Beauty

The best haircuts and hairstyles for kinky hair

By: Andrea Karr

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

Beauty

The best haircuts and hairstyles for kinky hair

By: Andrea Karr
Make the most of your amazing kinky hair—whether you want to work with your texture or against—and get a cut and hairstyle that you'll love.

Solange Knowles with kinky hair afro

Solange Knowles, Photography by Solange Knowles

The cut

If you're of African or Caribbean descent, you likely have kinky hair, which means natural spirals that tend to frizz. When wearing your natural texture, "you can try any length because it holds so much shape," says Mancuso. Make sure the cut is layered. Longer hair will start to part and become wider; shorter hair is easy to pick out into an Afro. We love the Afros and tufted curled styles that have been rocking the red carpets!

Viola Davis with kinky hair

Viola Davis, Image courtesy of Lovegold

Work it
"Style starts in the shower," says Mancuso. Kinky hair needs moisturization and softening products that will strengthen the hair shaft without turning the surface waxy or oily. Choose a nourishing shampoo and conditioner with proteins to build the hair from within. Mancuso suggests shampooing twice a week only but rewetting and conditioning the hair every day. Gently comb conditioner through and let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse, leaving a small amount in, and air-dry.

Kerry Washington with straightened hair

Kerry Washington, Photography by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Fight it
Blowing out kinky hair without the help of a hairstylist requires time and strength. If you have both, use a handled comb with fairly wide teeth to brush conditioner through your hair. Once the product is evenly distributed, hold the compression nozzle of your blow-dryer over your hair and stretch the strands straight with a comb. Blow-dry in sections, pulling the hair taut as you go. Finish with a flatiron to add smoothness and shine.

Kinky hair products

Tool kit
1. This Nexxus shampoo-and-conditioner pair is a favourite of kinky-haired women. Nexxus Therappe Shampoo, $15, and Nexxus Humectress Conditioner, $13, nexxus.ca.
2. Kinky hair is usually dry, so use a hair mask once a week. Redken Curvaceous Curl Dive, $24, redken.ca.
3. A sturdy comb with a handle and medium-to-wide teeth helps when straightening hair. Sephora Collection Tidy Detangling Comb, $10, sephora.ca.

Read more:

How to work with:

Straight hair
Wavy hair
Curly hair

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

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Beauty

The best haircuts and hairstyles for kinky hair

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