DEFINE YOUR CURL
No two curls are the same. Hair can spiral into tight corkscrews, like barrel waves breaking in the ocean, or it can be loose and wavy, like ripples on the surface of a lake. No matter how you roll, the key is letting your stylist see how your curls naturally take shape.
That means no hat hair or messy bun. It’s best to show off your natural locks and over communicate how you treat them. I’ll ask my clients how often they wash, what products they use, and what they like or dislike about their curls. The answers to any of those questions might just give me the secret to enhancing or softening their spirals. After a fresh cut, your curls will react differently. It’s helpful to return to the same stylist so they have a chance to see how the shape changes as your hair grows.
TAPER VS. FADE
Though many clients will interchange the terms fade and taper when talking about their cut, the differences between the two are subtle but dramatic. A fade is more extreme - showing skin around the bottom edges of the hairline. Think of a vintage US military cut. Whereas a taper refers to the hair getting shorter at the bottom of the cut the same way pants narrow at the leg.
If you’re comfortable showing a little skin, ask for a fade. But if you only want to keep your neckline and edges tight, a taper is what you want.
TO BLEND OR NOT TO BLEND
When it comes to finishing your cut, one of the most important decisions you’ll make, and one that carries the most consequence, is to blend or not to blend. A blend between the sides and top is the most low-maintenance option. It’s a transition from short to long in a way that’s softer and more gradual. It gives you the ability to wear your hair in a variety of styles or part to either side without looking too severe.
A disconnected cut is when the sides are buzzed and you have an abrupt jump to longer length on the top. This makes for a much more dramatic look and puts an emphasis on a side part. But it also means weekly maintenance, otherwise you’ll end up dealing with awkward grow out. This is what Macklemore made famous. While this cut seems easy to wear, it’s not for everyone, and frankly, even Macklemore has moved on.
Now get out there and get your cut with confidence.