Curly hair has gotten a bad rap for a long time. Admit it: when you think of men with curly hair, you’re picturing the untamed tresses of a Game of Thrones heathen or the overly-tamed wig of a 17th century French nobleman. What you’re forgetting about are the lovely naturally curly hair locks that have become Entourage star Adrian Grenier’s signature style, or Justin Timberlake’s notorious closely cropped curls.
But we’re here to abolish those curly hair stigmas. Remember when your mum told you to eat your crusts to get curls? Mum always knows best. Plus, curls get the girls, it’s a fact. Luscious, thick, full hair is innately attractive to a woman because a) it means you’re not going bald any time soon and b) your children are likely to inherit the same attractive hairline.
Naturally, curly hair can pose a few challenges, but haircuts for curly hair also have the advantage of looking fuller and standing out from the omnipresent crowds of straight-haired, side-parted clones. We say it’s time to embrace your mane’s twists and turns, with these men’s curly hairstyles.
In this curly hairstyles story…
Men’s Curly Hairstyles: Tips & Tricks
We all know that curly hair isn’t the easiest to manage. One minute you’re rocking glossy Shirley Temple ringlets and the next you look like Lenny Kravitz, and not in a good way. It might seem like one extreme or another for guys with curly hair, but there are some easy ways to maintain those curls and have them looking pristine and effortless in no time.
- Shampoo only once every 2-3 days to keep your curly hair from getting dry, and use a moisturising conditioner to cut back on frizz.
- If your goal is tight and tidy curls, use a high-hold, matte-finish styling product, and work it in from the roots when your hair is still damp.
- If you want to maintain volume in your curly hair, use a moisturising sea salt spray.
EXPERT TIP – Anthony Nader, RAW Salon Sydney
Embrace those curls you were born with guys and maximise the texture and different hairstyles for curly hair this season.
A few tips for men’s curly hairstyles to consider are;
- If your curly hair strands are on the thicker side and you can’t manage the day to day styling, ask your hairstylist for some razored out pieces haphazardly cut throughout as this will give your hair more manageability and also be less buffi.
- Don’t use a dry matt product as this will only make your hair larger than life and also your curls will be less defined.
- To keep your curls looking and feeling soft, make sure you use a moisturising conditioner to keep hydrated.
- When having your haircut, I always point cut the very ends, as this gives your curls more softness rather than cutting a blunt straight line which will only give the illusion of a “boxie” hard edged appearance.
Curly Hair vs Wavy Hair: What’s The Difference?
When searching for curly hair inspiration, you’ll likely come across the term wavy hair. These aren’t interchangeable, as there are actually many qualities that set the two hairstyles apart.
The main difference between wavy and curly hair is that wavy hair sits in between straight hair and curly hair. It has a perfect amount of volume but does away with the high maintenance associated with curly hair. Curly hair can have a greater thickness than wavy hair, but it requires a lot more care to keep it in a healthy condition.
Best Men’s Curly Hairstyles
Now you’ve mastered curly hair maintenance, let’s get down to curly hairstyles. Whether you prefer longer curly hair, short curly hair or a medium length in between, luckily there’s plenty of inspiration from the fashionable fellas of Hollywood.
Game of Thrones heartthrob Kit Harington is a prime example of long curly hair done right. The actor keeps his natural curls shoulder length and fuss-free. If you’re partial to a shorter curly hairstyle, One Direction’s Harry Styles and Gossip Girl’s Penn Badgley make a statement with curly hairstyles that are longer on top and cropped around the ears. As for mid-length curly hairstyles, look to Orlando Bloom and Matthew McConaughey for slicked back and sharp curly hair inspiration.
Curly hairstyles to avoid are anything that resembles Justin Timberlake during his NSYNC days or the parted ringlets of Lost‘s Hugo Hurley.
For a complete rundown of some of the best curly hairstyles for men, check out the following guide.
Curly Hair With Quiff
One of the most common hairstyles you’ll see men with curly hair rocking is the humble quiff. A mainstay curly hairstyle for men with short and medium-length curly hair, the quiff is a timeless hairstyle that can be achieved by virtually everyone.
However, compared to guys with straight hair, men with curly hair may find they have a slightly tougher time achieving a quiff due to the natural curls of their hair, but this also presents an opportunity for a completely unique look.
Simply warm up some styling paste in your hands and run through damp or towel-dried hair and move your curls into position and allow them to dry naturally.
Long Curly Hair
If you fancy yourself a bit of a Brian May or Jimmy Page kind of guy (if you have to Google those names, shame on you) then you’ll understand the difficulty in taming long curly hair. However, equally, you will also understand just how amazing having long, luscious curly locks can be, and the conversations it will start.
While a long curly hairstyle is far less common these days, with men preferring to keep their curls more under control, if you want to rock what is known as the lob hairstyle, then make sure you consistently use hair product that helps to add volume to your hair.
Other variations of long curly hair refer to when it is around cheek to shoulder length. Still long, but undeniably shorter than the aforementioned lob style, this curly hairstyle lends itself to greater styling options and equally head-turning looks.
Curly Hair With Man Bun
Love it or loathe it, the man bun hairstyle isn’t going anywhere. We’re definitely of the opinion that it can look fantastic on some guys, completely transforming their look into one that is far more rugged and mature. It’s when you see the men who grow their hair out because they think they have to based on location, or simply because they’re a converted yogi master when it starts to look a little ridiculous.
Regardless, the man bun hairstyle can look exceptionally great when it’s paired with curly hair. The natural curls add natural texture to your hair, and you may even find you have various shades of colour peeping through from the roots. As long as you’re prepared to go the distance when it comes to growing the hair out in the first place, you’ll reap the rewards of the messy curly hair man bun hairstyle.
Curly Hair With Fade
You’ll be hard pushed to go an entire day without seeing a man with some sort of fade haircut. It’s an incredibly popular and versatile hairstyle, and virtually all men can benefit from the graduated look on the sides and back of their head. Curly hair works particularly well with a fade haircut – whether it be a low fade, taper fade, or even a high fade – especially for those guys who love their curly locks, but don’t like the extra weight brought on by them.
By incorporating a fade hairstyle, you can remove the weight of the curls from around the sides of the head, leaving just the curly hair on top. From here, it’s down to you how you style it. You could style it forwards, similar to a Caesar cut or a French crop, move it into a quiff hairstyle, or you could even use the fade to create an undercut, leaving long hair on top to drape down, or tie into a man bun. The options are almost endless.
Curly Hair With Mullet
The mullet hairstyle is perhaps one of the most divisive around, but if you find yourself in Australia, you’ll soon see it’s essentially a part of life. The mullet hairstyle calls for short hair on top (or at least, shorter than the back) and longer hair draping down the back of the head.
The mullet can actually be particularly effective when teamed with curly hair. Before you start thinking of sleazy 1970’s nightclub owners, the curly hair mullet has plenty of merit in the modern day. Admittedly, your style of dress may need to be a little more on the historic/nostalgic side, and it won’t suit all face types unfortunately – if you have long curly hair you’ll do well to ask your barber for their professional opinion.
Men’s Curly Hair FAQ
What is the best haircut for curly hair for male?
There is no one best haircut for men with curly hair, however, shorter cuts tend to favour tighter curls and longer cuts loose curls.
Is curly hair good on guys?
Natural curly hair on men is great. Simply because it's not common and when worn right looks fantastic. Remember, curls get the girls.
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