Best Curtain Haircuts for Men in 2021
From boybands of the 90s to K-pop stars and eboys of today, the curtain hair trend has no doubt resurfaced in the atmosphere of men’s hairstyles today.
The look usually consists of curtained hair with an emphasis on the bangs, or fringe, that create the appearance of curtains. This hairstyle is worn with a part that can range from the middle to the side of the head, and is often paired with an undercut.
Whether it’s straight, wavy, curly, short, or long hair, below is an array of ways you can bring back classic versions of this look or reinvent it with new elements.
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1. Middle-Parted Curtain Hair
Symmetrically parting curtain hair is probably the most classic way of wearing this hairstyle. This is best for those who are pleased with the symmetry of their face and less recommended for asymmetrical facial features, as the middle part can make them more noticeable.
2. Off-Center-Parted Curtain Hair
This type of part is often confused with the middle part or center part, since some versions of this part are only slightly off-center.
Considering nearly all faces have some degree of asymmetry, anyone can take advantage of this type of parting to offset the facial feature or side of facial features that appear larger or more dominating. This can be done by placing the part opposite to the targeted facial features to draw the attention of viewers towards the opposing side of your face, balancing its visual polarities.
Since parting off-center is more moderate than a side part, it is usually best for only subtly noticeable imbalances. Off-center-parted curtain hair is also great for those with widow’s peaks, since it allows the wearer to part their hair on either side of it, instead of splitting it right in the middle, which may cause pieces of hair to fall into the face more easily.
3. Side-Parted Curtain Hair
This is the most dramatic way of parting curtain hairstyles. The part can range from being close to the side of the head to being completely on the side, where the part is not as visible from the front.
This works for those who would like to offset facial features that more obviously unbalance the face, or for those who would like to deliberately create asymmetry.
The dynamic of this part can be influenced by where the hair is placed as well, with hair that waves away from the face creating more of an angular look to the forehead, while hair that curves inwards rounding off the side they are placed on.
4. Short Curtain Hair
Short hair of less than five centimeters, or two inches, might be considered an awkward hair length for this hairstyle. The curtain bangs might be harder to form due to the limited length, resulting in hair that falls back towards your forehead.
However, there are also folks that deliberately choose short hair for easier maintenance, and a cleaner, less in-your-face appearance. With a bit of gel or pomade, this look can still be pulled off.
The key is to style it so that the part exposes enough of your forehead, giving the appearance of short curtain bangs.
5. Long Curtain Hair
In this case, long hair is defined as hair down to the neck or longer. This hair length is where curtain haircuts become more diverse, where one can choose to either have a more gradual blend from the curtain fringe at the forehead to the hair on the nape of the neck, or have more choppy, contrasting layers, where the haircut begins to look like a hybrid of curtain hair with a mullet.
6. Curtain Hair with Undercut
This is probably the most organic way to transition from the top-of-mind undercut pompadour of the 2010s, since it has the basic haircut structure needed to achieve this hairstyle.
These undercuts tend to be a blunt contrast to the hair on top, but can also be more gradual. The gradual version of this could be either a taper or fade haircut. The taper being more traditionally used by barbers, where the hair gradually gets shorter as it approaches the hairline, but the hairline is still cleanly defined.
Whereas the fade also gradually shortens towards the hairline, but the hairline is blended so finely with the skin that it appears to fade into it.
7. Blunt Curtain Haircut
The blunt curtain haircut is defined by clean-cut lines and less layering. This type of haircut can be paired with a skin fade, skull fade, or bald fade, where the skin of the scalp is visible, creating more contrast.
This is optimal for adding stronger visuals to a haircut, which can be useful for those with softer facial features and face shapes they would like to make more dynamic.
8. Curtain Hair with Flared Bangs
In contrast to curtain hairstyles where the bangs go straight down or curve inwards towards the face, flared bangs curve outwards. Layered haircuts and wavy hair also help them look more feathered.
Flared bangs create the visual effect of a smaller forehead and more volume on the sides. This haircut is also suitable for those with a round face shape that would like their features to look more angular.
9. Textured Curtain Hair
In contrast to the more typical, straight versions of curtain hairstyles that are associated with the 90s, having more texture is a viable option as well.
Whether natural or artificial, guys with hair types ranging from wavy to curly hair can be seen more frequently in today’s take on 90s curtain hairstyles.
Those with naturally straight hair that want a hint of wave texture can opt to apply texture-defining products to their hair while styling it or after washing it, and use a scrunching motion when towel-drying it. This is a method that has been used by those with long hair seeking to enhance their texture in a more natural, healthier way.
It is also important to know that if you have never grown your hair longer than a decimeter, or a few inches, it can be difficult to tell what your true hair type is, as looser types of wavy hair need more length to be more noticeable, so it is common for those with slightly wavy hair to mistake it for straight hair.
Noting this along with how texture types look on your genetically related family members can give you clues on how your hair may turn out when using this method.
This can also be used by those with noticeable natural waves or curls to further define their hair texture. Of course, one can also seek other solutions, such as setting wet hair in hair rollers, using a curling iron, or getting a perm.
10. Blond Curtain Hair
When it comes to colored hair paired with curtain hairstyles, blond was the most popular option for the look in the 90s. Unless your hair is naturally blond, the typical process of obtaining blond hair would require hair bleach and developer, especially if the goal is light or platinum blonde.
If you naturally have light brown, light red, mostly grey, or fully grey hair, this is usually a simpler process, as the hair only needs to lift a few levels to get to the desired lightness. This usually needs one application of hair bleach mixed with 20 volume or 6% hydrogen peroxide developer.
On the other hand, those that have naturally darker hair colors would need to lighten their hair several levels, which usually requires at least two bleaching sessions with developer around the range of 30-40 volume or 9%-12% hydrogen peroxide.
Hair that has been previously colored is also recommended to be stripped of its color first before bleaching. A toner may also be applied at the end of any of these processes to balance out any leftover warm tones.
Since bleaching hair is a harsher, more complex process, it is recommended to visit a licensed hairstylist if one questions their own hair coloring abilities.
11. Highlighted Curtain Hair
If you’d like to bring back the classic frosted 90s boyband look, you can’t go wrong with some contrasted blond highlights in curtain hair.
For something more updated or experimental, there is always going for subtle, blended highlights, or try out some bright, vivid colors to amplify your hairstyle.
Highlights can be achieved through selectively applying hair bleach or dye to sections of hair and keeping them in foils or plastic wrap to process for the required time.
12. Curtain Hair with Artificial Colors
It is difficult to get bored when there are so many bold colors to choose from in today’s non-natural hair color palette. These can range from simple solid colors to more complex blends of multiple colors that can dramatically transform your mane into a lively piece of art.
To make colors pop, it is best for those with medium to dark hair colors to bleach their hair first before applying hair dye, as having a lighter base allows the hair color to be absorbed and show up more easily.
A subculture to take inspiration from is eboy fashion, where experimenting with bright hair colors is one of its many looks.
13. Drawing from Curtain Hair History
Did you know that the first modern prototypical curtained hair was actually worn as far back as the late 19th century? If you thought curtain hair first gained popularity in the 90s, you could be redeemably right, as this was worn among other men’s haircuts in the 1890s, and under a hat during appropriate occasions.
Aubrey Beardsley, an English author and graphic illustrator, is one of the notable figures that wore his hair this way at the time – a version that was closer to the aforementioned blunt curtain haircut.
This hairstyle and its variations served as one of the common hairstyles that men would wear up through the 1920s. While it was not always worn with the two sides of hair coming into the face the way we recognize curtain hairstyles today, it always had a defined part, placing itself as one of the earlier predecessors in curtain hair history.
In the 1970s and early 1980s, middle parts were back in style, this time updated with flared bangs and feathered hair. Later in the 1980s, undercuts experienced a revival, making it no surprise that these hairstyles would gradually combine and transition into the 1990s curtain hairstyles that we reference today.
As a resurging hair trend, curtain hair has dominated over the K-pop scene and become one of the top guys’ hairstyles for the eboy look, so much that the terms “curtain hair” and “eboy hair” have become nearly synonymous.
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