There are hundreds of products and articles about styling and caring for women’s natural curls—but there's less information out there about men's curls. Beauty brands like Shea Moisture, Cantu, and The Mane Choice have begun to build out products for their male consumer, but there is still so much education men need to understand and care for their natural curls.
Though product education for men is still a work in progress, every generation has always had its go-to curly guy whose hair choices have served as a source of hair inspiration for millions of men. In the '90s, it was rom-com heartthrob Matthew McConaughey who mastered that tousled short curly bob, and former boy bander Justin Timberlake who rocked infamous curly locks. The 2000s were then followed by Orlando Bloom and Adrian Grenier, who had soft, dark locks that framed their chiseled faces. These days, Kit Harrington (aka Jon Snow) has been crowned as the current curl king with short cascading tresses that provide a sweet disposition to his broody nature. But where's the men of color? There needs to be more representation for men with natural-texture curls.
Needless to say, curls come in different textures, patterns, waves, and men have the versatility to rock some amazing styles all on their own. Whether you’re a newbie to the curl world and are looking for some style inspo, or you're tired of the same old look and want to try something, we’re here to help you out. Ahead, we've rounded up eight curly hairstyles to help you step up your curl game.
The classic wash-and-go just got an updated look with corkscrew curls (also known as ringlets), which can be achieved with just a mousse and a blow dryer. After washing your hair, separate your hair by section and comb the product through to help create volume. The key thing to remember is not to brush your curls out.
Tapercut with Long Top
If you’re searching for a style that keeps your length while getting a taper cut, this option is great for medium-length hair—and is versatile for any hair type or texture. However, due to the precision of the style itself, it does require daily maintenance as the curls sit on top of the head and continually frame the face. If you’re a low-maintenance guy, this might not be a style for you.
Not the fauxhawk, but the Frohawk. For men with afro-textured hair, this is a more popular way of styling tightly coiled or wavy curls. If you are handy with clippers, then you can achieve this cut by cutting a wide strip of hair across the middle of your forehead to the nape of your neck. The rest of your curls are then buzzed short with a hair clipper. It makes for easy styling, and you can change the volume of your curls by using your go-to product.
Brushed Out Waves
Can we say texture? This style is also known as a curly blowout because it allows you to embrace the loose, fluffy-texture effect made popular in the ‘70s. Whether you have long or short hair, this is a versatile look for any curly guy who wants to stretch out his curls. Just remember not to brush from root to tip, only brush out dry curls (this won’t work if they are wet), and finish with some oil to give your hair a smooth shine and prevent flyaways. If you are rocking natural hair, you can keep this look and ease smoothly into a protective style once you're done rocking the fluffed-out style.
We love to see it. This take on the classic topknot can work as a styled, sleek look and is versatile for styling on the go. It's effortless to achieve, requiring just a single hair tie to complete. The key to the ideal bun is to avoid placing it too high at the crown of your head (and avoid wearing it over a prolonged period of time to prevent bald spots or cowlicks). If you want a looser bun, try creating this style on freshly washed curls. If you’re a naturalista who has edges, make sure to use an edge tamer to slick them down or get them lined up at your barber.
Much like the bun, the half-up, half-down ponytail is all about versatility. The style is a great way to draw attention to your face and show off those curly locks. If you're working with freshly-washed hair, then you’ll have an easier time styling. This look puts your curls front and center, so you want them to styled with a lightweight product like a mousse.
The ponytail is a go-to style for many, as it offers a break from the daily maintenance curls require. Focus on parting your hair and using a gel or edge tamer to smooth out the crown of your hair. Spritz some water on your curls, and add a mousse or leave-in conditioner to give your hair a little bounce.
The afro never goes out of style. It just gets better and better with each decade. For men with coiled and tightly-coiled curls, this is all about embracing your natural volume and letting your curls fly free. It’s a fairly easy look that requires little to no maintenance because of its minimalistic hair-styling approach. You can hop out of the shower and let it air dry, brush it out with a pick for a looser curl pattern, or use a hairdryer to add extra volume.