From the classic little girl with chin-length ringlets to the sexy curls of stars like Meg Ryan in the 90s, short and curly is a flirty and fun look that is often misunderstood. I, personally, have quite a bit of indirect experience with “short and curly” hair given that I have two sisters who were born with heads full of curls, which they hated.
I understand their frustration. All their friends had straighter hair types and wore their hair long. But my sisters’ hair would grow into pyramids when not kept short, until we found a hairdresser who knew how to work with the extreme curls. Here’s what they learned.
Control the curl. This meant avoiding blow dryers (unless you used a diffuser attachment) and plying the shampooed hair with a firm hold styling product (like gel). You apply the gel to the towel dried hair and massage it through fully from scalp to ends. Then using a wide-tooth comb (or pick) you lift and separate the curls to arrange them.
The cut was KEY. A good stylist knows that layers are important in curly hair to keep the volume balanced. And as my sisters’ hair was dense as well, it needed to be thinned, but conventional thinning wasn’t going to work. Luckily the hairdresser had some wide-tooth thinning shears that removed just the right amount of hair in the right sized chunks. It basically cut individual ringlets so that the hair didn’t end up looking fuzzy. (This was reinforced by the styling products).
Finally, the thing my sisters had to learn (which was hardest for them) was to NOT fully dry their hair with the hair dryer. Even when using the diffuser, they had to learn to leave the hair alone once it was “mostly dry” and then allow it to dry naturally. Once your curly hair is dry and you start messing with it, you start separating the strands from the individual curls and end up with a fuzzy-looking style that has to be dampened again to tame it.
So, you can love your short curly hair, but think of it sort of like a cat: it needs to be tended and groomed but only minimally, because it likes to be allowed to do what it wants to do. You just have to let it be what it is, and once you do that, you’ll love it and it will love you right back.