Cutting Curly Hair Techniques

Over the years of working with all types of curly hair Jonathan Torch, creator of Curly Hair Solutions and The Curly Hair Institute, has perfected several different cutting techniques such as the Tunnel Cut. He shares with us his experience and what he has to say when it comes to cutting curly hair.

A curl expert must understand and respect that working with curly hair patterns is similar to trying to hit a moving target. Curly hair is virtually impossible to make demands of in the same way that straight hair is. It is important to note that each and every curl type is unique and will work its own unique way. Cutting curly hair is about understanding and respecting how each curl will respond to the vision of the cut – and not trying to enforce a particular style on the hair. ‘Predicting the future,’ as other stylists do, is a matter of predicting where every curl will fall once the hair fully dries. You must be able to predict when there is movement and volume in the hair and be able to predict day two, three, and day four hair styling, not just the day one style.

My personal approach to cutting curly hair is about bulk distribution. It’s all about carefully choosing pieces of hair to remove from the bulkiest sections looking at the most dense sections of hair, and making sure to note where the natural part is and the direction of hair growth. My controlled cutting techniques replace traditional layering without ledges to create bounce and movement in the client’s curly hairstyle. Face framing replaces form-fitting bangs. My new technique works perfectly on several different types of curly hair. When I cut curly hair, the wet hair and the water allows us to cut each curl individually in an uneven, yet controlled manner to get dream perfect curls on a continual basis.

At the Curly Hair Institute, I train my stylist to work with the style and the curl to help understand where every curl falls. Our understanding is that when your hair is dry and you play with it, it expands. This makes dry haircutting more guesswork (for us) and less of an art. However, at my salon, we examine each curly haired client carefully when the hair is dry before we wet the hair. But once the hair is wet, can see and we know, two things: firstly, that we have more control over the hair, and secondly, we can see the hair in its most natural and clean state.