The best haircuts and hairstyles for curly hair

By: Andrea Karr

Photography by Keystone Press Author: Canadian Living Credits: Photography by Keystone Press


The best haircuts and hairstyles for curly hair

By: Andrea Karr
With the wrong haircut or style, curls can look frizzy, dry or wide. Read on to discover the best looks for your curls, with tips for styling and products to tamp down on frizz and define your spirals.

curly hair - Audrey Tautou

Audrey Tautou, Photography by Keystone Press

The cut
For women with curly hair that's medium to fine in density, try a pixie; the curls will stack, adding volume without roundness. If your hair is thick, a pixie will look unflatteringly wide. Instead, chop just below the shoulder to add weight and avoid the wideness of a shorter layered cut. Bonus: This length is super easy to manage.

curly hair - Thandie Newton

Thandie Newton, Photography by Keystone Press

Work it
Start with locks that have a tiny amount of conditioner left in post-shower to define the curl and add a bit of weight. To maximize your curls, apply leave-in products and allow hair to air-dry. If you prefer a softer look, apply a serum, an oil or a cream to keep the curls together and prevent frizz. Lastly, if you need additional hold, finish with mousse. At each step, use small amounts of product, adding more as necessary, to prevent greasy, heavy hair.

Amal Clooney

Amal Clooney, Photography by Pierre Teyssot/Getty Images

Fight it
If you're trying to turn your megacurls into a silky-smooth mane, start with a rich hair mask to soften each curl. Leave it on for 10 to 20 minutes, then rinse, towel-dry and apply a serum. "You want as much slip and slide as you can possibly get," says Mancuso. Comb your hair straight, then section it and hold in place with a brush, pulling to create tension, and blow-dry the section. Once the hair is almost dry, use a large round brush with good grip to finish drying each section.

Curly hair styling products

Tool kit
1. Soften your curls with a super-rich hydrating hair mask. John Frieda Beach Blonde Kelp Help Deep Conditioning Masque, $11,
2. A mousse will give your curls hold and frizz control. Vidal Sassoon Pro Series Waves Foam Mousse, $5,
3. Keep your spirals together and your texture smooth with a curl cream. Schwarzkopf Professional BC Hairtherapy Smooth Perfect Smoothing Cream, $18,
4. "You have to buy a good brush, period," says Mancuso. Moroccanoil 45mm Boar Bristle Round Brush, $84,

Read more:

How to work with:
Straight hair
Wavy hair
Kinky hair

This story was originally published in Canadian Living magazine's May 2015 issue.

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The best haircuts and hairstyles for curly hair