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Last updated: May 23, 2024

Are You Skipping These Steps When Curly Cutting?

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Instagram via @michelleoconnorbeauty

Curly Cuts: 5 Dos and Don’ts You Must Know

If you’re not cutting curls regularly, here are a few key tips to keep with you to ensure that you meet your clients’ hair goals. We joined Ulta Beauty’s Texture Rally to gather the hottest tips from Ulta Beauty Pro Team Members: David Lopez (@davidlopezzz)Laura Gunter (@lauragunterhair), Michelle O’Connor (@michelleoconnorbeauty) and Stacey-Ann Houston (@stacceyann). Keep scrolling for the most important dos and don’ts to prepare for cutting curls! 



1. Do: Shake Out Their Hair To See The Natural Shape

Before cutting, you’ll want to check out how your client’s hair naturally falls. This is a huge step a lot of stylists overlook that can drastically alter any curly cut.


Have your clients do this:
Ask your client to flip their head over and use their hands to shake out their hair. This will soften any partings or clumps that you may not be able to see. After that, their curls will reveal their natural falling position for you to assess their curl patterns.


Pro Tip: Do not use a comb in place of shaking out your client’s hair. This will stretch the curls and disrupt their natural shape, altering your haircut.



WATCH Michelle’s client demo shake her curls into place!

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A post shared by Michelle O’Connor 🇯🇲🇺🇸🇨🇳🇮🇪🇳🇬 (@michelleoconnorbeauty)


2. Don’t: Detangle Curls With A Dry Comb

To keep curls defined and bouncy, they must be hydrated. Lock that moisture in by brushing with a leave-in product on your comb. Detangling this way allows you to see clearly how their texture pattern forms, making it easier to cut the individual curls.


Then, once the cut is complete, customize their locks with a shingling technique or finger coils. Instead of using your comb, the styling product will be on your hands to help you shape and define the curls. 



See David’s curls bounce into place using this technique:

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A post shared by David Lopez (@davidlopezzz)


3. Don’t: Assume Your Client Wears Their Hair Curly

The key to a personalized cut? Ask your client if they wear their hair straight or natural day-to-day—this is vital! You should be cutting your client’s hair the way they most often wear it.


Here’s Why:

  • If your client wears their hair straight, cutting it while curly will result in an uneven, choppy shape. Not to mention, you’ll likely miss all of their ends that needed a good trim.
  • If your client wears their hair curly but you cut it when straight, you’ll run into a big shrinkage problem. This will nearly guarantee you will cut your client’s hair shorter than they asked. Plus, you’ll lose any shape or structure that curly clients look for.


Stacey’s flawless results from cutting dry for the desired look:

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A post shared by Stacey-Ann Houston🇯🇲⭐️♊️ (@stacceyann)


4. Do: Ask About Their Hair Goals: Natural Volume Or Curl Definition?

Curl definition is always so satisfying, but it can sometimes take away from the fullness of the look. Focus on their end goal, whether they are looking for volume or crisp coils.


Keep This In Mind:

When cutting, think about how they will style their hair, because this will determine how you will section and where to part. Plus, it will be more clear where to cut and where to avoid. Ask them: do they fluff their hair upwards, or rake their curls into place?


For example, if your client wears their hair in a triangle, square or circle shape then you will cut for volume to bring the hair up or forward. See Michelle’s volume cut and Laura’s curl-defined cut below for reference!



Michelle’s cut for VOLUME:

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A post shared by Michelle O’Connor 🇯🇲🇺🇸🇨🇳🇮🇪🇳🇬 (@michelleoconnorbeauty)


Laura’s cut for CURL DEFINITION:

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A post shared by Atlanta GA Hairstylist (@lauragunterhair)


5. Do: Remove Weight At The Ends

If your client doesn’t want a blunt cut, gradually thin out the ends, for a softer overall shape. Since curls create more body, we want to slightly reduce some density at the ends with our scissors. Even if they don’t want layers, this extra touch blends the cut all together seamlessly. 



Check out Stacey-Ann’s finished look with seamless ends:

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A post shared by Stacey-Ann Houston🇯🇲⭐️♊️ (@stacceyann)

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