First things first, if you have yet to watch Normal People on Hulu, stop what you’re doing and go stream the swoon-worthy show right this minute.
Okay, now that you’re up to speed, let’s take a minute to gush over Marianne (played by Daisy Edgar-Jones). From her growing confidence and eclectic wardrobe, there’s so much to love. But there’s one thing that stands out beyond all the rest: her bangs. Known as curtain bangs, Marianne wears her face-framing fringe with a slight part down the middle, creating a fanned curtain effect across her forehead. While she’s certainly not the first person to wear such a style, she’s today's portrait of the trend that made Google's "Year in Search" trending data list for 2020.
Now, if you look closely during each episode, you’ll notice that her bangs have a bit of a mind of their own, sometimes fully separating for a true curtain effect, and other times looking more piece-y all the way across. With this in mind—and with a hankering to snag a stylish set ourselves—we chatted with celebrity hairstylist and R+Co Collective member Ashley Streicher for everything there is to know about creating and maintaining the perfect curtain bangs.
Curtain Bangs 101
First things first, you want to start with a good base. This means not only asking your stylist for curtain bangs but explaining exactly what you want in the process. It’s helpful if you can bring a picture of your desired look, too, as they’re less likely to go off-track with styling when they have a clear-cut image to reference.
Once your fringe has been snipped, it’s all about knowing how to maintain the look.
“The best way to maintain a good curtain bang is to keep them the perfect, most effortless length, which means trimming them often,” Streicher says, noting that you can even trim them yourselves with a pair of sharp eyebrow scissors (like Tweezerman’s Brow Shaping Scissors, $19). “I’m not against trimming them a tiny bit in between appointments," she says. "Because [eyebrow scissors] are small and sharp, you can easily cut into your bangs, maintaining the perfect shape.”
Not quite confident in your self-trimming abilities? Same, same. Fortunately, Streicher has us covered.
Now that you’re all caught up on all things curtain bangs, it’s time to find your perfect inspo shot. Ahead, you’ll discover dozens of different to wear the trendy hairstyle.
Not sure you’re cut out for curtain bangs? Streicher says that anyone (read: any hair type) will look good in the style.
Curly Curtain Bangs
Exhibit A that a wide range of hair types can wear curtain bangs. Oftentimes, people think that curls are an automatic opt-out of any type of fringe but, as you can see here, it's actually a great style to pair with the hair type.
Widespread Curtain Bangs
There are many different ways to wear curtain bangs—they don't always have to splay across your forehead. Here, you can see how wearing the fringe to the outer edges of your forehead creates a whimsical, laidback look—especially when worn with a messy bun.
'80s Curtain Bangs
We're getting retro Joan Jett vibes with this '80s-style pseudo-mullet.
Curtain Bang Combo
Why settle for one type of bang? This shag cut has curtain bangs that are sandwiching some flip-y front fringe.
Nobody does curtain bangs better than Instagram influencer Matilda Djerf. She's a downright hair icon at this point.
Relaxed Curtain Bangs
Coarser hair type? Curtain bangs are still worth considering. In fact, thanks to your hair's texture, you might even find it easier than some finer-typed tresses to actually maintain the signature curtain part.
Tousled Curtain Bangs
Messy texture and curtain fringe goes together like PB&J. A good texturizing spray will help you achieve this style, even if you have fine strands.
To keep your curtain bangs looking their best, Streicher says to keep a dry texture spray on hand. “R+Co BALLOON Dry Volume Spray ($32) is the ultimate bang spray,” she says. “It keeps them fluffy with volume and absorbs any oils from your forehead that could possibly cause separation."
Fanned Curtain Fringe
A Marianne mane if we've ever seen one. Here, it's all about the light fan of fringe across the forehead so no area is fully without a few strands of hair. So effortlessly chic, no?
Subtle Wave Curtain Bangs
Long locks and curtain bangs can make quite the pairing. Here, we're shown how waves can come into the picture too, further proving that curtain bangs may very well be the most effortless fringe style there is.
Air-Dried Curtain Bangs
Speaking of waves, check out the air-dried texture of these curtain bangs. It creates a wavy allure that looks even better thanks to the well-maintained ends.
Curtain Bang Lob
Curtain bangs work with all hair lengths—we especially love this short hair transformation that proves their versatility.
Shaggy Curtain Bangs
This shaggy chop is made even better with some light fringe that's right on the cusp of curtain and full-on bangs.
Curtain Bang Pixie
This close-crop cut blends up to a longer front, which is the perfect opportunity for styling in some curtain fringe.
Voluminous Curtain Bangs
If you have thick hair, you might be concerned about ultra-heavy curtain bangs. Thankfully, your stylist can tailor the style to your hair type so that if your bangs feel too heavy, they can always get thinned out.
Ambiguous Curtain Bangs
Curtain bangs don't always have to be so obvious—waving out the hair hides the curtain bangs in a sense here, which is perfect for days when you want to give the bangs a break (or if you're in the process of growing them out).
Ombré Curtain Bangs
Curtain bangs not only work with all textures but all colors too. And, we don't know about you, but we dig how the style pairs with an ombré fade.
Fluffy Curtain Bangs
Fluffy, soft hair is a trend we're seeing popping up on social media time and time again. Pair it with curtain bangs, as this person did here, and you have yourself a stylish cut everyone will want to cop.
Flipped-Out Curtain Bangs
This look shows how just a small flick of the ends of your fringe can add so much character to your style.
Curtain Bangs and Top Knot
Top knots always look great, but the addition of some face-framing fringe really takes the classic style to a new level.
Another beautiful example of fluffy texture and a stylish curtain fringe.
Curly-to-Straight Curtain Bangs
Click through to see how curtain bangs work for both curly texture and straightened hair. The versatility meets no bounds.
Mid-Length Curtain Bangs
Curtain bangs can be short, long, or somewhere in the middle. We like how this hair model shows off how mid-length bangs can create a flowing '70s vibe.
Lots of Layers
This long, layered cut met with tousled roots is glamorous and carefree all at once.
Pastel Curtain Bangs
A light peach wash of color makes an otherwise standard curtain bang cut that much more eye-catching.
Soft Curtain Fringe
This short blonde chop paired with wispy curtain bangs is delicate and understatedly beautiful.
Self-Cut Curtain Bangs
Cutting your own bangs is scary—we totally get it—but this model proved that taking the leap may just serve you well.
So. Much. Volume. Seriously—curtain fringe and a touch of texture can do so much for someone's mane.
Kinky-Curly Curtain Bangs
Curtain bangs may have a different structure and lay differently on coily hair types, yet they still look completely awesome.
Curtain Bang Bob
As we've been saying, curtain bangs work with all hair lengths, even a classic bouncy bob.
Up Next: Learn how to cut your hair at home using the ponytail method.