In straight or slightly wavy hair (the bend point) helps determine whether or not the hair will stand up or lay down in the finished sculpture. By taking a few strands of hair (from the top area of the head) and holding them straight out (up) from the head, then ease back down (towards the point you pulled out from) will reveal the bend point of the hair. The hair will begin to bow (or bend) at about 1 to 3 inches or so out from the scalp. Sculpting at the very end of the bend (away from the scalp) will allow the hair to lay down, in the middle of the bend allows a degree of lift (more lift in coarse or “bristle” hair) and consequently sculpting below the bend (towards the scalp) will allow the greatest degree of lift. In some cases fine hair or hair with strong growth patterns this technique may not be fully functional, for curly hair this technique really does not apply at all.
Curly hair tends to react differently from straight hair, especially excessively curly hair. You’ll get more projection, lift, and volume in curly hair. However, when sculpted short, curly hair can at times lay very flat to the head. There is no exact rule for this as it varies with the individual. For additional control, when sculpting curly hair, try air-forming (blow drying) it straight. Then perform the sculpture on dry hair, this can allow for more accuracy in the sculpture or design.
Note: Sometimes when sculpting/cutting curly hair, the hairs tend to wrap around your fingers making it difficult, often causing you to sculpt/cut more than you would have liked or intended. This is where making the hair straight before the sculpture/cut becomes extremely important, especially if the client wants to grow their hair out but needs a trim. Making the hair straight before you sculpt/cut can be very effective in eliminating this problem.