As some of you might know from reading my About Me page, I have a mild phobia when it comes to cutting my hair and just as much as I don’t like doing it I also don’t like having unhealthy hair. So, I regularly had my ends trimmed with strict instructions since some hairstylists are far too happy with a scissor in their hands. However, as my Big Chop day approaches, I am now looking into professionals who know and are comfortable cutting natural curly hair. There are nevertheless, a few considerations you should have when doing it.
When it comes to cutting hair it doesn’t matter if you have straight or curly hair or if you’re a man or a woman because I am certain we all have one thing in common – bad experiences to share. However, with curly hair, the stories seem to be even more horrific. You hear stories of curly girls who end up with their hair either too short, uneven or even worst, so completely unmanageable that you have to book a new haircut.
The Conventional Approach
The problem when it comes to cutting natural hair is that many hairstylists don’t know how to cut curly hair. I suppose the reason is that most training is done on straight hair or even relaxed hair which is meant to mimic straight hair. When faced with curly hair these professionals approach to it is to do what they were trained to do on straight hair and are afterwards clueless as to what went wrong, leaving you with a hot mess.
Sadly, in this profession, many forget that curly hair comes in many different curl patterns from wavy to tightly coiled and we all have different hair textures and densities that need to be considered when cutting natural curly hair. While it is generally expected that when cut, straight hair responds in the same way all the time, when it comes to curly hair the story is different. No two curls with the same length will fall equally each time you style it. Therefore, a different approach is needed.
The New Approach
Luckily, there are professionals who are relentless in their pursuit of finding the best techniques to work with curly hair. They have perfected their craft throughout years of working with their clients and have come to the conclusion that natural curly hair needs a different approach, it can’t simply be cut blunt (cut across length). Our hair is unpredictable, moody and glorious at times. We can get out of the house with flawless curls and have it frizzy in a matter of minutes.
Shrinkage is also a factor to consider when cutting as curly hair when wet is very deceiving, thus why many hairstylists prefer cutting on dry hair. I’m sure you’ve heard or have your own stories of when you went in for a little trim and came out in shock with several inches off your hair or even with a new haircut, making yourself a mental reminder to never go back into that salon again.
A poorly or badly performed haircut will result in uneven or pyramid shaped hair. A cut that won’t showcase the best of your curls and will certainly not favour you. This is probably the reason why many women don’t like their curly hair because they only ever had bad experiences in a salon. However, if you have patience and some investigative skills you can take what you read here, follow my tips about choosing a natural hairstylist and avoid waiting for your hair to grow.
To give you a head start on the best curly hair cutting experience you can try the Devachan or the Ouidad salon. Both have become very popular in the natural hair community because they have coined their own unique techniques for cutting curly hair and in the process have gained a lot a happy and faithful supporters.
The Devachan salon performs the Deva Cut which was developed by its owner and book author of “Curly Girl: The Handbook” Lorraine Massey. With this technique, the haircut is done on dry hair and their philosophy is that the hair should be cut dry and not wet because we wear it dry and wet hair is misleading. Each hair ringlet is cut individually at an angle to enhance and provide curl control. The experience is meant to make you love your curls even more! Have a look at one their videos.
As for the Ouidad salon their technique is called the “carve & slice” and contrarily to the Deva Cut it’s done on wet hair where vertical sections of hair are carved and sliced. The focus is to remove the pyramid look that many curlies exhibit and sculpt beautiful curls that fall “perfectly” into each other like a puzzle. Here is a video for you to watch and have an idea of what I’m talking about.
If you don’t have a Devachan or Ouidad salon near you can always try a certified stylist in their techniques as they offer training. As for us here in the UK, there are several salons in London that cater for natural hair and here’s a helpful link I recently found while looking for natural hair stylists to do my Big Chop (cut off relaxed ends) after two years transitioning. Call it divine intervention or the universe alignment!
As with anything else in life, although the Deva Cut and the “Carve & Slice” are popular and designed for natural hair not all people like them. Some prefer one over the other while a few others prefer a more traditional approach to hair cutting. When choosing a professional to cut your hair you have to consider the techniques they use but also if you will be straightening your hair frequently as opposed to wearing your hair as it naturally is.
You can’t expect a curly haircut to be even when straighten since these haircuts focus on how your curls fall in their natural dry state. Don’t follow the hype blindly and end up regretting your choices. Consider other avenues, there might me another stylist who is able to offer you both styling options. Be sure to follow my tips on choosing your stylist so you don’t get disappointed.
What were your experiences cutting your hair? Are you a fan of the dry cut, why? Have you tried the Deva Cut or the “Carve & Slice” haircut?