natural hair dry cut

The Dry Haircut: What You Need to Know

Filed under: Required reading. 

In the curly hair world, there are a number of techniques one can use to get a haircut. One of the most popular techniques is the dry haircut for curly hair. Women often choose the dry haircut over a wet one, as curls shrink when wet and a curly haircut on wet hair can leave you with an uneven haircut or worst yet — an unwanted cut.

For most women, when it comes to getting a dry haircut, they often wonder if they should just take matters into their own hands, or if they should just find a hairstylist that is skilled in this area. We don’t suggest cutting your hair on your own because yes, there are plenty of hairstylists that can perform a professional dry cut on you. We’re here to help with tips on how to find the right stylist.

Dry Haircut for Curly Hair: Preparing for the Cut

dry haircut: curly hair
A dry haircut will help you get the best looking curls of your life!

1. Research on social media.

You read that right. Instagram, Facebook, and even TikTok are the new Google these days. All you have to do is type in the right keywords and search for the hashtags that best suit your needs. In this case, you’ll type in dry haircut, dry curly cut for curly hair or haircut for dry hair. When searching for the images, you want to look for anything that looks like a before-and-after shot or even a video. This will help you see what the stylist is capable of doing and will give you a peek into how the process is done.

2. Find inspiration.

Unless you simply want a trim, you’re better off heading to the salon with an idea of what you want your hair to look like. Stylists are trained to understand your descriptions verbally, but a picture can help cut down the time you’re taking to explain exactly what it is that you want. Find images with curls similar to yours and take them to your stylist.

3. Be honest about your hair care routine.

A good stylist will ask you about your curly hair care regimen and make suggestions where needed. Now, remember, there are many stylists that will try to sell you their products. Listen to your gut, and it’s totally okay to say no. If they offer samples, take them home and try them on your own before committing to something you may not like in the end.

4. Practice at-home maintenance.

If you’re getting a dry curly cut to get rid of damaged ends, you need to update your hair care regimen with products that help prevent damage. For instance, if you are cutting off heat damaged ends, be sure you’re using a heat protectant like TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray.

If your hair is simply dry and damaged, be sure to use deep conditioners that help restore the healthy look of your hair. One of our favorites for curly hair is Dove Amplified Textures Moisture Spa Recovery Mask.

5. Protect your ends.

With curly hair, it’s harder to notice split ends right away. Trust us, if you have hand-in-hair syndrome, as most curly girls do, the split ends are definitely there. Use a product like Suave Professionals Split End Rescue Hair Serum to seal your ends. You can also use this as a way to prevent your hair from splitting. Use the serum daily after getting your dry haircut.

What Are the Benefits of a Dry Haircut?

dry haircut salon
Why you should try a dry haircut.

1. It’s great for those with wavy, curly or coily hair.

Cutting wavy, curly or coily hair when wet is actually a lot harder than cutting straight hair – this is simply because you’re unable to tell where the curls will fall once your hair is dry due to shrinkage. That’s why a dry haircut for curly hair is an absolute godsend. Essentially, the technique allows your stylist to pick and choose which curls to trim, helping to ensure they fall neatly on top of one another.

If your curly hair is causing you trouble, check out our guide to the best shampoos for curly hair and add TRESemmé Botanique Nourish & Replenish Shampoo and Conditioner to your shower routine.

dry haircut angular bob
Could a dry haircut be the key to a perfect bob? Photo credit:

2. It can make your haircut sharper and more precise.

When your hair is wet, it’s stretchier, so the length may vary a little from when it’s dry. But by dry cutting your mane, your stylist will be able to visualize exactly how much hair to cut off, as well as create a really precise look, all without having to wait to blow dry your hair to see the end result.

3. You’ll save time (and money).

Thanks to this cutting technique, you won’t have to spend hours in the salon. Skipping out on the wash, condition and blowdry phase of your haircut means you’ll be in and out of the hairdresser’s chair quicker. If you’re happy with the final product and don’t need any extra styling (such as curls or a blowout), you can also save yourself some extra cash—bonus!

dry haircut shag hair bob fringe
Dry haircuts can help a variety of hair conditions. Photo credit:

4. It’s better for maintaining dry or damaged strands.

When your hair is wet, it tends to clump together even once it’s been combed out. This can make it harder to spot split ends or areas of the hair that are more dry and damaged. According to Elena Diaz, Hairstylist at All Things Hair, the best haircut for dry hair is one where your strands are actually dry. “This way you can see where the problem areas are and trim where needed.”

Editor’s tip: If your hair is looking or feeling a little lackluster, try using TRESemmé Biotin+ Repair 7 Intensive Mask. It will help visibly repair 7 types of damage in just one use, leaving you with healthier-looking tresses.

dry haircut blonde bob haircut
Dry haircut benefits. Photo credit:

5. You can see exactly what the finished style will look like.

One of the main benefits of a dry cut haircut? You can see your new look coming to life in real time. Whether you’re asking your hairdresser for a styling overhaul or just looking for the standard “inch off the ends,” you can instantly see what the finished style will look like. Translation: No more “uh oh” moments in the mirror when you get home.

6. It will help with styling—especially when you’ve left the salon.

Who doesn’t love it when their tresses have a salon-worthy finish? One of our favorite benefits of a dry haircut is that you can see what your finished cut will look like before and after styling. This will help you have an idea of your future styling options. It will also help you recreate that professionally coiffed look at home.

7. It’s a great technique if you’re cutting highlighted hair.

In the same way that it can be difficult to spot split ends when your hair is wet, it can also be tough to see variations of subtle balayage on damp tresses. Especially at the ends of your hair. Opting for a dry haircut can help your hairstylist see any colored strands, and avoid them (or not) depending on what you want from your finished look.

8. A dry cut is perfect for creating a fringe.

If you’re afraid your bangs might turn into an accidental micro bang situation when dried, opt for a dry cut instead. Whether you’re having an existing fringe trimmed or having bangs cut into your hair, this technique will let you see exactly how the final look will come together.

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