Tips for a great curly haircut

The secret to good hair every day is a great haircut.

Curly hair need a curly haircut. But what is a “curly” haircut exactly?

Curly haircuts will enhance your curls. There’s not one type of curl, so there are many variations of a curly cut but they are usually layered, with a rounder shape.

The image above is my haircut, shown straight and curly. My hair is naturally thick and curly, and it has been thinned out throughout. This takes out the bulk, and with less weight my curls spring up more easily. I have layers and my cut forms a rounded V at the back.

Tips for a great curly haircut

  • Find a hairdresser who loves curly hair. Find someone who is used to cutting curly hair, and wants to enhance your curls rather than straighten them. Here are more tips to finding a good hairdresser.
  • Go to the salon with your hair curly. Style your hair to show your hairdresser what your curls look like. If you’ve brushed them out and put your hair in a bun, your hairdresser will have to guess what your curls look like.
  • Take some inspiration images. Bring some pictures of hairstyles you like (or dislike) to discuss with your hairdresser. A picture really does say 1000 words at the salon and here are more tips to explain what you want at the salon.
  • Use the right products. Talk to your stylist about what they are using on your hair and ask them to show you so you can replicate it at home. Sulphate-free shampoos and curl creams make a big difference in styling curly hair.

What’s your tip for great curly hair?

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  1. says

    My curly tip is to Q-Redew between washings to reshape, restyle and moisturize curls without damage. Second and even third day hair, no problem. It’s just water!

  2. says

    YAY! I’ve been waiting for this post! Now I know what to ask for when I have my next cut! I’ve had many styles and most turn out boofy when I try to curl or straighten my unruly hair. I love the way your curls look! I want them!

    Sophie xo
    Sophie recently posted..Easy Basil Pesto RecipeMy Profile

      • says

        How do you convince your hairdresser to do a dry cut? I’ve never, ever seen one done, or suggested. It’d be ideal for me because my hair is incredibly fine, but it curls up HEAPS after a cut. Even though I know this, I can never really envision it when wet and being cut, and they can’t either so there have been some disasters.
        Melissa Mitchell recently posted..The countownMy Profile

        • Hair Romance says

          Hi Melissa! Not all stylist are comfortable doing dry curly cuts. You have to find a hairdresser who loves curly hair. Ask at your salon if any of the stylists are used to doing these styles, or I suggest asking someone you see with great curls who does their hair. I know this seems funny, but it’s always flattering and women love to share a good hair salon. I ask people in the street all the time as I love to keep a lits of great curly hairdressers (just in case mine moves overseas!). Otherwise, when you next go to your hairdresser, wear your hair really curly. Show them how much your curls shrink up, and explain how your hair curls in different ways. Help them understand your hair, and they’ll give you a better cut to suit your hair. Good luck! Xx

  3. Stephanie says

    I’m SO GLAD I found your site! Recently Ive been trying to find the right cut for my hair – since Ive never felt like the cut has been good. My curls are very similar to yours. Can you tell me exactly what you asked for at the hairstylist? What type of layers and how did they cut them? I always ask for “blended layers” but it always comes out looking like a shelf. :/ I really appreciate your advice!! 😀

    • Hair Romance says

      Thank you so much Stephanie! It’s important to find a hairdresser who loves curly hair. Ask around your salon and your friends to find a good stylist. Then take some photos and make sure you have enough time for a proper consultation to discuss what you want before they start the cut. If you’re unsure, you don’t have to go through with the appointment x

  4. Rachel says

    I love your New Years resolution! It would be great to see some more curly hair tutorials for some much needed hair inspiration. I don’t really know how to wear my hair up and I’m getting bored of wearing it out all the time. Help! Thanks x

    • Hair Romance says

      Thanks Rachel! I usually wear my curls up in a Twist & Pin updo but I will do some more curl hair tutorials on Hair Romance x

  5. Megan says

    Hi Rachel
    I LOVE your curls so i have to ask is it natural or a perm.
    I ask because i had my hair permed a few months ago trying to get exactly what you have in your pic… unfortunately what i got was dry extremely damaged hair and no curl to show for it. If it is a perm could you tell me how you achieved such a wonderful look?
    Your awesome thank you

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Megan, it’s my natural hair. I have had it permed in the past and it’s possible to achieve with larger rollers. Perms are difficult as they are hard to control and are very damaging. If you’ve had an unsuccessful perm I would wait at east 6 months before trying another perm to give your hair some time to recover.

  6. Georgia says


    What a great blog.

    I have naturally curly hair and I hate going to the hairdressers for a cut as I never know what Im going to get… I need to find someone that cuts curly hair well.

    Any suggestions in Sydney? (South preferably)

    Thanks so much,

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Georgia, my hairdresser is Stevie English in Bondi but prob not that convenient for you? I would ask locally to see if you can get a recommendation. Then make sure you book a consultation when you go in. Take some pictures and go with your hair naturally curly so they can see what your hair is like. If after a consultation you don’t trust them to do your hair, just get a wash and blowdry. You don’t have to get a cut if you don’t think they will do a good job. Good luck, Christina x

  7. says

    Hi just wondering would your cut work on fine curly hair? When my hair is curly looks like I have alot but when straight it looks really thin. I have been wearing it straight for a few years and now can’t seem to find a way to wear it curly because it gets afro like very easily. Thinking it is the cut after seeing your picture. Mine is all one length so it looks bushy when curly.

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Kim, yes it can work in fine hair but you would probably want to keep some longer layers so it doesn’t look thin at the ends. After straightening for a while it can take time for your curls to keep their shape. You can use a curling wand to touch up your curls which helps them look more defined too

  8. says

    I don’t use shampoo at all. I just use conditioner. I have done this for the past 8 years with maybe 2 uses of shampoo/year. I smell nice and my hair is healthy and moisturized. Any my curls are happy.

  9. Silvia Ramezani says

    I have thick curly hair. My hair has been processed many times. I want to love my natural curly hair, besides a great haircut what can i do so that my curls look amazing and not Frizzy

  10. Moira says

    I have really thick and curly hair. My hair will go really curly in the front and it looks great but in the back it is loose and wavy. My hair is also really long (down to my waist). Could the weight and length of my hair be factoring into non curly hair in the back? The only reason I’m growing out my hair is to donate it so I don’t really want to cut it off. Would that be my best choice? I haven’t tried a diffuser but I plan on buying one soon.

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Moira, I think it’s amazing that you’re donating your hair! It’s most likely the weight of your hair that’s turning your curls into waves. After you donate your hair you’ll find it so much easier to look after, and you’ll feel great for helping someone with a new wig x

  11. Feliza says

    My question is what do you say if a hairdresser who “does” curly hair says she doesn’t like to thin out hair to take bulk out? I have wavy/curly hair that I think does better with lots of layers and thinned out. I don’t know what to really ask for anymore and my hair is more bushy and frizzy with some curly pieces and some wavy more stressed out tresses.

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Feliza, I always say there’s not one type of curl. Your hairdresser may not like to thin out hair, but if you’re not happy with your hair she needs to listen to you. Is there another stylist in the salon you could see? Can you take in a photo of your hair with a cut that you liked to show her what you want? Good luck x

  12. marti says

    I use a tiny drop of olive oil, I rub it between both hands to create slight heat, I tilt my head forward then add it all over my wet hair; I then use my hairdryer with my diffuser and use the cold air till my hair is 85% dry at this point I let it air dry on its own. Thats it.

  13. Sara says

    Love these tips! Thanks for the awesome post. I love my naturally curly hair!

    I’m guilty I never ever go back to the same person twice!!! The first cut is always exactly what I want and the second or third with the same stylist is always awful! One day I may trust someone to cut my hair more than once lol

    Knowing where your hair is more or less curly than other areas also helps the stylist. For instance the front left of my head is much much curlier than the rest… and the underside is almost a straight wave.

    Do only hair salons carry sulfate free shampoo??

    • Hair Romance says

      Thanks for commenting Sara! Lots of brand have sulfate free formulas now. You just need to check the labels, and check out L’Oreal and OGX for some supermarket shampoos that are sulfate free :)

  14. Nann says

    Love the haircut tips which I’ve been having my stylist do for the past few months. How would you alter the haircut if you want to grow out your hair to about the middle of the back? Thanks so much!

    • Hair Romance says

      I would get less frequent trims and grow the sides a little longer to create a softer curve at the edges of your hair. Good luck!

  15. Joan Bandy says

    In love with this hair photo. I have naturally lumpy hair with a few curls in baby fine areas like temples. A good hair pridect or two is essentiql for me…and plopping or diffusing helps create some movement. Just learning to use a wand, byt just layerung out a wedge cut to redistribute the weight line from being so low without losing length. Working on curls without looking like a bouffant at the moment. This pic gets rid of that feel…love it! “Clipping” with hair clips helps my roots lift during the last time-10 mintes of drying. The clips that came with my very expensive hot rollers (which i never use) work magic. This post is inspiring. I want to make it to this length! I’d love to see a video of the full process of achieving this look. A few wand curls mixed in?

    • Hair Romance says

      Thanks Joan! I normally do touch up a few curls with my wand but this was just a great hair day. Clipping at the roots is awesome, isn’t it? I’m working on some new hair videos so watch this space..x

  16. Stephanie says

    because of where your part is, I’d like to see what the other side of your curls look like… I usually prefer i middle part and would like to recreate your cut.
    my hair is finer than yours but same type of curl… hoping i can pull this off

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Stephanie, I sometimes wear a middle part too, and switch parts as well. This cut is really versatile :)

  17. Karen says

    I love this versatile haircut. It lends itself to the curls but also is easy to straighten as the bulk at the bottom is gone. I received this haircut in my past as you did, and it had the same effect on my life – I have more options now and the curly option looks “styled” as opposed to just a big bush!

    I have a question for you, or maybe it’s for your hairdresser. When you say he thins it out all over, can you be more specific? Does he use thinning shears, razoring, or another method? Also, does he start with a wet cut and finish the finer details and thinning while it’s dry?

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Karen, great questions! I think he uses the point of the scissors to thin out my hair. I have had haircuts with thinning scissors in the past and it’s not my preferred cut for curls. He does cut my hair wet and then does a final shape when it’s dry. Every curl is different so there are lots of ways to cut. A lot of curly girls will only cut their hair dry, but as I wear mine both straight and curly, I prefer this method :)

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