Highly textured hair is blessed with lots and lots of tightly coiled curls. A head of gorgeously kinky curls is the envy of many a limp-locked women, but those with it often complain that it has a mind of its own. Usually fine, sometimes course, and always fragile, highly textured hair should be trimmed more frequently than other hair types—every four to six weeks is a must.

Mechanics of a Highly Textured Haircut

Like any hair type, the right cut is essential. But for highly textured hair, it’s beyond crucial. The right cut gives naturally textured hair shape and manageability. “You have to be much more cautious when cutting this hair type because the shape stands out more when you cut it,” says celebrity stylist David Babaii. Translation: There’s absolutely no room for error. According to the experts, a layered cut is best for this hair type because it removes bulk, creates movement, and notes celebrity stylist and salon owner Ted Gibson, “it gives shape to otherwise shapeless hair.” It also helps with curl placement—the layers create a cascading effect where the curls fall into each other, creating better flow, balance and as previously mentioned, shape.

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A layered style is universal to all lengths—short, medium or long, with minor adjustments to the layers. If the hair is long (below the shoulders), your stylist should cut long layers throughout the hair. Medium lengths (at or just above the shoulder) can go longer as well, though too long could create a blunt effect, which says Motions celebrity stylist Ursula Stephens, “will make the hair sit out as opposed to flat.” Shorter hair (chin or above) can handle shorter layers, however, caution the experts: Your stylist must account for spring when cutting smaller layers. Stephens also says to avoid bangs for this exact reason.

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Cutting highly textured hair while dry is an absolute. “I always make sure my clients’ hair is blown out prior to cutting so you can see the true length and therefore achieve an accurate cut,” says Stephens. Scissors are the best tool because they give the stylist more control, and create a more uniform shape than other types of shears, such as a razor, which will make the ends look frayed (an existing concern with this hair type).

Highly Textured, Relaxed Hair

Some women with highly textured hair choose to relax their locks. “The coarser the texture, the less styling flexibility there is so a lot of women turn to relaxing the hair to create a foundation for more versatile styles,” says Stephens. Smoothing treatments last until the hair is cut or grown out, and allow for more options with the cut. “The rules change when the hair is relaxed because now you’re working with an entirely new texture,” adds Stephens. But it’s best to stick with a cut designed for this hair type, in the event you re-embrace your natural texture.

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Updos for Highly Textured Hair

Whether smoothed or textured, a ponytail is among the most flattering updos. Top knots, where you flip over and pull all the hair to the top of the head and knot it, is also an easy style.What is your favorite hairstyle that makes you feel beautiful? Send a picture to [email protected] and show it off.