Dakota Johnson’s Hairstylist Shares The Secrets Behind Her Iconic Curtain Bangs

Dakota Johnson
Instagram/@Marktownsend1

It’s safe to say that Dakota Johnson played a major part in the recent curtain bangs craze. The 50 Shades of Grey actress has become known for the piecey, face-framing style which, of course, is not as effortless as it looks. It may be a breezy, cool-girl style, but in order to keep curtain bangs looking their best, you’ll probably need a few tips and tricks along the way — plus, a reliable blow dryer.

The man behind the bangs, celebrity hairstylist Mark Townsend, has been working with Johnson for years in addition to his many other high-profile clients such as Gal Gadot, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Lucky for any curtain bangs enthusiasts, Townsend recently sat down with GLAM to spill all the details on how he creates Johnson’s iconic looks — as well as his best advice and styling tips for anyone who wants to try the trendy style for the first time.

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Interview with Mark Townsend: How he creates Dakota Johnson’s signature style

GLAM: How do you create Dakota Johnson’s signature loose waves? What products help you achieve this look?
Mark Townsend: I take big sections of hair — 3-4 inch sections — and spray them with Dove Flexible Hold Hairspray. Then, I wrap it around a large curling iron, usually the GHD Curve. This creates those long-lasting loose waves that Dakota is always rocking.

How do you maintain her iconic curtain bangs and keep them looking their best?
MT: Dakota is really good about bang trims, sometimes she does them herself! Bang trims are so important for keeping the hair healthy and healthy-looking. She does like to switch up the bangs every now and then; for example, right now they are much shorter, above her eyebrows. And of course, we all know her signature curtain bangs that fall a bit longer. That’s why I love curtain bangs so much — they are so versatile!

To keep her bangs from going flat on the carpet or at an event, we use the Dove Invisible Dry Shampoo, sprayed underneath. The starch from the dry shampoo helps prevent the bangs from sticking together or matting to her forehead. Sometimes she likes to use the Kevin Murphy Doo Over Dry Powder Finishing Hairspray to achieve that piecey look. 

The secret to styling curtain bangs is to start by blow-drying everything downward with a flat brush or fingers. Then take a round brush to the bangs when the hair is about 80-90% dry, but hold the round brush vertical instead of horizontal, so you are blowing the hair away from the face. This technique gives that little bit of a flip that makes curtain bangs so flattering as they frame your face.

Do you have any pro tips for someone trying curtain bangs for the first time?
MT: Luckily we’re in the age of tutorials; there are so many available on TikTok and Instagram. So, for first-timers, just know there are so many resources out there! Curtain bangs are the most versatile type of bangs. They are flattering on every hair type: straight, wavy, curly.

I recommend if you are just starting out with curtain bangs, opt for a longer bang initially to help you transition into the look and get used to the style. The shortest piece should be at the bridge of the nose, and the longer pieces down to the cheeks or jawline. The thing about long bangs is you can always go shorter if you like!

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