Find the coolest cuts and best techniques for managing curly hair.
Curly hair can be notoriously challenging to style — it’s all too easy to end up with an odd, pyramid-shaped cut or a dry, frizzy mane instead of the gorgeous head of curls you want. But by following the savvy advice out there you can ensure your curly hair hair styles look their best.
The Challenges of Curly Hair
Curly hair’s unique texture, with cuticles that don’t lie flat like straight hair, makes it more delicate and more easily damaged than straighter hair. And the wide range in textures of curly hair— from the barely there “S” waves to the ultra-tight corkscrews, means that there’s no one right way to style it.
Smart Curly Style Techniques
The best advice for styling curly hair is the simplest — leave it as natural as possible. Too much product, too much styling, too much handling when it’s dry can all lead to your biggest enemies — frizziness and damage. Here’s how to avoid the frizz and look fabulous.
- Use products specifically meant for curly hair. Products formulated for curly hair are often lighter, so they won’t weigh down your ringlets — and they’re made specifically to help you create smoother, cleaner curls.
- Don’t overstyle your hair. Blow drying, ironing, and even simply brushing when your hair is dry can damage your hair. Comb your hair gently with a wide-toothed comb when wet, use a diffuser if a blow dryer is necessary, then apply a pomade or shine serum made for curly hair to help define your curls and add much-needed shine to your locks.
- Don’t touch your curly hair once it’s dry. If you absolutely must style your hair after it’s dry, use your fingers to gently adjust it — no tools allowed.
Curly Cut Strategies
Getting a perfect curly hair cut starts with finding the perfect pro to do it. Look for someone who specializes in styling curly hair, or at least has a lot of clients who have gorgeous manes of curls (don’t be shy about asking that girl with the gorgeous ringlets where she gets her hair done). A stylist who has experience with curls will be able to recommend a great style that suits your hair’s texture and your face’s shape.
- Make sure it’s layered. Those all-one-length blunt cuts that your straight-haired compadres sport will leave you with that dreaded pyramid look. Cutting layers will give your hair body, and allow your stylist to shape it to suit your level of curl.
Have your stylist cut it dry. When curly hair is wet, it often stretches and loses some curl — making it nearly impossible for your stylist to gauge how much to lop off so it looks good when it’s dry. By cutting dry, your stylist will see how your curls lie and how tight they are.
- Look for the right length. Many curly-haired girls opt for longer styles, which can be more forgiving with curly hair (shorter styles often end up looking “poofy” rather quickly). Your face shape may also come into play as your choosing styles— you’ll want to choose a style that ends just below your face if you have a round shape, while oval-shaped faces would look best with longer hair.