It’s the dilemma that every guy with curly hair faces each time he plops himself in a barber’s chair: Do I embrace a proud, curly-cue ‘do, or do I simply go low-maintenance and buzz it off?
Now, we’ve got nothing wrong with the latter, but if you’re looking for a more adventurous and undeniably stylish way to style your hair, we’ve got your back. We reached out to Roz, a stylist from Bumble and Bumble (and a true curl aficionado), for her best tips and pointers for curly-haired men whose manes require a little extra attention.
Step one, she says, is to “determine and understand what kind of curl you have.” That may sound obvious, but the truth is that most guys lump curly hair into a single category, and it’s not so simple. “He needs to ask himself: Is it super tight and oily? Or is it more of a wave? Coarse or thin? Does it stretch out when longer or shrink up when it’s cut short? These are things that a stylist should determine based on what he wants from his hair.” Once you know, it will inform all of the great styling options.
And remember: even if you’re comfortable with your curls, don’t be afraid to try something different or new or fun. “Keep in mind, with celebrity dudes, hair can be professionally blown out, too,” says Roz. “Justin Timberlake’s hair post N’Sync may not be that smooth without a blow dryer.” (Yes, if eternal stud Justin Timberlake is man enough to use a blow dryer, you can, too.)
That said, here are the greatest hairstyles for guys with curly hair should consider. And speaking of great hair, don’t miss our collection of The Best and Worst Hairstyles for Men Over 40.
Penn Badgely: The “Part-Time”
To achieve this look, find someone who knows how to cuts curly hair, because this is a tricky style that can be easily messed up. Start with a razor cut on the sides and then the back to get that great texture. Use a curl cream up top and spiral the curls with your fingers, blow dry with a diffuser, and you’re set. And for more great grooming advice, try these haircuts that will shave 10 years off your age.
Josh Groban: The “Cascading Curls”
This curly hair look is actually a lot easier than it looks. To nail it, simply towel dry your hair and then let air dry for a while—but not all the way. (Make sure when air drying, the hair is falling the way you would like it to once dry.) Then blow dry (on low) with your fingers to help get the hair established where you want it. Finish it off with a matte paste, paying attention to frame the face a bit. Run your fingers through and hit the road.
Kit Harrington: The “Snow Blower”
By adding a curl enhancing lotion root to the ends, you are ensuring that you keep as much as the natural wave or curl as you can. Blow dry with a diffuser or air dry. (Or try this, if you do). “As it’s air drying or diffusing, avoid touching the curls,” says Roz. “Too much movement on curls not completely dried will result in frizz.”
To finish, find a great styling paste and frame the curly hair around your face. (Yes, this look takes time, and if you don’t want to invest the time, may we recommend going with a shorter style.) If you are indeed trying to save some time, these products will keep you up to date with what’s new in men’s hair care.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson: The “Wild Man”
This style is a great example of a well-cut wild style. A curl cream is essential to maintain the almost ringlet shape, but that’s basically it. Less is more here, and once you start messing with it, it becomes just that—a mess.
Adrian Grenier: The “Wavy Days”
With a little length on the top and a bit shorter on the side, this style is an easy one if you want something requiring a little less time. Grab a grooming cream and blow dry your hair on low (for the record, we usually recommend the low setting for curly hair). “When you finger through the curls after drying, use a little more of the grooming creme for definition,” says Roz.
To finish, try a great putty or a dry finish pomade and finish with a light hairspray. And check our Fall 2016: Grooming Guide for more tips on products that will help you keep your curl game strong.
John Mayer: The “Gravity Defier”
John Mayer may have learned a thing or two from all the women he has reportedly romanced. Mouse is normally thought of as more of a female-friendly hair styler, but by using something that thickens and adds volume, he is able to get a maintained-yet-messy style that adds a couple inches to his curly hair where he needs it.
Justin Timberlake: The “Short and Sweet”
There is no forgetting JT’s noodle hair from the 90’s. Well, now Mr. Jennifer Biel has gone the way of suave Hollywood and given into the hairdryer. (Again, if you are going to be rocking a blow-dry style, commit.) Depending on how tight your curls are (too tight might not be so easy), you need to get an angle attachment for your blow dryer to help focus the air and heat more precisely.
“I always joke that the attachment is the piece that already comes in the box with the dryer but that most people throw out,” Roz adds. “It concentrates the air to prevent it from blowing every which way.” Then apply a straightening cream and blow dry in the direction you want to go. Finish with a medium hold, non stick hairspray to keep it in check.
Michael Ealy: The “Keep It Tight”
Maintaining the great shape to Michael Ealy’s hair here is key. Use a great oil post-shower to keep the sheen and pick out to shape.
Orlando Bloom: The “Long and Loose”
Orlando Bloom has a soft curl, and here it’s likely that he put a bit of high-shine pomade in his hair after towel drying and then ran through a comb specially for curls. “Running a comb through it will help to stretch the curl in a direction you want it to sit-especially away from the face” says Roz. Surprisingly easy and black-tie approved.
Eddie Redmayne: The “Grow Against The Grain”
There is a lot going on here, but much like anything Eddie Redmayne does, it works really well. By applying a firm holding cream, lightly blowing out the natural curl along the sides and back towards the face, and leaving some remaining wave and volume up top, he creates a look that he seems to be well known for.
Matthew McConaughey: The “Not Just Alright Alright Alright”
True dude Matthew McConaughey knows how to relax, and his hair here is a pretty laid back, too. It’s a good bet that he used low heat from a hair dryer and a good grooming cream. Now that you know all the Hollywood’s studs secrets—keep your style impeccable with these 20 rules.
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