cut hair wet or dry
25 May

If you’re going to get a haircut, you may want to consider if getting your cut is better wet or dry. Depending on a few factors, one might be a better choice for you.

How Do I Know If I Should Cut My Hair Wet Or Dry?

In short, there is no right answer. Each head, type of hair, and style can benefit from wet or dry cuts.

Dry Or Wet, Which Is Better?

The answer depends on what type of hair you have, whether it’s finer or thicker, and what look you want to achieve. Dry haircuts are better in some situations, and wet haircuts are better in others.

There’s no wrong answer, but one option may be more suitable for you and your hair.

Which Is Better For Me?

So, is it better to cut hair wet or dry? The answer depends on a couple of factors. Certain hairstylists will recommend one way over the other, but each type of hair and desired haircut require a different method of care to have them looking their best. When considering the texture of someone’s hair and what they want to look like, cutting hair wet or dry can be useful depending on these variables.

What Goes Into The Decision?

Unpacking what goes into making this decision is not cut-and-dry (pun intended). Understanding the benefits and reasons behind wet and dry cuts will allow you to make the best decision for your hair.

considering hair type and texture

Consider Your Hair Type and Texture

Hair Type and Texture

Depending on if the hair is straight, curly, or wavy can determine if it should be cut dry or wet. Many stylists recommend cutting straight hair when it’s dry because it’s easier to see how the person’s hair naturally lays. Dry haircuts allow the stylist to see the person’s hair as they wear it daily. So, they can cut it according to that style. Other stylists prefer to wet cut straight hair because the cut is generally more precise. When the hair is wet, the stylists can better see how each part looks with the rest of the head.

For curly or wavy hair, many people prefer cutting while the hair is wet. This helps better define the person’s natural curls. Cutting curly hair wet can also help maintain strong curls, or even revive curls that have lost definition. Dry-cutting curly hair, on the other hand, allows the stylist to style each curl individually, which can result in a very pleasing layered look with lots of texture.
Knowing how you want your hair to look after the haircut will guide you in the right direction.

If you have curly or wavy hair, you might want to decide what exactly you are trying to get out of your haircut. Since both dry and wet cuts are viable options, it can come down to the personal preference of either the client or the stylist. If you know going into your haircut that you want to add texture and layers, for example, that will likely lead you in the direction of a dry cut.

getting the desired hairstyle

Getting The Desired Hairstyle

Desired Hairstyle

The type of haircut you want can also determine whether you should cut your hair wet or dry. In some cases, wet haircuts are easier to dry and style.

Wet haircuts are for hairstyles with precise cuts and sharp lines, like a bob or anything similar to that. When the hair gets wet, it appears longer than it is. The hair is weighed down by the water, temporarily thinning the natural waviness. The stylist has more surface area to cut the sharp edges for the desired hairstyle.

One piece of advice for after haircuts, or styling your hair in general after a shower, is to dry your hair in the direction you want to style it.

This write-up on getting The Perfect Short Hair Blowout states that drying hair to one side and then styling it in the other direction causes unnecessary tension and can lead to strands of hair breaking. Many people believe that drying hair this way creates volume, but it is not ideal for maintaining the health of your hair.

Dry haircuts are generally preferred when going for a more natural look. When hair is dry, it lays in its natural state. Stylists can cut according to the overall shape of a person’s hair if they see how it’s worn.

Dry haircuts are also better for layered haircuts. Layered hair is when your hair is different lengths all over your head. The varying lengths add texture and volume and can make you stand out with a fresh new look.

When hair is wet, it’s hard to see how the layers look when they fall naturally, unlike when it’s dry. The stylist can see how your hair will lay in real-time, giving them a better frame of reference to adjust your layers.

Hair Thickness

Hair thickness can also be a factor that lends itself better to cutting hair wet or dry. Thin hair is almost always going to be cut dry. When hair gets wet, it appears finer than it is and can sometimes even look like there’s only a quarter of the amount of hair than is present. This is especially true with thin hair.

So, if you cut thin hair when it’s wet, you risk taking off much more than necessary or desired because of how fine the hair appears when it gets wet. If this happens, it will be undetected until it dries and it’s too late to change.


cutting dry hair

Cutting Dry Hair

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Pros and Cons of Dry Cutting Hair

It can be hard to figure out whether your hair is best suited for a dry or wet cut, so it might be helpful to go over the general benefits and reasons for choosing to cut your hair dry. First, dry cuts allow you to know immediately how the final result will look. Instead of having to wait until it dries to see how it looks, you’ll be able to spot the changes as they happen and how they affect your hair.

Dry cutting also helps stylists better adhere to the overall shape of your hair. Seeing it as it lays naturally allows them to cut based on how it is, instead of wetting it and styling stretched out. When styling curly hair, dry cutting gives the stylist the ability to attend to each curl individually. The variety results in a textured look across the head. When cutting curls wet, the cuts are generally not focused on one specific strand of curls as they are when the hair is dry.

Many people are reaping the benefits of hybrid cuts, where part of the hair is first cut dry, then the head is soaked before completing the cut. Often stylists will make cuts for texture, movement, and layers throughout the hair while it is dry. Then, after soaking the head, will make more precise, directional cuts to style the shape of the hair.

cutting wet hair

Cutting Wet Hair

Pros and Cons of Wet Cutting Hair

Cutting hair wet is ideal for people with damaged hair. When the hair is wet, stylists can identify and get rid of all damaged areas or split ends, thereby restoring the health of each strand. Although dry cuts are good for adding a lot of volume and definition, sometimes they can result in an “over-texturized” look, according to celebrity hairstylist David Cotteblanche in HelloGiggles’ article – Is a Dry or Wet Cut Better for Curly Hair?

If you aren’t looking to add extra volume and definition, you may opt for a wet cut instead.

There are clear benefits of a dry cut versus a wet cut, but in the end, according to Dominick Pucciarello from Makeup by L’Oréal’s article on Dry. Vs. Wet Haircuts, each method works on all types of hair. He went on to say, “It all depends on the style and what you’re looking for in the end result.

which is better for you - cutting dry hair or cutting wet hair

Which Is Better For You – Cutting Dry Hair Or Cutting Wet Hair

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Related Questions

What’s more common, cutting hair wet or dry?

Wet haircuts are generally more common than dry haircuts. Many stylists choose this method because they prefer to comb through the hair before cutting it. Many clients also enjoy the shampoo and conditioning before the cut that many salons provide.

Does dry cutting cause split ends?

No, dry cutting does not cause split ends. It actually helps eliminate split ends because they are more visible when the hair is dry, which helps stylists see exactly which areas need to be cut.

What type of haircut is best for people who don’t spend much time styling their hair?

If you don’t typically style your hair any particular way, and wear it as it naturally falls, a dry cut will probably be the better option for you.

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