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Everybody gets a haircut every once in a while. Sometimes, it’s a full haircut, and sometimes it is a trim. In fact, how to cut hair is one of the first things any stylist worth their weight in gold learns. But this is not to say that all stylists know how to cut hair properly.

Also, the curly cut is not just any other kind of cut. It is a specialised kind of cut that is tailored specifically to curly hair. As such, only stylists who train with afro curly hair in general and afro curly hair cuts, in particular, can perfect this haircut.

But what is special about the curly cut?

The curly haircut is a method of cutting afro-textured hair while it is dry. The stylist makes sure to cut the hair the way it naturally falls when it is in its curly state. The curly cut goes a step further than a typical trim. While its primary aim is to rid the hair of dead ends (pretty much like other haircuts), it does so in such a way that it gives the afro hair a new and more flattering shape.

Curly cuts are especially suited for individuals who wear their afro hair curly most of the time and only straighten the hair occasionally. A curly cut is not a great fit for someone who straightens their hair all the time.

Getting/Giving a curly cut

Of course, it goes without saying that only stylists who are experienced in giving curly cuts should give one. The cut seems deceptively simple but is actually very technical and requires an experienced and skilled hand.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for everyone when it comes to styling and cutting afro hair. The best approach for each client will depend on their personal preference and the type of curls they have.

There are many different ways to cut curly hair, each with its pros and cons.

The Deva Cut

This is, perhaps, the most popular of curly cuts. It is a precision haircutting technique specifically tailored for curly and wavy hair types. Developed by Lorraine Massey, a hairstylist and co-founder of the DevaCurl haircare brand, this method aims to optimize the natural structure and texture of curls, promoting their inherent shape and minimizing frizz.

The procedure involves cutting the hair in a dry state, which permits the stylist to accurately evaluate the intrinsic curl pattern and make informed decisions about individual curl manipulation. By cutting each curl independently and at a specific angle, the technique preserves the curl's organic contour while stimulating the desired curl pattern. This strategy ensures that the hair retains its volume and elasticity while mitigating the "pyramid" effect, characterized by flattened hair at the top and expanded width at the bottom. The Deva cut always aims to frame the wearer’s face.

The Rezo Cut

In contrast to the Deva cut, which focuses on framing the wearer’s face, the Rezo cut maintains an even length all the way around the wearer’s head. This is why it is such a hit with curly-haired people with long hair.

This Rezo cut was created by Nubia Suarez, a master stylist and curl expert. The Rezo cut liberates the curls right from the root area, giving them freedom of movement. Should the wearer decide to straighten their Rezo cut, the hair stays uniform, unlike the Deva cut, where there is evident unevenness in hair length when straightened.

As such, some people consider the Rezo cut to be a step ahead of the Deva cut. The Rezo cut maintains both length and volume while creating a form.

The Tunnel Cut

The Tunnel cut is used when the stylist specifically wants to remove bulk from specific areas in sections. Jonathan Torch, a master stylist and curly hair expert, developed this technique to eliminate unnecessary bulk in such a way that shaping and styling curly hair becomes easy and controllable. One great thing about this cut is that it helps to prevent over-thinning and over-cutting.

Other types of curly cuts

There are so many other kinds of curly haircuts to explore. These include the Ri Ci cut, a technique that is based on density and hair weight rather than curl pattern (and the hair is cut wet instead of dry); the Mona cut, created to enhance the hair’s movement and its current texture; and the Diametrix cut, a technique that increases the natural curl, volume, and sheen of curly hair.

We also have the Ouidad cut, where the stylist has to determine where to apply the Ouidad Carve and Slice technique after establishing a basic form. The Ouidad cut is applied to wet hair. Vertical sections of the hair beneath the parietal ridge are cut, pulled out, and gently shaken to reveal thicker sections of curls within the curls.

Other things to consider

When introducing someone to curly cuts, it is important to explain two very important details.

The first is that curly haircuts are expensive. Since they are specially trained for, they easily go for three or four times the cost of other haircuts. Most people find it well worth the price, however.

The last thing to explain is that not everyone ends up loving their curly cut. This is nothing against the curly cut; it is simply the nature of human beings that we will not all love the same things.

In conclusion, every person of colour should try a curly cut at least once in their lifetimes. We can attest that it is a game-changer for many. It could very well be for that next person too.


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