Your Challenge: Like teenagers and kudzu, curls can be willful and take on a life of their own if you don't set some boundaries.
Your Ideal Cut: A style that dusts the shoulders lets curly hair strike the perfect balance between wild and soft, explains hairstylist Sebastian Scolarici of New York City's Serge Normant at John Frieda salon, who masterminded the cuts on these pages. (If you want to move more toward the wild side, go shorter.) Layers should be very long—no shorter than six inches—except for a few in front to frame the face. Sebastian cut our model's hair dry so he could see how each snip affected the overall silhouette (a good idea with curly hair). "You don't want to thin out the curls; you just want to shape them around the ends," he said.
Steer Clear Of: Short layers. Especially if your hair is fine (like our model's), they will make your curls spring up too much (boing!) and disrupt the shape of your style. And if a stylist takes out a razor: Run. The result will likely be frizz and split ends. Even if your overall style is a little loose, your ends should be scrupulously neat. Swimsuit, Eres Paris.
Your go-to product: A rich, moisturizing styling cream.
Your salon checklist:
- Cut dry
- Shoulder-grazing length
- Long layers