Having curly hair calls for more maintenance and patience with styling. Some types of curls may be more manageable than others. However, in general, curly hair has more of a tendency to be frizzy compared to straight hair. Ultimately, when it comes to curly hairstyles for men, educating yourself on the different types of curls can help you care for your hair better.
Types of Curls
The world of curly hair is much more complex than simply having curls. There are different types of curls, with each type being further categorized into different sections according to how tight and springy the curls are. Knowing what kind of curls you have can help curate a more tailored hair care routine that will enhance curls instead of weighing them down.
There are some curly hairstyles for men that work much better with certain types of curls. As such, it’s best to have a bit of knowledge regarding your curl type before looking for specific curly hairstyles and haircuts.
Type 2: Wavy
You can think of wavy hair, otherwise known as Type 2 hair, as the middle ground between straight and curly hair. It has a loose S-shaped pattern to it and is more prone to frizziness compared to Type 1 (straight) hair.
Type 3: Curly
Type 3 hair can range from loose loops to springy and tight curls. It doesn’t lay flat and is more voluminous. Though it has some sheen to it, it’s significantly drier than Type 1 and 2 hair.
Type 4: Coily
More commonly known as “kinky” or Afro-textured hair, Type 4 hair is characterized by tight coils packed on the scalp. This hair type is naturally dry and is prone to shrinkage due to how tightly strands tend to curl.
Curly Hairstyles For Men
Now that you have the basics down, it’s time to figure out just how to style your curly hair. There are several hairstyles for curly hair that you can choose from, whether you have short curly hair or long waves. You already have texture to work with, so it’s just a matter of finding a hairstyle that you not only like, but is also something that will highlight your waves and curls.
1. Natural Waves
There’s nothing wrong with going natural. Keep things simple and let your hair do its thing by having your natural waves take shape. Men with naturally wavy hair will have no need for hair products with this hairstyle. If anything, you can use a bit of pomade for shine or sea salt spray for texture. It’s low-maintenance, but more importantly, you get to let your hair have a breather from all the products and styling that other hairstyles might require.
2. Curly Hawk
Mohawks aren’t reserved for just guys with straight hair, as curly-haired men can carry the hawk just as handsomely. Sporting the buzzed sides of a mohawk can really offset your thick curls quite nicely, creating some visual contrast for your hair. The fluff of your curls will work great for mohawks, as you’ll already have some natural volume to work with. This is especially so for guys with Type 4 hair, as their tight coils will give their mohawk instant volume and height.
3. Curly Fringe
Adding some bangs to curly hairstyles for men might be too messy for some, but if you’re unbothered by a curly fringe, then go for it! Many haircuts for men incorporate bangs, so who’s to say curly-haired guys can’t rock them either? Having a fringe to go with your curly hair is a nice touch that can add some youthfulness and allure to your look.
4. Gelled Curls
Define your curls with some hair gel to really bring out those ringlets. Working some gel into your hair can help enhance your curls and bring them to the center of attention. You can achieve a bit of a wet look through this as well, depending on how much gel you use on your hair.
5. Messy Curls
Instead of working against your curls, why not just go with the flow and let them loose? Leaving your curls just as they are will ultimately be convenient and hassle-free. However, it’s worth noting that there’s a fine line between messy and frizzy. Some curls can be messier than others, sometimes to the point of looking frizzy and unkempt. To remedy this, make sure to work in a hair product like pomade to ensure your curls aren’t too crazy.
6. Tight Curls
Highlight your curly crowning glory by keeping them nice and tight. When going for tight curls, you’ve got to make sure your hair is well-conditioned first and foremost. Since curly hair tends to be dryer than other hair types, it’s thus important to keep your hair hydrated. As is the case with messy curls, tight curls will need some help from products and tools for them to keep all that “controlled chaos” well-styled and put together..
7. Wavy Center Part
When you’ve got some waves to work with, you can add a center part for a softer, more youthful look. The curtain hairstyle works best with some volume, so wavy curly hair textures are ideal for this kind of hairstyle for men. Make sure to keep the sides and back of your hair significantly shorter; shorter sides can help you achieve the floppy look that is synonymous with this hairstyle. However, if you want to just keep things simple, then just part your bangs down the middle and let them frame your face naturally.
Afros are a great hairstyle for men who have Type 3 or 4 hair, as tighter curls can make for more well-shaped ‘fros. You’ll need to grow out your hair if you’re looking to rock a majestic afro, so be sure to have a symmetrical cut once you do decide to grow out your curly hair. This will give your afro a better shape once your curls begin to grow longer. With afros, you get to show off your hair’s natural texture, so be sure to keep your hair moisturized to keep it frizz-free.
9. Chin-Length Waves
Another hairstyling option for wavy locks would be to keep your hair at chin-length. Chin-length hair will frame your face quite handsomely. Plus, having a bit of waviness adds a more romantic touch to this hairstyle. To further emphasize your waves, use some hair products to really bring out the charm of your wavy curly hair when going for chin-length waves.
10. Windswept Waves
Windswept hair is ideal for men’s haircuts that are medium in length, as you can get a good level of shagginess with slightly longer tresses. Having some waviness, however mild, will give your tousled hair more body and texture. The windswept look works best on layered hair, so make sure to ask your barber for some layers on your next appointment. Spritz some sea salt spray into your locks and let your hair do its thing, especially on windy days.
Dreadlocks are a staple for African-American men as the tight curls of Type 4 hair makes them a lot easier to matt your hair. They’re not just another styling option either, as they’re also a celebration of culture. You can sport dreads that are either long or short, with thickness varying on your preference. Regardless of the length or thickness, dreadlocks give your hair a new look and a different texture. This can open up new hairstyling opportunities, as dreads can be worn in a multitude of ways.
12. Voluminous Curls
In order to get the most out of your voluminous curls, volumizing products will be especially useful when you want to maximize those big curls. For this style, you’ll want to take some extra measures in caring for your hair. Make sure to use products and tools that specifically cater to curls so as to avoid damaging your hair. Curls like these need not be as tightly coiled as Type 4 hair, but this hairstyle does have a good amount of volume that could compete with that of afros.
13. Flat Top
Going for a flat top haircut can give your curly hair more structure. For guys with Type 4 hair, the flat top haircut may already be a popular choice, as the volume of this hair type lends itself well to the flat top hairstyle. The higher the flat top, the more of an attitude it gives off so don’t be afraid to express your personality with the flat top haircut.
14. Curly Pomp
Pompadours are one of the most popular hairstyles for men. With curly hair, you might get a messier pompadour, but that messiness only adds to the charm of this hairstyle. The pompadour can be especially stylish on guys with curly hair, as the natural fluffiness of their curls will complement the volume of this hairstyle.
15. Side Braids With Voluminous Top
Add a braid or two to the side of your head to provide some contrast to your voluminous curls. Not only will this add a bit of visual interest to your hairstyle, but it can also help keep some of your hair out of your face. This can be especially helpful for guys who require hairstyles that don’t get in their way, especially when they’re on the go with their active lifestyles.
16. Beach Hair
Beach hair can be one of the most low maintenance hairstyles regardless of your hair type. Some curly hairstyles for men might call for a bit of tidying up, or at least trying to keep your curls in place. In the case of beach curls, however, the messier the better. You’ll want to enlist the help of sea salt spray to give your wavy curly hair the texture and grittiness that beach hair is known for. Ultimately, going for the beachy look can be one of the easiest ways to style your hair, especially if you’re going for the whole natural, YOLO vibe.
17. Short Dreadlocks With Fade
Fade haircuts are a popular choice for guys as you can play around with the level of fade you want. They’re also a trendy touch to pair with dreadlocks. Have your hair cut in a sort of mohawk style, with the top of your hair being left in dreads. The sides should have a nice fade; go for a mid-fade so that the transition between textures isn’t so stark or abrupt. You’ll be left with a hairstyle that’s visually attractive without being over the top.
18. Slicked-Back Curls
Some guys might have curls that constantly get in the way. In this case, why not opt for a slicked-back look? Pushing your hair back can keep your unruly hair in place. Plus, it’s one of the suave curly hairstyles that give you an air of class and sophistication. Comb your hair back and work in some pomade or gel for a sleek look. If you want a more natural take though, avoid pressing too hard on your curls when brushing them back.
19. Undercut With Curls
Sporting an undercut can be another interesting way to add something a little different to your head of curls. With short curly hairstyles, undercuts can further highlight waves and ringlets by visually directing viewers to where the curls fall. On the other hand, having a sliver of an undercut with long curly hair can break some monotony and add a spark of a little something different to your long waves. A curly undercut is great for guys who want to take off a bit of weight from their big hair without having to get a full-on haircut.
20. Long Waves With Dyed Ends
Dip-dyes add a nice touch of color to your hair without the commitment of a full dye job. Dyed ends can be especially charming on wavy curly hair. If you’re going for this look, try growing your hair out a bit to avoid making your dip-dye resemble grown-out roots. Medium-length curly hair is great for this kind of hairstyle, but it also works well with long wavy hair as well.
21. Undercut Design With Dreadlocks Ponytail
Seeing as dreadlocks open up more doors for hairstyling opportunities, why not grow out your locks and pair them with a shaved undercut design? Carved designs really elevate that sort of hairstyle and make it more dynamic. Ask your barber to try different designs for your undercut or pick a certain symbol or phrase that represents you. Throw up the rest of your locks into a ponytail to show off your “work of art” and you’ll have the perfect conversation starter for any occasion.
22. Long Side Part
One of the easiest curly hairstyles for men is the side part. Parting your hair to one side can create instant volume, especially when your hair is a bit on the longer side. Though it’s simple, a change in how you part your hair can really make a difference to your look. So, go ahead and experiment with how you part your hair to get a feel on what works best for you.
23. Man Bun
What better way to keep your hair out of the way than with a man bun? This kind of hairstyle can be rocked by any guy no matter what the hair type. However, men with wavy curly hair can achieve a more dynamic man bun thanks to their hair texture. With just a bit of waviness to your hair, you can give your man bun more dimension and texture. Similarly, voluminous curls can translate to bigger man buns, which can be something more unique and interesting than regular man buns.
24. Half Bun
If a full-on man bun isn’t up your alley, then you can take it down a notch with a half bun instead. Half buns will allow you a bit more flexibility in how you style your hair with its half-up-half-down style. They look great with shoulder-length curly hair or even medium-length waves. Moreover, they’re perfect for keeping your hair away from your face while still maintaining a more casual vibe.
Braids are another easy hairstyle for men with curly hair. They’re especially popular among guys who have Type 4 hair, as splitting up your locks into sections of braids can be an effective method of taming unruly coils. Nevertheless, braids are a stylish approach to styling curly hair regardless of the curl type you have. They’re also versatile since they can be as simple or as elaborate as you need them to be.
Products To Use For Curly Hairstyles For Men
It’s important to use shampoos that are made specifically for curly hair in order to enhance your curls even before styling. Ouidad is a popular choice among men with curls, as it’s a brand that has products made exclusively for curly hair. The Ouidad Curl Quencher Moisturizing Shampoo is an excellent option if you have tight curls that are in need of hydration. This shampoo moisturizes as well as it cleanses, so you won’t have to worry about dry or frizzy hair after washing.
Follow up your curl-friendly shampoo routine with a conditioner routine that’s good for curly hair as well. Good conditioners for curly hairstyles for men will nourish and strengthen your curls, especially considering curly hair is much more prone to breakage due to its dryness. You can pair your Ouidad Curl Quencher Moisturizing Shampoo with the Ouidad Curl Quencher Moisturizing Conditioner to really enhance your curl definition after washing. Alternatively, you can opt for a leave-in conditioner, like Ouidad’s Moisture Lock Leave-In Conditioner, if your hair is in need of some extra hydration.
To further protect your curly hair from frizziness, apply a curl serum — such as the Davines Curl Building Serum — and ensure that your hair remains healthy and your curls bouncy all day. This curl serum, in particular, will help fight off humidity while keeping your curls defined and shiny. A little goes a long way with this serum, so be sure to use it sparingly.
Supplement your curl serum with a curl cream to better enhance your curls. The Redken Curvaceous Full Swirl Cream Serum combines the nourishing benefits of hair serum with the efficiency of curl cream. This product will help define curly hairstyles for men while locking out humidity. It’s great for looser, more natural waves, like Type 2 curls.
On the other hand, if you want something with a better hold for tight curls, you can opt for the DevaCurl SuperCream Coconut Curl Styler. It can be applied on wet, damp, or day-old curls and offers moisture on top of curl control. With this curl cream, you’ll be able to style and shape your curly hair without a hitch.
For slicking back hair or gelled curls, using a good hair gel will be imperative in achieving such hairstyles. The Pro Curl Cream Gel from Royal Locks comes highly recommended, as it’s suitable for a variety of curl lengths. It boasts the conditioning benefits of a cream and the superb hold of a gel. You’ll be left with curly hair that has great hold without the crunchiness.
No man’s hairstyling kit is complete without any pomade. Hair pomade is a staple for any guy who wants a versatile hair styling product. It helps add shine and texture to your hair and the hold strength varies between brands. If you’re looking for a good pomade to add to your kit, we recommend trying out the Suavecito Pomade. Its formulation is easy to comb through and won’t leave any white residue upon drying.
By using a hair mousse, you’ll be able to add volume and shine to your bouncy hair. We recommend going for the Got2B Fat-tastic Mousse, as it really revitalizes curls and adds body, making several curly hairstyles for men look thick and plump. Moreover, its collagen formula helps add elasticity without weighing down your hair.
Sea Salt Spray
Sea salt sprays add texture to your hair, something that is imperative when going for beach curls. Beachy hair can have more of a lived-in look, so using a sea salt spray can help you achieve a similar appearance. The Alaffia Texturizing Spray is great for this; not only does it add texture to your waves, but it also has the added benefit of protecting your hair from drying out. Your hair will be left feeling soft and looking voluminous all throughout the day.
Locking Gel For Dreads
If you’re looking to try out dreads, there are special hair products that you can use to form those rope-like strands. To get well-kept dreads, try using some locking gel, which maintains the tight twists that make up this hairstyle. One very popular locking gel is Knotty Boy’s Locksteady Tropical Dreadlock Tightening Gel. Since it’s aloe-based, you’ll get a lot of shine with just a pea-sized amount of this tightening gel. Its lightweight formula makes it great to leave in your hair. Furthermore, it has a pleasant tropical lime scent that will keep dreadlocks smelling fresh.
Besides a good locking gel, you’ll also need some dreadlocks cream to properly care for your dreads. Dreadlocks cream is a nourishing alternative to dreads wax that helps keep your locs moisturized as your hair grows longer. The Knatty Dread Dreadlocks Cream is the best one to start with, as it’s designed for starting and maintaining dreads. Its premium lanolin and shea butter base will help style your dreads on top of keeping them protected and moisturized.
Though some guys might think curly hair is too unruly to style, having this kind of hair type truly opens up a lot of opportunities to get creative with your hair. Whether you have tight curls or looser waves, having curly hair adds to the uniqueness of not just your hairstyle, but your personality as well. Going natural is extremely popular now, after all, so embrace those curls and rock different curly hairstyles for men wherever you go!
If you want more hairstyle ideas, check out our top short haircuts for men that will complement any face type. We’ve also got you covered if your hair’s slightly longer with the best men’s medium hairstyles. If you’re really dedicated and want to grow your hair out, we’ve got some suggestions you might like with our best long hairstyles for men article.