From Harry Styles to Bradley Cooper to Kit Harington, men are becoming more and more eager to embrace their natural curls and texture. So what better time for stylists to hop on board with the trend! We asked curly hair experts for their top tips and tricks that will help you create the best textured looks.
Education is absolutely key when working with curly hair, says Donna Beyak, co-owner of Edmonton-based The Men’s Room, and an international all-star educator for American Crew. In order to properly consult your client, you’ll have to know how to work with curly hair—inside and out.
“The issue of clients being apprehensive about embracing their natural curls is often a result of them not coming across the right expert yet,” she says. “Sometimes stylists and barbers aren’t trained enough and only know what they know. You have to be able to analyze your client’s hair needs, growth pattern and curl type, and that’s when you can actually help them get their desired look and shape.”
Let Them Be
Since curls are delicate, it’s best to not overwork them with tools and products, says Mathieu Mainville, a Contessa-winning freelance hairstylist based in Montreal. In doing so, this can cause excess frizz and make the ringlets stray from their natural shape.
“When the hair is wet, we put the product in, work it with our fingers or a large-toothed comb, and then don’t touch it anymore. This way, you get nice volume, minus the frizz,” he explains. “Don’t manipulate the hair more than necessary. You have to know when to stop playing with it.”
Embrace the Razor
According to Beyak, using a razor when cutting curly hair is one of the best ways to avoid over-texturizing.
“Most guys want their hair to fall naturally, so when you use a razor, you’re able to target which direction you want the hair to fall and you can actually enhance the curls,” she says. “You have so much more control that way.”
For example, if one of your curly clients wants the “hockey hair” look, Beyak recommends using a razor upward to get that classic flip around the ears and down the neck.
Know Your Products
When it comes to curly hair, frizz is its worst enemy, but can be avoided by using the right product for your client’s curl type and pattern. “You have to know your products inside and out,” says Beyak. “You have to understand exactly what each one does, what it’s formulated with, how it moulds and works with every hair type. The right product is the ‘make or break’ factor of their desired look.”
To avoid crunchy or overly slick curls, Beyak recommends American Crew’s Light Hold Texture Lotion, Matte Styling Cream, Liquid Wax and, for some extra texture, Boost Powder. Mainville likes to keep hair lighter with a light pomade or curl cream, such as L’Oréal Professionnel’s Tecni.Art Bouncy & Tender.
Diffuse the Situation
As you’ve likely heard (or seen), curly hair never dries the same way twice. However, the best way to have a bit of control over the drying process is to use a diffuser. Though this may seem like an obvious choice, many stylists often turn to a regular blow-dry because it seems faster, but it may compromise the finished look.“
Air-drying may be easier, but it can be unpredictable,” says Mainville. “When working with a blow-dryer you absolutely need a diffuser for more control. If not, you’ll be creating so much extra frizz.”