The Best Haircuts for Wavy and Curly Hair

Updated April 17, 2017

Hair with a lot of texture--such as wavy or curly hair--can be cut to any length if volume is taken into account. When it comes to the best haircuts for wavy and curly hair, the way the hair's volume falls is the key to its success. A botched cut can result hairstyles being too boxy or bottom-heavy, which can be unflattering to most facial structures. Therefore, most stylists opt to layer wavy or curly hair to give it more shape and to add styling products to help tame the tresses.

Curly Pixie

The pixie is one example of a short haircut that can work with wavy and curly hair textures. In this classic style, the hair is cut close to the head with the longest hair lengths in the crown and bang areas. This style can compliment curlier textured hair, especially if the longer lengths are layered or feathered. Made famous in the 1920s flapper era, the modern day pixie has been revamped it into a more dishevelled look. Stylists can help keep short curly hair from frizzing with a dab of hair-smoothing pomade.

Grown-Out Bob

In straight hairstyles, the classic bob is a short hairdo where the hair is cut at one length at the jaw line. Another haircut with roots in the 1920s, today's curly and wavy bobs rest on the shoulders and are asymmetrical (cut shorter in the back and longer in the front). The hair is feathered with a lot of the bulk cut out of the ends to help minimise the probability of a boxlike formation. The benefits of this cut, as stated by Elle Magazine, are it has the shape--and structure--of a shorter cut but enough length to be put into a ponytail.

Because this bob is a midlength cut, a hairstylist always has to be cautious not to cut her client's hair too short. Cutting wet wavy hair can be tricky, as every 1/4 in. cut wet can equal 1 in. cut when the hair dries. This rule goes for all curly haircuts, but, in midlength cuts, like the grown-out bob, it is crucial because the hair can be cut much shorter than desired.

Long, Layered Shag

One of the most famous forms of the layered haircut was the Farrah Hairstyle, which was made famous by the actress Farrah Fawcett in the late 1970s and carried into early 80s. Fawcett's cut--which is essentially a long, layered shag haircut--was worn blown out and flipped, though she sometimes wore it wavy to follow her natural hair texture. The shag's major attribute is a lot of layering around the crown and less bulk towards the bottom of the hair where fringe are optional. The long version of this style works well with wavy hair because its layering technique is complementary to voluminous hair.

Stylised Afro

The traditional afro is a unisex hairstyle that dominated 1960s African American pop culture. The haircut, spherical in design, was picked and teased to achieve the perfect globelike appearance. Modern afros are less spherical and can be face-framing, depending on the texture of the curl. Whether curls are tightly packed or loopy spirals, a stylised afro helps to give shape to the hair's volume. Today's afro can taper towards the neckline, which lends more volume to the top of the head, or it can be cut into chunky layers, gradually getting longer from top to bottom. The type of haircut depends on the hair texture and curl pattern, but debulking cutting techniques are almost always used to help give an afro movement. Additionally, curlier hair can require more moisture--using hair conditioners and balms can help keep the afro from drying out.

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About the Author

B. Maté has been reporting on creative industries since 2007—covering everything from Fashion Week to the latest artist to wow the Parisian art scene. Her experience stems from a marketing background, with more than 12 years of experience consulting fashion-forward entrepreneurs.