How to care for and style a curly fringe, according to hair experts

Written by Morgan Fargo

As seen on Jasmine Sanders, Tracee Ellis Ross and Yara Shahidi, curly fringes are the epitome of statement glamour. Here’s what to know before you cut one.

Deciding to cut a fringe is always a sizeable decision; cutting a curly fringe is another thing entirely. Besides the fact that differences in texture, weight and pattern will affect how a fringe sits, there are caring and styling elements to think about as well.

For example, curly and coily hair tends to be oilier at the root and dryer towards the ends – something that can impact how a curly fringe will look. “The scalp naturally produces oil designed to travel down the length of the shaft, nourishing and protecting the hair. It’s important because this is what keeps the hair shiny and healthy,” explains Jonathan Andrew, global ambassador for Fudge Professional.

“Curly hair creates a break in the cuticle that then prevents the oil from efficiently travelling and moisturising the hair. It happens because the oil can’t travel in a straight line and as such tends to build up in certain areas – creating dry and frizzy mid-lengths and ends.”

However, this doesn’t mean a curly fringe is a no-go, just that keeping it looking its best might take a little more work. Here’s what the experts suggest.

1. Moisture is key

Unsurprisingly, hydration is crucial for coily and curly fringes. Nick Willis, master stylist at Charles Worthington Salon, Percy Street, breaks down why:

“Caring for your curly fringe is the same as maintaining your full head of curls. I like to use the ‘LOC’ method – a three-step regime to lock in moisture and define your beautiful curls.

“In terms of maintaining a curly fringe, make sure you sufficiently moisturise your fringe without over-drying the hair. I always say ‘let the hair do the work’ as this allows you to have naturally defined curls while avoiding frizz.

“I recommend you style your curly fringe with curl creams and oils. These products will hydrate the hair shaft as well as repair the hair, prevent moisture loss and encourage beautifully defined curls.”

2. Add a wide-tooth comb to your routine

Traditional brushes can stress and strain the hair, creating frizz and static. Not ideal. Instead, choose a comb, the wider the better, to gently detangle. 

“I suggest you use a wide-toothed comb to style your hair and gently tease your curls from the root; this method will gently separate your curls and add volume,” explains Willis. 

“I like to also use my fingers to twist sections of curls for definition by ‘twirling’ strands of hair around my finger, then gently releasing them from the root through to the tip.”

3. Wrap wet hair in a downward motion

“After washing, wrap the hair in a towel to remove moisture, ensuring the curl direction is facing downwards to help keep the shape as it dries naturally. Try to avoid using a brush as it can create frizz – instead, use your hands to control the curls,” says Andrew.

If you prefer to speed up your drying routine, Andrew suggests diffusing the hair on low heat, flipping your head upside down and pushing the air from the ends of your hair towards the root. This will help to maintain the curl structure without creating excess fluff.

4. Remember a curly fringe could ‘spring up’

Use caution cutting a curly fringe for the first time. A conservative cut will ensure you stay in the territory of the fringe you want, rather than accidentally ending up with a micro-fringe of sorts. 

“If you decide you want to cut in a fringe, then I would always tell my clients to be aware that their curly hair will spring up, therefore a fringe may look shorter than they anticipated,” says Willis. 

“A fringe is very personal to the wearer so I like to keep the fringe longer when freshly cut – you can always go shorter at a later appointment.”

5. Hair density can affect the way a fringe sits

“Depending on the density of your hair and how tight your curls are, thick hair can work in your favour as it creates weight and will sit well on your forehead,” says Willis.

Got all that? Ready to cut, care, and style the curly fringe of your dreams? Brilliant.

Main image: Getty

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