The Curl Conundrum - Barber’s Tips
Those with curly hair know how hard it can be to keep it under control, just ask Screech from Saved by The Bell or a young Justin Timberlake from his N-Sync days.
It can be frustrating to discover that you can’t go for some of the same styles or use some of the same products that your straight-haired compadres rock.
Fear not though, for there are many great options out there for the coil topped amongst you, and here at Ruffians we’ve had our mitts on enough unruly locks to know the score. We’ve put our heads together to offer our top tips on how best to deal with curly hair.
Know Your Curls
As with all hair types, there are a wide range of different textures and densities when it comes to curly hair, from tight ringlets to loose waves. It sounds obvious, but it makes sense to know exactly what type of curly hair you have before you work out what to do with it.
If you have thick, dry and coarse hair then then you will likely need products that offer greater moisturising properties. Whereas, if your tresses are fine and soft then you will need something to enhance volume and give body.
This can be easier said than done, as often people can get confused between the density of each strand of hair and the amount of strands on your head. I.e. your hair can feel thick if there is a lot of it, even if each individual hair is quite fine or vice-versa.
The easiest way to be sure is to ask your barber or stylist, but if this isn’t possible then take a look at some pics online and find some celebrities whose hair appears similar to your own. You can then look through their back catalogue of various styles to see what sort of thing you feel would suit you.
Also, think back to previous styles that you’ve tried and what aspects of them you liked or didn’t like, and what you found easy or hard to style.
Pick The Right Style
Now that you’re armed with the knowledge it’s time to pick your style! Again, check with your barber or stylist first and come armed with some inspiration pics to make sure it’s a good idea. Here are some good options:
Low fade with a disconnection - If you like a sharp fade then we often find that these work best with curls when a bit of weight is kept through the top sides. This allows the fringe to be left heavier and more natural, and limits the amount that the sides will stick up away from the head. This is a style that works well with dark hair as it emphasises the transition of the fade.
The soft Caesar - Another short back and sides style cut but this time a much more subtle take. The back and sides are cut with scissors and tapered so that the shortest point is at the neckline and sideburns but the edges are left soft. A great, low maintenance option for those who don’t like to have their hair cut too often as it tends to grow out in a flattering way.
Mid length bowl cut - When a lot of us hear the words “bowl cut” we think of our mums reaching for the mixing bowl and kitchen scissors. Actually, when done well this is a great option for curls. The hair is cut with round layers so that the hair falls naturally and loosely around the face. If the hair is thick then lots of weight can be removed internally so that it becomes more tamed and manageable.
Long swept style - People with curly hair often shy away from growing it out as they feel that it can become messy and high maintenance, however, when done right it can be quality. Kit Harrington’s jaw length style and Jason Momoa’s long locks are both good examples of this. Often the hair will be cut to one length and then tailored thereafter depending on how it falls. It’s always best to go with the direction that the hair wants to go in, as fighting it will mean more styling and products (and time in the morning).
Choose The Right Products
As mentioned earlier, finding the right styling products for your curly mane can be a bit of a minefield.
A lot of curly hair looks best when styled naturally and cut into shape, so often a hard hold product isn’t required. It’s more a case of getting the balance right between the hair being hydrated and frizz-free but without excess oiliness.
It’s time to ditch the heavy gels and pomades in favour of creams, balms and oils. These generally work well when applied to damp or towel dried hair before being left to dry naturally. Because they are softer and more supple they won’t dry hard or crisp. Always go for a less-is-more approach when trying new hydrating products for the first time. You can always add more but you’ll have to wash it all out and start again if you go in too heavy handed.
If you do choose to blow dry your hair then be sure to add one of these such products as a pre-styler to damp hair first to protect it. If you haven’t tried using a diffuser attachment before then we strongly recommend picking one up. The universal ones can be picked up for around a tenner from many High Street favourites, and they enhance the curls without pushing them too strongly in any one direction.
If you have fine curly or wavy hair then great options to add volume are salt sprays and mousses. Again, best to apply these to damp hair before drying in your chosen way.
Don’t Fight The Curls
Over the years we’ve had a lot of clients who have basically requested any style that will mask the fact that their hair is curly.
This can mean using straighteners, having the hair cut so short that it won’t curl or attempting to manipulate the hair against it’s will. All of these options will mean more maintenance and frustration, plus curly hair is great so make the most of it!
It’s always tempting to covet a different hair type to your own or to believe that others have it easier, but most hair types pose their own unique problems. You’d be surprised how many people with poker straight hair would give their right arm for a curl or two.
It’s always best to go for a style that will compliment your own specific head of hair, face shape and lifestyle - that’s where a good barber or stylist is worth their weight in gold.