How to prep curly hair for a haircut – tips from an expert

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Help the stylist understand your unique curls (Picture: Getty Images)

Getting even a simple trim can be such an ordeal if you’ve got curls.

For some reason, in the year 2022, finding a salon that knows how to handle curly hair is work.

I’ve long since made peace with the fact that trying a new hairdresser is probably going to leave me either reaching for the scissors on my own at home, or telling myself: ‘Well… it’ll grow.’

While it won’t magically make it easier to find the perfect salon, Kim – a curl specialist at Creative Hair Studio and Only Curls ambassador – has tips for curly people on how they can arrive at the salon to make things that much easier.

Be as tangle-free as possible

Yes, brushing your curls before you go out into the world isn’t a great look, but try to arrive with minimal tangles.

‘I recommend arriving with washday or day two curls,’ says Kim.

‘This way there’ll still be plenty of spring in your curl for the stylist to understand your curl pattern, and they won’t be all tangled.

‘If the stylist is to perform a dry cut, tangled curls would make the process difficult.’

Make sure your hair is dry

Arriving with your hair in its normal and finished state can help the hairdresser understand the way your specific locks work.

Kim said: ‘Lots of curl specialist hairdressers will cut your hair dry.

‘So arriving with your curls thoroughly dry will allow them to see your curl pattern better, and enable them to start cutting without having to diffuse first.’

Stay away from the brush (Picture: Getty Images/Westend61)

Don’t brush your hair before

Kim says you won’t want to arrive heavily tangled, but further to the above point, your hairdresser will be better off seeing your hair in its final form – rather than with the curls all brushed out.

‘We all know brushing your curly hair when it’s dry breaks up the curls,’ says Kim. ‘The stylist will need to see how your curls clump together, and if they perform a curl by curl dry cut, they will cut each curl clump individually.

‘So refrain from using a brush, pick, or comb once your hair is dry and in its natural state.’

Don’t arrive with your hair tied up

Again, this will help your stylist see your hair in its most natural state.

‘The better your stylist understands your natural hair and how you want to wear it, the better results you will get,’ Kim explained.

‘So don’t arrive with your curls in a ponytail, bun, twist, or any style that stretches or changes your hair’s natural curl pattern.’

Don’t use heavy styling products

Try to keep the products light, because you don’t want to seal out the moisture of any treatments you might be getting.

‘Styling products that are excessively sticky, greasy, or oily, can weigh your curls down and block out moisture,’ Kim says.

‘Use something lightweight like Only Curls Hydrating Curl Creme so your hair is in a lovely and natural state ready for the cut.’

Don’t be shy about getting them to tweak your hair when it’s dried

If possible, try to get your stylist to give you your cut while your hair is dry.

‘If the hairdresser decides to cut your curls wet, I’d recommend asking that they diffuse dry your hair after the cut,’ Kim adds.

‘This will allow them to review your hair shape, so that you leave with your hair in the way that you plan on wearing it. If any strands are looking out of place, your stylist should be able to dry cut to finish off the shaping.’

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