How to Cut Curly Hair/Extensions

We understand that, at this moment in 2021, it is not always easy to go to your hairstylist and get your curls and/or curly extensions cut and shaped. Cutting your curls can be daunting at first but we, at Nahara's Curls, have come up with our 6 tips to cut your own curly hair/extensions yourself!


  • Good quality shears. Please please please do NOT use your scissors you use for cutting paper. You have to use a pair of sharp hair shears in order for your cut to come out the most professional looking. You don't have to spend a fortune on shears but go to your local beauty supply store and you should be able to find affordable shears for around $15 or maybe even less. Once you have those shears only use those for when cutting hair! Do not use them for anything else, you risk causing dullness to the shears.
  • Clips. Good sturdy clips will help keep your sections clean. Clean sections will prevent you from cutting something you didn't want to be cut.
  • Hand-held mirror. You'll want a hand-held mirror so you can see the cut from every angle. This is perfect because sometimes you miss spots and the only time you see them is when you look at the back or turn to the side.
  • Wall mirror. This goes hand in hand with the hand-held mirror (haha funny). When you use the wall mirror and position the hand-held mirror correctly, you can check out every angle of your hair to assess your work. They are both a huge help.
  • Blank wall. We wanted to include this as a tool because having a blank wall behind you while you work will help tremendously. It will help to see the silhouette and shape of your hair clearly.
  • Good lightening. This goes with the black wall tip, good lightening will allow you to clearly see the shape of your hair and allow you to easily alter the shape in the way you want. Just think of when you do your makeup, you don't do your makeup in a place with dim lighting and shadows all over the place. It will cause distortion to your makeup and face. You need clear, bright lighting to help you achieve a flawless, seamless look

Step 1: Have a vision of your desired look

You'd be surprised at how much easier it is to cut your hair correctly when you have a clear vision of how you want the end results to look. This is part of the reason why stylists love when their clients come in with inspo pictures of how they want their hair to be when they leave the salon. The stylists now have the VISION and are able to work in alignment with that vision.

So, check out Pinterest or Instagram for pictures of your favorite looks and refer back to them even while cutting your hair. Keep that goal in mind when you are cutting. Trust us, IT WORKS!

Step 2: Fully dry your hair

Before you begin, start on freshly washed and detangled hair. After you have added your desired styling product, diffuse your hair until the curls are fully dry. Being able to see how much the curls shrink and where they fall once they are dry is crucial, it prevents you from cutting too much or cutting in the wrong place.

Tip: Leave out the gel this time. You want the curls to remain airy and ply-able in order for you to easily see where the curls fall.

Step 3: Swing your hair

This part is fun and the perfect way to shake off the nerves!

Once dry gently shake your head so the curls can naturally fall where they want. You want to see where the curls "live", this is important because this is where the hair will be when the wind stops blowing or where the curls land every time you take a step while walking.

We are constantly moving. which means our hair is constantly moving with us. You want your cut to be flawless no matter what activity you are doing throughout the day. So don't be afraid to fluff, shake or move your hair while you're in the cutting process.

Step 4: Layers

Don't get scared of the layers. Layers in curly hair are what create the shape and elevate the curls from looking flat to full bouncy, lively curls. Layers create the "light" and "airy" feel we all love. If you're

feeling nervous start off slow. Small snips of hair actually go a long way with curly hair. We recommend cutting half an inch first and working your way up from there. You'll notice those small amounts have a huge impact on the way the curls lay.

Cut following the curvature of the head. This will create a flawless shape without any guesswork. Shake the curls out and allow them to fall on top of each other and visualize the shape you're looking to create.

Check out this post on Behind The Chair by Joyce International's Artistic Director, Damien Carney, for a more detailed description on cutting curls.

Step 5: Blending the layers

Blending the layers will probably can be a scary part of the process. You might feel fear because everything is starting to take shape and you don't want to "mess it up". Trust us you won't! Blending layers is a very important step. Have you ever noticed when your hair or someone else's has that "shelf-like" effect to their hair. It looks like a blunt cut on top and really long pieces at the bottom? That's because they need to blend the layers. You just want the bottom to meet and mesh with the top, to create that seamless effect. The best way to create that is by tilting your head to the side and seeing an imaginary line of where the two layers connect and cutting any of the excess. Once you do that you will no longer have the "shelf" look

Step 6: Shake it up again!

Once you have finished the cut to your liking, grab that hand-held mirror and check your work. Position the mirror slightly higher than eye-level, and turn your back to the wall mirror. Check out the sides and back, make sure you shake your hair when necessary to see if any strays fall out of place. If you notice any longer pieces or notice it is not blending as well as you'd like go back in and cut.

You can also spread your fingers to go in at the scalp and gently shake the roots to gently "open up the hair" and observe the shape.


Now you can either wear your hair how it is after you've cut it. Note: After the cut your curls are most likely more frizzy and less defined so we recommend re-styling your hair as you normally would to get those curls defined again.

We hope we've helped you with your hair goals! Below are some videos of great cutting tutorials on YouTube for those of you who are more visual learners and want to see the cutting process in action.

If you are looking for some gorgeous curly extensions please shop our collections at




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