Dealing With: Curly Hair
“Curly hair is curly because the follicle that it grows from under the scalp is not straight,” says celebrity hairdresser and trichologist Guy Parsons. Typically, curly hair is more coarse in texture, and the coarser the hair, the less water it holds and therefore the dryer it is.
“It also absorbs light rather than reflects it, so it doesn’t tend to look as ‘shiny’ as straighter hair would,” says Parsons. “The other downside is that it can become frizzy in humid weather, which is why it’s important to use products that create a protective shield around it.”
How To Style Curly Hair
A lot of guys find caring for curly hair overwhelming, neglecting it to the point of comedy 1980s scouser (“it’s certainly not the easiest hair type to manage,” admits Parsons).
You have three options: fight it by keeping it cropped (which is how Justin Timberlake tackles his notoriously curly mop top), remove the curls with a relaxing treatment, or – and this is by far the easiest and most authentic option – you can just make the most of what nature has given you. After all, it’s not as if there aren’t plenty of poster boys for curly hair: think James Franco, Adrian Grenier and Carlos Valderrama. Okay, so maybe not Valderrama, but you get the idea.
“To maintain and define curly hair, ask your barber for a flat, layered cut to create a full, curly finish,” advises Morgan. “You don’t want too much thinning or texturising to take place.” A curly undercut (short at the back and sides, long and curly on top) always looks good, as does a curly quiff and hair grown to jaw-length a la Aiden Turner in Poldark.
Whatever style you choose, make sure you get it cut or shaped when dry. Curly hair is more relaxed when wet, springing back a little when dry, so having it cut this way guarantees the style and length you want.
What Products To Use On Curly Hair
“Product choice is crucial for curly hair,” says Morgan, who recommends a moisturising shampoo to prevent hair becoming dry and frizzy alongside a styling product like Moroccan Oil Moulding Cream. “It can be applied to wet hair and, as it’s incredibly moisturising, is perfect for curly hair,” he says. “It will help to define the curls and give good hold.”
When you’re in a knot, pick up the right tool, too. Hair can be kept tangle-free by using a brush designed specifically for thick and curly hair; these have flexible teeth that gently detangle and smooth down the hair’s cuticles while minimising damage. Equally, drying hair with a hair dryer featuring a diffuser will help protect the hair and define curls without making them frizzy.
“For a more relaxed curly look, just towel dry the hair and use a standard hair dryer nozzle or funnel to help straighten the hair for a more relaxed curl,” says Morgan. “Or if you want rid of them, straighteners could give you a new look for the day.”
Just remember that using heat on curls – along with alcohol-based sprays and mousses – can make already desert-dry hair even drier, so don’t forget to reverse the effects with a moisture-rich, non–volumising shampoo and occasional deep conditioner.