How to Get Curly Hair for Men

In recent years, curly hair has surged in popularity among men, symbolizing a blend of style, versatility, and a break from traditional grooming norms. This surge is not just about fashion trends; it’s also a celebration of natural texture and individuality. Men with natural curls are embracing their unique hair patterns, while those with straight hair are exploring ways to add curls and waves. This newfound appreciation for curly hair reflects a broader cultural shift towards authenticity and self-expression in men’s fashion and grooming.

Curly hair, however, is not a one-size-fits-all category. It spans a wide range of textures and shapes, from loose, beachy waves to tight, springy coils. The type of curl can significantly affect the styling approach and care routine. For instance, wavy hair (Type 2), characterized by its S-shaped pattern, offers a more subtle curl and tends to be easier to manage. Curly hair (Type 3) often features tighter loops and requires more moisture to maintain its shape and health. The most tightly coiled hair (Type 4) demands the most hydration and careful handling to prevent breakage. Understanding these types can help in choosing the right products and styling techniques to achieve the desired look while maintaining hair health.

As we delve deeper into the realm of curly hair for men, it’s important to remember that each curl type has its charm and challenges. Whether naturally curly or achieved through styling, curly hair opens up a world of possibilities in terms of appearance and personal expression.

Understanding Your Hair Type

Identifying your hair type is the first crucial step in mastering the art of curly hair care and styling. Hair types among men can be broadly classified into four main categories: straight, wavy, curly, and coily. Each type not only defines the shape and pattern of your hair but also determines the kind of care and products it requires.

  1. Straight Hair (Type 1): This hair type has no natural curl. Men with straight hair may find it challenging to hold curls, but certain styling methods and products can help achieve a curly look.
  2. Wavy Hair (Type 2): Wavy hair forms a loose, more gentle curve as compared to curly hair. It ranges from 2A (slightly wavy) to 2C (more defined waves). Men with wavy hair should use lightweight products that enhance their natural wave without weighing it down.
  3. Curly Hair (Type 3): This type features a more defined, springy curl pattern that ranges from loose (3A) to tight corkscrews (3C). Curly hair tends to be drier, so hydration is key. Using moisturizing shampoos, conditioners, and curl-defining creams can help maintain the health and shape of these curls.
  4. Coily Hair (Type 4): Coily or kinky hair has a very tight curl pattern. It’s the most fragile hair type and requires gentle handling to prevent breakage. Deep conditioning treatments and oils are essential to keep this hair type well-moisturized and strong.

Tips for Caring for Different Hair Types:

  • Straight Hair: Opt for light styling products that won’t weigh down your hair. If you’re trying to create curls, a heat protectant and a strong-hold styling product are essential.
  • Wavy Hair: Use a sulfate-free shampoo to avoid drying out your waves. Apply a light mousse or sea salt spray to enhance the natural wave pattern.
  • Curly Hair: Regular hydration is crucial. Choose sulfate-free shampoos, use conditioners and leave-in treatments rich in moisture, and consider using a diffuser when blow-drying to define curls without adding frizz.
  • Coily Hair: This hair type benefits from regular deep conditioning treatments and the use of oils like coconut or castor oil to lock in moisture. Avoid heat styling and harsh chemicals as much as possible.

Understanding and embracing your natural hair type is the foundation for healthy, good-looking hair. Each hair type has its unique beauty and requires specific care routines to look its best.

Basic Methods to Achieve Curly Hair

Achieving curly hair, especially if your natural hair type is straight or wavy, can be done through various methods. The two primary methods are chemical perming and the use of mechanical tools like curlers or curling irons. Each method has its own set of processes, benefits, and considerations.

  1. Chemical Perming:
    • Process: Chemical perming, also known as a perm, involves using chemicals to break down the hair structure and then reshaping it around a form (like a rod). This process alters the hair’s texture to create lasting curls or waves.
    • Types of Perms: There are different types of perms, such as traditional, digital (hot), and exothermic perms, each offering varying curl tightness and longevity.
    • Considerations: It’s a more permanent solution compared to heat styling but requires a commitment as it lasts until the hair grows out. Perms can be damaging, especially on previously treated or fine hair, so it’s crucial to have it done professionally. Aftercare is important, involving specific shampoos and conditioners for chemically treated hair to maintain hair health and curl integrity.
  2. Using Curlers or Curling Irons:
    • Curlers: Hair curlers, or rollers, come in various sizes and types (like heated, foam, or Velcro). They are less damaging than heat styling, and the curls tend to last a day or two. The process involves wrapping damp hair around the rollers and letting it dry naturally or with a hairdryer.
    • Curling Irons: These are heated styling tools used to create curls of different sizes and shapes. They offer quick results and control over the size and tightness of the curls. When using a curling iron, it’s essential to use a heat protectant spray to minimize hair damage.
    • Considerations: These methods are temporary and offer flexibility in terms of styling. They are less damaging than chemical perms if used correctly and with proper heat protection. However, frequent use of heat styling tools can still lead to hair damage over time.

Both methods have their own set of advantages and limitations. While chemical perms offer longer-lasting results, they require more commitment and care. Mechanical methods like curlers and curling irons provide temporary curls with more flexibility in styling but require more frequent application. It’s important to consider your hair type, condition, and the kind of curls you desire when choosing between these methods.

Hair Preparation

Proper hair preparation is key to achieving beautiful, healthy curls, whether you’re using chemical treatments or heat styling tools. Good preparation involves a thorough washing and conditioning routine, as well as the use of appropriate heat protection products.

  1. Washing and Conditioning:
    • Choosing the Right Shampoo: Opt for a sulfate-free shampoo, particularly if you have curly or coily hair, as it’s less stripping and more hydrating. For those with oily hair or scalp, balancing shampoos that clean without over-drying are ideal.
    • Conditioning: Always use a conditioner after shampooing. For curly or dry hair types, a deep conditioner or a leave-in conditioner can provide the extra moisture needed. These products help in detangling, reducing frizz, and adding shine.
    • Frequency: Over-washing can strip natural oils from the scalp and hair, leading to dryness. Depending on your hair type, washing 2-3 times a week is usually sufficient. Coily or dry hair types might benefit from even less frequent washing.
    • Pre-Treatment: If you’re planning to use heat styling tools, applying a deep conditioning mask a day before can help protect your hair from potential heat damage.
  2. Products for Heat Protection:
    • Heat Protectant Sprays or Serums: These are a must if you’re using heat styling tools. They form a protective barrier over the hair shaft, reducing moisture loss and protecting against heat damage.
    • Choosing the Right Product: Look for products that protect up to the temperature you’ll be using on your hair. Some heat protectants also come with added benefits like smoothing, frizz control, or added shine.
    • Application: Apply the heat protectant evenly throughout damp or dry hair, focusing on the ends, before using any heat styling tools. Avoid applying too much product to prevent hair from becoming greasy or weighed down.
    • Natural Alternatives: For those who prefer natural options, ingredients like argan oil, shea butter, and coconut oil can offer some level of heat protection due to their natural heat-resistant properties. However, they might not be as effective as specialized heat protectant products.

Preparing your hair correctly before styling not only helps achieve better results but also maintains the health and integrity of your hair in the long run. Proper washing, conditioning, and the use of heat protectants are essential steps in this process.

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Curls

Creating curls, whether using curlers, curling irons, or other tools, can transform your look. The key is to do it correctly to achieve natural-looking curls that are healthy and vibrant. Here’s a guide to help you through the process:

  1. Using Curlers:
    • Preparation: Start with clean, slightly damp hair. Apply a mousse or a light styling cream to help hold the curls.
    • Sectioning Hair: Divide your hair into sections. The smaller the section, the tighter the curl.
    • Applying Curlers: Starting from the ends, roll your hair onto the curlers, moving up towards the scalp. Secure the curlers in place.
    • Drying: Allow your hair to dry naturally, or use a hair dryer for faster results. If using heated rollers, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
    • Removing Curlers: Once your hair is completely dry, gently unroll the curlers. Avoid pulling to prevent frizz.
    • Styling: Use your fingers or a wide-tooth comb to gently separate the curls. Finish with a light hairspray for hold.
  2. Using Curling Irons:
    • Preparation: Begin with dry hair. Apply a heat protectant evenly throughout your hair.
    • Sectioning Hair: Divide your hair into sections. Work with one section at a time for better control.
    • Curling: Clamp the end of a section of hair with the curling iron, and roll upwards towards the scalp. Hold for a few seconds, then gently release.
    • Varying Curls: Alternate the direction of the curls (towards the face and away from the face) for a more natural look. Use different barrel sizes for varied curl sizes.
    • Finishing: Once all sections are curled, let your hair cool down. Then, gently run your fingers through your hair to break up the curls. Apply a light hairspray or a serum for shine and hold.

Tips for Creating Natural-Looking Curls:

  • Avoid Uniform Curls: For a more natural look, curl your hair in different directions and use varying sizes of curlers or iron barrels.
  • Leave Ends Out: When using a curling iron, leave the ends of your hair out of the curler for the last few seconds to achieve a more relaxed curl.
  • Use the Right Temperature: For fine hair, use a lower temperature to prevent damage. Thicker hair may require a higher temperature to hold the curl.
  • Root Lifting: For added volume, lift the hair at the roots as you curl.
  • Cool Down: Let your curls cool completely before touching them. This helps set the curl and ensures longer-lasting results.
  • Softening the Curls: After your hair has cooled, gently shake out the curls with your fingers or brush them lightly with a wide-tooth comb for a softer, more natural look.

Remember, the key to perfect curls is practice and patience. With time, you’ll find the best techniques and tools that work for your hair type and desired style.

Caring for Curly Hair

Maintaining curly hair involves a balance of proper cleansing, deep conditioning, and the right styling techniques to keep curls healthy and well-defined. Here are some recommendations for curly hair care:

  1. Maintaining Curl Health and Shape:
    • Hydration is Key: Curly hair tends to be drier than other hair types. Use hydrating shampoos and conditioners to infuse moisture.
    • Deep Conditioning: Regular deep conditioning treatments help nourish and strengthen curly hair. Use a deep conditioner once a week or as needed.
    • Gentle Drying: Avoid rubbing your hair with a towel as it can cause frizz and breakage. Instead, gently blot your hair with a microfiber towel or a cotton t-shirt.
    • Detangling: Use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to detangle wet hair gently. Start from the ends and work your way up to prevent breakage.
    • Trim Regularly: Regular trims help keep curls looking fresh and prevent split ends.
    • Avoid Over-Washing: Washing your hair too frequently can strip natural oils. Depending on your hair type, washing 2-3 times a week is often enough.
  2. Best Products for Curly Hair Care:
    • Sulfate-Free Shampoo: Sulfates can strip moisture from your hair. Opt for sulfate-free shampoos to keep your curls hydrated.
    • Silicone-Free Conditioner: Silicones can weigh down curly hair. Look for silicone-free conditioners that provide moisture without heaviness.
    • Leave-In Conditioner: A good leave-in conditioner can help keep your curls moisturized and defined throughout the day.
    • Curl Creams and Gels: These products can help define and hold curls while minimizing frizz.
    • Hair Oils: Natural oils like coconut, argan, or jojoba oil can be used to add moisture and shine.
    • Protein Treatments: If your curls are limp or lifeless, a protein treatment can help restore their strength and elasticity.
  3. Styling Tips:
    • Diffusing: If you use a hairdryer, use a diffuser attachment to distribute heat evenly and prevent frizz.
    • Avoid Heat Styling: Minimize the use of straighteners and curling irons to prevent heat damage.
    • Protective Styles: Consider protective styles that keep your ends tucked away to prevent breakage and retain moisture.

Remember, the key to beautiful, healthy curls is a consistent care routine that’s tailored to your specific hair needs. By understanding and responding to the unique demands of curly hair, you can maintain its health and vitality.

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Curly hair, with its unique beauty and complexity, can sometimes be challenging to manage. Understanding the common pitfalls in creating and maintaining curly hair is crucial to ensure healthy, vibrant curls. Here are some common issues and their solutions:

  1. Overuse of Heat Styling Tools:
    • Issue: Regular use of blow dryers, straighteners, or curling irons can lead to heat damage, causing frizz, breakage, and loss of natural curl pattern.
    • Solution: Minimize the use of heat styling tools. When necessary, always use a heat protectant spray. Try air-drying your hair or using heat-free styling methods.
  2. Using the Wrong Haircare Products:
    • Issue: Products with harsh sulfates, silicones, or alcohols can strip moisture from curly hair, leading to dryness and frizz.
    • Solution: Opt for sulfate-free shampoos, silicone-free conditioners, and alcohol-free styling products. Look for products specifically designed for curly hair.
  3. Brushing Curly Hair When Dry:
    • Issue: Brushing curly hair when it’s dry can disrupt the natural curl pattern and cause frizz and breakage.
    • Solution: Detangle your hair when it’s wet using a wide-tooth comb or your fingers, starting from the ends and working your way up.
  4. Skipping Regular Trims:
    • Issue: Avoiding regular trims can lead to split ends, which can travel up the hair shaft and cause more damage.
    • Solution: Get regular trims every 6-8 weeks to keep your hair healthy and prevent split ends.
  5. Over-Washing Hair:
    • Issue: Washing curly hair too often can strip it of natural oils, leading to dryness and frizz.
    • Solution: Limit shampooing to a few times a week. Consider co-washing (using conditioner only) or using a mild cleansing conditioner in between shampoos.
  6. Applying Products Incorrectly:
    • Issue: Incorrect application or using too much product can weigh down curls or leave them looking greasy and limp.
    • Solution: Apply styling products to wet hair to help distribute them evenly. Use a moderate amount of product, and adjust based on your hair’s length and thickness.
  7. Neglecting Hair Hydration:
    • Issue: Curly hair is prone to dryness, which can lead to a lack of definition and frizz.
    • Solution: Use hydrating products and deep condition regularly. Incorporate hair oils or leave-in conditioners into your routine to keep your curls moisturized.

By addressing these common issues, you can maintain the health and beauty of your curly hair. Remember, curly hair requires a bit more attention and care, but with the right practices, you can enhance and celebrate your natural curls.

Styling and Hairstyle Ideas

Curly hair offers a range of styling possibilities that can suit different personal styles and face shapes. Here are some hairstyle ideas and tips for choosing the right style for your curly hair:

  1. Various Styles for Curly Hair:
    • Short Curls: A short, cropped cut with natural curls is a low-maintenance yet stylish option. It works well for tighter curl patterns and adds a lot of textures.
    • Medium-Length Layers: Layered cuts at medium length can help manage the volume of curls and give a balanced, structured look. It’s versatile and suits various face shapes.
    • Long Curls: Long, cascading curls can be a stunning choice. This style requires more maintenance but is very effective in showcasing the natural beauty of curls.
    • Curly Undercut: Combining an undercut with curly hair on top provides a sharp, edgy look. It highlights the curls and makes a strong style statement.
    • Side-Parted Curls: A side part can add volume and structure to curly hair. It’s a simple way to change your look without a major haircut.
    • Man Bun or Ponytail: For those with longer curls, a man bun or a ponytail can be a practical and stylish way to keep hair under control.
  2. Tips for Choosing a Hairstyle:
    • Consider Your Face Shape:
      • Round Faces: Styles that add height on the top can elongate your face. Avoid volume on the sides.
      • Square Faces: Soft layers and curls can soften the jawline.
      • Oval Faces: Most styles work well. Avoid heavy bangs that can make the face appear longer.
      • Long Faces: Avoid too much height on top. Medium-length styles can add balance.
    • Think About Maintenance: Consider how much time you’re willing to spend on styling. Shorter cuts generally require less maintenance.
    • Hair Texture and Type: Different curl patterns and hair types may suit different styles. Tighter curls might work better in shorter styles, while looser curls can look great at longer lengths.
    • Personal Style: Your hairstyle should reflect your personal style and lifestyle. Whether you prefer a more classic look or a modern, edgy style, choose a hairstyle that makes you feel confident.
    • Consult a Professional: A hairstylist familiar with curly hair can provide personalized advice based on your hair type, face shape, and lifestyle.

Remember, curly hair can be versatile, and experimenting with different styles can be a fun way to express your personality and change up your look. Don’t be afraid to try new styles and find what works best for you.


  1. Q: How often should I wash my curly hair?
    • A: Curly hair doesn’t need to be washed as frequently as straight hair. Typically, washing 2-3 times a week is sufficient. Over-washing can strip natural oils, leading to dryness and frizz.
  2. Q: What is the best way to dry curly hair?
    • A: The best way to dry curly hair is to gently blot it with a microfiber towel or a cotton t-shirt and then let it air dry. If you use a hairdryer, use it with a diffuser attachment on a low heat setting.
  3. Q: Can I use a regular towel to dry my curly hair?
    • A: It’s better to avoid regular towels as they can cause frizz and disrupt the curl pattern. A microfiber towel or a soft cotton t-shirt are gentler options.
  4. Q: How can I reduce frizz in my curly hair?
    • A: To reduce frizz, use a sulfate-free shampoo, a hydrating conditioner, and apply a leave-in conditioner or anti-frizz serum while your hair is still damp. Also, try to minimize heat styling and brushing when the hair is dry.
  5. Q: Is it necessary to use special products for curly hair?
    • A: While not strictly necessary, products formulated for curly hair can help address specific issues like dryness and frizz more effectively. These products are typically more hydrating and less stripping.
  6. Q: How do I know which curl type I have?
    • A: Curl types range from wavy (Type 2) to curly (Type 3) to coily (Type 4), with subcategories within each type based on the tightness of the curl. You can usually determine your curl type by observing how your hair behaves when it’s wet and naturally dried.
  7. Q: Can curly hair be straightened safely?
    • A: Yes, but it’s important to use a heat protectant and not to straighten too often to avoid heat damage. Use the lowest effective temperature setting on your straightening tool.
  8. Q: How often should I trim my curly hair?
    • A: Generally, trimming your hair every 6-8 weeks is recommended to prevent split ends and maintain the shape of your curls.
  9. Q: What is the best way to comb curly hair?
    • A: The best way to comb curly hair is when it’s wet and conditioned. Use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to gently detangle from the ends upwards.
  10. Q: Can diet and lifestyle affect my curls?
    • A: Absolutely. A balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and hydration can improve hair health. Additionally, minimizing stress and protecting your hair from environmental factors like sun and pollution can also benefit your curls.


Caring for curly hair is a rewarding journey that involves understanding your unique hair type, adopting the right care routine, and embracing your natural curls. Here are some final tips and recommendations for maintaining the health and beauty of your curly hair in the long term:

  1. Embrace Your Natural Curls: Love and accept your curly hair. Embracing its natural texture is the first step to healthy and beautiful curls.
  2. Moisturize Regularly: Curly hair is prone to dryness, so keeping it well-moisturized is key. Use hydrating shampoos, conditioners, and leave-in treatments.
  3. Be Gentle with Your Curls: Handle your hair gently. Avoid harsh brushing, and instead, use your fingers or a wide-tooth comb for detangling.
  4. Limit Heat and Chemical Treatments: Excessive heat and chemical treatments can damage curly hair. Use heat protectants when necessary, and try to limit the use of heat styling tools.
  5. Trim Regularly: Regular trims help prevent split ends and keep your curls looking healthy and well-defined.
  6. Use Products Suited for Curly Hair: Invest in quality hair care products formulated for curly hair. These products are designed to cater to the specific needs of your curls.
  7. Protect Your Hair at Night: Use a satin or silk pillowcase, or wrap your hair in a silk or satin scarf at night to reduce frizz and breakage.
  8. Healthy Lifestyle: A healthy diet and lifestyle can reflect in your hair. Ensure you get enough vitamins and minerals and stay hydrated.
  9. Patience is Key: Remember, finding the perfect routine for your curly hair might take some time and experimentation. Be patient and enjoy the process.
  10. Consult a Curly Hair Specialist: If you’re unsure about how to care for your curls, consider consulting a hairstylist who specializes in curly hair. They can provide personalized advice and recommendations.

In summary, taking care of curly hair is about understanding its unique needs, being gentle with it, and using the right products and techniques. With the right care, your curls can be a source of endless beauty and pride. Celebrate your curls and let them shine!

Author: Dan Silvertown

Hello, I'm Dan Silvertown. I'm passionate about the world of grooming, style, and the art of barbering. As an author, I've had the privilege of writing articles for a virtual barbershop, sharing my insights, tips, and expertise on all things related to men's grooming and self-care.

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