You’re considering a haircut.
But you want to know what is the best way to go about it – do you wet your hair before cutting it or do you leave it dry?
There are pros and cons to wet and dry cuts and of course, the results vary.
There is no one answer because each situation calls for a different strategy.
If you have curly hair and want many layers, then you need a dry cut.
But if you have straight hair and are getting a bob cut, then you’ll need a wet cut for more accuracy.
All my life, I’ve had wet haircuts.
If you’ve grown up in the 90s, then you’ll know that no matter what haircut you asked for, a person would escort you to get your hair washed and conditioned and your hair was cut while it was wet.
But times are changing now.
People started doing dry cuts recently and dry cuts are currently revered in the curly world.
I only ask for dry cuts because my hair is curly and the hairstyles I want are usually better when the hair is cut dry.
However, every situation is different.
Let’s look into some of those now.
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What is a wet cut?
A wet haircut is basically when your hair stylist decides to wash your hair and then cut it while it’s still wet or damp.
What are the pros of a wet cut?
Most hair stylists prefer cutting when it’s wet because:
- When a stylist washes your hair, they will be able to see how far along your split ends are rising and this will help them analyze how much-damaged hair they need to cut.
- Wet hair lies flatter and this means that it’s easier to achieve a more precise cut. So if you ask for a straight cut or a bob-cut – then your hair stylist will most likely suggest a wet cut.
What are the disadvantages of cutting hair wet?
The major disadvantage is if you are getting a lot of layers (layered haircut), then a wet cut is not a good idea.
Because the hair becomes flat and wet after wetting it, it is very difficult to cut layers and see what that will look like after it’s dry.
People with wavy or curly hair have different curl patterns.
Some parts of the hair will shrink more because those parts might have denser and tighter curls while others might be flat and stringy – leading to a very unbalanced layered cut.
So, if you are getting layers, always ask for a dry haircut – especially if you have curly hair.
Believe me, I have done layered cuts while wet, and it’s been a huge mistake.
The curls in the back of my head are very stringy and not as tight as the curls in the front – and my hair ended up looking very messy – not to mention I had extreme shrinkage and it turned out shorter than what I bargained for!
The last thing you want is to cut your curly hair wet and then have it look like a triangle after it dries – it’s a nightmare!
How to prepare for a dry cut?
The main reason why people get their hair cut dry is that they are afraid of shrinkage.
When hair is wet, you don’t know how much it’s going to shrink as it dries – this applies specifically to people with wavy or curly hair.
1. Wash your hair the day prior
This way, you’ll get rid of any product build-up and your hair will be clean and fresh for the stylist to cut.
Because you are washing your hair the day prior, you’re also giving your hair plenty of time to dry so that when you show up at the salon, your stylist can work with you and give you a good dry cut.
2. Please detangle your hair
It’s very difficult for hairstylists to section and detangles your hair when it’s dry. So, while your hair is still wet, detangle it gently using a leave-in conditioner.
This will make it easier for the hairstylist to section your hair before cutting it.
3. Bring lots of reference photos and communicate with your hairstylist
It’s very difficult to tell your stylist what you want without any photos.
I always take a couple of photos of women with my kind of curls (3a or 3b) and show them to my hair stylist so that they can understand my expectations.
This is the best way to help them understand what you want from your haircut.
I usually ask for more volume without sacrificing length.
4. Getting a dry cut is wonderful for textured hair
If you have curly or wavy hair, a dry cut is wonderful for you.
Because your hairstylist will be able to see what is the intensity of your curls and how tight or loose they are at different places. They will be able to cut your hair according to your request and be able to add volume without decreasing length or giving you a shape that compliments your facial features.
Is it better to cut your hair wet or dry?
If you are getting just a trim and you are only cutting off the split ends, then a wet cut is suitable.
Or if you are getting a haircut where you want precise lines like a straight cut or a bob-cut, then a wet cut is best for you.
If you have straight hair, and you’re cutting bangs, then your hairdresser might cut it wet to give you that straight cut.
If you are getting an A-line bob or are cutting long hair with no layers, a wet haircut will be just fine for you.
If you have very straight hair and want those precise lines and want to flaunt a beautiful geometrical bob, then get a wet cut – you will not be disappointed.
If you have straight hair and are getting layers, you can get a dry haircut.
However, if you have curly hair or wavy hair and different parts curl differently, get a dry cut.
This way you’ll be able to see your hair cut and not have to imagine what it would look like when it dries.
You can also tell your stylist if they are cutting too much especially if you want length. Shrinkage is a real curly girl issue!
That’s why if you have curly hair and you want bangs – cut it dry!
You don’t want it to shrink too much after it dries and then be left with bangs that don’t even cover your forehead.
Dry cuts are wonderful for layered haircuts – no matter what type of hair you have!
Dry cuts also work for uneven haircuts like an asymmetrical bob or a shaggy cut. This will help your hairstylist see the length immediately as they are cutting it.
Additionally, if you have fine hair – please get a dry haircut.
When fine hair is wet, it will look very thin and flat but when it dries, it will gain a lot of volume. I only suggest dry haircuts for fine hair because you don’t know what it’s going to look like after it dries.
Still not sure? Ask your hairstylist
Whenever you are trying to find a good hairstylist look at their Instagram or Portfolio page.
See if they are cutting a lot of hair that is very similar to yours in texture and pattern and look at the results.
Read the reviews.
Once you find a good hairstylist, talk to them.
Explain the haircut you want with photos and get their suggestions.
They will ultimately know what is best for your hair.
Please note that not all hairstylists are comfortable with dry cuts. So if you have curly hair, it’s okay to go through many hairstylists till you find one that is comfortable with giving you a dry cut.
At the end of the day, it’s your hair and you should be comfortable with the hairstylist and the haircut they give you.
So, don’t be afraid to communicate what you want to your hairstylist in order to get what you want.
I hope that helps:
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