start at a point that’s an inch or more back from your hairline and pull the section forward.
Once sectioned out, Portanova and Bertucci say to cut the two pieces so that they are roughly chin-length, getting longer as you move toward your collarbone to create the look. Rubenstein also recommends cutting on the longer side at first since you can always trim more later. Once you start snipping, point the scissors upward to create a soft line instead of shearing your hair straight across. Then, voila: You’ve got the it-hairstyle of the year — now it’s time to master styling those curtain bangs.