What Are the Different Types of Curly Haircut Styles?

Amanda R. Bell

Naturally curly hair is arguably the most difficult to both cut and style, as each person’s individual hair type, texture, and curl variation needs to be considered. There are, however, several different types of curly haircut styles that can be adjusted to suit nearly any type of curl. Short, cropped cuts often look best on those with thicker hair, while graduated cuts can make a bob work for curly hair. Longer, layered curly haircut styles typically work well for most hair types, although blending the layers is necessary.

Man with curly hair.
Man with curly hair.

While some may think that those with curly hair cannot do a very short, cropped haircut, this is not typically true. In general, curly hair can be cut very short provided that the hair is cut to mimic the overall shape of the person’s head. Those with straight or even wavy hair can often have their hair cut in several different shapes when short, yet this does not typically work with curls. Keeping in mind direction and shape of a person’s curl, these curly haircut styles should typically be kept long enough for a full curl to form. Cutting into the middle of a curl can cause frizzing and make hair difficult to manage, while cutting thinner curly hair shorter can often make the hair look even sparser.

Woman with curly hair.
Woman with curly hair.

As with cropped locks, bobbed curly haircut styles should always work with the shape of a person’s head and the type of curl. Graduated cuts tend to work best for those with natural curls who want a bob haircut, which is defined as chin length hair. Graduating the haircut by slowly blending the hair in layers from the crown to the ends, with the hair being kept longer at the bottom and shorter towards the top, helps to make the curls work with the shape of the head, preventing any heaviness at the ends. This also helps to give the hair a more round, rather than sharp or rectangular, shape, which often helps each individual curl to form well.

For longer curly hair, layers are often essential. In these curly haircut styles, the hair is layered from the bottom of the hair to the lower third, working from longer to shorter lengths. This helps to prevent long hair from appearing heavy at the bottom, a common issue for those with curly hair, and helps to shape the hair to the head rather than creating a triangle shape. When curly hair is layered, however, it is important that the layers are kept relatively long and thoroughly blended together. While choppy layers may work for other hair textures, curly hair that is layered bluntly can often result in several tiers of heaviness all around the head.

Long curly hair haircuts may help eliminate frizz that accompanies short curly hair.
Long curly hair haircuts may help eliminate frizz that accompanies short curly hair.

Discussion Comments


@ocelot60- That is a great tip for people with curly hair. Some companies make product lines that are geared especially for this type of hair. They make smoothing serums that contain ingredients such as natural oils and even silicone that help to keep curls from becoming unmanageable and frizzy. These products help to create a nice shine, too.


I think that many types of haircuts look great with curly hair as long as the right types of styling products are being used to keep it looking its best. Leave-in styling creams, conditioners, and serums help to tame curls and make almost any haircut look neat and attractive. These products also condition the hair to keep it from becoming dry and brittle.

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