beautiful curly man on green background

Men’s Curly Hair: The Ultimate Guide for Show-stopping Curls

Cause there's more than one way to style your curls.

You may have curly locks, but haven’t a clue on how to style them. We get that! When it comes down to it, how to style men’s curly hair is a particularly tough challenge. Maybe you use gel, mousse, or wax; maybe you have no idea how each of these products can even benefit your hair.

Curly hair inherently requires a bit more upkeep, and we’re here to demystify this hair type and shed light on some of its styling challenges. Keep reading to master your curly hair styling for 2024 and beyond.

Types of Curly Hair

Let’s start from the beginning. You might not know that there are actually 3 types of curly hair, with sub-categories determined by the shape of the lock:

  • Type 2 hair is characterised by wavy strands that hit the sweet spot between straight and curly. It has a lot of volume and texture and it’s not prone to excessive oil and product buildup, but can easily get frizzy.
  • Type 3 hair is characterised by defined curls and you can recognize it if you have multiple curls within an inch of hair. It’s bouncy and thick, and it’s more prone to damage and frizz than type 2.
  • Type 4 hair is identified by tight coils that start at the scalp, we’re talking way more curls than type 3 per inch of hair. Maintenance is key as this type of curls is the most prone to dryness and damage.

How To Care For Men’s Curly Hair

All curly hair types share the tendency to be dry and brittle, that’s why finding a good hair care routine is the key to healthy-looking locks. Here are the key steps to achieve show-stopping curls:

1. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize

Moisturising is essential for curly hair. Focus on formulas with oils, glycerin and moisture-rich ingredients that clean impurities while keeping your strands soft and ready for styling. We love an all-in-one product like Suave Men 2-in-1 Shampoo + Conditioner with Shea Butter & Coconut Oil that packs all the nutrients you need for dream-like locks in a bottle.

Heat is one of the biggest curls enemies, so avoid blow drying your mane and let it dry naturally, or invest in a diffuser for your hair drier to distribute hot air evenly.

2. Don’t Overwash

When it comes to washing, you shouldn’t exceed 2-3 times per week. That’s because shampoo can strip your hair of its natural oils and fire up the frizz factor. If you feel like your hair has a lot of product buildup and needs washing more often, try co-washing instead or a leave-in conditioner like Suave Men Leave-In Conditioner With Shea Butter & Coconut Oil. In this way, you’ll keep your curls nourished without putting them through too much stress.

3. Keep Frizz at Bay

Our expert’s tip to keep frizz at bay is to detangle your hair in the shower or while wet by using a detangling brush or a paddle brush. If you want to detangle your hair dry, use a comb to prevent breakage instead. Another tip is to use a microfiber towel to gently dry your hair: this material absorbs more water than a normal towel without roughing up your curls.

4. Don’t Forget to Trim

Split ends are never stylish and they can also increase the chance of damage. To keep your locks healthy, we recommend going for a haircut every 6-8 weeks.

Best Styling Products for Curly Hair for Men

Once you’ve nailed your care routine, it’s time to look at curly hair styling. Depending on how defined you want your curls, there are different products you should have in your cabinet.

1. Dove Men Care Defining Pomade

If your curls tend to look dull and flat, Dove Men Care Defining Pomade will help you style them and add gloss without weighing your hair down.

curly hair care men
Moisture is your curls’ BFF.

2. AXE Texturizing Cream


Want to achieve a natural look but still give your strand a firm shape and extra shine? AXE Texturizing Cream will work its wonder and keep perfect styling, without adding grease to your mane.

3. Dove Men+Care Control Gel

Need some extra help with your curly hairstyle? No problem! Dove Men+Care Control Gel will give you a strong hold and texture, with a stylish matte finish.

Best Curly Hairstyles for Men

Do you still need some inspiration to style your curls? We got you! Keep scrolling to find the best curly hairstyles for men for any hair length. From crop cuts to loose long waves, you’ll be spoilt with choice.

1. Slicked-Back Hair

stylish men waring a tuxedo with blonde slick-back curly hair
Photo Credit: Viorel Sima.

Use gel to give you a slicked back yet controlled, modern-day greaser look. Popular amongst business professionals because of its quick yet polished finish, this look ensures that you won’t have to fuss or deal with your hair post-shower in the morning. To create the style, apply a dime-sized amount of gel to your hands, post-shower. Mix the product together and rake throughout your hair. Use a brush or fine-toothed comb for a smoother, more refined finish.

2. Loose Waves

smiling young man in the sun with loose curls
Embrace your natural flow. Photo Credit: Yuricazac/Shutterstock

If looking natural is your thing, you’ll probably want your curls to have more softness and control. To get this look, apply a quarter-sized waves pomade amount onto your hands and rake the product through your hair. We love this pomade because it helps you style waves while giving them a lightweight hold.

3. Modern Afro

handsome model with stylish afro hair waring a denim co-ord
The modern afro is always iconic. Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Embrace your natural curly texture and flow with the modern afro. This bold look is ideal for hair types 3 and 4 and requires your curls to be tight and bouncy, so keep them moisturized for best results.

4. Middle Part

curly middle part men
Get the 90s feel. Photo Credit: Jacob Lund.

If you love that grungy look and don’t want to define your curls, that’s totally cool! Wear your curls in a long center part to capitalize on the ’90s vibes. Just make sure you take care of your hair when you wash it with a hydrating shampoo and conditioner combo, like Dove Men + Care Hydration Fuel  2-in-1  Fortifying Shampoo + Conditioner.

5. Crop Cut

crop cut curly men
Put your curls on top. Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

When learning how to style men’s curly hair for shorter lengths, try this cropped style. It’s short enough to make sure you don’t have to deal with your hair so much, but long enough to have some variety for day-to-day.

6. Short Crop Cut

how to style men's curly hair curly bangs
Rock that curly top. Photo credit:

For curly-haired guys who really want to take it up there, go for the partless short crop. This look is great for tighter curl structures (a.k.a. smaller curls) because they can give this short cut some structure. If you struggle with frizz or a poufy look every time humidity rears its ugly head, you can easily tame those ringlets with a little bit of styling cream.

7. Half-Up Man Bun

half up half down curls
Keep part of your hair down to show off those curls. Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Whether you’re surfing the waves or strolling in the urban jungle, this a half-up look is always gorgeous. Plus, it keeps your curls put together and away from your face. For a step-by-step tutorial to get the look, follow our post on how to achieve a half-up man bun.

8. Curly Ponytail

how to style men's curly hair ponytail
Have fun with your curly hair by rocking a ponytail. Photo credit:

If you want your curls off your face or off your neck, try a ponytail. If your hair is long enough, it will still show off your curly hair while keeping it comfortably out of the way. This is a great look for the gym, casual weekends, and even formal affairs, as it easily dresses up or down. All you need to do is pull your hair back and secure it with a neutral hair tie.

9. Defined Curly Fringe

stylish man with curly hair wearing a brown co-ord
The curly fringe works for mini-dreads too. Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Steal this short curly haircut for men to look flawless all day long. Both rebellious and edgy, the defined curly fringe will take you from work to the after hours. Don’t forget to try it if you have mini-dreads, too!

10. Curly Curtain Fringe

How to style men's curly hair
Part your fringe in the center for a cool look. Photo credit:

For a totally different look to wear with your curly hair, try this parted style. The curtain fringe really just means that the hair that covers your forehead is parted in the middle, like—you guessed it—a curtain. This will make your hair look much more deliberately stylish.

Are you thinking about trying out one of these styles? Be sure to grab a picture of the results and share them with us over @AllThingsHairUS!

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