Kindest Cuts for Curl
Unique textures call for unique cutting techniques.
Here are some popular ones:
Carve and Slice
Curl Queen Ouidad developed this technique. Depending on the density of the
hair, she slices – takes a little- or carves-takes a lot. You go to the depth of
the curl, following the curvature o the curl, allowing the curls to “puzzle”
into each other.
This is the technique of choice at salons such as Devachan Salon, where
stylists prep for a curly cut by trusting their intuitive eye and their visual
eye, says Shari Harbinger, Deva’s hair color director. “if the hair is wet,
you’re not seeing it in its natural form, as you wear it.”
This is the curl cutting technique used by “Texture Master” Kevin Murphy, an
editorial and session stylist. Lacing involves cutting into a wave formation
freehand. This loosens up the top of the hair without layering it. Start by
sectioning the hair on top of the head at either side of the part. The section
should be about two inches on each side of the part. The section should be about
two inches on each side of the part. Because it is a freehand technique, no
tension is applied to the hair as you cut in freehand to form a wave. Begin
cutting from the ends of the hair towards the roots. Treat each section
separately, and only blend visually.
Jonathan Torch of Curly Hair Institute in Toronto developed this technique
for highly textured hair types. It is a controlled technique in which carefully
selected pieces of the hair are removed from the bulkiest sections of the hair.
He starts by playing with the hair to find out where it is most dense, looking
for the natural parts and the natural direction of hair growth. This information
is vital so the tunnels will always remain invisible. Cutting the tunnels in the
same place every time avoids the need for over cutting and over thinning. As the
hair reaches the desired length, certain tunnels are no longer needed.
Textured hair expert Diane Da Costa is a Mizani creative consultant and
author of Textured Tresses. She uses this technique to add more texture to hair,
slicing into the hair towards the ends and point cutting straight down into the
hair. She holds the hair out at 45-degree angle, letting it fall freely, slicing
directly into the hair up to one to two inches from the ends.
Jill Leitz and Ruth Roche count these among their favorites when working with
curls and strong waves:
- Bricking: In this bold
technique, blunt (up to ¼ inch) snips are made throughout a section to create
space between the curls. This technique helps remove density by collapsing the
- Stair Steeping: Vertical
sections are cut short to long, one piece at a time, ¼ inch deep, every 1 ½
inches or so. “Use the tips of your shears are move along the section as if
you’re walking up or down stairs,” says Leitz.
- Whittling: Sections of hair
are pinched or twisted, and the tips of the shears nip along the surface of the
length of the section, without cutting all the way through. “This technique
doesn’t remove length,” says Leitz. “Instead it creates a thatch-like texture.
It’s great for short and medium lengths.”
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