2021 was the year of the curtain bangs.
So it goes without saying that was one of the biggest hair trends we all loved, because it allowed many of us to finally try bangs without committing to a dramatically new hairstyle or a high-maintenance styling routine. But what’s the start of a new year without a new and improved version of the old?
That’s why we’re ready to introduce bottleneck bangs: Curtain bangs’ equally chic and shaggy younger sister — just a bit more choppy.
The term was coined by London-based hairstylist and international creative color director for Evo Hair, Tom Smith. “Bottleneck bangs are the ultimate 70’s inspired, super flattering, face-framing, cutting technique that can be adjusted to suit almost any face shape,” he says. “This hairstyle takes inspiration from the neck of a bottle, starting slim and short in the middle, curving longer around the eyes, and then longest following the line of the cheekbone.”
“Curtain bangs generally fall away from the face in a soft way,” says Nick Stenson, a celebrity hairstylist, and Matrix artistic director. “With bottleneck bangs, the length is short enough in the center to be worn falling straight.”
Despite them falling in the center of your forehead, however, Smith assures that bottleneck bangs are low-maintenance, since they are more choppy and textured. So the more lived-in, undone, and effortless they look — the better. Stenson even recommends purposely creating that laid-back style using a flat brush and a spritz of a dry texturizing spray.
“Spray Matrix Miss Mess Dry Finishing Spray ($18, ulta.com) in the roots and ends to create a day-two effect and keep the hair from appearing overly polished,” he says.
On top of the low-styling effort, another plus of bottleneck bangs are that they truly work for everyone. So, if you have been reluctant to try bangs for fear of how they frame your face, rest assured you can customize bottleneck bangs to suit your features and preferences.
“Many people don’t suit a classic fringe, but most can wear bottleneck bangs to add softness to the face,” says Smith. “You can adjust the length and angle depending on whether you want to make your cheekbones appear wider or stronger, or maybe you’d prefer to slim and narrow a wider face, drawing focus to your eyes and lips.”
Another plus? They are also very versatile and work with different hair lengths.
“Bottleneck bangs will pair very well with long or short hair and tends to look good on all straight, wavy, and curly textures,” says Stenson. Smith agrees and says, “the asymmetrical shape makes for much more variety when it comes to styling, and you can accompany them with face-framing feathered layers, soft waves, a shaggy 70’s style haircut, or left hanging out for a cheeky up-do look.”
Essentially, if you’re someone who’s looking to add a bit of texture to your hair and edge to your look, then consider bottleneck bangs for your 2022 hairstyle. For those thinking about taking the plunge, Smith recommends asking your stylist to create longer bangs that skim your cheekbones at an angle that flatters your face and sits somewhere between the cheekbones and jaw. “Then ask for the central part to be cut shorter, keeping the cutting line soft and choppy, with the shortest part in the middle and getting longer on the edges,” he says.
When in doubt, though, pictures always help too. “With every trending haircut, there will always be customized variations that make them work for different individuals,” says Stenson. “Be sure to bring images to your appointment that demonstrate the examples of bottleneck bangs that inspired you to make this change.”