Finding the right stylist is a key element to having great looking curls. However, due to the unique pattern and intricacy of curls, many in-and-out hair cut providers often leave you looking worse then when you walked in. For killer curls, you need a killer stylist. That’s why we’ve created a guide to help you find just the right stylist to aid you in your quest to look your best.
Where to Look
- Referrals. Don’t be inhibited or intimidated. Ask for a referral. Seek out as many referrals as you can from co-workers, friends, family, and neighbors. Even as you go about your day. If you see someone who has a great hairstyle, be bold and ask for a referral.
- Google it. Search your area for curly hair stylists. Then look at their reviews. Compare places and individual professionals. Tip: reviews displayed on their own website page will always favor the service provider. Be sure to google the business for other reviews on the net.
- Forums & social media/communities. These days there is no excuse for striking out. You can find virtually anything you want on the internet. Between Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Instagram you should be able to investigate any business and professional.
Amateur. Semi-pro. Professional. When seeking out a stylist, their skill level matters. They may say, “I’m an expert in cutting curls”, but are they? Every curl pattern is unique like a fingerprint. What techniques are they familiar with for cutting curly hair? Find a barber shop or salon that specializes in one of these curly methods. These are some proven techniques to make your curls look and perform their best:
- Deva Cut. Based on the idea that we wear our hair dry, so why not cut it that way, too? Stylists undergo special training to learn this dry-cutting technique, allowing them to sculpt each client’s hair according to their unique curl. The stylist assesses your face shape, curl pattern and texture before making cuts, curl by curl, to give your hair an attractive shape — it’s a one-of-a-kind cut.
- Ouidad Cut. The philosophy behind this wet-cut technique is that curls are not consistent from day to day, so when you get them cut wet, your curls are being shaped into a pattern that will create movement and consistency. Ouidad’s patented method is known as the Carve and Slice technique. Hair is either carved, removing more hair typically on tighter, thicker curls or sliced, removing less hair to create volume and shape on finer, looser curls. 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.
- Tunnel Cut. This method is designed for hair with highly textured curls. 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 stylists is able to 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.
Your First Appointment
Once you find the hair stylist that piques your interest, call to see if they provide consultations. A consultation provides an opportunity to discuss directly with them what you like and dislike, what you want and expect from them. You can ask what techniques they use to cut naturally curly hair, what products they use, and anything else that is important to you. Use this appointment to determine if there a right fit for your hair. Here are some key questions to ask:
- Do they have any examples of cutting curly hair? Look for the same curl pattern.
- Is there a specific curly hair cut method they use?
- Do they cut wet or dry? If wet, how do they measure 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 barber shop 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 appointment, if you don’t feel comfortable with their answers, leave! Don’t hesitate to look elsewhere.
Found the one? Here are some best practices to make the most of your appointment:
- Do bring in pictures both of what you want AND absolutely do not want.
- Don’t brush/comb style or do anything that will change the curl pattern before it’s cut. Let the stylist see how it naturally falls.
- Do wash your hair.