Do you need to see a curl specialist if you have curly hair?

Hair Romance - How to get a great curly haircut

All curls are not created equal. Finding a hairdresser who understands this can be tough.

I know, I’ve had several bad haircuts in my time.

I had an email from a lovely reader asking about curly haircuts:

Just discovered your blog and love it! I’m just recently trying to really embrace my curly hair after years of straightening it and fighting with it .. My question is about your haircut, what is it called or how can I explain this to my hairdresser? Also, is your hairdresser we’ll versed in cutting curls or is she just a “regular” stylist (that’s what mine is). Would you recommend finding a stylist that specializes in curls? 

I currently have a shoulder length “lob” that looks great when straight but not so much when it’s natural .. Help! 

It’s hard to find a balance between a haircut that suits both curly and straight hair. I wrote about my haircut here, as pictured above, with tips on how to get a great curly haircut.

At the moment I have a different haircut as my hair is longer and I have less layers. It’s all about finding a style that is easy for you to manage and get good hair quickly each morning.

My hairdresser is just a ‘regular’ stylist, but does a fantastic job with curls. Some stylists are just better than others when it comes to cutting hair.

It could be that they are more interested in curly hair, or have a varied client list that’s full of curls. You can find out by asking these questions of a new hairdresser to see if they love cutting curls.

Depending on the type of curls you have, you probably don’t need to a see a “curl specialist”.

A few friends have gone to specialist curl salons and haven’t loved their hair. One friend even called it the worst haircut she’d ever had. She described the haircut as him randomly chopping at bits of hair and leaving her with an uneven haircut and huge bill to pay.

Curl stylists who only cut hair dry don’t make allowances for the different ways that you style your hair. They assume your curls will always behave in the same way or that you’ll always wear your hair curly.

I am a big fan of curly specialists but I believe they best suit people with very curly hair. Those with a wave or more open curl don’t always get the best haircuts there in my opinion.

As for your cut, a lob is a great cut for straight or curly hair. You maybe just need a little reshaping or some styling tips. Ask your hairdresser at your next appointment.

Are you a fan of dry haircuts? Do you believe curl specialists are the only ones that should look after curly hair? 

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  1. Amelia says

    I too have had my fair share of bad cuts in my lifetime. I have fine hair, but plenty of it, thats neither curly nor stick straight, it’s wavy and I have a pretty strong cowlick at the front. Although at times my hair can look somewhat messy,with the right product and technique I can get loose spiral curly-waves.I’m lucky in the fact that I can easily wear my hair straight or curly. As you mentioned this can make it tricky to get a cut that works for both straight and curly/wavy hair. I’ve had both wet and dry cuts, regardless the best cuts I’ve ever had are when the stylist and I are both on the same page. I think that communication and knowing your hair, plays a big role in the cut that you get. To me the benefit of a curly specialist is the education they can provide you with regarding styling and caring for your hair. Perhaps having super curly hair makes its a whole different story.

  2. Sherry says

    I go to a curl specialist now who cuts my hair dry and love my current hair cut! I started going because I pretty much only wear my hair curly now and rarely straighten it. However, when I did like going back and forth between straight and curly I went to a “normal” stylist who had curly hair. Anytime I had to switch salons, if I moved or something, I would just ask at the new salon which stylist had naturally curly hair and went to that person. Even if our curls weren’t the same that person usually understood the complexity of curly hair and will cut accordingly. Hope that helps!

  3. Erica says

    I love your hair, and your hair stylist! You’re so beautiful with curly hair! I love when I see ladies walking about with newly curled hair from the normal straight hair look. It puts an entirely different look out than some straight hair.

    Keep up these awesome articles, and these beautiful hair-do’s!

  4. Shaye says

    I have coarse B/C curls (much more wavy on top, more open, large ringlets underneath) and will never get my hair cut by a regular stylist again. I never had anyone cut my hair who knew what they were doing or produced a decent cut for my hair until I went to a curl specialist and she did a dry cut. She’s not fancy, I just found someone with great reviews in my area on and I’ve been seeing her for almost 10 years now. I’ve followed her to three different salons and would go get my hair cut in a shack in the woods if that’s where she was working. I’ve loved my hair so much more since I started seeing her.

    • Hair Romance says

      Thanks for commenting Shaye. Like you, once I find a good stylist I stick with them. Glad you’ve found someone who understands your hair xx

  5. Tracy says

    I stopped going to the hairdresser for hair cuts because I ended up hating so many of the cuts I got mainly because the stylist didn’t listen or took more than I wanted. For example, my hair is quite long, down to my waist, so I would ask for long layer and they’d give me short layers instead and I’d end up looking ridiculous. I was so upset one day after hairdressers Mam offered to see if she could try an fix it for me.
    So I let her because she always cut my hair as a child for me and I’ve haven’t looked back, my hair has never looked better (no she is not a hairdresser nor was she ever) but I think she has an understanding of my hair and loves my curls as much, if not more, than I do. So it has worked out well…and it saves me a fortune in hairdressing costs!!!
    Love this blog, have gotten so many helpful tips about looking after curly hair, people have even commented on it since I made a few simple changes, so thank you!!

    • Hair Romance says

      Thank you so much Tracy! You’re lucky to be able to get such great haircuts at home. I love that you love your curls xx

  6. Debra says

    After another bad haircut from someone who allegedly specialized I. Curly hair, I cut my own. I pictured the desired shape in my mind and how it should be cut to achieve that shape. I did essentially what you have in this picture! To bad I cannot find any one to do it though.

  7. Sunset says

    I prefer to get my hair cut dry. Sometimes, I’ll shower should or two before so the hair is curly again, but not all the way dry and fuzzy. I’ve also sprayed my hair with a bit of olive oil before my shower, so the curls will “gel” a little better, whenever I can find a stylist who will cut curl by curl. I never wear my hair straight. Sometimes if I comb it out dry, it might be straighter as the curls drop out, but I never straighten it. I try to choose a stylist with curly hair, but I also look at the salon pics on the salon website, because sometimes they will straighten their hair for a formal picture which tells me a lot about their viewpoints. I don’t think you need to see a curl specialist, but if they tell you they cut curly and straight hair the same, do NOT go there.

  8. says

    If I could just add a little something to this post…as a Curly Hair Specialist, I make it very clear at the time of booking that my haircuts are meant only for curly girls who are going to wear their hair curly all the time. If you’d like to go back and forth from straight to curly, my haircut WILL look lopsided and uneven and it’s best that you get your hair cut with straight haircutting methods. The dry curl by curl haircut is only meant for those who wear it curly all the time…I believe your hair will look best straight when you have a haircut meant for straight hair (traditional cutting, wet or dry) and your hair will look best curly when you have a haircut meant for curly hair ( dry cut, curl-by-curl). Its hard to have it look its best when you go back and forth between the two methods, but its definitely possible with the right products and styling methods if your up for experimenting. Cheers!

    • Hair Romance says

      Thanks so much for your comment Krista! It’s great to hear from a curl specialist and I appreciate your explanation of your cutting styles.

  9. Khadija says

    Your curls look so nice. I recently got my hair cut, well it was supposed to be layers, and I did get said layers but the hairdresser also almost halved my length in the process. To say I was devastated, is putting it mildly since my hair was just above my lower back and is now shoulder length, but I am trying to cope as I feel I have to learn from this experience. Needless to say I will never be this length again. The hairstylist I went by was supposedly highly recommended, for curlies as well as straight, since she is curly as well. Utter disaster as she chopped my length off swiftly, while we had agreed that she would keep my length. Anyway I would recommend going to someone who specializes in one type of hair alone, but more importantly that people ensure with every trim or cut the hairdresser shows them the length that they are cutting etc. Thanks for the hair inspiration, as now, since my hair has been cut it has gotten to be more big curls than the previous tight curls I had before.

    • Hair Romance says

      Sorry to hear about your bad experience Khadija, hope you are finding new ways to style your curls now xx

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