If you ask any hairstylist what trends were influenced by the pandemic, chances are they’ll say low-maintenance hairstyles, but they’ll also say bangs. From blunt to textured to micro (and even DIY versions), it’s clear that the fringe is here to stay.
As new trends continue to appear on our social media feeds, bottleneck bangs are the latest fresh take that offers a more delicate variation of the curtain bangs, which went viral during the pandemic. Inspired by the shape of a bottle, bottleneck bangs are slimmer towards the roots and fan out towards the brows and ears.
“I think the bottleneck bangs trend is a great way to transition those clients who have reservations about wearing a full fringe or bang,” says Zachary Ferguson, a Toronto-based hairstylist and Wella educator. “It offers less commitment and maintenance versus a full fringe and gives the client a very contemporary look and feel.”
Curtain vs. Bottleneck Bangs
To the untrained eye, bottleneck bangs can look similar to curtain bangs but hairstylists can often tell the difference. “Bottleneck bangs are thinner, airier and shape the face a little more,” says Sandy Hogue, a Montreal-based hairstylist and L’Oréal Professionnel ambassador and educator. “They’re delicate and blend better with the face shape and hair.”
“Curtain bangs are more of a swooping face-framing layer,” adds Ferguson. “Bottleneck bangs is an extension of the curtain Fringe and offer a slimmer, shorter area in the center of the fringe that gradually widens to frame key areas of the face, whether it’s the cheekbone or jaw.”
As some clients are more willing to experiment with their hairstyles than they did pre-pandemic, bangs are one of the ways to create fun yet personalized looks. “What’s amazing about the shape of this trend is that it’s like a bottle, so you can easily adapt and customize it for any face shape,” says Hogue, who adds that although this trend works on most hair textures, she suggests that clients should keep texture in mind when working with curly hair. “I tried it on curly hair and it didn’t work the same,” she says. “It usually depends on the curl, but I would follow the natural curls when doing any hairstyle that goes from shorter to longer lengths.”
“Hair texture is always important to analyze prior to any service, but in the case of fringes, understanding curly hair and its ability to shrink and expand will have to be taken into consideration,” adds Ferguson. “For very curly textures, the bottleneck fringe may not be the option for your client.”
Making the Cut
A big draw for the bottleneck bangs is its low maintenance factor, which many more clients have been opting for since the pandemic. According to Hogue, clients who choose to go for this trend don’t have to come back to the salon for up to two months. “People want a statement but don’t want regular visits to the salon anymore, so the hairstylists’ job is to show clients how to maintain styles for long-lasting results,” she says. “I show my clients how they can blend the bangs with the rest of the hair by running their fingers through the bangs to define and reshape them.”
To achieve a soft-textured look, Ferguson recommends avoiding any straight lines. “It’s a very soft look so any cutting and/or razor work will add the softness needed,” he says. “The technique begins with a longer layer, accentuating the client’s facial features—whether it’s framing the cheek or jaw bone area and adding shorter sections towards the centre of the fringe to create a similar silhouette to that of a bottle.”
PRO TIP: Use shears when cutting shorter-to-longer hairstyles to avoid harsh lines and cut the hair when it’s damp to have more control over framing the shape of the bangs.
While consultations are crucial for all hairstyles, it’s especially important for bangs. Hogue recommends asking the client questions about their lifestyle and how they like to wear their hair, such as ‘Do you like to tie your hair up a lot?’ ‘Are you comfortable with having free-flowing pieces around your face?’ and ‘Where do you part your hair?’
Ferguson suggests asking clients if they’ve had a fringe before and if they’re willing to spend time styling the front part of their hair, before walking them through how to properly blow-dry and finish the look.
PRO TIP: For styling, a smooth blowdry will give the client a sleeker look. For a more natural tousled look, use your fingers and hands to manipulate the fringe with a sea salt spray.
Fear of Fringe
With so many variations of bangs and fringes, some clients (and stylists) may still be hesitant about adding bangs to a hairstyle. “Fringes can often be scary for both stylists and clients as they’re typically seen as a big commitment; a lot of hair coming off and a lot of ‘face’ being exposed,” says Ferguson. “Stylists can confidently recommend this trend knowing that they can maintain length and gradually add in the shorter lengths as the shape develops.”
According to Hogue, some clients are often scared of bangs because of bad past experiences or if they’re having difficulty with maintaining them. “That’s why I think it’s important to educate clients on how to style their bangs.”
Because of their low commitment and ability to be customized to a client’s face shape and desired look, bottleneck bangs can be a great way to introduce the idea of bangs to a reluctant client. “They’re a great ‘in between’ a fringe and a curtain bang,” says Ferguson. “Clients get the best of both worlds with the bottleneck trend, as it softly frames the face and is considered to be very little commitment when compared to a traditional square-shaped heavy fringe.”
Since bottleneck bangs have many variations, in terms of length, it’s a great choice for almost every client. “You can customize it to any length but what’s amazing about the technique is that it gives the client’s hair more shape, even when it’s longer,” says Hogue. “It’s a good choice for someone who doesn’t want to go for full on bangs right away.”
Bang for Your Buck
When it comes to low-maintenance hair trends, stylists may be concerned about revenue as they’re not seeing their clients as often. According to Ferguson, low maintenance shouldn’t mean revenue killer.
“As stylists, we need to educate our clients on the importance of regular trims in order to maintain the look and health of the hair,” he says. “It’s also a chance to upsell clients on soft face-framing colouring options that help boost the impact of the bottleneck bangs.”
Using social media to attract more clients is Hogue’s recommendation to stylists who are concerned about revenue. “Stylists should focus on increasing the number of clients walking into their salon,” she says. “Social media is a great place to showcase your work and attract more clients. You’d be surprised how well it works.”
“Bottleneck bangs allow clients a ‘best of both worlds’ scenario by having a fringe but also maintaining a softness that frames the face.” — Zachary Ferguson
Photos: Hair: Suzie McGill and Dylan Brittain, Rainbow Room International, U.K., Makeup: Kirsten Baillie, Wardrobe Styling: Detroit Law, Photo: Michael Young; Instagram
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