Whether you have a head full of ringlets or just naturally wavy hair, you’ll want the best cut to frame your face and show off those gorgeous locks and cutting curly hair requires different techniques from a straight ‘do.

Layering is Key

No matter what length and type of curly hair you have, you’ll need layers. Not layering can make your head look like a triangle as the weight of your hair pulls the curls down and you end up with a shape that’s unflattering to most everyone.

Many stylists, when faced with a curly headed client, can’t get away from the old-school system of cutting hair evenly.

Jonathan Torch, founder of the Curly Hair Solutions line of products, says that “each curl should be treated individually to create a look, not simply to conform to the same length.”

Shelves are for Walls, Not Hair

For tight curls, uneven layering works best. Otherwise your cut will look like you have shelves in your hair. For longer waves, you can have more even layers. Make certain your cut doesn’t flatten your crown. A short layer under a longer layer can pump up the volume on top.

Texturizing razors should not be used on curls because they create frizz. Blunt cutting curly hair does the same and doesn’t flatter the curl; curls should always be cut on an angle.

To Dry or Not to Dry

Some stylists prefer cutting curly hair when it’s dry because it shows the shape of the cut better and reduces guessing when it comes to how much shrinkage will be involved when the cut dries. Dry cutting allows the stylist to see exactly how the cut will look; if the hair is wet, they may underestimate the amount of spring a client’s curl has.

Other stylists work with damp curls just to get the comb or brush through the hair. Still others have a more involved process of dry cut, shampoo and style, then cut again if evening is required.

New York stylist Jose Valdez always cuts hair dry to better create styles with dimension and balance that work beautifully with the client’s best features. He says “since you wear your hair dry, that’s the way it should be cut.”

Want More?

Check out our Salon Finder to find curly hair specialists and salons in your area!

Final Thoughts

When looking for a stylist to cut your locks, ask about their experience in cutting curly hair. If they state that all hair is the same, move on to the next person on your list. Cutting curly hair is a little bit art and a little bit science, and you don’t want to end up looking like a triangle!

Gloria Attar


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