I’m often asked if I cut curly hair dry, and why curly product lines like DevaCurl and Ouidad do or don’t recommend it. It is almost always best to cut naturally curly hair when it is dry. There are a number of reasons for this:
1. Spring factor
Every curl has its own unique spring factor, which is the amount of distance that it will spring up after it is stretched. This spring factor cannot be ascertained when the hair is wet.
2. Curl pattern
In order to create a beautiful haircut that lasts a long time, it is critical for the hairstylist to be able to see where the curls spring to immediately after they are cut. It is common to have varying curl patterns throughout the head. When cut, tighter curls spring up more than looser curls. This can only be accurately judged when the hair is cut dry. If the hair is cut wet, then the hair may become uneven when it dries and tighter curls spring closer to their roots.
My clients are often amazed when I cut their curly hair dry for the first time. The results are beautiful, and they get to see the shape develop throughout the cutting process. It is easier to see the shape of the haircut develop when the hair is cut dry because the curls fall exactly where they will remain.
Framing the face is much easier to do when the hair is cut dry for the same reason, the shape can be seen immediately.
5. One exception to the rule
An exception to this rule is when the hair is loosely wavy. In this case, it is often more effective to cut the hair when it is wet. This is because loosely wavy hair has a very small spring factor. Also, if you plan to straighten your hair a lot, it is best to cut it wet so that a neat perimeter shape may be created.