Looking for curly haircuts that will suit you and coming up short? We found 30 examples of gorgeous curly cuts that will define your curls and make haircare a little easier.

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Considering a Curly Haircut?

Two beautiful young women with curly haircuts enjoying on the beach. Female friends walking on the beach and laughing on a summer day.
Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

If you’re a curly girl, you know how many compliments you get on your natural ringlets, coils, or waves. You also know the endless curl-related challenges you deal with behind the scenes. 

Curly hair can be a pain to style and has a mind of its own when humidity is added to the mix. One side might be wavier or curlier than the other. Frizz is hard to avoid. And getting it cut?

Let’s just say many of us go through several stylists before finding one that knows what to do with our wild and carefree curls. Curly haircuts require a little expertise, no matter what hair length you have or want.

Your stylist needs to know all the techniques that make curls look their best. Most stylists specializing in curly cuts know to cut the hair while dry to avoid cutting the curls in the wrong places. 

Before you settle on the right haircut for your ringlets, it’s a good idea to think about the length of your hair (or the length you want it cut to).

  • Short curls: Cutting your hair short will tighten your curls and make them bouncier. If you want to play up your curls or get a style with tons of movement, short curls will be perfect for you. But if you’re trying to play the curls down, you might want to opt for a medium-length cut instead. 
  • Medium curls: If you have loose waves or curls, medium-length cuts can be a perfect match. Super coily hair looks great at a medium length if you want some additional volume on the top and sides. If you’re going to medium length from long, you will notice a little tightening of your existing curls or waves. You may need a little thinning under the hair to keep it from puffing out. 
  • Long curls: Long hair can be a perfect match for curly hair as long as it’s cut properly. Layers can remove some of the excess weight from the hair and keep curls bouncy on the surface. Shag-style cuts in tapered layers are popular for long curly hair. If you don’t like getting trims often and love to show off your curls, keep it long. 

With this in mind, we have 30 examples of curly cuts and styles that put your ringlets front and center. You’ll see a mix of short, medium, and long haircuts with tons of variations in our list. Which cut can you picture yourself rocking?

Read Next:

30 Examples of Curly Haircuts

From tightly coiled locks to free-flowing wavy tresses, there’s a haircut out there that will play up your hair’s best features while keeping the texture in check. Here are our favorite 30 haircuts for curly hair.  

Coily Layers

Beautiful african american girl with a curly haircut smiling
Kiuikson/Shutterstock

Tightly coiled hair is a perfect match for a medium-length style like this. The curls are side-parted and layered to create stages of length that graduate from short to long. This cuts down on the heaviness of the hair and gives it an appealing shape. 

Big Curls and Bangs

Blonde woman with curly beautiful hair smiling on gray background for a piece on curly haircuts
YuriyZhuravov/Shutterstock

If you have big curls or curl your hair often, a medium-length cut like this is perfect. Soft layers toward the ends of the hair and long, cheek-grazing bangs keep curls from laying flat. 

Featured Curly Haircut: Long Spiral Curls

Photo of beautiful young woman. Vintage style. Fashion photo
Oleg Gekman/Shutterstock

This cut and style is beautiful on straight, wavy, curly, and coily textures. Layers are added to sections that define curls and remove some weight at the ends. Get this look with your natural curls touched up with a curling iron or a spiral perm. 

Curly Chin Length Bob

Enthusiastic smiling girl with shiny curly haircut posing in front of old wall. Close-up outdoor portrait of enchanting lady in sweater and trendy glasses.
Look Studio/Shutterstock

If you believe curly hair can’t be worn short, think again! Thinner curly hair can easily go short without puffing out, and thicker hair can be thinned from the inside for a sleeker shape. 

Collarbone Length Curly Ombre

Smiling young woman looking at a handheld mirror after the hairstyling. Woman looking at the backside of her hairstyle in large mirror using a small handheld mirror at the salon.
Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

We just love the way a caramel ombre color brings attention to the twists and turns of each curl. A collarbone length cut gives you plenty of styling options and adds enough weight to curls to keep them from tightening too much. 

Voluminous Stacked Bob

Young black woman with curly hairstyle laughing. Girl wearing black clothes. Studio shot.
Javi_indy/Shutterstock

If you’re all about big hair, try a stacked bob with your ultra-curly locks. A middle part and defined curls throughout this cut prop the hair up and give it a vivacious shape. 

Ear Length Side Part Bob

Portrait of a smiling beautiful woman with curly hair, old B & W photo.
Alexandru Logel/Shutterstock

It can be difficult to wear an ear-length cut with naturally curly hair, but it’s definitely possible with the right cut technique. A deep side part without bangs gives you plenty of length to play with and style in the front. 

Wavy Shoulder Length Chop

Hairstyle ombre color for a piece on curly haircuts
Shumskaya Tatiana/Shutterstock

If your hair is more wavy than curly, this shoulder-length cut and style can put your waves front and center. A curling wand or big-barrelled curling iron can help you gently define your waves for a tousled look.  

Featured Curly Haircut: Long With Soft Layers

Portrait of woman with long curly beautiful ginger hair.
YuriyZhuravov/Shutterstock

If you like to wear your curly hair long and aren’t a fan of deep layers, try a cut like this. Soft layers are added near the ends of the hair to give it more movement. Try a deep side part to recreate this look.

Short Curly Bob

Happy delighted and attractive blond female with short curly hairstyle freckles and pierced nose wearing lipstick smiling joyfully tilting head relaxed and friendly looking at camera pleased
Cookie Studio/Shutterstock

Curly hair has a way of making bobs anything but boring. This wash-and-go cut staggers the hair in layers to keep it lightweight with lots of movement. 

Choppy Shoulder Length Curls

Shall we hit this bar and dance all night. Stylish attractive young woman with short curly hairstyle and trendy sunglasses pointing right with index fingers and smiling with interest over gray wall
Cookie Studio/Shutterstock

Layers start at about the ear level to create lots of texture and different curl patterns in the hair. Shoulder-length cuts are a favorite for women with curls because the styling options are so versatile. 

Long S-Curls

Brunette girl with long and shiny curly hair . Beautiful model woman with wavy hairstyle
Sofia Zhuravetc/Shutterstock

The beautiful shape of S curls is eye-catching. With a layerless cut like this, the hair is more or less one length all around. Part it to the side to mimic the effect of layers. 

Farrah Fawcett Cut

Pretty girl wearing sunglasses and bracelets playing with her short curly hair and smiling on the street. Outdoor portrait of laughing blonde young woman in white shirt standing near store.
Look Studio/Shutterstock

A middle part, lots of volume at the roots, shaggy layers, and loose curls toward the ends make this cut resemble Farrah’s iconic style. 

Chin Length Side-Parted Bob

Enchanting brunette girl in casual white shirt standing on light background. Romantic young woman with trendy curly hairstyle looking to camera.
Look Studio/Shutterstock

A deep side part with a chin-length cut can turn puffy without the right layering and cut techniques. Here, the hair may be thinned from the inside to reduce weight and keep curls bouncy on the outer layers. 

Featured Curly Haircut: Long Deva Cut Curls

African beautiful woman portrait. Brunette curly haircut young model with dark skin and perfect smile
Beauty Agent Studio/Shutterstock

Tightly coiled hair benefits from an advanced Deva cutting technique. Here, individual curls are cut at an angle to preserve their shape and bounce. 

Mid-Length Tapered Curls

Beautiful blonde woman. Healthy Long Blond Hair. Curly Hair. Blond. Permed Hair. Afro curls. Beauty Model Girl with Luxurious Hair.
SvetlanaFedoseyeva/Shutterstock

Naturally tight curls need some layering to keep the hair from puffing out or tangling too much. We like the tapered look of this cut, where layers are cut progressively to create volume sans poof. 

Long With Face Framing Layers

Outdoor lifestyle fashion photo of young natural beautiful lady in autumn landscape with dry flowers
Nadya Korobkova/Shutterstock

Gorgeous curls are even more stunning when a few face-framing pieces are cut shorter to show off the hair’s shape and body. Part it in the middle before styling to get this look. 

Heavily Layered Medium Length Curls

Summer fashion close up portrait of stunning blonde woman on the beach. Wearing long yellow dress with a curly haircut
Olesya Kuprina/Shutterstock

If you don’t have naturally big, loose curls, a big-barrelled curling iron can help you achieve the look. The ends are heavily thinned out for movement, and lots of deep layers are cut throughout the hair to remove excess weight and keep the curls bouncy. 

Outside Curl Layering

Real woman with beauty black hair gives a kiss

The surface (outside) of the hair is layered in this cut, creating some additional twists and turns in the curl pattern. The lighter layers move around to give this cut a dynamic vibe. 

Featured Curly Haircut: Tight Curly Lob

Portrait of happy young girl with curly hair taking a selfie isolated over pink background
Dean Drobot/Shutterstock

While a tightly curled lob doesn’t have the same shape as a straight or wavy one, this length is perfect for ringlets like those pictured. Shallow layers are cut around the face for interest. 

Thinned Long Hair With Layering

Alluring sensual young woman with natural curly red hair, rolling strand on finger silly, smiling toothy looking happy and coquettish, standing white background
Cookie Studio/Shutterstock

Thinning the hair from the inside tames super-thick hair without chopping the outside layers to bits. Soft layers are cut from about ear level and progressively lengthen toward the ends of the hair in this cut. 

Tapered Afro Curls

beautiful black, with her big afro hair
Edson De Souza Nascimento/Shutterstock

Take advantage of your hair’s natural texture and curl with a tapered afro cut and style. Individual curls keep their shape and stay defined with the Deva cutting technique. The hair tapers down in length from the ears and downward. 

Curly Bob With Bangs

Beauty portrait of beautiful young woman with closed eyes. Hairstyle with curly hair. Professional make-up, delicate clean skin. Neutral beige background with free space
Dmitry Bakulov/Shutterstock

This cut has a sweet and innocent vibe, but when rocked with the right outfit, it’s downright edgy. Have an experienced stylist cut your curly bangs to avoid a micro bang disaster. 

Long Curls With Soft Layering

Beautiful blonde in a Hollywood manner with curls, natural makeup and red lips.. Beauty face and hair. Picture taken in the studio
Kobrin Photo/Shutterstock

Soft layers allow more curls to take shape around the face and keep extra weight out of the hair. Paired with a middle part to make each side appear symmetrical, this is a perfect cut if you wear your hair long. 

Long Coily Shag

Beautiful fashionable slender young woman from Santo Domingo with long curly black hair wearing subtle makeup posing sideways looking at the camera against a blue studio background
Photology1971/Shutterstock

Ultra-long hair gets heavy, but some weight is taken out with a trendy shag cut. Here, layers start short at the top of the head and progressively get longer toward the ends. The result is more movement and more lightweight hair. 

Stacked Lob

Photo portrait of girl with curly hairstyle wearing t-shirt laughing touching hair isolated on bright yellow color background
Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock

Thick curly hair takes on a bell shape when it’s not thinned underneath. Add gradual layering, and the hair will stick out even more for a unique cut that showcases your curls. 

Short Curly Quiff

young blonde in gray jacket with short haircut. woman poses for camera, demonstrating natural beauty with beautiful make-up and curled hair
Galitsin/Shutterstock

Curly hair can be super lightweight with a very short cut that leaves the hair long on top like this quiff style. The long top stays curly and can be styled or worn naturally for a range of different looks. 

Short Curls With Bangs

Beautiful elegant young woman with pretty smile
BCFC/Shutterstock

This almost-pixie cut is kept longer on top to showcase curls and tapered down the back and sides to let the ringlets twist and turn for visual interest. With side-swept bangs (you might need a flat iron to make them lay flat), the look is complete.

Featured Curly Haircut: Short Stacked Bob

Hair bob with short curls on the female head with red hair side view against the background of black isolate.
PushAnn/Shutterstock

Get the best of both worlds: Easy to style hair, thanks to the stacked bob with added volume in the back, and a polished, elegant look, thanks to the curls. 

Curly Crop With Bangs

Cropped shot of beautiful happy funny female with curly hair and gentle smile, expresses positive emotions, poses in studioremoves his fancy bangs from his forehead
GingerKitten/Shutterstock

Curly girls need not fear bangs! They can add a playful touch to any cut. Here, a short ear-length cut is set off with curly, cheek-grazing bangs that are easy to style. 

Things to Consider

Here are some essential things to think about before you make your appointment for a haircut. 

Your stylist choice matters. To whom much is given, much is expected, right? That especially applies to curly hair. Your ringlets are envied by many, but you’re going to need to do a little extra research before you settle on a stylist than your straight-haired counterparts. Find a stylist that specializes – not “has experience with,” but specializes – in cutting and styling curly hair. 

Learn about different methods and techniques first. Before you pop into the salon for your haircut, it pays to learn about the different hair cutting techniques and methods for curly hair. For example, the Deva cut is done on dry curls.

And the stylist carefully snips each curl at a flattering angle to better preserve and bring out your hair’s natural texture and shape. Only experienced stylists should attempt the Deva cut. Once you know which technique you want, you can search for a stylist specializing in it. 

Some cuts will require extensive thinning. Chances are, you’ve had many haircuts in your life and know all about the required thinning underneath to keep the cut from puffing out. The thinned-out hair underneath grows back at different rates than the rest of your hair. Keep this in mind before you let your stylist go crazy with the thinning shears in the pursuit of lightweight hair. 

Be careful with wet cuts. Some stylists will want to cut your curly hair while it’s wet, but for most curly girls, that’s a no-no. Your hair’s texture and curl shape may be different while wet. Repeated wet combing can make it difficult for the stylist to see your hair as it will be when it’s dry. Dry cuts are the name of the game for curly hair. 

Find inspiration photos that match your curl or wave type. One thing that makes it harder to decide on a haircut for curly hair is finding inspiration photos. There are tons of images of curly cuts online, but you might have 3B curls while the model in the photo has 2C waves. Learn your curl or wave type to find photos that will be realistic to apply to your hair. 

Choosing Your Curly Haircut

You’ve seen lots of examples and looked at a few important things to consider. Now, you might be ready to choose your curly cut!  One of the best things you can do before visiting a salon is finding a great, experienced stylist who knows how to cut and style curly hair.

A great place to start your search is by asking fellow curly-haired women who their stylist is. Another benefit of finding a great stylist before you settle on a haircut?

They can be an excellent source of inspiration and guidance. Find a few photos that show the general style or length you want, then have a short consultation with your stylist to see if it will work for your hair.

They might recommend a few tweaks to the cut you’ve shown to make it more suited for your hair and face. Don’t have a stylist yet? Use our salon finder database to easily find one.

Once you’ve gotten your cut, make sure you talk to the stylist about tips to style it. It’s always a bummer to love the way your hair looks in the salon, then have trouble recreating the look at home. 

Curly hair can be both a blessing and a challenge, but with the right haircut and stylist, you can take your ringlets to the next level. If you’ve never had a curl specialist cut your hair, you’ll be amazed at the difference an expert technique will make.

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Debra Carpenter
Author: Debra Carpenter

Debra is a Nashville-based content creator and strategist. As the daughter of a long-time hair stylist and salon owner, she’s spent most of her life as a guinea pig for new color and cut techniques. Writing for respected publications like Forbes and HuffPost, she’s committed to bringing her passion for great hair to the masses.