The mestiza muse

Curly Cut: Which Curly Hair-Cutting Method Is Right For You?

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Verna Meachum

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All curls are not one size fits all and finding a stylist who understands this can be work. Deciding on which technique you should try, depends on your personal preference, but most importantly, on your curls.

To help you choose which cut may be right for you, I’ve included five curly hair-cutting methods that may work for you. Find a salon that specializes in one of these curly-girl methods and see which one works best for you.

Deva Cut

A Dry Cutting Technique done on dry curly hair, never texturizing or thinning the hair because slicing into the interior of a curly haircut has the potential to create frizz. By cutting the hair dry, in its natural state, stylists are able to cut the curls where they live naturally, and thus create a beautiful shape.

Curl pattern and density are analyzed to determine where on the head to begin elevating and creating layers. Your Deva cut service will be tailored to suit your specific concerns, lifestyle needs, and to help you achieve your curly hair goals. The cut and shape are designed by you and your stylist.

Ouidad Cut

This technique involves cutting the hair wet. After the basic shape is created, then the stylist decides where to incorporate the Ouidad Carve and Slice technique. This is performed by taking vertical sections of hair below the parietal ridge, pulling the hair out, & gently shaking it to reveal thicker sections within the curls.These thicker areas are then delicately “carved” or “sliced” depending on what the desired result is. 

The philosophy behind this haircut is that by carving and slicing curly hair in a skillful way, the hairstylist can create a hair shape that causes the curls to fit together like pieces of a puzzle. The intention of this method is to create an attractive haircut and eliminate the “triangle” look.

Rëzo Cut

Created by Master stylist and curl expert Nubia Suarez. The most prominent difference between a Deva cut and a Rezo cut is that “The Deva cut focuses on framing your face, while the Rezo cut maintains an even length all the way around your head. It liberates the curls from the root area so they can move about freely meaning— if you straighten a DevaCut, your hair may appear to be uneven, while the Rezo Cut will look even in both a curly and straightened state. The Rezo Cut is also perfect for curlies who love their length, as it creates a shape while maintaining both length and volume.

Tunnel Cut

This method is designed for curly girls with highly textured hair. Developed by Jonathan Torch as a way to remove unnecessary bulk so that shaping and styling curly hair is easy and controllable.

Stylists work in sections in order to identify areas where they can create small, thin tunnels to remove excess bulk. This method also avoids over-cutting and over-thinning which encourages growth.


This cut was created by Ricky Pennisi, known as “The King of Curly Hair”. He bases his technique on hair weight and density rather than curl pattern. This method is performed on wet hair and works on all textures, thicknesses and lengths.  It begins by determining what the problem area is, hair is then worked on in individual sections and cuts are made only when necessary. After each cut the hair is shaken out to ensure that the hair lies properly before tackling the next section.

Note: When designing a haircut, a stylist must always consider hair growth patterns, hair density, general curl type and differing curl types on various parts of the head, and also how to accentuate the hair color.

Questions to Ask During Consultation

1. What type of training have you received?

Make sure he or she is a licensed professional with experience in styling, coloring, and cutting your texture.

2. Do you have a preferred cutting technique?

Knowing what technique the stylist uses will allow you to determine what type of styles they may be able to achieve and their approach.

3. Do you have pictures of hairstyles or cuts you have performed?

Bring photos of someone with your texture and the style you want to achieve. Texture is important because everyone’s hair doesn’t behave the same way and the maintenance may be different.

4. What products do you use?

It’s a good idea to know what products the stylist uses. This way you can express whether or not you have a preference. Also, ask if it’s ok to bring your own products. 

5. Is the style I want a true possibility with the current state of my hair’s color, texture, and overall health?

Let’s not fool ourselves. Sometimes we want something that is not good for our curls. It’s okay to want the world. However, you need a stylist who will be honest and guide you to the best options that complement your face, skin tone, and lifestyle. Be open to the the stylist’s suggestions, as well.

A great stylist understands how a hairstyle will work and wear in the long term and can identify whether it’s a good fit for you. It’s one thing to be happy with your new look when they’re walking out the door, but it’s another thing entirely to make sure you’re just as happy a month later.

Remember to consider the current state of your hair. If your curls are damaged, then permanent color may not be the best option; getting a haircut may be the only way to save your curls. This is why consultations and open, honest communication with a potential stylist is so important.

6. Do prices vary based on length and texture?

Never skip this question. Stylists should not charge more for longer hair or tighter textures. Nothing dulls the thrill of a killer new cut, or kills a great relationship between stylist and client, like an unfriendly, unexpected cost on the bill.

Other Tips

Be Upfront and Clear About What You Want.

There’s nothing wrong with being assertive. If you absolutely want your hair cut on dry hair and your stylist is uncomfortable or inexperienced doing that, then you need to find another stylist. I am not saying you or I know more than the professionals, but you should never feel like you don’t have a say in your service. Be upfront with what you want. Feel free to ask as many questions as needed in order to to determine if this styling session and salon is a good fit for you. Show pictures of what you want as well as what you don’t want.


Take the time to learn about a stylist before you commit. Check out their work, what others are saying. Experience is essential. Another thing I personally look for is how stylists behave in the hair community- are they courteous and professional? Likeable and showing respect in every sense of the word is important. Check out their social media pages (what kind of energy do they give off, how do they get along with others in the community), etc.

Another trait I look for is…do they listen?

he most significant act of listening you’ll experience is during the initial consultation. Are they clear as to exactly what you want from their service. Before you commit to a service, it is imperative that you and your stylist have communicated clearly and are on the same page.

Ask Questions.

Get their perspective on cutting curls to ensure it meets your expectations. Ask questions and lots of them. Ask to see examples of his/her work and inquire about techniques. If their answers don’t sit well with you, find another stylist who makes you feel more comfortable.

If You Get a Bad Vibe, Leave!

Go with your gut, or first mind. If you feel uncomfortable or that the stylist is not for you, keep it moving.

Always remember that no two curls are alike and the right cut will enhance the natural curl pattern of your hair. 

Sources: Sabrina, founder of and contributor to several online publications.

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