What To Expect When You Go Short With Your Curly Hair

n1Photographed by Lauren Perlstein.
You’ve been pinning pixie cuts and bobs for months, framing your face with your hair, watching long-to-short transformations obsessively on YouTube. Your haircut cravings are at a fever pitch. But, there’s just one thing…you have curly hair.
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As you’ve probably guessed by now, when you cut your hair, it is not going to behave the way Emma Watson’s does (in fact, quite the opposite). We’ve had friends, parents, even hairstylists tell us “you can’t cut your curly hair short” but, we’re here to say — yes, you totally can. You just have to know what to expect.
Find Realistic Inspiration
If you walk into the salon with Kate Lanphear’s photo in hand, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment. Before you start looking for inspiration, take a moment to get to know your hair. Do you have Sharpie-sized ringlets? Or tighter, Z-shaped coils? In the curly community we call this curl pattern, and there’s even a quiz to find yours. Once you have a good feel for your curl pattern, you can look for inspiration among women with similar hair. This will give you the most realistic idea of what to expect and, hopefully, prevent feelings of disappointment — or worse — regret, in the stylist’s chair.
Your Hair Will Get Curlier
Long hair tends to stretch out the curl, and once free from the weight of that length, your curls will pop like never before. If your hair is loose and wavy now, it will most likely be curlier and more defined once you cut it. Be aware that your hair will shrink and appear shorter than it really is, so be sure that you and your stylist account for this shrinkage factor when you're determining just how short you plan to go.
n2Photographed by Lauren Perlstein.
See a Curl-Friendly Stylist
Salons can be a scary place for a curly-haired woman.They’re the setting for many of our most traumatizing childhood memories. So, it is important to place your curls in the hands of someone who knows — and loves — curly hair. Someone who won’t take a straightening iron to them at the first chance he or she gets. You can search and read reviews from other curly haired women using our salon finder. Keep an eye out for “Deva Inspired Stylists” as they have been trained in the DevaCurl method of cutting and shaping the curls when the hair is dry.
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Make Friends With Your Stylist
If you have long hair, and like many curlies, suffer from serious trim phobia, then your trips to the salon may be few and far between right now. That will all change once you get a short haircut. If you’re going for a pixie style, you can expect to need regularly scheduled trims every 4-6 weeks to keep the style looking fresh. Not only will this alter your lifestyle and bring you closer to your stylist than ever before, but it can also impact your budget. Those trims can quickly add up, so make sure you’re ready for the time and financial commitment before you schedule that first appointment.
“But, Your Hair Looked So Good Long”
Hopefully your friends and family will have the tact not to say (directly or indirectly) that they don’t like your new 'do, but in the event that they do not, be ready to let the negative comments roll off your back. When I cut my hair I had plenty of people express their distaste for it, but frankly if you care what other people think, then a bold, short cut might not be for you.
What matters most, of course, is how you feel! And, if you get to know and love your curls before the cut, then you will be best equipped to enjoy them in all of the lengths and styles to come.