It’s a new year, and the style spotlight is on textured hair. Top texture experts share their predictions on what will be this year’s hottest curly hair trends.

Brian and Sandra Smith

Matrix Artistic Directors

This year is defined by minimalism and natural beauty. We see easy elegance for spring in polished ponytails, graceful braids and bouncy blowouts. Still, nothing is too perfect or impeccable — deconstructed waves and undone knots and twists prove having a bit of an edge is as chic as ever.

You can see it in TV ads and most facets of popular culture: Natural hair is becoming the must-have style for many women. More and more women with texture are turning away from relaxers and extensions to prevent damage and breakage. Now there’s a different kind of shift underway: keeping your hair in its natural state and manipulating and refining texture with product, tools and techniques.

Kevin Murphy

Editorial Stylist and Founder of Kevin.Murphy products

The 1970s wave — think Janis Joplin/mermaid waves. The undone look is a simple idea, but not as easy to achieve as one would think. Texture is one thing and frizz is another and they should not be confused. Frizz is a hard pill to swallow for most women, but to make hair modern, clients need to let go a bit.

The Afro set will be another trend. This is a method of using a large pin and wrapping the hair around in a figure-eight pattern. This look is great for achieving lots of volume — it’s about embracing texture and going wild. It has a lot to do with freedom and rounder shapes in hair cuts, lots of layers and a shorter length to make a sort of mini fro.

Cyntelia Abrams

Marketing Coordinator for Design Essentials

Big, messy curls, waves, twist sets and braid outs — I love hair that is purposely messy with some frizz and wildness to it. Even if you’re natural, I’m an advocate for trims and texture with shape.

Anthony Dickey

Founder of Hair Rules

Growing it out and chopping it off! Once women have embraced their natural waves, curls and kinks, many are opting for dynamic, short styles that showcase their unique textures. Protective styling is on the upswing, with clients looking for styles that last longer. Many clients with kinkier textures are requesting more braids and twists; and curlier clients are getting more blow outs and looking for more enduring styles they can maintain effortlessly at home.


Owner of Christo Fifth Avenue

Long curls — fringe is outdated for long hair this season. The curly hair trend will be long, diagonal layers that give lift and a lot of movement for a sexy, airy look. It’s very versatile and can be carried off by all hair textures.

For medium curls, the trend will be one length with very few layers in the front (preferably done with a single-plate sharp shears for more texture). Fringe is welcome with medium lengths to create a sexier look; however, make sure the curls are not tight. This is one of my favorite styles because it can be worn either curly or straight.

For short curls I suggest the crop. It is super short with long, full bangs and diagonal layers toward the face. This style is for women with loose curls.

Roni Griffin

Director of Marketing and Business Development for Universal Beauty Products

Some of the biggest trends will be natural hair colors using non-ammonia based color and bigger styles. says Griffin. People with textured hair will be more comfortable rocking bolder styles due to natural hair becoming more accepted worldwide.

Jonathan Torch

Founder of Toronto’s Curly Hair Solutions and the Curly Hair Institute

Texture is now trending in 2012. It has been a while coming, but now it’s here in full swing. Clients and stylists have embraced what they have, and they have learned how to manage, manipulate and get their curls under control and how to show them at their optimum.

Veronique Morrison

Director of Education at Mizani

Curly and textured-hair clients, both male and female, are embracing their natural beauty and finding new options for their curls, twists, and locs. They are rocking both trendy and conservative looks with confidence and ease of maintenance. Male clients are moving into the professional forefront with locs and braids.

Alanna York

President of Use Me Products

Bigger is better and frizz is fine too, even for everyday wear. With color I really love the ombre technique of lightening the ends. To get a similar effect on textured hair, lighten six to eight (depending on hair thickness) large, vertical panels at the nape of the neck with varying color placement. This creates an edgy look for a youthful, rocker feel, while staying in the realm of age-appropriate trends.

Morgan Willhite

Stylist Ouidad Santa Monica

Usually we are fighting the pyramid effect in a curly bob, but a curly, chin-length bob, all one length with no layering is now hot. A full, curly blunt fringe is also hot. Bangs look great with a bob as well as with a layered, long hair cut. Don’t be skimpy with the density. I’m talking blunt, thick, chunky bangs! Short hair can be feminine—finally—and this works for curly hair as well. But there is no in between — it’s all or nothing. When going short with curly hair, you must go short enough in order for it to not look like a Q-tip.

Diane Cole

Stevens Nioxin Design Team member, Owner of Cole Stevens Salon in Washington, DC

For trend-loving clients who aren’t afraid to go with the style flow, the bright colors and look-at-me shapes this season will be a nice change from long locks and ombre color. Many women Level 6 and below have inspired spring’s trend of depth, shine, texture and movement. Bold, deep rich color — almost liquid lacquered black and dramatic, dark brown with violet undertones will be beautiful. Rounded geometric shapes for shorter lengths with shattered ends will be worn by the women who don’t mind a lot of attention. Finishing for these geometric shapes will have lots of natural-looking wavy textures.

Efrain Leiva

Farouk Creative Artist/Texture Specialist

This year, I expect to see evolution of the styles from 2011; luxurious revivals that will bring re-enforcement to last year’s styles. We will go from long and bouncy homemade curl styles to the quickie hair style, the perfect combination of homemade and not-finished look. It will be stylish and careless at the same time. These styles will range from long to medium and, of course, short pixies will be fashionable as well. Side parting will continue and some side bangs; however, center part and very short fringe could be a great option. I see a lot of texture coming back with braids, side ponytails and softer looks with a little traditional French twist.

Heath Grout

Creative Director for TIGI Academy of Advanced Hairstyling

There is a fusion of new technology in products with a return to traditional hair styling techniques. Setting and styling meet to transform retro waves and texture in new directions.

Allen Ruiz

Owner of Jackson Ruiz SalonSpa

Women with straight hair want to jump on the texture trend, too. Sometimes, the challenge in texture comes not from working with curly hair, but creating it. Ruiz demonstrates how to get bombshell texture from perfectly straight hair.