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If You’re Over 50 and Thinking About Bangs, Read This First

An endlessly flattering style.


You’ve heard the phrase: “After 50, it’s bangs or botox.” While we don’t 100 percent agree, it’s true that bangs — whether wispy, blunt, or baby — are a smart solution for managing forehead wrinkles, and given how trendy they are right now, it seems like that’s not exactly a secret. 

Still, some bangs are better than others, particularly if you’re over 50. Of their many types (and the hairstyles they work best with), none is more flattering on mature women than curtain bangs. I embraced curtain bangs a few years ago, and I can attest that they’re great. If you’re unfamiliar with them and need reassurance before making the cut, you’re in the right place. Read on to learn everything you need to know about rocking trendy curtain bangs.

What are curtain bangs?

The curtain bangs look is a different take on traditional straight-cut bang styles. This  type of bangs can be incorporated into a multitude of hairstyles: Curtain bangs soften a long cut with a center part, and reduce the severity of blunt bangs. The purpose of curtain bangs is to highlight the cheekbones and eyes — and according to celebrity hairstylist Mark Townsend, when done correctly, the delicate face-framing fringe will flatter anybody, no matter your hair type, hair color, or face shape.

The nice thing about curtain bangs is that they’re flattering when your hair is down and when it’s in an updo. (This is true regardless of your natural hair length and whether you have straight hair or curly hair.) In fact, curtain bangs might be the easiest way to instantly elevate any hairstyle, even an effortless ponytail or messy bun. This is perhaps why swoopy curtain bangs are the hottest hair trend on TikTok right now.

Despite millennial “let’s get bangs” mania, curtain fringe is an ideal choice for women over 50. That’s because it hides those annoying quotation mark lines between the eyes. Better still, there are a ton of different ways to style curtain bangs. 

How To Cut Curtain Bangs

Most of the time, I’m all for DIY projects and YouTube  tutorials. However, when it comes to cutting curtain bangs, I recommend leaving it to the pros. Getting the right length and layers for your facial structure sounds easier than it is. Styling curtain bangs, on the other hand, is easy.

Before you go in to get curtain bangs, you’ll need to decide whether you want a center part or side part, and whether you want long layers or short fringe. Think about different bang styles and your own hair length and type before you go in for the chop. The goal is to flatter your face shape and avoid creating a round face shape silhouette. If you go to a reputable and trusted salon, your hairstylist will likely be able to look at your face shape and identify the most flattering style for you. 

Curtain bangs are a commitment — but with the right length and style, they’ll become your new favorite haircut.

How to Style Curtain Bangs

It’s true that curtain bangs can flatter any face shape, but hair type (fine hair, thick hair, etc.) also requires consideration. The care and styling routine for your curtain bangs will vary depending on what your natural hair looks like. If you have naturally straight or wavy hair, it will be easiest to style your bangs while wet. Use a flat brush to blow dry your curtain bangs straight, then use a round brush to flick the ends up (and blow dry them this way to set the slight curl). If you’re rocking longer bangs that you intend to grow out even longer, you’ll follow this same technique with larger brushes, and consider setting the shape with creaseless pins or velcro rollers for a few minutes after using your blow dryer.

For those with curly hair (or even thick wavy hair), letting your natural curls air dry rather than blow dry works best. Use your favorite styling product to scrunch the curls, then let them take as long as they need to dry — the resulting curly curtain bangs will be naturally flattering (and incredibly low maintenance). Alternatively, you can use a diffuser on low heat to blow dry them without creating frizz.

Coily and kinky hair can also be left to air dry, although celebrity hairstylist Vernon Francois explained to Vogue that he likes to let the bangs fully dry in bantu knots or twists before styling them with hair serum and an Afro pick. Whatever your hair type, it may take a little time and experimentation before you figure out which styling strategy flatters you the most.

Curtain Bang Maintenance

As with all bang styles, curtain bangs require a good bit of upkeep. Because they rest on your forehead, they pick up grease and oil from your skin, which means they need to be washed more frequently than the rest of your hair. You’ll also need to visit the salon more often to get regular trims. (Like short haircuts, bangs have a smaller margin of “style error.” As little as one or two millimeters of growth can take them from hot to not.) 

If the extra maintenance curtain bangs require feels like a burden, consider the instant style boost they provide. On balance, I think they’re worth it.

Curtain Bangs To Add Volume

The best part about curtain bangs — and the reason I’ll probably wear them for the next 30 years — is that they mask thinning hair. It’s no secret that women tend to lose hair as they age. It’s why so many of us opt for short haircuts. Curtain bangs not only look good on a range of hair lengths (including shorter hair), they also add shape and volume to thinning tresses.

If you’re like me and your hair can never get enough volume, try curtain bangs in conjunction with keratin treatments or deep-conditioning masks. Keratin is great for healing damaged hair, and using conditioners or shampoos high in keratin is a great way to support the volumizing effects of the curtain bang cut with actual volume repair.

You can heal your tresses and add volume with at-home products, such as Olaplex, or you can head to the salon for a deep conditioning and repair treatment. Either way, if you’re struggling with thinning hair, give this trendy cut a try — and do it in combination with keratin treatment or deep conditioning to pack a real punch.

Say Hello to Your New Best Friend

Whether a camouflage for wrinkles or a volume-boost for thinning hair, curtain bangs are a great option for women “of a certain age.” While it’s true that they aren’t the low-maintenance cut you might be used to, the bounce and body they add are worth the extra effort. Plus, you can rock curtain bangs regardless of your natural hair length, style, or previous cut. Who needs the fountain of youth when you’ve got curtain bangs?

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