Curly Hair 101: The Basics for Men with Waves, Kinks & Coils

Curly hair. Two words feared by most dudes who happen to have it. Actually, “styling curly hair” would be the most feared bunch of words and, while at Manly Curls I keep pouring out the needed knowledge for those curly dudes lost in a sea of non-sense advice, there’s still a long way to reach all curly men worldwide. I am here to tell you at Men’s Hair Blog, however, that curly hair is just as cool, stylish and doable as straight hair, and I want to dedicate this article to covering the basics of curly hair for you folks.

 

WHAT IS CURLY HAIR?

The opposite of straight hair!

Through my experience, conversations and observations, I have been able to come to the conclusion that there are two textures of hair available on the scalp: straight hair and curly hair. Straight hair and curly hair are the two categories of hair for men (and women) available, you either have one or you have the other.

However, it is with curly hair that you have a range of expressions, or as I term types, that vary in the length it takes for the hair to curl. Curly hair, thus, goes from wavy hair all the way to kinky hair, the difference being at which length the hair curves and curls. Wavy hair takes a longer length to curl whereas kinky hair takes a very short length to curl. Of course, the opposite of curly hair is straight hair as the latter doesn’t curve or bend. So stay with me guys, straight and curly hair are the categories of hair texture available.

 

Justin Guarini with his curly hair as a male with curls Type III

Justin Guarinin is known for his curls and can rock the curly Jewfro like no other!

Credit: Jyle Dupuis

 

I’ll give you a visual example of the extreme variation in the expression of curly hair: George Clooney has curly hair (Type I) and so does Will Smith (Type V), the difference is at what length their hair curls. These are the types of curly hair available:

  • Type I: takes 2 to 3 inches to form one curl. Known as wavy hair
  • Type II: 1 to 2 inches to form a curl. Known as wavy hair.
  • Type III: 1/4 to 1 inch to form a curl. What most people popularly deem as curly (I term this type coiled)
  • Type IV: 1/8 to 1/4 inch to form a curl. Known as kinky, can be also referred to as coiled.
  • Type V: less than 1/8 inch to form a curl. Known as kinky, highly kinked hair or in some instances, nappy.
You can read a detailed guide on this on my Essential Guide to Types of Curly Hair for Men over at Manly Curls. It is an essential read for those wavy, coiled and kinky haired men.

 

WHY IS CURLY HAIR CURLY?

There are several theories going around and I subscribe to the one which explains that curly hair forms as “curly” as the building blocks of the hair are produced in an irregular manner in the hair follicle. That is, right from its source, curly hair is produced by placing the building blocks of protein in an uneven fashion, causing the hair to bend. The more irregular the pattern in which the building blocks are paired, the “curlier” the hair strand. Likewise, it is believed that the actual cross-sectional shape of the hair follicle has to do with defining which curly hair type the hair strand will grow as (the flatter the cross-section, the kinkier the hair strand will be). Refer to my hair basics article to know the basics of hair itself.

What does the above mean? Your hair texture is determined by genetics and you cannot train your hair to be a certain shape or form. If you have curly hair and whichever type, embrace it and deal with it. If you want to straighten it or relax it, go ahead, but always know that your hair is curly and that there is more to curly hair than buzzing it every 2 weeks because you don’t know what else to do with it.

 

WHAT CAN I DO WITH CURLY HAIR?

A lot! Don’t be that guy with curls who leaves a dead rat hanging on top of his head or buzzes his curly hair because he just doesn’t know better. There are many hairstyles options for us curly haired men, from doing trendy hairstyles such as the Faux Hawk to going natural and growing an Afro to straightening it with an iron or a relaxer. At Manly Curls I give you many options and I will continue to give more and more options through that site as well as this one. For starters, start with my styling curly hair article over at Manly Curls and keep checking back both here and there for your source of curly hair knowledge.
 

CONCLUSION?

Curly hair is not a curse, it is a gift from the “Gods of Aesthetics”. Ok, that last part is a joke but the first part remains, your curls ain’t a curse! There are 2 types of hair texture: straight and curly and you can have 5 types of curly hair. Curly hair is produced due to an irregular pattern of hair production dictated by your genes and there are plenty of options for curly men when it comes to managing their hair.

Curly hair can look great in men, Adrian Grenier, Lenny Kravitz, George Clooney, Matthew Morrison and Will Smith are just a few of those curly celebrity men who have made their curls a part of their image. The goal is for you to get your curls rocking like they do and like we do here at Men’s Hair Blog and at Manly Curls, we guarantee you it won’t cost you your testosterone!

All the best.

Rogelio

For your male grooming needs, visit the Barbershop Forums, the mens style and fashion community with some epic male grooming stuff thrown in!

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