Photo courtesy of @ShaiAmiel

We’ve been hearing you loud and clear! We see tons of people on Curly Q&A asking why their hair completely changed curl pattern after a cut. Imagine you get home after your relaxing cut experience to look in the mirror and see waves where curls once were, or straight strands where waves once were. Why does this happen? What can you do to prevent it?

Luckily, “The Curl Doctor” is here to answer those questions. Top curl stylist Shai Amiel is a curly hair expert and one of our favorites (you may recognize him because of the hat that he rocks). He owns and runs Capella Salon in Studio City, California. We brought your curl cut questions to Shai and this is what he recommended.

"I lost my curls"

Q: I got a hair cut because I felt like my curls were getting a little heavy and wanted to lighten them up. But when my stylist cut my hair, my curls went away! Now I have waves... (nothing against waves), but I want my curls back! Why did my curls switch to waves?

Shai:  It all depends on how your stylist cut your hair. Did they trim each curl separately or did they cut your hair in big chunks? Was the hair cut in its natural curly state or was it stretched out or straightened? If the answer was either of the last ones mentioned, your hair will most likely not retain its beautiful curls after going through that havoc.

It’s also all about the tools! Did they use a razor or thinning shears? Those tools will create split ends or thinned out ends that don't curl like healthy hair. I recommend using regular shears that cut as bluntly as possible to keep the tips of the hair even.

Another reason we can lose our curls is when they blow dry or flat iron the hair after the cut, leaving hair damaged and weaker with less elasticity.

"My top layer is straight, bottom layers are curly"

Q: I cut my curly hair right above the shoulder. Now the top layer is straight while the middle and bottom layers are curly. Why does this differentiation happen and what can I do?

Shai: This typically happens because of heat damage from straightening or blow drying. The top layer gets the most abuse because we typically focus on these sections more when styling. Speaking of styling – it could be your products! Heavy products applied after your cut may be weighing your hair down, causing it to look less curly. Try washing those out and styling as you normally would to see if you gain any curl back.

Removing length could also remove ringlets, which leaves your hair with a straighter look.

Removing length could also remove ringlets, which leaves your hair with a straighter look. Remember that this problem that people typically have on curls can also happen on looser curls or wavy hair. Only go to a stylist that cuts curl-by-curl, take the heat out of the mix and make sure you are using products that work for you.

"How can I keep my curls?"

Q: What can I do for future cuts to make sure I keep my curls?

Shai: Go see a curly hair specialist that knows how to take care of your curls. Make sure they only cut curl by curl. Any other method is less effective. Don't trust fast 5-10 minute cuts. I'm referring to the actual cutting process, not the styling session. If they have the lazier approach that cuts big chunks or multiple curls at once, you won't receive the ideal look. Each curl has a mind of its own. Each curl consists of different amounts of hair and has different elasticity or spring factor so it's best to address each curl separately.

Bring pictures!!! Photos of things you love and hate and explain why for both. Also it's important the stylist studies and understands your hair before they cut it. That's why it's ideal to cut curls in their natural state. Make sure you discuss your styling method and ask them to teach you what it takes to achieve the look you want. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

We're also so lucky we have the Internet now so we can do research. Most stylists will have an online presence and it's best to see what kind of work they're showing us online before we risk it. Read up on reviews – you can tell which ones are genuine and which aren’t.

Thank you so much to Shai for your input! If you want to post your own questions for the curly community to respond to, you can do that on Curly Q&A

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