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Curly hair is finally getting the recognition it deserves and it’s about time. Still, many curly girls are still trying to figure out what exactly to do with their hair. As we all know, good hair days begin with a killer cut and flawless style—but the cuts and styles that work on straight tresses don’t always translate on curly locks.
To help us figure out the greatest haircut and styles for curly hair, we spoke with Ruth Roche, Global Artistic Ambassador for Pureology. Roche, a celebrity hair stylist who’s worked with both pop divas and A-list actresses, helped us find the perfect haircuts and hairstyles that will look flawless with curls of all textures.
There has been a big debate in the curly community in the last few years about whether or not it’s best to cut curly hair while it is wet or dry. Many stylists prefer to stick to the traditional technique and cut hair while it’s wet. But others insist curl patterns are so different when hair is wet, curly hair should only be cut dry as hair is styled dry.
Roche believes the best haircuts combine both techniques.
When removing a lot of length, it is easier to start wet and cut the ends blunt. As far as layering, I prefer to do the majority dry, where you can see the curl pattern and exactly where the length/curls will end up living...Cutting freehand on dry hair is a great approach to create a naturally layered look and avoids over-layering the hair, or cutting the layers too short.
So if you’re looking for a major change your stylist might use both techniques, but if you’re just looking to freshen up your style cutting curly hair dry is best.
Roche recommends a cut with long layers for girls who have newly embraced their curly locks and booked their first curly haircut.
If you’ve just recently embraced your curly hair and are not sure which curly cut is for you, Roche suggests beginning with long layers.
“Only layer the surface of the hair to keep it from getting too round,” she says. Overly layering your hair will cause too much volume, which Roche says could be shocking to people who are used to seeing their hair blown straight.
A cut with long layers is also perfect for curly girls who still plan on eventually straightening their hair and are afraid of their cut looking choppy.
“Short layers can look unbalanced with a longer length when straight,” Roche warns.
Ask your stylist for barely there layers just near the ends of your locks that will look flawless while straight but creates just enough movement to slay your curls.
Lobs have topped the list of trendiest haircuts for the last few years and for a good reason—they look amazing on everyone.
While a lob cut looks flawless on all hair textures and face shapes, Roche says the cut looks particularly flattering on women with round faces. If you want to take your lob to the next level, the stylist recommends adding face framing layers to the cut.
The shag is back, and it’s better than ever. This ‘70s inspired cut has regained popularity over the last few years and look perfect with curls of all textures. The bangs and thinned out ends bring major movement to your locks, but beware—not all shags are created equal. Roche says to make sure your stylist avoids “an over-layered shape, such as a shag intended for straighter hair.”
“Curls shrink when dry and have a completely different texture,” Roche says, “It would end up not looking like a shag at all, and may have too much volume on the top.”
If you’re looking for a show stopping cut, Roche suggests adding some killer curly bangs to your ‘do.
“A layered shape that is more round with a long fringe...is being worn by the edgier types now,” Roche says. “It has an even amount of volume on the top and sides.”
Rounded curly cuts look great on everyone, but Roche says they look particularly amazing on women with square faces who are looking to soften their style.
Roche suggests asking your stylist for a “more layered, rounded shape in either short or medium length.”
This style is perfect for anyone who wants a simple, elegant look that perfectly showcases their amazing curls. For this look, all you’ll need is a sturdy elastic, a medium hold pomade, and a brush.
Begin by deciding if you’d like to part your hair down the middle, side, or not part at all. Apply the medium hold pomade to your edges and brush the pomade through until they lie completely flat. To complete your style, gather all of your hair at the nape of your neck and secure it with an elastic.
This simple style takes just minutes to master. To pull off this look, all you need is a medium hold styling pomade, a brush, a hair pick, and an elastic. Using the hair pick, comb your hair at the roots to create volume all over your head.
Once you’ve achieved your desired volume, apply a generous amount of the medium hold styling pomade all over your edges. Don’t forget to apply the pomade to the edges on the back of your head—they will be visible once your hair is up. Gather all of your curls at the top of your head (near your hairline) and secure them with an elastic.
The best thing about the beauty world finally embracing the curly hair movement is that curly girls can finally move away from crunchy ringlets.
“Now it’s all about softer curls with more movement,” Roche says.
We’re in total agreement. That said, a wash and go is the best way to display your soft curls and show off your killer cut.
If you want to ensure you get a flawless look every time, it’ll take a little more work than just washing your hair and walking out of the door. After applied your favorite styling products, allow your hair to air dry 80 percent of the way. Then use a blow dryer with a diffuser attachment to finish drying your hair. Diffusing your hair will give your style more volume than it would have had if you just allowed it to air dry. If you’d like even more volume use a hair pick to comb your hair at the roots to create volume all over your head.
To create this look, begin by parting your hair horizontally using your ear as a starting point. Once your hair is parted, tie the front section of your hair into a ponytail on the top of your head. Then, wrap your ponytail around itself to form a top knot and secure the style with several bobby pins. To complete your look, use a hair pick to comb the loose hair at the roots to create volume.
Parting your hair a different way may not seem like a style, but switching up your regular middle part for a deep side part will instantly elevate your look. For this look, all you’ll need is a comb and some shine spray. On clean, dry hair, use the comb to make a part on the far left or right side of your head. Fluff each side for maximum volume and spray with shine spray.
If your hair is cropped close to your head, you can still rock a deep side part, just add a medium hold styling pomade to the mix. After you’ve washed and dried your hair, create a part on the far right or left side of your head. Then apply the pomade on each side of the part, and brush through to make sure your part stays sharp all day long.
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