Like most things in life, having wavy or curly hair has its pros and cons: sure, you’re probably blessed with movement, texture, and natural volume, but that also usually means having to tackle excessive frizz, dryness, and breakage. So while natural curls are obviously beautiful, they do require specific products and care to have them looking their best (and under control). If you’re a guy who’s currently struggling to tame your waves and curls, never fear. We’re discussing our favorite curly hair tips and easy styles to have your curly hairstyle looking its best and bounciest every day.
So, what makes curly hair so different from its straighter counterparts? Curly hair is usually more vulnerable than other hair types since the natural twists and turns in the hair structure make it a little weaker and more susceptible to damage. These curves and coils also mean that the oils your scalp produces have a harder time working their way down the hair shaft, which is why curly-haired folk usually have to tackle dryness and breakage.
Mens curly hairstyles are definitely making a comeback — I can’t be the only person who swooned over Jon Snow’s long hair and defined black ringlets while watching Game of Thrones. But whether you like your hair closely cropped with an undercut to let the curls pile on top, or thick, even waves throughout, there are a lot of really flattering haircuts for curly hair that doesn’t require a lot of upkeep at home. The key? The right products and styling tips.
Every great hair day has an arsenal of smart products and techniques behind it. Check out our top recommendations for having your curls look defined, hydrated, and expertly styled (no previous hair expertise required).
Ok, I might have lied slightly just now… some hair expertise is required. No matter how many curated products and styling tools you use, you won’t get the curly hair of your dreams without the right haircut. After getting a general idea of what you’re after, ask your stylist to suggest the most flattering haircut for your curl type and hair texture. And remember to be honest about your daily routine and upkeep expectations — there’s nothing worse than leaving the salon with your dream haircut only to find out it requires an hour of blow-drying to maintain.
photo by @blackprints
How often you wash your hair can depend on a number of factors, but one of the most important is your hair type. Since people with curly hair tend to have locks on the drier side, you usually need to wash it way less often than most people. Generally, we’d recommend washing it 2-3 times a week, but those with very tight, coiled curls can usually get away with once a week without noticing excessive oil. Find the right wash schedule for your hair needs, but remember: washing can strip away those essential scalp oils that keep your hair healthy and hydrated, so don’t shampoo more than you need to. For additional advice on how often you should wash your hair, check out our previous blog post.
When looking for the right products for curly hair, they should do two things: moisturize and fight frizz. Start with a curl shampoo and curl conditioner to give lightweight moisture and reinforce the structure of your curls and waves. If you’re struggling with how to fix frizzy hair, the answer could very well be in the products you’re using. After towel-drying your hair (preferably with a microfiber towel), apply a curl taming cream evenly through to your ends. This will not only fight frizz and add volume but will also protect your curls against humidity while adding lightweight, hydrating moisture. Davines National Master Trainer and founder of Alchemist Society, Piyush Ragha, has his own preferences for curl care: "I start by washing my hair with the LOVE Curl Cleaning Cream, alternating every 3rd or 4th wash with Energizing Shampoo. I towel dry my hair, add in a little of The Restless Circle mask and layer on a curl building serum. Most of the time I air dry this combination, but if I’m blow drying, I will add the Energizing Thickening Tonic to give my curls even more volume."
People with curly hair can also benefit from co-washing. Co-washing is when you use a curl conditioning product in place of a shampoo, that gently cleanses while ensuring that no essential moisture is stripped from your hair. Try following a tutorial and bringing co-washing into your routine once a week to see if you notice more hydrated, bouncy curls.
You’ll need the right hair products to maximize your curls and waves! A light pomade, curl building serum or curl moisturizing mousse are wonderful choices for adding lightweight definition and structure to your locks, without leaving you with any waxy buildup or stiff hold. But since even the bounciest curls can eventually look a little deflated, remember to keep a curl revitalizing spray on hand to bring your hair back to life. Elasticizing, volumizing, and frizz-fighting, this triple-threat will add a serious pep in the step of even the most lifeless looking curls.
photo by @goldandglowco
The enemy of beautiful curls is heat: since they require moisture to look their best, hot styling tools can strip it away, leaving you with dull, dry, and lifeless looking hair if you’re not careful. Try to let your curls air dry when you can, or consider investing in a diffuser attachment for your normal hair dryer. When used on damp hair, diffusers help to evenly distribute hot air over your curls while drying them much more gently than a traditional blow-dryer would. They’re a must-have for guys with curly hair since you’ll also end up with way more volume when you use them. But if you absolutely have to use hot tools on your curls, be gentle and always remember to use a heat protectant product beforehand.
Since we know curls need moisture to thrive, it’s very likely that your standard conditioner will need a little reinforcement. Start by using a weekly deep conditioner to add additional moisture and nourishment into your curls, and check out our blog post on how often you should deep condition your hair for additional tips.
Now that you’ve found the right haircut, products, and styling tips to have your hair looking its best, there are a few other ways to perfect your curls and waves. Instead of drying your hair with a regular cotton towel, try a microfiber cloth. Normal towels can be too rough on your hair, as well as leaching out too much of that moisture your curls desperately need — gently squeezing your curls with a microfiber towel is a great way to dry off without leading to excessive dryness. Then when it’s time to detangle, turn to a wide-tooth comb instead of a traditional brush: your curls are very fragile, and a wide-tooth comb is great for gently detangling and working through tough knots without snagging and tearing at your hair. And don’t think your haircare routine stops once it’s time for bed! Investing in a silk or satin pillowcase will mean waking up with better hair: less friction means less breakage, which also means helping your curls maintain their structure when you wake up in the morning.
There are a ton of flattering curly and wavy hair styles for men: once you’ve found the right one for your face shape and hair type, it’s all about following a smart curly hair care routine to keep it looking its best. And if you’re a curly-haired guy who has additional tips and tricks you’d like to share, be sure to let us know in the comments!
By Lauren Hannel, staff contributor
cover photo by @kostasg95
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August 10, 2022
Thank you so much for this article on how to take care of curly hair for guys. My nephew has extremely curly hair but the only thing we’ve been able to find is tips for girls. Knowing the types of products we should be looking for him will make shopping at any store much easier than shopping at a store for just men.
April 10, 2021
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