As hairstyles go, bangs haven’t always had the best reputation. Unlike full fringes and modern bobs, across film, culture, and even on the football field, the cut has maintained the same moniker over the years: one of drastic decisions or even regret, often the result of a bad break-up or the desire for a major hair transformation.

Curtain bangs, on the other hand, are changing all of that. From the AW24 runways to the FROW, curtain bangs have become the coolest – and most effortless – way to upgrade your hairstyle, without feeling like you’re overhauling your entire ‘do. The modern iteration is softer and easier to style than its former Fawcett-inspired or Jane Birkin days, and looks effortless in that air-dried ‘I just woke up like this’ way.

What are curtain bangs?

‘Curtain bangs are a longer style of fringe where the hair is usually parted down the middle, or slightly off centre, framing the face on either side,’ explains Grace Amelia, senior stylist at Hersheson’s. ‘A lot softer than the old-school blunt bangs, curtain bangs have evolved where the stylist working with the clients’ natural texture and thickness customising them to their clients hair for a more effortless finish.’ The finished result can veer from anything such as eye-grazing, wispy curtain bangs to full mid-length and layered versions – it’s all about working with your own hair, styling needs and textures, says Grace.

As for the styling references of note? ‘We’ve seen celebrities such as Alexa Chung, who is the OG curtain bang girly, Matilda Derf whose fringe and luxe blowdry was a viral sensation after lockdown and Dakota Johnson whose bangs have been a very popular client request lately,’ she adds.

How to style curtain bangs

When it comes to at-home styling, the good news is that it’s relatively low-maintenance too. ‘If your hair is on the flatter side you can blow dry your hair with a round brush lifting the hair at the root for volume,’ says Grace. ‘For wavy or curly hair, you might want to air dry them or use a diffuser to enhance natural texture. Using “no crease clips” help with setting the fringe in place whilst it’s cooling down especially if you have a few hairs they don’t want to cooperate,’ she notes.

Finding the right curtain bangs for you is no easy feat – which is why we’ve done the Pinterest scouring, celebrity hunting and Instagram scrolling for you, so you can take these curtain bangs as inspiration straight to your hairdresser. From Daisy Edgar-Jones at Gucci’s Cruise show, Jennifer Lopez out in Paris and Kaia Gerber’s chic chignon, find all your curtain bangs inspo, below.

Daisy Edgar-Jones

Set in the acclaimed Tate Modern gallery, Daisy Edgar-Jones was among an A-list crowd sitting FROW at the Gucci Cruise 2025 Fashion Show, for which the Normal People actor opted for a camel leather mini dress and soft curtain bangs. A departure from her signature choppy full fringe, this new ‘do is softer and more subtle, with beachy waves for an undone and understated finish.

 

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Kaia Gerber

For Apple TV ‘s recent Palm Royale Official Emmy FYC Event, all eyes were on Kaia Gerber’s chic chignon and face-framing curtain bangs. The epitome of a Hollywood makeover, these bangs take on a more polished feel that would be as sophisticated for a summer wedding as they would a stylish evening soirée.

 

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Jenna Ortega

An early adopter of curtain bangs, Jenna Ortega attended the 75th Emmy Awards with a fresh update on the curled-out classic. Low-maintenance and effortless, this fuller finish requires careful precision at the hairdressers but (if your hair is naturally straight) needs very little in the way of styling thereafter.

 

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Soo Joo Park

Leave it to Soo Joo Park to bring fresh appeal to classic curtain bangs. Paired with a black headband and shimmering eyeshadow, Park took to the streets of Milan Fashion Week with a wispy fringe that plays on the season’s favourite ‘hydro’ trend.

 

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Billie Eilish

Debuting her longest hairstyle to date wasn’t the only thing of note for Billie Eilish’s 96th Oscars beauty look. Her long curtain bangs were also worthy of an award. A true example that you don’t need to go big to make a bold statement, consider these the perfect entry point into bangs if you’re still unsure whether to take the full leap.

 

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Sabrina Carpenter

For the 2024 Vanity Fair Oscar Party, Sabrina Carpenter’s curled ‘do was a happy medium between a wispy fringe and eye-grazing curtain bangs – a style that’s easy to recreate by simply blow-drying your bangs downward. Trust us, it works.

 

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Dakota Johnson

There have been full fringes, wispy layers and soft curtain bangs, but however she styles them, there’s no denying that Dakota Johnson is the ultimate fringe muse. This slightly chunkier iteration of curtain bangs is an ideal option for anyone with XL hair as it adds shape and definition to ensure your lengths don’t weigh down your face shape and features.

 

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Yara Shahidi

Take notes from Yara Shahidi’s stunning curls, which have been given the runway seal of approval for Christian Dior Haute Couture’s show.

 

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Selena Gomez

Calling curtain bang beginners, this is the easy in-between style you need to know about this summer. To create the subtle curl a la Selena Gomez, you can simply use a styler, like the Dyson Air Wrap, to create an instant flick at the ends.

 

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This article originally appeared in ELLE US

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