Finding the right stylist is a key element to achieving great-looking curls. However, express haircuts often don’t account for the unique patterns and intricacies of curly hair, and they can leave you looking worse than when you walked in.
For killer curls, you need a killer stylist. This guide will help you find the right stylist to aid you in your quest for the best curls.
What To Look For In A Curly Stylist
Before you begin your search for stylists, you should understand what sets curly stylists apart from your typical hairstylist. This will help you discover exactly what type of stylist will fit your needs.
Because curly haircuts are a unique type of hair service, you will achieve the best results if you visit a stylist that specializes in curly hair cuts.
Don’t be afraid to ask about their training and certifications before letting them tend to your curls. Here are some curly certifications and education centers that you can look for:
● DevaCurl Academy Certified Stylist
● Ouidad Education/Ouidad Certified Stylist
● Rezo Academy
● Curlisto Certification (Diametrix Cutting Technique)
Because curly cuts are a specialized service that requires additional training, they can often be more expensive than regular haircuts.
However, another factor that will affect the price is the stylist’s experience level. If you are looking to get a curly cut on a budget, you might consider opting for an amateur, junior, or semi-pro looking to gain experience in cutting curly hair.
They may even be working on earning a curly hair cutting certification.
On the other hand, if you are willing to pay top dollar for an experienced stylist who will cut your curls flawlessly every time, a professional or master stylist is the way to go.
These stylists will have extensive training and years of experience cutting hair types just like yours.
There are several different popular techniques used by curly stylists. This often goes hand-in-hand with certifications, as curly stylists are usually certified to provide a specific type of curly cut.
Here is a list of cuts you might encounter:
This cut is based on the idea that we wear our hair dry, so why not cut it that way, too? Stylists undergo specialized training to learn this dry-cutting technique, allowing them to sculpt each client’s hair according to their unique curls.
The stylist assesses your face shape, curl pattern, and texture before making cuts, curl by curl, to give your hair an attractive shape: no two deva cuts are alike!
The philosophy behind this wet-cut technique is that curls are not consistent from day to day, so cutting curls while wet allows them to be shaped into a pattern that will create movement and consistency.
=Ouidad’s patented method is known as the Carve and Slice technique. Carving is typically done on tighter, thicker curls and removes more hair.
Slicing hair is ideal for finer, looser curls, as it removes less hair to create volume and shape.
Ouidad believes that by skillfully carving and slicing curly hair, the stylist can create a hair shape that causes the curls to cascade and fit together like pieces of a puzzle, to ensure a consistent and flawless style every time you go in for a cut.
This method is designed for hair with highly textured curls. It was developed by Jonathan Torch as a way to remove unnecessary bulk so that shaping and styling curly hair is easy, controllable, and fun.
By working in sections, the stylist can identify areas where they can create small, thin tunnels to remove excess bulk. This method also avoids over-cutting and over-thinning which encourages growth.
If you want your highly textured curls to move freely and bounce around, get this cut.
Curlisto® Diametrix™ Cutting Technique
This technique, created by ‘the King of Curls’ Christo, contains three phases:
● Phase I involves dividing the hair into 12 equal sections and texturizing the curls.
● Phase II involves giving the curls a diagonal angle cut.
● Phase III involves giving the curls a face-framing cut unique to each face shape and curl type.
This one technique with three phases claims to benefit all curl types.
Where to Look
Once you know what you’re looking for in a curly stylist, the next step is to start searching! Here are some ideas on how to discover the best stylists in your area.
Don’t be embarrassed or afraid – ask around! If you’ve got friends, family members, neighbors, or co-workers with well-kept curls, find out where they go for curly cuts. Even as you go about your day.
If you see someone who has a great curly hairstyle, be bold and ask for their stylist recommendations.
A google search easily allows you to search for curly hair stylists and browse their reviews. You can browse reviews for salons, and look for mentions of individual stylists within their reviews.
*Tip: Reviews displayed on a salon’s own website page will always favor the service provider. Be sure to google the business for reviews elsewhere on the web.
Social Media Communities & Online Forums
These days, there is no reason for striking out. You can find virtually anything you’re looking for on the internet.
Beyond a Google search, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram will allow you to investigate individual stylists. Many stylists have Instagram pages to display their work, and you may be able to ask for recommendations on your Facebook feed, or in a Facebook group for your area.
In addition to social media, online forums and curly stylist locators are tools that will easily locate stylists in your area that specialize in curly hair. Here are some examples of stylist locators:
Once you’ve found a hair stylist that piques your interest, call the salon to find out if they provide consultations.
A consultation provides an opportunity to discuss directly with the stylist about your desired cut. You can discuss topics like:
● Cuts and styles that you like and dislike
● What you expect from them as a stylist
● The techniques they use to cut naturally curly hair
● The products they use to style curly hair
● Anything else other questions or concerns that are important to you
Use a consultation appointment to determine if this stylist is the right fit for your hair. Here are some key questions to ask:
● Do they have any examples of curly cuts they’ve done? Look for curls that have a similar pattern to yours
● Is there a specific curly haircut method they use?
● Do they cut curls wet or dry? If wet, how do they measure the length taken off since wet curls stretch more than dry curls?
● Do they see anything with your curl pattern that could pose an issue?
● Do you have individual concerns? What is their solution or how will they handle it?
While in the barbershop or salon, if you see any of the below, it might be best to try another stylist.
● Thin toothed combs
● Brushing or combing before cutting
● Razors or thinning shears
During your consultation or even at your first cut appointment, if you don’t feel comfortable with their answers, leave! Don’t hesitate to look elsewhere.
Your First Appointment
Found the one? Here are some best practices to make the most of your first haircut appointment:
● Wash and style your hair as you normally would before your first appointment. Ensure that your hair is completely dry at the time of your appointment so that the stylist can easily see your curl pattern.
● Remind them of important items you might’ve discussed during a consultation
● Bring pictures of the style you want, and styles you don’t want. When looking at pictures of styles online.
○ Tip: Consider whether the person photographed has a similar face shape, curl pattern, and overall style to yours. If not, the cut might not turn out as you’d expect.
● Once they’ve cut your hair, pay attention to how they style it and don’t be afraid to ask questions! A good curly stylist will educate you so that you can make your new curly cut look great at home.
Finding a curly stylist can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Following the steps above will help you find a curl expert that can make your unique hair look great every time. Once you find the right stylist for you, regular cuts will keep your curls healthy and happy.