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The best hairstyles for men with curly hair

Curly hair. Those who haven’t got it, wish they had – and those who have it tend to curse it. Curly hair can be a difficult beast to tame, but with a few tips and tricks you can transform your frizzy mane into a suave style to be proud of, embracing your natural hair and making it work to your advantage.

Curls add volume and texture to your hairstyle without the need for products – something you may well be glad of later in life when you’re follicles aren’t quite what they used to be!

Thankfully, curly hairstyles for men have moved on from what they were on the 90s, and gone are the days when the only way to wear them was with oodles of gel. The crispy, solidified look is history, and this year it’s all about movement.

The easiest and most versatile way to manage unruly hair is by keeping things neat and tidy. A short back and sides cut that leaves more length on top will let your curls speak for themselves. Sweep them to the side or the back, add a pompadour, or let them hang forward over your face – it’s a versatile style that you can change according to your mood, or the event or occasion at hand.

Even if you’re planning to grow your hair out, you’ll need to make regular visits to your barber; a trim every 6-8 weeks is essentially to keep hair looking healthy, and curls in particular will bunch up at the sides if you don’t have a regular cut. Let’s face it, the Brian May look is not the order of the day here, so heed our advice to maintain a hairstyle to envy. A good barber will know exactly where it needs to be thinned out, working in subtle layers to ensure your hair falls optimally and keeping the ends neat and tidy and free of splits.

Ask them to point cut the very ends, as this will give your curls more softness, as opposed to cutting a blunt straight line, which will make hair look boxy and hard-edged. The very best barbers will understand that good haircuts for men maintain lots of movement, and this is particularly true when it comes to curls.

Actor Orlando Bloom is a prime example of curly hair done right. Image credit: Debby Wong/

Taming the beast

Frizz and humidity are your curly hair’s worst enemy, and these can be particularly problematic in the summer. On the other hand, one of the benefits of curly hair is that you can get away without washing it quite as often as straight hair – the more you wash it, the frizzier it tends to be, so enjoy those extra twenty minutes in bed.

The natural oils of your hair help to tame your curls and maintain their definition, so be careful not to strip them out. Over-wash, and hair will look dry and fluffy – and whilst we’re all for a bit of volume, it’s not the look you’ll be wanting to achieve. Shampoo only once every 2-3 days to keep hair from getting dry, and use a moisturising conditioner to cut back on frizz.

Air drying is preferable over blow-drying, so choose this option as often is as practical. In winter, however, it’s likely you’ll need a quicker fix so that you don’t freeze, so use a hot sock diffuser over the nozzle to give a gentler diffuser effect.

And ever dry your hair more than 60 per cent – the curls need to retain some moisture to hold their shape.

Harry Styles, from One Direction, has helped to make curly hair fashionable. Image credit: Joe Seer/

Styling it out

Game of Thrones star Kit Harington is a prime example of long curly hair done right. Keeping his locks trimmed to shoulder-length, it’s a fuss free style that required minimal taming in the mornings.

If you prefer a shorter cut, One Direction’s Harry Styles does it well. Opting for longer length on top and cropped around the ears, it’s a neater, tidier way to do curls.

For mid-length styles, look to Orlando Bloom and Matthew McConaughey for slicked back and sharp hair inspiration. Styles to avoid are anything that resembles Justin Timberlake during his NSYNC days – let’s face it, it was never a good look.

The great thing about curly hair is that you can change it up as and when you want to – especially if you have added length to play with. Curls are usually easy to grow out, and longer styles can be teased into a quiff, swept upwards into a man bun or tied at the nape of your neck in a ponytail. For maximum volume, sweep to one side and wear hair loose – though keep a hairband on hand in case you get too hot, or need to keep your hair out of the way.

Game of Thrones star Kit Harington is a prime example of long curly hair done right. Image credit: Starfrenzy/

The right products for the job

The best products for curly hair are sulphate free, because they contain less of the harsh detergents that strip the natural oils from the hair. Look at what type of curls you have, and choose your products accordingly; there are different textures to try, so experiment and find out which works best for you.

If your goal is tight and tidy curls, use a high-hold, matte-finish styling product, and work it in from the roots when your hair is still damp. Or, if you want to maintain volume in your curly mop, use a moisturising sea salt spray.

Avoid using a dry matte product as this will only make your hair large to the excess, and your curls will be less defined. To keep your curls looking and feeling soft, make sure you use a moisturising conditioner to keep them well hydrated.

If you’ve been blessed with curly hair, then don’t shy away from it – care for it well, and it will be a feature to be proud of.

Image at the very top of the article credit: Joe Seer/