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Curly hair is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get. It could be super-defined one day and a frizzy concoction the next day – and it's never exactly the same from one head to another. Our mission is to equip you with the necessary tools for restoring and maintaining healthy locks and celebrating the hair you were born with! 

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

May 17, 2023


Verna Meachum

Discover the types of haircuts for curly hair

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Curl care

I am highly experienced in the beauty industry and specialize in writing for brands and websites that focus on curly hair care. Moreover, I actually have curly hair and have curly-haired children with varying hair textures. I am also surrounded by curly-haired friends, including curly hairstylists and curly-haired family members. You get the point :) I’m well-versed in the language and nuances of curly hair care, styling tips, and product recommendations.

Furthermore, I collaborate with my friend who has a Ph.D. in organic and inorganic chemistry and works as an R&D Chemist to help us navigate through the misinformation around curly hair care. He advises us on Hair Care Science to ensure we are well-informed.

Hi,I'm Verna

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Last Updated on May 17, 2023 by Verna Meachum

When it comes to styling curly hair, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The best approach depends on your preferences and the type of curls you have. Finding a curly hair stylist who understands this can be challenging, but it’s worth the effort.

Curly cuts are more important than many may realize; these cuts work to optimize your curls and show them off at their best while maintaining the health of your hair. Curly cuts cover everything from assisting with bulk management to the best shaping.

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

Curly Haircuts

When investing in a curly cut, we do advise that if you straighten your hair often, a curly cut is probably not the right option for you, but if you aim to embrace your curls and enjoy your natural bounce, then these curly cuts will provide you with all you need to love your curls.

Deva Cut

The Deva Cut is a technique that was developed specifically for curly hair. It is a dry-cutting technique used on dry curly hair, never texturizing or thinning it because slicing into a curly haircut’s interior can create frizz.

By cutting the hair dry naturally, stylists can cut the curls where they live naturally, creating a beautiful shape.

The stylist will examine your curl pattern and density to determine where to start elevating and creating layers. Your Deva Cut will be designed to match your requirements and lifestyle preferences and help you achieve your curly hair objectives.

I have included some pictures of my haircuts using the Deva curly cut technique.

Image of my hair after a Deva cut; Rounded deva cut and custom deva curly cut.

Ouidad Cut

The hair is cut wet using this method. After establishing the basic form, the stylist determines where to apply the Ouidad Carve and Slice technique.

After establishing the basic form, the stylist decides where to apply the Ouidad Carve and Slice technique. This is accomplished by cutting vertical sections of hair beneath the parietal ridge, pulling it out, and gently shaking it to reveal thicker areas of curls within the curls.

Depending on the desired outcome, these thicker areas are then carefully “carved” or “sliced,” depending on the desired effect.

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.

This technique generates an appealing hairstyle and eliminates the “triangle” look.

Here are some photos of the Ouidad Cut.

Rëzo Cut

This curly cut was created by Master stylist and curl expert Nubia Suarez.

Suarez is dedicated to sharing her curly hair expertise with customers and displaying beauty in all hair types. She established Utopia Salon and Day Spa as a top-notch educator and curl specialist in Westfield, New Jersey.

The most prominent difference between a Deva cut and a Rëzo cut is that “The deva cut focuses on framing your face, while the Rëzo cut maintains an even length all the way around your head.”

Master stylist and curl expert Nubia Suarez

The Rëzo Cut liberates the curls from the root area, allowing them to move freely, which means that if you straighten a Deva Cut, your hair may appear uneven, but with the Rëzo Cut, it will be uniform in both curly and straightened states.

The Rëzo Cut is ideal for curly ladies who adore their length since it maintains both length and volume while creating a form.

Image of the Rezo curly cut.
Photo Credit: Nubia Rezo, Founder of the Rëzo cut.
Image of a before and after haircut using the Rezo curly cut.
Photo Credit: Nubia Rezo, Founder of the Rëzo cut.

Tunnel Cut

This curly cut was developed by Jonathan Torch as a way to eliminate unnecessary bulk so that shaping and styling curly hair is manageable and controllable.

Stylists employ this technique to remove bulk from specific areas in sections. This method also helps to prevent over-cutting and over-thinning, which encourages growth.

Here’s a great video on the process of a Tunnel cut.


Ricky Pennisi, known as “The King of Curly Hair,” created this curly haircut. He bases his technique on hair weight and density rather than curl pattern.

This technique works on wet hair and is effective on all types, thicknesses, and lengths. It begins by determining the problem area, then working on individual hair sections, making cuts only when necessary.

The hair is shaken out after each cut to ensure it lies as required before proceeding to the next section.

Note:  A stylist must always consider hair growth patterns, hair density, general curl type, and different curl types on various parts of the head as well as how to accentuate the color when creating a curly hairstyle.

The Mona Cut

With fifteen years of experience in the industry, Mona Baltazar is a New York City-based curly hair stylist originally from the Philippines (my hometown!)

The Mona Cut is created to enhance your hair’s movement and texture that you currently have. It includes washing, styling, drying, and refining. The cut will be able to change with your lifestyle and the steps you take.

Diametrix Cut 

The Christo Curlisto-designed Diametrix Cut is a curly cutting technique that increases curly hair’s natural volume, curl, and sheen. Diametrix cutting, on the other hand, is a form of cutting into curls to shape, contour, and maximize their appearance.

The Diametrix Cutting Technique is a trademarked cutting technique that comprises three phases.

  • Phase I: Texturizing – A hairdresser may divide hair into 12 equal parts. This prevents curls from stacking on top of one another and forming a pyramid-like shape.
  • Phase II: Diagonal angle cut – The cut reduces bulkiness and promotes volume and body on the root area and crown.
  • Phase III: “Versus” face-framing cut – This cut is a great way to achieve natural-looking curls that can be styled in many ways. This method is much better than the DevaCut method because it doesn’t require as much time or effort to maintain your desired look.
Video credit: Christo Curlisto

Related article

Questions to Ask During Consultation

The first step is to consult your stylist about the best curly haircut.

During this consultation, you should ask a few questions to help determine the most suitable method for cutting your hair while also considering your natural curl pattern, how long you’ve been embracing your curls, and what kind of styling products you use on your hair.

Here are some important questions to ask during consultation:

1. What type of training have you received for cutting curly hair?

Make sure they are a licensed professional with experience in styling and cutting your texture hair.

2. What products do you use during the service?

The stylist should thoroughly know everything used in your service—ingredients, benefits, and usage.

It’s a good idea to inquire about the stylist’s preferred products to express your preference.

Also, ask if it’s okay to bring your products.

3. How should the client prepare for their service?

The stylist should take time to understand your lifestyle, hair care routine, and daily habits so they can customize the service and recommend products.

4. What are the benefits of a curly cut?

An excellent curly haircut will help to define your curls, shape your hair, and enhance your curl pattern.

5. How much time should I expect for this service?

Most curly haircuts should take no longer than an hour to complete, but it may take longer if you incorporate a hair treatment and some curl education.

6. What is the cost of a curly cut?

The cost of a curly haircut can vary depending on your location, the salon, and the stylist.

7. Will the stylist recommend products for me?

Many stylists are either trained or carry their line of products, but it is important to know when they are recommending something outside the scope of expertise.

8. Will this service damage my curls?

The right service should enhance the health of your curl pattern. Any time heat tools are used, there can be a chance of some damage, but it should be minimal.

9. Do you offer a guarantee?

Many stylists offer a guarantee on their services to help ensure client satisfaction.

10. How can I maintain my curly haircut at home?

Your stylist should provide a customized hair care routine and teach you how to style and treat your hair for continued management at home.

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

Bring photos of someone with a similar texture and the style you want to achieve. Because everyone’s hair is different, the texture is essential. The upkeep may be different depending on the texture of your hair.

12. Is the style I want an actual possibility with the current state of my hair’s color, texture, and overall health?

Let’s not deceive ourselves. We’ve all wanted something that isn’t good for our curls at some time or another. It’s natural to want everything. However, you need an honest stylist who will guide you to the best options that complement your face, skin tone, and lifestyle. Be open to the stylist’s suggestions, as well.

A great stylist understands how a hairstyle will stand the test of time and whether it fits you well. To be excited about your new look when walking out the door is one thing, but it’s another thing to still be just as delighted weeks later.

13. Do you have a preferred cutting technique?

Ask the stylist what their favorite way of cutting curly hair is because that may be the same technique they use on you.

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

14. What is your least favorite style to cut on curly hair?

This question will help you understand if the stylist specializes in cutting a certain type of curly hair.

15. How often should I get a curly haircut?

Some people go years without a trim, while others go every two months. If you use styling tools regularly, a haircut every 4 to 6 weeks will more likely keep your hair healthier.

Remember to consider the current state of your hair. If your curls are damaged, 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 honest communication with a potential stylist are important.

16. How will this cut and style impact my curl pattern?

Curl patterns may not stay the same after a service, but understanding how it will impact your curl pattern is important.

17. Do prices vary based on length and texture?

Never skip this question. 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. Stylists should not charge more for longer hair or tighter textures.

18. What length do you recommend for me?

A great stylist will be able to show you what styles look best on you and how to maintain them, regardless of your hair’s length.

19. Can you recommend a good hair care line compatible with my curl type?

A great stylist will carry the proper products for your hair type.

Choosing a salon is important in creating, maintaining, and enjoying your curly haircut. It’s important to find someone you trust and feel comfortable with. The questions above will help you to find the perfect stylist for you.

Preparing For Your Curly Cut

If you’re considering getting a curly cut, there are a few things you should do to prepare.

  • First, you need to find a stylist specializing in cutting curly hair. Not all stylists are created equal when cutting curly hair, so finding someone who knows what they’re doing is important.
  • Communicate your hair goals with them. – What are you hoping to achieve with your cut? Are you looking to add more volume? Enhance your curl pattern? Get rid of some of the frizz? Long or short?
  • Come to your appointment with clean, dry hair, and wear it in its natural state. Your hair should be well-conditioned, detangled, and worn loosely (No styling). Wearing your hair naturally will also help the stylist determine which cut will work best for your hair.
  • Avoid using many products with heavy oils or anything else that may weigh your hair.
  • Finally, be prepared to discuss your hair care routine with your stylist. They may suggest how you can better care for your curls or recommend some products that will work well for your hair type.

Be Upfront And Clear About What You Want

There’s nothing wrong with being assertive. If you want your hair cut on dry hair and your stylist is uncomfortable or inexperienced doing that, you need to find another stylist.

I’m not suggesting you, or I know more than the experts, but you should never feel like your service is being decided for you. Be honest and upfront about what you like and what you don’t like.

You should voice your opinion if you are unhappy with the outcome. A good stylist will work with you to correct the situation.

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions

Feel free to ask as many questions as needed to determine if this styling session and salon fit you. Show pictures of what you want and what you don’t want.

Get their perspective on cutting curls to ensure it meets your expectations. Ask questions and lots of them.

Inquire about cutting techniques and ask for samples of their work. If their answers don’t appeal, look for someone who makes you feel more comfortable.


Experience is really important. Take the time to discover a stylist beforehand. Check out their portfolio and what others are saying about them.

When finding a stylist, word of mouth is a good indicator; if you know other clients of the same stylist are happy, you will be satisfied.

Another thing to consider is how your stylist treats you and others.

  • Do they listen to you?
  • Do they take time to answer your questions?
  • Are they courteous and professional?

Check out their social media profiles (what kind of energy they exude, how they get along with others in the community), and so on.

These are all important to consider.

Do They Pay Attention To Your Requests?

The 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, you and your stylist must communicate clearly and on the same page.

If You Get A Bad Vibe, Leave!

Go with your gut or first impression. If you’re not comfortable with the stylist, keep moving.

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

A good stylist will help you to embrace the curl, not fight it. The best way to obtain a great haircut is by working with a stylist who understands how to cut curly hair.

Curly is not one-size-fits-all, so finding the right person is key.

Finding a qualified stylist who can cut your hair should be an enjoyable, educational process.

Remember to have fun with it!

Tips For Maintaining A Curly Cut

Anyone with curly hair knows that it can be a lot of work to keep it looking good. Curls have a mind of their own and often seem to defy all attempts at control. However, a few tried and true methods exist to maintain a curly haircut.

•          First, avoiding shampoo with harsh chemicals is important, as these can strip the natural oils from the hair and make the curls more unruly. Instead, opt for a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo that will clean the hair without stripping away its moisture.

•          Second, apply the conditioner evenly from root to tip, and then, use a wide-toothed comb to work through any knots or tangles gently. Allow the conditioner to sit on the hair for at least 3-5 minutes to give it time to work its magic.

•          Use a diffuser to minimize frizz and maximize definition when drying the hair. Diffusers are fantastic tools for looking after curly hair as they diffuse the air from the hairdryer, effectively making the air blast gentler so that it does not break your natural curl formation. A top tip is to not bounce the diffuser about, as this negates its effectivity and will cause frizz.

•          Always keep the touching of hair to a minimum while drying; once hair is dry, you can scrunch it, but before it’s totally dry, handling your hair will damage the natural curl and make it more likely to frizz.

•          Silk or satin pillowcases are your best friend; they are smooth and made from natural fibers that are not as likely to break your hair and cause frizz. Silk/satin pillowcases are also less likely to absorb moisture from your hair, so they won’t dry out your hair like cotton might.

Top Products For Curly Hair Cuts

When it comes to maintaining your curls and your cut, the products you use will make a big difference; most of the top products help replenish your hair’s natural oils so that it retains its natural bounce and vigor without breaking the curl.

These are our favorite options when it comes to products for curly hair:


Pattern Leave-In Conditioner (best for tighter textures)

Giovanni Direct Leave In Treatment Conditioner

Bounce Curl Super Smooth Cream Conditioner

Briogeo Curl Charisma Hydrating Conditioner


Vernon François Shampoo For Curly Hair

Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Defrizzing Shampoo

Bounce Curl Gentle Clarifying Shampoo

Kinky Curly Come Clean Natural Moisturizing Shampoo

INNERSENSE Organic Beauty – Natural Hydrating Hairbath Shampoo

The shampoos and conditioners you use need to assist with detangling but still keep your curls intact, so it’s a good idea to consult with your stylist and read up on whichever product you opt for.


Nothing can look more magnificent or luxurious than a head of beautifully curly hair; fortunately, looking after curly hair does not have to be the headache it once was, as many products and cuts are now tailor-made for curly hair and will leave you the envy of many.

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