How To Find The Right Stylist For Your Curly Hair

Those of us with curly hair tend to have a love-hate relationship with it. When it looks good, we toss those curls around and make sure everyone is getting a glimpse at our perfectly lovely locks. When it looks bad, like when the humidity has turned into a frizz fest, it's enough to seriously consider ditching the curls and going for a pixie cut. Having curly hair isn't always easy.

Unlike other types of hair, curly hair requires quite a bit of upkeep and one of the most important factors in that upkeep is finding a stylist who knows how to deal with it. One bad cut and you can find yourself looking like Roseanne Roseannadanna — and frankly, that look only worked on "SNL." 

"Stylists are educated in pretty much one hair type because they don't need to know more for their state exam — but when they get into the salon, it's like they're back in beauty school again," founder of Beautiful Luxe School of Cosmetology Aisha Gatlin tells Glamour. "You can't style everyone's hair the same way."

You simply can't cut curly hair, also known as textured hair, the same way you can cut straight hair or even naturally wavy hair. In most cases, curly hair is best cut when it's dry so the stylist can see the curls in their natural habitat (via American Salon), while straight hair is usually cut wet. If your stylist doesn't know that a cut or even a trim of curly hair should be done dry, then it's time to look for someone who specializes in textured hair.

Keep an eye out for curly hair cuts you like

Whether you take to Instagram or keep your eyes peeled when you're out and about, if you find a fellow curly-haired person with a great cut, you want to ask for details. "There's a curly-hair sisterhood," stylist and owner of Curly Hair Austin Salon Ethan Shaw tells NaturallyCurly. Because of this sisterhood, approaching a stranger on the street about their fantastic cut isn't just going to get you the name of a salon and stylist, but will likely create a bonding moment, too! Everyone with natural curls knows the struggle of finding a stylist who nails the art of cutting and styling their hair.

"These days ... check people out with Instagram," senior stylist at NYC's Warren Tricomi Naté Bova tells Brit + Co. "Look at the haircuts they've done, and see if any of those match up with a style you like." Social media, Instagram especially, is a great resource for finding stylists who know their way around a curly head of hair. So, following accounts of stylists and salons that cater to people with textured hair is another good way to find someone.

Don't be afraid to ask questions

Once you do find a stylist that seems to know what's up when it comes to curly hair, don't be afraid to ask questions when you have your first appointment (via PureWow). For example, how long have they been cutting curly hair, is it something they were specifically trained in or something they picked up along the way, and what cut would they recommend for your type of curls and shape of your face? An expert may tell you that you've been getting the wrong cuts for your entire life, and while that might hurt at first, take it as a good sign. You have a real pro on your hands.

Also, the more questions you ask, the more likely you are to find out not only their curly hair track record but also how much they know about curly hair products and lingo. What's more, if your stylist really knows their hair science, they will speak to you using the language of the hair types (via Healthline). Anyone with curly hair knows where they fall in the type 3 and type 4 categories, for instance. Type 3 hair is curly hair, while type 4 hair is coily hair. If your stylist speaks to you this way, you can often trust them.

As is the case with finding anyone you want to work with, from a therapist to a personal trainer and a hairstylist, it's important to realize you might not find the most ideal curly hair stylist right away. But if you have the knowledge of what an expert looks like and what they should say to let you know they're the real deal, then you'll eventually score the right stylist for your curls.