Zendaya’s Hairstylist Ursula Stephen Reveals The Best Ways To Trim Curly Hair At Home

Curly girls looking for a foolproof way to snip their ends while they’re safe at home have come to the right place. Celeb stylist Ursula Stephen is sharing her essential guide.

Since mid-March most of us have been staying at home, doing our bit to slow the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve. Of course that means, with beauty salons being closed, split ends have been running rampant. And, even though some hair salons are slowly reopening on a state-by-state basis, even the most hardcore beauty addict may be a bit gun shy about going out to get a professional cut. But celebrity hairstylist Ursula Stephen is now sharing the best way for curly girls to keep their ends looking fresh at home during the quarantine.

Cutting naturally curly hair, however, is not for the faint-hearted. It presents its own set of unique challenges. “The tricky thing about curly hair is that you can’t see the true length, so I think one of the main things is that it’s more deceiving than straight hair,” Ursula tells HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “When it’s straightened out you can see its true length, but when it’s curly, or it’s airdried, you can’t really tell how long it is. So sometimes people will over-cut and don’t leave enough room for shrinkage.”

Thankfully the New Yorker – who works her magic on actress Zendaya’s curls and used to style Rihanna’s hair – says there are a number of ways to get around this if you want to perfect your at-home trim. The quickest and easiest option is to grab your blow dryer. “It’s better to do it straight if you’re at home so you can see the length,” she says. “Then you can see it. You can pull it forward and just even everything up at the bottom line of your hair and not necessarily go into the hair,” she adds. “Just clean up the bottom and keep an even or a blunt end…and get rid of the split ends.”

If you don’t have a blow dryer and you want to trim your hair while it’s curly, Ursula suggests that you do it when your hair “dries right to where you really love it.” “So you can see the shrinkage length and then trim around that,” she says. “And don’t go above, or [go] a little longer than you would normally go.” Depending upon the type of curl you have, trimming your hair in its natural state may be a bit tricky. Curly girl devotees often have an encyclopedic knowledge of their hair type. Curls can range from 2a-c waves to fat bouncy 3a-c curls, all the way to the 4a and 4b spirals and 4c kinky strands. To get the best cut you need to know your hair.

“I like [cutting the hair] curl by curl,” Ursula says referring to the Curly Girl Method popularized by the Deva salon chain. But she says that it’s harder to do a DIY haircut that way if you have tighter 4b curls, for example. “It has to have movement to it,” she says, “because, if you’re thinking of course, kinky hair, it grows up towards the sky. It doesn’t have that drop or pull on it… It’s easier with hair that’s a looser curl.” Ursula also thinks styling your hair in medium-sized two-strand twists and snipping the ends is another great option.

Whichever method you use, it’s essential to have the right tools. Ursula says that “sectioning clips,” two mirrors “so can see the front and the back” of your head and a good pair of shears are a must. “It’s definitely something that needs to be taken very seriously because, once you cut, you can’t go back,” she says. “You have to just wait until it grows out.” For more haircare tips, check out Ursula’s weekly Instagram Live show, Sit In #UrsiesChair, which returns on May 17 at 6pm EST.

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