A Stylist’s Guide: Reducing Elevation on Curly Hair for Optimal Styling

Curly hair can be a beautiful and unique canvas for styling, but it also presents it’s own set of challenges that a stylist needs to navigate. One such challenge is the issue of elevation, or how high the hair is lifted during the styling process. Unlike straight or wavy hair, curly hair naturally has more volume and bounce, which means that a stylist will need to use less elevation on curly hair to achieve optimal results. This is because higher elevation can cause the curls to appear stretched out or distorted, resulting in a less desirable outcome. By doing so, they can ensure that their clients with curly hair leave the salon feeling confident and satisfied with their gorgeous, curly locks.

What Hair Type Requires Less Elevation?

Curly hair is notoriously known for it’s unique texture and properties. When it comes to reducing elevation on curly hair for optimal styling, understanding the hair type is crucial. One type of hair that generally requires less elevation is thick, tightly coiled curls. These types of curls tend to have a lot of natural volume and can be easily weighed down when cut with excessive elevation. Instead, these curls benefit from a more tempered approach with minimal elevation to maintain their natural shape and bounce.

In addition to thick, tightly coiled curls, there’s another hair type that requires less elevation and should be left a bit longer when cutting due to shrinkage during the drying process. This type is fine, loose curls. With loose curls, the individual strands tend to be finer and less dense than thick, tightly coiled curls, resulting in less natural volume. It also prevents the hair from looking flat and lacking movement.

By assessing the curl pattern, density, and individual needs of the client, a stylist can determine the most suitable approach for reducing elevation and achieving the desired style.

It’s worth mentioning that when cutting curly hair, the shrinkage factor plays a significant role. As curly hair dries, it tends to contract and shrink, causing the length to appear shorter than expected. This is especially noticeable in fine, loose curls, which can shrink significantly when dry. To compensate for this shrinkage, it’s advisable to leave the hair a bit longer when initially cutting to ensure that the final style falls at the desired length.

By understanding the unique characteristics of each hair type, a stylist can provide a personalized and effective approach to reducing elevation on curly hair for optimal styling.

Techniques for Enhancing Natural Curl Patterns in Thick, Tightly Coiled Hair

One of the most effective techniques for enhancing natural curl patterns in thick, tightly coiled hair is reducing elevation during styling. By minimizing the amount of lift at the roots, you can encourage the curls to form and create a more defined and voluminous look.

To achieve this, start by sectioning the hair and applying a curl-enhancing product, like a styling cream or mousse, from root to tip. Next, use a wide-toothed comb or your fingers to gently distribute the product and detangle any knots or tangles. Then, grab a diffuser attachment for your blow dryer and set it to a low heat and medium speed.

Now, here comes the key part. When drying your hair, position the diffuser close to your scalp and cup sections of hair into the diffuser. Instead of lifting your hair upwards, keep the diffuser parallel to your head or even slightly downward. This technique reduces the amount of lift at the roots, minimizing frizz and encouraging the natural curl pattern to take shape.

Repeat this process for all sections of your hair until it’s completely dry. Avoid touching or fussing with your curls too much while they dry to prevent frizz. Once dry, you can gently fluff your curls with your fingers or a wide-toothed comb to achieve your desired volume and shape.

Remember, achieving optimal curl definition in thick, tightly coiled hair takes time and practice. Experiment with different products, techniques, and tools to find what works best for your unique hair type and texture. With patience and the right approach, you can maximize your natural curl potential and enjoy stunning, well-defined curls!

Elevation plays a crucial role in shaping a haircut, as it creates a sense of graduation and adds dimension to the overall look. Whether a hairstyle is kept at a single length or incorporates layers, elevation brings movement and structure. To envision the concept of elevation, one can draw parallels with the vertical movement of an elevator, emphasizing the upward and downward flow rather than sideways motion.

What Does Elevation Do to a Haircut?

Elevation plays a crucial role in the overall look and design of a haircut. It refers to the angle at which the hair is lifted or elevated from the head during the cutting process. By adjusting the elevation, a stylist can create different levels of layers or graduation, resulting in varied textures and movement in the hair.

One of the primary effects of elevation is the creation of graduation. Graduation occurs when the hair is cut at an angle, with the underneath sections being shorter than the top layers. This technique adds shape and volume to the hair, making it appear more dynamic and structured.

In contrast, a haircut with no elevation would result in a one-length hairstyle. This means that all the hair would be cut at the same length, resulting in a sleek and uniform look. While this can be a desired style for some individuals, most haircuts benefit from the addition of graduation or layers, as it adds movement and interest to the final result.

By reducing elevation on curly hair, stylists can optimize the styling process. Curly hair tends to have more volume and texture naturally, so reducing elevation can help maintain the density and shape of the curls without sacrificing length. This technique allows for a more controlled and defined style, minimizing the risk of frizz and creating a balanced and harmonious look.

Techniques for Achieving Different Levels of Elevation in a Haircut

  • Graduation
  • Layering
  • Texturizing
  • Thinning
  • Razoring
  • Stacking
  • Point cutting
  • Blunt cutting
  • Slide cutting
  • Feathering

When it comes to managing curly hair, many individuals wonder if using a razor is a suitable option. However, it’s important to note that cutting curly hair requires a specific technique to maintain it’s natural bounce and minimize frizz. Using a razor on curly hair is generally discouraged as it can thin out the ends and lead to unwanted frizz. In order to achieve optimal curls, it’s best to explore alternative cutting methods that provide weight and support to the hair ends.

Can You Use a Razor on Curly Hair?

When it comes to cutting curly hair, stylists often advise against using a razor. This is because curly hair requires weight on the ends in order to achieve optimal curl and reduce frizz. Razors tend to thin out the ends of the hair, which can lead to more frizz and a loss of definition in the curls.

Curly hair is unique in it’s structure, with natural bends and twists that make it prone to frizz and drying out. This can result in a loss of curl pattern and can be frustrating for individuals with curly hair who’re seeking a defined and styled look.

This can include methods such as point cutting, where the stylist cuts small areas of the hair at a slight angle to create texture and movement without thinning out the ends. Additionally, using various cutting techniques such as layering or shaping can help to maintain the weight and shape of the curls while adding dimension and reducing bulk.

Different Hairstyles and Cutting Techniques Specifically Designed for Curly Hair

  • Layered haircut
  • Curly bob
  • Tapered cut
  • Devacut
  • Pixie cut
  • Shag haircut
  • Cascading layers
  • Curly bangs
  • Texturizing
  • Thinning shears
  • Curl enhancing techniques
  • Pineapple updo
  • Bantu knots
  • Twist outs
  • Braid outs
  • Finger coils
  • Rope twists
  • Faux hawk
  • Curly afro
  • Curly ponytail

When it comes to hair cutting, a 180 degree elevation technique is commonly utilized to achieve a more long layered effect. This particular haircut, often referred to as an increased layer, reverse, position elevation, or long layered haircut, involves using a higher elevation to create a stylish and versatile look.

What Is a 180 Degree Elevation Used for in Hair Cutting?

The 180-degree elevation in hair cutting is a technique used to create a more long layered effect in a haircut.

By utilizing a 180-degree elevation, stylists can achieve a haircut that’s more movement and volume. The higher elevation creates longer layers throughout the hair, which results in a softer and more textured look. This technique is especially effective for those with curly hair, as it helps to reduce bulk and enhance curl definition.

This technique isn’t suitable for those who prefer a sleek, blunt haircut, as it creates a more undone and lived-in look. However, for those who want a haircut that’s versatile and easy to style, the 180-degree elevation is an excellent choice.

This will encourage the hair to fall in a more controlled manner, reducing frizz and enhancing the overall look. It’s important to note that every individuals hair is unique, so it may take some experimentation to find the perfect elevation for each client.

By understanding the intricacies of this technique and customizing it to suit each clients needs, stylists can ensure optimal styling and client satisfaction.

Benefits of Using the 180-Degree Elevation Technique in Hair Cutting

The 180-degree elevation technique in hair cutting offers several benefits, especially when styling curly hair. By reducing elevation, the stylist can maintain the natural shape and volume of curls, resulting in optimal styling. This technique helps to prevent excessive weight removal, avoiding the loss of curl definition and overall balance. It also allows for better control and precision when cutting, ensuring a more even and seamless result. The 180-degree elevation technique is a valuable tool for stylists to create beautiful, well-maintained curly hairstyles.

The graduated effect achieved by cutting the hair with elevation is a technique that involves cutting the hair at 90 degrees or above, which helps in removing weight from the hair. This technique creates a graduated shape, adding volume and movement to the hair. Another haircutting technique that focuses on creating movement and volume is the layered haircut, which involves releasing weight through layering.

What Haircut Is an Effect Achieved by Cutting the Hair With Elevation?

A graduated effect is achieved by cutting the hair with elevation and over-direction. This haircutting technique involves cutting the hair at 90 degrees or above, which helps remove weight from the hair. By using this technique, stylists can create a more structured and defined shape to the hair, giving it a stylish and polished look. It’s particularly effective for people with thick or dense hair, as it helps reduce bulk and make the hair easier to manage.

Another popular haircutting technique that can create movement and volume in the hair is the layered haircut. This technique involves cutting the hair at different lengths, with shorter layers on top and longer layers at the bottom. Layering is especially beneficial for people with curly hair, as it helps enhance the natural texture and bounce of the curls.

In addition to reducing weight and adding movement, cutting the hair with elevation can also help achieve a more versatile and personalized look. By adjusting the degree of elevation and over-direction, stylists can create different effects and styles to suit the individuals preferences and face shape. This technique allows for customization and creativity, making it a favored choice among stylists and clients alike.

Variations of Cutting Techniques Using Elevation

When it comes to styling curly hair, reducing elevation is a key technique that stylists use. Elevation refers to the degree at which the hair is lifted away from the head while cutting. By reducing the elevation, stylists can create a more seamless and blended look for curly hair.

There are different variations of cutting techniques that utilize reduced elevation. One popular method is called the “curly girl cut” or “deva cut.” This technique involves cutting the hair while it’s dry and in it’s natural, curly state. By cutting the curls individually and at a lower elevation, the stylist can enhance the shape and definition of the curls.

Another technique is the “slide cutting” method. This involves cutting the hair at a slight angle while using a sliding motion. By reducing the elevation and sliding the shears down the hair shaft, the stylist can create soft, textured layers that blend seamlessly with the natural curl pattern.

Reducing elevation is also essential for achieving a more even length throughout the hair. By cutting the hair at a lower elevation, stylists can avoid creating uneven layers or choppy ends that can disrupt the natural flow of curly hair.

Overall, by utilizing various cutting techniques with reduced elevation, stylists can achieve optimal styling results for curly hair. The goal is to create a harmonious and well-defined shape that enhances the natural curl pattern and allows for versatile and beautiful hairstyles.


In conclusion, when it comes to styling curly hair, a stylist's guide should prioritize reducing elevation in order to achieve optimal results. Curly hair has a natural tendency to volumize and expand, and excessive elevation can further exacerbate these characteristics, leading to a lack of control and definition in the final style.

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