Help your male clients tame their texture with these top experts’ cutting and styling tips.
Let’s face it: Curls can be quite demanding for clients—and for you! But with curls making a comeback for fall, it’s time to embrace the kink and get men looking their best this season.
Talk Isn’t Cheap
“Hair can be curlier on one section of the head than it is on the other, so it can be very unpredictable,” says Hassan Nasser, a men’s hairstylist and owner of Avalon Hair Salon in Calgary. “You should always do a thorough consultation and look through the hair to see where it’s curlier.”
“Most problems hairstylists face arise when they try to create a look that doesn’t work with the way a client’s hair naturally grows,” says Demo Pedulla, a Quebec-based barber and Reuzel “scumbassador”. “The best thing to do is see how the hair naturally grows and work with it. Try to get the curl to work into the style you’re looking to do, and not vice versa.”
A Cut Above
“Less is more. If a client is asking you to cut an inch or inch-and-a-half, you don’t want to cut that exact amount. Curly hair is very resilient; once you cut it, it bounces right back, and one inch can turn into three or four inches because it curls back up,” says Nasser. “Don’t cut curly hair when it’s 100 per cent wet. Cut it damp, so when you cut it, you can see it react. But don’t cut it when it’s 100 per cent dry, either, because it can get frizzy.”
Keep it Simple with Style
“I ask clients if they want me to style it for them, or if they want me to style it as if I were them,” says Nasser. “I always put something in the hair when it’s damp—before I blow-dry—and it’s usually a lotion to help unify the curls.” “The difference between men with curly hair and women with curly hair is that a lot of men don’t like volume,” says Pedulla. “I like to keep it light and focus on the weight. I would go with more wash-and-wear, leave-in products for a more natural look.”
Ditch the Diffuser
While a diffuser can be helpful for hairstylists, many clients find it intimidating. “Men aren’t going to use a diffuser. It’s too much effort and takes too much time,” says Nasser. “I recommend keeping it as basic as possible with men’s hair.”
“When working with finer texture, I add Reuzel’s Grooming Tonic after washing the hair,” says Pedulla. “It acts as my primer to concentrate the curl in its own natural shape. Then, I use Reuzel’s white pomade, which is a matte clay. It gives hair a soft coating with a lot of texture for a natural look, which is great for curls.”
Nasser adds that “you don’t want to use anything too dry, since curly hair can be pretty dry to start with. I have super curly hair and I use American Crew’s Cream Pomade. It doesn’t harden, there’s a little bit of shine, and it washes out really easily. Or American Crew’s Curl Control is great if your client doesn’t want to put too much effort into their hair but it will help control frizz and keep curls uniform.”
Offer a Treatment
“Chemical treatments like keratin smoothing treatments can help loosen the curl a bit and get rid of the frizz, which is what a lot of men have a problem with,” says Nasser. “Or if a guy has really curly hair, we can chemically straighten it so it’s looser. I don’t like to get rid of 100 per cent of the curl, so what we’ll do is use a chemical straightening product and won’t leave it in for the full amount of time. It just loosens the curl so it’s easier for them to work with. It allows them to have a more low-maintenance style.”
Long vs. Short
“For very kinky, tight curls, I stay away from anything too short,” says Pedulla. “I would want to keep more of a fuller baseline, which would give more texture to the way hair flows. I would keep a bit more length, but that also depends on what the client is looking for. I always find a tighter curl works better when you have more length to it.”
“For longer hair, I would keep it nice and square and lean,” says Nasser. “Longer hair is coming back, but with longer hair, clients don’t want to be spending too much time on it. They want to throw something in, let it dry and be gone, so it’s more low-maintenance, lived-in and natural.”
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