If you’re wondering how to cut curtain bangs, you’re not alone. After all, this is the hottest style of the year. And you can bet we’ll show you how to do it yourself so you can get the style without shelling out big bucks at a salon.
Wondering How to Cut Curtain Bangs?
Curtain bangs are universally flattering and one of the most wearable trends we’re seeing right now. Typically worn with a slight bend or wave and a middle part, this tapered fringe trend perfectly frames your face like curtains frame a window.
This type of fringe can pair with almost any haircut or style. If you’re already sold on trying the look yourself, you have two options: pay a pro or learn how to cut curtain bangs yourself.
If you’re at all confident in your DIY hair cutting skills, cutting your own curtain bangs is the obvious choice. While cutting your own bangs is typically a no-no (didn’t 7th grade teach us anything?), curtain bangs are a bit easier to manage.
There’s a trick to cutting them so they’ll hang and “swoop” just right to frame your face. But before you take so much as a snip from your hair, it’s a good idea to read through the full guide first. This way, you can see what the cutting game plan is and get to know the process before you begin.
If you think you’re ready to take matters into your own hands, we’ll show you how to cut curtain bangs like a pro. From determining the most flattering length to properly sectioning the area you’ll cut, we’ll walk you through it step by step.
We’re also sharing 7 gorgeous ways to wear your new curtain bangs to create different looks! Let’s get started.
How to Cut Curtain Bangs in 7 Easy Steps
Start with clean, dry hair and leave your hair in its natural texture and shape while you cut. This ensures you won’t end up with wonky-looking bangs or bangs much shorter than you want.
- Shears (not kitchen scissors)
- Rattail comb
- Hair tie
- Round brush
1. Part Your Hair
Your part is important here because it dictates where your curtain bangs will open up to show your face. If you want your bangs to be easier to style, YouTuber Brad Mondo recommends going with your usual part instead of training your hair into a new one.
But if you typically wear your hair in a deep side part, you’ll want to opt for a middle part instead to nail that curtain bang look.
2. Create a Triangle Section in the Front
Once you’ve parted your hair the way you want, use your rattail comb to “draw” a downward slanting part from the middle part to the point where you’d like your curtain bangs to end. Once you’ve done this on both sides of the part, you’ll have a small triangular section of hair right at your hairline. This section will become your curtain bangs!
As always, err on the side of caution and take a slightly smaller section than you think you should. The wider your triangle, the thicker your bangs will be and vice versa. You should also take care that the point of your triangle part does not extend back too far on your head. Bangs are in the front, so stay away from the hair on your crown!
Go ahead and secure any hair outside of the triangular section into a ponytail to protect it from any accidental snips.
3. Determine Your Curtain Bang Length
Once you’ve got your triangular section separated, pull it down toward your face and think about where you’d like your bangs to hit. For most people, the cheekbones are a flattering point to shoot for. The tip of the nose is also a great reference.
Remember, your hair will retract once you release it, so add about 1/2 inch to your length estimate. You can always come back and trim a little more later, but you can’t do anything if your first cut is too short. If you have very curly hair, add a bit more length, as curly hair retracts quite a bit.
Once you see where you’d like your bangs to hit, you’ll be able to make the first cut without fear of it being too short.
4. Cut a Guide Piece
Ensuring you don’t go too short with your bangs will help you prevent any fringe-related meltdowns (been there, done that). The best way to do that is to start by cutting a guide piece. Your guide piece will be a reference point as you cut your bangs. Don’t cut shorter than the guide piece and you’ll be fine!
Comb your section down and forward, then pull out a skinny piece from the middle to serve as your guide. Pull it down to the point you’d like your bangs to hit. You can start as low as the chin if you want long curtain bangs or up to the eye level for short curtain bangs. Cutting at eye level will give you bangs above the brow. If you want to hit right at the brow, use the middle of your nose as a guide.
Take your shears and hold them upward (blades facing up) to take careful vertical snips into your guide piece until it’s the length you want.
Remember: You can always go back and cut more, but you can never go back and cut less. So don’t get too scissor-happy!
5. Cut the Curtain Bangs
With your guide piece to reference, comb your triangular section down and forward again. Using the guide in the middle, sandwich one half of your hair (the right or left side) between your index and middle fingers and slide them down to where your guide piece ends.
Then, slide your fingers a bit so that your fingertips are slightly angled upwards. You don’t need a very deep angle here (about 45 to 55 degrees) – just enough to create that tapered effect curtain bangs are known for. If you go too shallow with your angle, you’ll end with a full fringe instead of curtain bangs. Going sharper will give you a more dramatic look.
Use your shears to snip upwards at a slight angle underneath your fingers. Make sure you don’t cut above your guide piece. Everything should taper down from the guide piece in the middle. Snipping upward rather than horizontally across will give you a less blunt, more blended look.
Now, grab the other side and do the same thing. Try to match the angle of the first side you cut as closely as you can on the second side. Pull out both sides’ outermost and innermost pieces to compare and make sure they’re the same length.
6. Correct and Perfect the Bangs
Once all your hair is cut to the right length for your curtain bangs, comb through them again and let them fall naturally. Look for any outliers. If you see any pieces that are longer than the others, go ahead and snip those off with the same vertical snips you’ve been doing.
You can also tightly hold sections of your bangs between your fingers and use your shears to make tiny vertical cuts into the ends of the bangs. This will make the ends wispy and encourage them to bend or flip out at the ends.
Don’t freak out if your bangs don’t quite look the way you envisioned yet – styling should take care of that!
7. Style Your Curtain Bangs
Now that you’ve cut your curtain bangs to the length you want and have customized the cut a bit, it’s time for the fun part – styling them! Curtain bangs need a little volume and shape to look their best. If you have wavy or curly hair, you might only need to wet and air dry them to nail the look.
But if you have straight hair or your waves or curls are making your bangs lay weirdly, you’ll need to grab a round brush and blow dryer (or an all-in-one tool like the Dyson Airwrap) to fix them up.
Wet your new bangs from the roots to the ends. Dipping your comb into water and slowly dragging it through your bangs is an easy way to do it. Use a round brush and turn it slowly underneath your new bangs to secure the hair between the bristles.
Hold your hairdryer above your bangs and direct the airflow downward and forward as you continue turning the round brush.
Once your bangs are dry, recreate your part and adjust the bangs. The bend created by the round brush should automatically flip outward into a backward C-shape – the classic curtain bang look.
Feel free to use a little texturizing powder or dry shampoo now to give your new bangs a little more oomph.
7 Ways to Wear Your New Curtain Bangs
Curtain bangs give us major 70s’ vibes and transform a basic cut or style into something trendier. But a major part of the appeal of curtain bangs is their awesome versatility. They can be worn in various ways, and you can switch things up to play around with different looks.
Go for the classic curtain bang with the help of a round brush and hairdryer. This bodacious look just screams 70s!
If you’re not digging the Farrah Fawcett style, going shorter with your bangs can lend more of an alternative normcore vibe.
Try a fun, vivid pop of color to breathe new life into your curtain bangs. Isn’t this watermelon pink pretty?
Straighten your curtain bangs (or let them air dry if you have naturally straight hair) for a twist on the classic look. We love how straight curtain bangs look with a trendy hat!
A ponytail looks gorgeous with curtain bangs to frame your face! Leave your bangs down and use a curling iron, flat iron, or round brush and hairdryer to create a little bend.
Try a side part for a different look that keeps your bangs out of your eyes. A little mousse or gel is helpful to coax your bangs into a molded swoop across your forehead.
Accessorize with a cute headband for an instantly polished look, even if you don’t have time to style your curtain bangs!
Typically, cutting your own bangs isn’t recommended because it’s so hard to do it properly at home. If you’re concerned you won’t be able to pull it off, or just want some personalized advice on whether you’d look good with this type of fringe, just pop into a local salon to consult with a professional.
So, How Do You Cut Curtain Bangs?
If you’re feeling confident in your skills, know the look you want, and have access to good quality shears – not kitchen scissors that shred your hair as they cut – we don’t see any reason you shouldn’t learn how to cut your own curtain bangs.
And now that you know how to do it step-by-step, you can create the perfect curtain bangs that flatter your face shape and shake up your look without requiring a major length change.
Just make sure you take it slow, snip small amounts at a time, and start off cutting longer curtain bangs than you think you want. Once you finish up and style them, you might find that a longer bang is unexpectedly flattering on you!