6 Natural Haircut Ideas Your Curls Are Practically Begging For

Photo: Courtesy of David Garcia.
One of the most exciting things about having natural hair is being able to transform your entire look just by changing your hairstyle. You can wear your curls out, toss 'em into a bun, slick them back in cornrows, sew in a weave, or morph them into box braids. Needless to say, natural hair has options.
But with a new year upon us, we're gearing up for more of a more substantial revamp with a fresh haircut. Whether you're trimming your ends or shedding years of long hair, a quick cut will not only promote healthier curls in 2019, but it will also make you feel like a brand-new person. New hair, who dis?
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To help you before your next salon visit, we consulted top curl-focused hairstylists to share the cuts their clients are buzzing about right now. Screenshot these before your next appointment and prepare to feel Beyoncé-level flawless when you're done.
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The Tapered 'Fro

When clients come to Mizani Global Educator Daryce Brown for a haircut, many of them are coming in with screenshots of tapered cuts as inspiration. "The tapered cut is a staple look that happens to be one of my most popular requests," Brown tells Refinery29.

The science behind the style is simple: The hair on the sides and back of the head is shorter, and the strands on top are slightly longer.
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The coolest thing about the tapered cut is that it isn't one size fits all. You can truly customize the look to your personal style, just communicate your goals to your stylist. If you're after an edgy look, you can have your barber or stylist customize your hair by fading your edges and adding patterns and designs throughout your head.
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Don't be intimidated if the thought of putting clippers to your scalp freaks you out, because you have other options. Brown tells us that having a tapered look isn't limited to fading your edges. "It doesn't necessarily mean that your sides are completely shaved with clippers," she says. "Shorter sides allows your hair on top to appear bigger and higher."
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The Fade

If you're truly down to take a plunge, consider a complete fade. The difference between the tapered cut and this particular style is that practically all of your strands are shaved off, and a small amount of curls are left on your head. "My clients have been putting my barber skills to the test. I've been getting a lot more requests for complete fade looks," Brown tells us.
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Even though a fade is super short, you can still play around with texture (and even color) by asking your stylist to leave minimal curls towards the front of your head.
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Many of Brown's clients site maintenance as one of the biggest reasons they opt for a fade. "A lot of people are coming in for big chops go for a complete fade because it's easier to keep up with and requires less styling time," she tells us. Your hair is also given a chance to grow completely from the root, which is ideal if you are growing out chemical relaxers, color, or heat damage. But be advised — if you want to maintain a sharp fade, you should incorporate regular trips to your barber in your routine to get your edges cleaned up at least once a month.
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The Angular Cut

NYC-based natural hairstylist and creator of The Mona Cut, Mona Balthazar, says this season's wave of curly cuts are all about sharp shapes. "So many of my clients have been open to trying blunt silhouettes, which is exciting" she tells Refinery29. Balthazar's signature cut includes distinct triangular edges that either extend up (pictured) or cascade down.
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You don't need to have a specific type of curl to achieve a bold angular style, either. "Any hair texture can work for this look, but getting the right shape really depends on your stylist's technique," Balthazar says.

"If your curl pattern is tight or more coarse, I usually cut the hair dry," she explains. "Curlier hair is better to cut dry so you can get the shape precise. Curls change and shrink when they're wet, so you want to make sure your hair is being cut in its finished state to get the best look." On the other hand, if your curl pattern is loose or wavy, she suggests cutting on wet or damp strands. "It all depends on your individual texture," Balthazar tells us.
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The classic bob length is also getting geometric. Ona Diaz-Santin, owner and creative director of 5 Salon Spa, has seen a spike in requests for angular jaw-length hair. "My clients are loving sharp exteriors, especially in jaw-length styles" she tells us.
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Curly Bangs With Layers

A unique haircut doesn't have to mean shedding all your inches. If creating shape, but retaining length, is your motivation, then consider chopping curly bangs and adding a few layers.
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Nubia Suarez, CEO of RËZO Cut Academy, frequently cuts curls into bangs for her clients. She tells Refinery29 that her most popular cut is perfectly symmetrical, which means that the curls look good parted to the side or down the middle.
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Be prepared for regular trims to keep your curls out of your eyes. "For the curly-layered look, the time between trims depends on hair texture," Suarez says. She broke it down for us like this: For textures one and two, she suggests a trim every four months. Texture three and four should get a cut every five or six months, and beyond that can trim every six to eight months.
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The Round 'Fro

If the Afros from the '70s taught us anything, it's that in addition to being a powerful political statement, it's still a timeless look that never goes out of style. While sharper shapes are trending, Balthazar tells us that more and more people are embracing the 'fro. "A lot of my clients are coming in requesting round, Afro-like shapes," she says. "It's a fun statement style that looks great on thick hair."
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To chop the most perfect 'fro, Balthazar prefers to cut hair dry to avoid shrinkage and unevenness.
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While a 'fro might seem totally easy to maintain, there's still a good bit of styling and upkeep involved. Balthazar stresses that it's important to refresh your cut at least three times a year to promote growth and to keep your shape fresh. In addition to keeping your hair trimmed, you'll need to keep an Afro pick and diffuser attachment in your arsenal to add volume to your curls.
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The Undercut

Taking clippers to your entire hair might seem like too big a commitment, but you can experiment with a faded look by trying out an undercut. Instead of buzzing off the hair along your sides and edges, ask your barber or stylist to just shave off an area in the back.
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With an undercut, you can play around with patterns and designs like in this angular look.
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You can also go bold, and try intricate patterns like this geometric style. Perhaps, the best part about getting an undercut is — no matter the length of your hair — you'll always look like business in the front, party in the back. And if your hair is longer, you can let your curls down and hide the shaved section completely.
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