The Ultimate Guide to Short, Naturally Curly Hair

Getting a great short cut for naturally curly hair can bring up a lot of fear, and rightly so. It is the stylist’s responsibility to give you a great cut, but it is up to you to find the right person for the job.

You can do it! It just takes a wee bit of effort on your part but it’s so worth it. Here’s a few tips to help you on your journey…

Finding the Right Stylist

One of the best ways to find the right stylist to give you that sassy ‘do’ is to stop women on the street who have cute haircuts. Ask them for the name of their stylist. They will be flattered and of course, they will understand your trepidation since no doubt they have experienced it themselves. After you have collected names of stylists (not just salon names, please), you have every right to schedule a free consultation. Asking the stylist if they have had a lot of experience cutting curly hair is not enough. You can actually throw out a few seemingly innocent questions that will help you weed out potential disasters.

Since the use of thinning shears and razor on curly hair are guaranteed to create a mass of frizz, you might innocently ask them what they think of giving you a razor cut, for example. If they agree to use that technique without blinking an eye, it is time to make a quick exit. Also, find out the manner in which they intend to style your cut when it’s completed. Any stylist who insists on using a round brush or flat iron on every single curly cut is probably a stylist who doesn’t know how to handle (or cut) your curly hair. Cutting and caring for curls is not taught in basic cosmetology school so you might ask if they’ve had any specialized, advanced training. If your stylist has curls that look nice, that’s an encouraging sign! If he/she has straight hair but has attended advanced classes to learn about curly hair cutting, that is another good sign. Yelp is another great tool for finding a qualified stylist. A little research on your part will go a long way toward getting you that cute, sassy, curly cut.

Getting the Best Cut

Will your stylist be cutting your hair wet or dry? While it is certainly possible to get a great cut from a stylist who cuts it wet, it is nonetheless a consideration. Curly hair is three-dimensional and often needs to be sculpted rather than pulled straight and cut while the strands are flat between the fingers. When it is cut dry, the ‘bounce factor’ is taken into consideration. Since wet hair expands and lengthens and dry hair shrinks, cutting curly hair while it’s wet can spell disaster if your stylist is not experienced. For some additional resources for finding curly hair stylists, as well as a few extra curl care tips, click here.

Rockin’ That Curly Cut

Healthy hair and shiny hair usually go hand in hand, however it’s a little more difficult to get curly hair to shine so keeping it hydrated is a must. Avoid sulfate shampoos. If you are thinking of  highlighting your hair, keep in mind that curly hair looks best with thicker highlights (I am referring to the dimension of the individual highlighted strands). This should be taken into consideration if you plan to wear it straight some of the time. For darker colors or tonal variations, always choose a demi-permanent over permanent tint when either would work. Demi-permanent color adds a wonderful shine and does not leave a strong line of demarcation when it grows out.

When diffusing your hair, keep in mind that the outer, top layer is the dryest. Use a high heat when diffusing the bottom and middle layers and use a lower heat when diffusing the top. If your curls are prone to extreme bouts of frizz, here is a tip: Save the top layer of your cut for last when diffusing it. Dampen a paper towel with a styling spray. Place the dampened towel on the outer top layer of your cut and diffuse it from underneath. This creates a micro-climate which keeps the top from frizzing due to over drying.

Rockin’ a short, curly cut is easy. The most important thing is to pick an experienced stylist and then follow the few steps above to keep it looking great. Find more curly hairstyle ideas and tips here.