The Best Haircut for Curly Hair


As hairdressers are reopening over the next few weeks, here’s my top tips and advice for how to get the best haircut for curly hair. This is something I get asked about all the time! So whether your hair is long or short, curly or wavy. These simple tips will help you communicate with your hairdresser the exact cut, length, shape and style you want.

I think we’ve all got at least one hair salon horror story. Where the stylist either hasn’t understood how best to cut and style curly hair. Or they’ve got a bit of a scissor happy and taken too much off the length, or given a typical “round” shape. Almost like a cookie-cutter style, one size fits all, haircut for curly hair. I know most of the curly girls I speak to, avoid the hair salon as much as possible. Dreading, getting their haircut, hating it when it’s done. Not happy with the cut, length, shape or style. So this post, and YouTube video, is going to show you how to avoid all of that.

Communicate with Confidence!

This post isn’t intended to bash hairdressers and stylists, I have a huge amount of respect for the industry. But there’s a huge gap in hairdressing education around wavy, curly and natural, textured hair. Hair stylists have to spend a lot of money on extra training and education on how to cut, shape and style curly hair. Which in my opinion, should be included in all standard hair education courses. I want to be part of that change. But in the mean time, what I can do is empower you on how to communicate with your stylist, with confidence. So you are both on the same page of the length and shape you want for your hair. To not only get the best haircut for curly hair, but the best haircut for YOUR hair!

Taking images of other people’s hair you like or the look you want to achieve is great. But as any stylist will tell you, most of the time, the people in those inspo pics have completely different hair density, texture and curl pattern than the client. Which immediately makes things difficult for both the stylist and the client, because what the client wants isn’t achievable. But with these simple tips to get the best haircut for curly hair, using your own hair. Both you and the stylist will have realistic expectations. And any stylist who knows their stuff when it comes to cutting hair, will know exactly where and how to cut your wavy or curly hair to give you the result you want.


Dry Cut vs Wet Cut for Curly Hair

The biggest thing many curly girls get caught up on is whether they need to get a dry cut, by a curl specialist who will cut their hair curl by curl. Or if it’s okay to go to a regular hair stylist who will cut their wavy and curly hair when it’s wet. Here’s the thing: the looser your curl pattern, the less important it is to have a dry, curl by curl cut. If you’ve got type 2 wavy hair, or looser curl pattern such as 3a. Even curl specialists are going to cut your hair wet. The upside of that, or any good hair cut, is that your hair will look just as good if you decide to occasionally blow it out or straighten it.

Curl Specialist vs Regular Stylist

With all that said, there are so many “regular” hairdressers who are excellent at cutting curly hair. They just don’t class themselves as a “curl specialist.” Because to them, they treat everyone in their chair the same – and I say that in a positive way! So my advice is to look for someone who is skilled and good at cutting hair, as opposed to just looking for a stylist who’s a “curl specialist.” You can still get a dodgy hair cut from a curl specialist! And you can get a great cut from a regular stylist who knows what they’re doing when it comes to cutting and shaping hair.

Some stylists are known for being really good at colouring, others are really good at cutting. Those are the stylists to look for! If those stylists are confident they can give you the cut, shape and style you want by cutting it wet, let them. Don’t try and push them out of their comfort (and confidence) zone by making them do it dry. Just because a book, blog or influencer told you that was best. If you’re in Ireland, Kerrie at Hair Culture in Co. Meath and Jessica at Wildflower in Dublin are excellent hairdressers, great at cutting curly hair. Laura at Ritz Hair in Galway and Cathy at The Curl Artist in Dublin are both curl specialist hairdressers.

How to get the Best Haircut for Curly Hair

This works whether you’re giving yourself a DIY cut, or you’re in the salon with a stylist. Wear your hair down, and however you would normally style and part your wavy or curly hair. Avoid tying your hair up or clipping it back on the day of your cut. If you’re having a dry cut, avoid using too much product in your hair, as it will make it more difficult for the stylist when working with your hair. If you’re having a wet cut, use as many styling products as you would normally, as it’s going to be washed out before cutting anyway. 

Face the mirror straight on, and using your left arm, reach over your head and pull up the top section of your hair to create the shape and layers you want on your right side. Use your left arm to show how much hair you want taken off the length. Depending on your hair density, the top third or quarter of your hair is where all the shape and volume will come from. The rest is where you retain the length and blend it together.

Do the exact same thing with the other side of your hair, and you can also do it at the back. This will immediately and clearly show your stylist the exact cut, length, shape and style you want. Better than any inspo pic, because it’s your hair. And you can both see how it will look on your hair length, density, texture and curl pattern.


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