7 Best Haircuts for Curly Hair

Curly Hairstyles
Curly Hairstyles

If the cut's too heavy on top, you lose density at the ends, if there's too much weight at the bottom you look like the Sphinx. And, if it's all one length or the layers are wrong, you're stuck with a lifeless, shapeless mess.

In fact, so few stylists are equipped to properly cut curly hair that even some of Hollywood's biggest celebrities are walking around with styles that are entirely wrong for them. Dubious?

Annalyne McCord
Annalyne McCord

Annalyne McCord

Why the cut works: Shorter layers were taken on top about the "90210" star's cut, and they slowly give way to longer layers towards the ends of her hair, which helps add some height when she wears it straight, and alleviates weight when she goes curly.

Try this cut if you have: Fine to medium texture hair, that's at least shoulder length. Very thick, curly hair will be large and unruly, especially if, like McCord, you have small features.

How to get the style: McCord's hair is first blow dried straight, then curled. Why? To alleviate frizz and change the curl pattern. The hair is first blow dried with mousse, gel or holding lotion/cream to give it volume and shine. Once it's dry, take half-inch random sections of your hair and wrap them around the barrel of a curling iron. If you want to avoid those pesky kinks the iron can impart, keeping the clamp open.

Andie MacDowell
Andie MacDowell

Andie MacDowell

Why the cut works: The model/actress's haircut "looks perfect. She has the same fullness throughout -- it's not too thin at the top or the bottom. And, for her age it is perfect, because it is classic yet modern, giving her the ability to have any style she desires.

Try this cut if you have: Medium to coarse textured hair that's long enough to support the layers. If you try this look on fine hair, it will need to be dense or it will not look full enough and will impart a flat-looking appearance. MacDowell proves that women in their 40s and 50s can wear their hair long and look fabulous.

How to get the style: MacDowell, too, first blow dried her hair straight, then curled it. It's "the simplest solution for most women who do not know how to control their curly hair -- it also helps add shine to dull or lifeless hair. To prep curly hair for straightening, use Curly Hair Series Curls to Straight Shampoo and Curly Hair Series Curls to Straight Conditioner.

After you're done blow drying, Hot rollers are put in, rolling the hair back away from the face. This helps the hair to have more volume and hold to the curl. Once the hair is cooled, release the curl and gently comb through with a rake comb to add softness and break up the curl. (Note: A curling iron will do the job too, just be sure to create pin curls after rolling each section into the iron. Secure with duckbill clips to hold the curls in place until they cool down. Then remove.)

Julia Roberts
Julia Roberts

Julia Roberts

Why the cut works: Julia’s haircut works well with her length and face shape. She has good density throughout, which helps to make it look healthy and the very soft, natural volume shows the haircut is not too heavy -- which allows for a defined curly look that will have plenty of movement.

Try this cut if you have: Fine to medium-thick hair. The thicker your hair, the heavier it will be on top of your head, which will make the layers bushy. Shoulder-length to long hair is perfect for this cut, and, if like Roberts, you have small, fine features, it works well to flatter, not drown, them.

How to get the style: Before blow drying, prep the hair with a heat protectant shine spray. Like the others, Roberts' hair is first blown dry, then, a large barrel iron is used to curl one-inch sections in different directions. This provides a softer, more diffused curl. Her hair is then sprayed with hairspray, as fingers are raked though. This process helps lock in the curl as well as break up the larger sections.

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift

Why the cut works: Taylor has longer layers, which work perfectly with this and many other styles she wears.

Try this cut if you have: A medium-to-loose curl -- otherwise, if the curl is too tight, you won't be able to get your hairline smooth enough to have a soft part or a side-swept fringe. Square, round or heart-shaped faces will benefit from the long layers and, while Swift's hair is very long, this cut and style can be adjusted to work with hair that's as short as shoulder length.

How to get the style: To achieve gorgeous, red carpet-worthy waves, you first blow dry your hair straight and smooth. Then, beginning at the nape of the neck, take inch-wide sections and roll them around your curling iron making sure you are wrapping the hair under, not over the iron. (Doing this determines how severe of a wave you have. Rolling over the iron gives you more curl, rolling under gives you more wave.) When every section has been curled, brush through gently with a wide-toothed comb or a Mason Pearson brush and then simply pin your hair off to one side and your look is complete.

Keri Russell
Keri Russell

Keri Russell

Why the cut works: The long layers work well with Keri's square-shaped face, adding that the weight in the sides of her hair takes away from some of the volume, which, in turn makes her face appear less wide.

Try this cut if you have: Botticelli-type (corkscrew) curls, medium-sized curls would also work nicely to easily replicate this look. This cut works with shoulder-length or longer hair and does wonders to slim square and/or round face shapes.

How to get the style: Prep your hair for styling in the shower with shampoo and conditioner that prevents frizz. Keri's curl is softened and smoothed out with a curling iron. If you want to copy it, you need to let your hair air dry with a mousse or conditioner in it. Then, start by taking each naturally defined curl, and wrap it around your iron. It will look just as it did naturally, but with less frizz. When you are done with the iron, simply flip your head upside down and shake!

Melina Kanakaredes
Melina Kanakaredes

Melina Kanakaredes

Why the cut works: Her haircut is so cute! She has the perfect amount of layers to add fullness and body without making her ends look thinned out. She can wear this haircut straight or curly with amazing results.

Try this cut if you have: Medium to fine density hair. However, if your hair is too thick or too curly you will not see the definition in your curls. This cut can work with both shorter and longer lengths provided that the proportions of the layers are cut properly and the face-framing ringlets work to bring a youthful feel to those in their late 30s, 40s and 50s.

How to get the style: The actress' naturally curly hair has been refined using a curling wand, the tool is like a curling iron, minus the clamp. Simply take the section of hair you want to curl, and wrap it around the barrel. Then slowly slide the wand out of your hair. This gives you a more corkscrew-looking curl.

Julianne Moore
Julianne Moore

Julianne Moore

Why the cut works: Oscar-winning Moore's haircut is perfect for her. It suits her face shape very well. She has a very defined jaw and the long layers work to make it seem smaller.

Try this cut if you have: Thick to medium-thick waves, because, a tight curl will be hard to control and even harder to turn into a soft curl like the one she has. This cut works particularly well on below shoulder length hair and on women with oval or round faces -- the layers frame the face nicely.

How to get the style: Julianne’s hair is fairly straight to begin with. With hair of this texture, mousse is applied at the root area and evenly distributed towards the ends of dry hair. A paddle brush is then used to get natural lift. Once the hair is dried, random sections of hair are curled around a large barrel curling iron in different directions. To break up the curls, flipping your head upside down and shaking it slightly -- when you stand back up, be sure to smooth out the top of your hair.

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Ariel Laur profile image

Ariel Laur 10 months ago from New York

Thanks for the tips! I wonder why do so many of these famous women straighten their hair now? I suppose it is the trend, but I think the curls are great!

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