Design Essentials Launches New Line

by Gretchen Heber on Monday, August 16th, 2010

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Design Essentials launched its new Natural line of hair care products recently at the Bronner Bros. International Hair Show in Atlanta.

The line, which consists of five products, is free of sulfates, silicones and parabens, mineral oil, paraffin, petrolatum and fragrance, says Director of Education Rebecca Mariolis.

“One of the things that we wanted to make sure with the new line was that we really paid attention to our ingredients—using botanicals and essential oils. What we found when we were testing is that is really makes a difference. A positive difference. Now, you can use product with those more-traditional ingredients and be fine. But hair is softer without those ingredients,” Mariolis says.

The Natural line includes Curl Cleanser Sulfate Free Shampoo ($12.95/8 oz), Moisturizing Conditioner ($10.95/8 oz), Daily Moisturizing Lotion ($11.95/8 oz), Defining Crème Gel ($25.95/16 oz) and Curl Stretching Cream ($26.95/16 oz).

New Products

Comprised of nourishing ingredients like jojoba, cocoa butter and almond oil, the company says, “you are sure to produce beautiful healthy hairstyles that are rich in moisture, high sheen and strong hold.”

Sholanda Armstrong, Design Essential’s Director of Marketing, says, “We found that the new products give such as much moisture and shine. Hair looks just as beautiful.”

“You may have to pay a little more. It’s a more about a personal choice. The others aren’t bad ingredients, just not as close to earth,” Armstrong adds.

The line was developed to meet market demand, says Mariolis. “The research shows that the number of people who are getting away from relaxers and going holistic is growing. If they go natural, we’re there with them.”

The line is aimed mainly at Type 3s and 4s, says Armstrong. “Our consumer is a woman of texture. Anyone with some curl and wave; it’s probably not for people with straight hair.”

The pair of Design Essentials execs had a hard time picking their favorites from the line.

“I love the Daily Moisturizing Lotion; it’s curl-defining and a great leave-in conditioner,” says Mariolis. “It’s also a great second-day hair fixer. It’s really lightweight —it’s not going to make the hair feel heavy.”

Armstrong raves about the Natural Defining Crème Gel, “The great thing is that is good for all textures. Great definition and hold, without a lot of crunch. The way to control that is to apply the Daily Moisturizing Lotion and then the Defining Crème Gel. Best hold and best sheen.

Mariolis says of the line, “We recommend you use the line as a system. Work your way through the line, product by product. The products work really well together. We definitely noticed a difference when the line is used as a system.”

Keratin Treatments Star At Premiere Orlando

by Gretchen Heber on Monday, June 7th, 2010

Christo at Premiere Orlando

The thousands of stylists attending this weekend’s Premiere Orlando trade show weren’t Mickey-Mousing around; they were there to shop and learn, and shop and learn they did!

CurlStylist spent Sunday on the floor of the show, checking out all the new products, old favorites and the educational events.

The big news? Once again: keratin treatments. We could hardly believe it possible, but there were actually even MORE keratin treatment vendors at this show than at shows past. We counted 20 manufacturers selling keratin straightening treatments. 20! And several of these keratin product manufacturers also offered well-attended educational sessions at the show.

Read more about the various brands of keratin treatments or the craziest hairstyles at Premiere Orlando!

And while the keratin booths were popular, stylists flocked to a number of other booths that proved popular throughout the day, including Matrix, Arrojo, Michael O’Rourke, L’Oreal (where the company touted its new INOA coloring system) and Morrocconoil, which has recently released a new curl creme.

Argan treatments were also popular, though they didn’t have as big as presence as at some previous shows.

Main stage performances dazzled, too, with shows featuring Takashi Kitamura, Anthony Mascolo, Martin Parsons, Sherri Jessee and more.

Celebrity Stylist Nick Arrojo

The educational events for the first time featured several that focused on curly hair.

Curly hair legend Ouidad’s morning presentation was jammed to the rafters with eager stylists occupying every inch of available space in the room. “Curly hair is regal. It is beautiful,” Ouidad enthusiastically told the rapt crowd. “Curly haired people have a soul,” she added.

The Queen of Curl described her trademark Carve & Slice Method, with assistant Alex demonstrating the cutting technique on a model whose hair had been poorly cut by another stylist. “Carve & Slice is strategically designed to work with the curly pattern you have. It’s designed to cut with the curvature of your hair.”

“Look for the weight when deciding where to cut,” said Alex.

Time slipped by as Alex continued to cut and style the model’s hair, yielding a beautiful look that had the pumped-up and curl-friendly audience cheering.

Back at Ouidad’s booth on the floor, industry color master Cypriano dazzled passing stylists with his makeovers.

At another education event, Christo Fifth Avenue’s Christo thrilled the crowd with his own stunning makeovers—transforming frizz to fabulousness. Of his curl philosophy, he said, “When I design a client’s hair, I design to her texture. And I give her a prescription especially for her texture.”

Kim Vo of “Sheer Genius” fame

Christo also demonstrated his new cutting technique, Diametrix. Hair is divided into 12 sections and specialized cutting techniques are applied. Read more about Diametrix.

Christo also revealed that he will soon be introducing a line of hair care products for tight, coily hair.

Both Christo and Ouidad emphasized how specializing in curly hair can bring extra profit to your salon business.

At another training event, hair care company Surface pushed its root-volumizing product, Push. The room gasped as company rep Wayne Grund demonstrated how the powdery product instantly offers lift at the root and how smooshed-down hair can be revived quickly.

We saw several new product lines we can’t wait to try out: Amika, Obliphica, Angel Professional and Milk_Shake. We’ll be sure to keep you posted on these hot hair care products.

Obedience, from celebrity stylist Charlene Spiller, is a “light, high-performing straightening serum that allows women of any ethnicity to naturally straighten their curly, wavy or resistant hair.”

Celebrity stylists Nick Arrojo and Kim Vo were surrounded by a pack of admirers everywhere they went, and Vo even had a take-a-picture-with-me booth set up outside the main floor. Dozens of giddy stylists eagerly awaiting their turn to have their photos taken with Vo, as the “Shear Genius” star smiled, chatted and treated each one like his long-lost friend.

Were you at the show? Tell us about your experience in the comments area below!

PBA Announces NAHA Finalists

by Gretchen Heber on Friday, April 30th, 2010

The Professional Beauty Association (PBA) announces the much anticipated finalists for the 2010 North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA)! Winning an award at NAHA, North America’s most esteemed beauty competition, has become a true pinnacle career achievement with the help of beauty professionals and the industry as a whole. Open to the entire beauty industry, the NAHA Award Ceremony is a not-to-be-missed evening of high energy, artistic expression, and the coming together of the professional beauty association to salute rising stars and industry icons. NAHA 2010 is part of PBA Beauty Week and will take place Sunday, July 18, at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas.

NAHAs are given in 13 distinct categories including: Master Stylist, Hairstylist of the Year, Editorial Stylist, Student Hairstylist, Avant-Garde, Contemporary Classic, Fashion Forward, Haircolor, Salon Team, Salon Design, Texture, and Makeup Artist of the Year. 2010 marks the inaugural year for the Salon MBA award. The Salon MBA is designed to recognize savvy salon owners who have cultivated a cutting-edge salon and a highly profitable business.

NAHA also salutes two professionals who have made a significant impact and contribution to the industry. This year NAHA 2010 is proud to present its top honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award, to Beth Minardi, an internationally renowned haircolor specialist, educator and salon owner. NAHA 2010 is also pleased to induct entrepreneur, environmentalist, and philanthropist, Frederic Holzberger, into the NAHA Hall of Leaders.

PBA is proud to announce a record setting number of entries for 2010. More than 700 beauty professionals (an 18 percent increase from 2009 and a 35 percent increase from 2008) spent countless hours conceptualizing and bringing to life their artistic visions. The growth and breadth of NAHA entries from established hairstylists to those just starting their career is a testament to the power of NAHA.

NAHA judging was also enhanced in 2010 and focused on a diverse group of leading international hairstylists and makeup artists from the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, and Switzerland. Judges included Vivienne Mackinder, Tabatha Coffey, Ruth Roche, Sally Hershberger, Mary Brunetti, Darren Bain, Bennie Tognini, Robert Lobetta, Nick Arrojo, Kendall Ong, Cary Obrien, Jamie Carroll, Gary Sunderland, Heather Wenman, Karg, Antoinette Beenders, Dean Banowetz, Nicholas French, Sam Brocato, Anthony Morrison, Mark Hayes, Sharon Blaine, Jane Wild, Eveline Charles, Leon Alexander, Jonathan Lovett, Damian Stoney, Isabelle Sabourin, Petra Strand, and several others. Via a blind entry process, entries were narrowed down to five finalists per category, and one winner in each category will be chosen.

The NAHA festivities kick off with a Red Carpet Reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by a star-studded Awards Ceremony featuring special artistic presentations, live entertainment and special guest appearances. NAHA 2010 will also pay tribute to CUT IT OUT / Salons Against Domestic Abuse, a charitable organization developed for the salon industry to help raise awareness on domestic violence and help hairstylists and their clients seek treatment.


Stylist Name

Salon Name

Avant Garde Paul and Jami Eastin
Nicholas French
Alain Pereque
Charlie Price
Chad Seale
Paris Parker Salon
Matrix C.R.A.F.T Global Academy
Salon Pure
Click Salon
Taylor Andrews
Contemporary Classic Ammon Carver
Gianpolo Colombo
Steve Elias
Alain Pereque
Chad Taylor
Hairafter Salon and Spa
Elixir Salon Spa
Salon Pure
Moods Hair Salon
Editorial Stylist Faatemah Ampey
Ammon Carver
Steve Elias
Charlie Price
Sevin Vee
Faatemah, Inc.
Elixir Salon Spa
Click Salon
Van Michael Salon
Fashion Forward Steve Elias
Shirley Gordon
Glenn Mitchell & Charlie Price
Timothy Switzer
Antoine Vadacchino
Elixir Salon Spa
Strands Hair Studios
Shine Salon
Timothy & Co. Salon
Salon Pure
Haircolor Chrystofer Benson
Sue Pemberton
Nancy Scasserra
Silas Tsang
Dimitrios Tsioumas
Salon Tantrum
Xpression the Salon
Blushes Hair and Day Spa
Mizu New York
Hairstylist of the Year Steve Elias
Shirley Gordon
Shawna Parvin
Tony Ricci
Antoine Vadacchino
Elixir Salon Spa
Strands Hair Studios
World’s Local Parvin
Ricci Hair Co.
Salon Pure
Master Hairstylist Michael Albor
Wendy and Oscar Bond
Charlie Price
Tony Ricci
Heather Wenman
The Loft Salon + Day Spa
Bond Academy
Click Salon
Ricci Hair Co.
Studio H
Salon Design Aalam The Salon
Aveda Institute Birmingham
Donato Salon + Spa
Smashcut Studio
Vasken Demirjian Salon
Student Hairstylist Rebecca Cowles
Ashley Hall
Patrick Mathes
Stacie Niemann
Josh Parkin
Aveda Fredric’s Institute
Paul Mitchell The School SB
Aveda Fredric’s Institute
Eric Fisher Academy
Taylor Andrews
Salon Team Blushes Hair Day Spa
Jackson Ruiz Salon
Salon Inpure
Salon Pure
Valentinos Grand Salon
Texture Shirley Gordon
Chad Seale
Lina Shamoun
Silas Tsang
Dimitrios Tsioumas
Strands Hair Studios
Taylor Andrews
Artline Salon
Blushes Hair and Day Salon
Mizu New York

L’Oreal Introduces Revolutionary New Hair Coloring System

by Gretchen Heber on Friday, April 2nd, 2010

Austin stylist and L’Oreal spokesman Ron King will soon open a second salon in Austin. This is a rendering of the INOA station in his new salon, which will be called Ron King.

More than a century ago, L’Oréal Professionnel introduced the first safe hair dye, “Auréale,” created from mineral salts, to the industry. This month, the company debuts INOA, a revolutionary new ammonia-free permanent hair color.

The color contains an odorless alkaline agent called MEA (monoethanolamine) that replaces ammonia, which opens the hair cuticle slightly to allow for colorants and oxidants to penetrate the cortex to start the coloring process. “It’s more conditioning for the hair and scalp,” says Ron King, L’Oreal spokesperson and owner of Bo Salon in Austin, Texas. “It’s like a treatment for the hair,” he says.

INOA—which stands for “innovation”—works with the ODS technology (Oil Delivery System): an oil base that increases the active potential of the haircolor system while preserving the hair’s natural protective layer twice as much as traditional ammonia-based permanent hair color.

“This is going to stand the color world on end,” says King. “There’s nothing else like it.”

Other color lines have been ammonia-free, says King, but they were semi- or demi-permanent color. “INOA is permanent hair color,” he says. “You get the shine and gloss of a demi but the permanence of a permanent color.”

When using INOA, the stylist and client will choose the color together at a special “bar” area in the salon. “It’s no longer ‘The Wizard of Oz’ scenario, where the stylist disappears behind a curtain to mix up the potion,” says King. It’s a collaborative process, he says. “You interact to choose the color.”

The cost to the customer for INOA is about $50 to $75 more than a regular color service, says King. “But clients are OK with this because they’re getting shine and conditioning. Also, the color doesn’t fade as fast because of the oil delivery system,” so clients can go a bit longer between services, he says.

King’s Bo Salon was one of the first salons in the nation to get the new coloring system; he’s been using it on customers since September. Clients, he says, “feel more comfortable coming into the salon and having their hair colored because the color is completely balanced. They love the way it feels on the scalp. They feel like it’s holding the color better than it ever had.”

ABS Texture! Panel a Big Success

by Gretchen Heber on Friday, April 2nd, 2010

Texture! Panel

“Texture!”—a programming event presented by, and Modern Salon Magazine—is being heralded as one of the most interesting and successful panels at this year’s American Beauty Show.

The Texture! panel featured a veritable who’s who of the curly hair industry, including Dickey of Hair Rules, Titi and Miko Branch of Miss Jessie’s, Veronique Morrison of Mizani, Ouidad, Shari Harbinger of DevaConcepts, Jonathan Torch of Curly Hair Solutions and Edwin Johnson of KMS California.

America’s Beauty Show is a large (tens of thousands in attendance) trade show for beauty industry professionals that draws stylists and manufacturers from around the world. It was held this year in Chicago March 27-29.

The panel, held Sunday, was a longtime dream of NaturallyCurly co-founders Gretchen Heber and Michelle Breyer, who long wished for the opportunity to get so many curl experts in the same room together.

Judging from the audience’s reaction, the dream was successfully fulfilled. Dozens of stylists piled into the chilly convention center room to hear these legends of the industry describe their background, talk about their philosophies and offer concrete advice.

And while not all curl experts think alike, the event was a harmonious one, with the panelists all realizing the significance of the gathering.

“This meeting is a wonderful example of the shift in our customers’ belief in their natural hair,” said Harbinger.

Other ABS Highlights

•  See our ABS blog!
•  L’Oreal launches INOA
•  Keratin treatment companies were plentiful
•  Tabatha Coffey’s quickfire stylist challenge was wildly popular
•  Kim Vo and Nick Arrojo cruised the floor of the show, pausing for photos and chats
•  Mizani’s new True Textures line made a big splash

“No two people are the same. The left side is different from the right side. You have to deal with each person differently,” said Torch, as several panelists’ heads bobbed in agreement.

More practical tips came from Titi Branch: “The consultation is so important. Typically, the curly hair client is traumatized, skeptical. You have to patiently work with her.”

“You’ll have a client for life if you do what you say you’re going to do,“ said Harbinger.

Added Jonathan Torch, “There’s a lot of common sense to working with curly hair. With certain techniques you can remove bulk. The next challenge is to remove frizz. Everybody with curly hair has frizz issues. You can have the greatest haircut but if you don’t know how to manage the frizz, it’s no good.”

At one point, Breyer, who moderated the event, asked the audience how many of them had received specific training in working with textured hair when they were in cosmetology school. Only four raised their hands.

Mizani Demostration

Mizani demostration

The panel lauded the audience members for attending the session to gain more education. “We all need to be educated so that we can all deal with all types of hair,” said Morrison. “As our culture has evolved, we’re looking at curly hair as being more accepted now. The more we know curls, the better.”

“I was self-taught. I needed to develop special techniques to cut curly hair,” Johnston said.

Torch stressed the importance of today’s experts helping the next generation of stylists, “A curly hair style is always moving, from morning to noon to night. It’s hard for a new stylist to fathom. Now that curly hair is mainstream, it’s our responsibility to teach the next generation.”

Curlyheads, too, need special training to work with their curls, said Ouidad. “Many people with curly hair have never been taught; they’ve never been guided to work with their curly hair. It’s important that you stylists educate their clients. Every human being who has curly hair is able to learn to manage their chair.”

Following the panel were demonstrations by some of the panelists, a very popular part of the programming where the stylists were invited to come up close and have a back-and-forth with the presenters.

Each audience member received an enormous bag filled with hair care products, brochures and a super-cool CurlStylist apron.

Miko Branch offered perhaps the loveliest line of the day: “Bringing beauty to natural hair is my goal,” she said.

Keratin Treatments are Still Hot

by Gretchen Heber on Monday, March 29th, 2010

Brazilian Blowout Example

A Keratin makeover by Brazilian Blowout

Keratin treatments are still among the most-talked about —and desired— procedures in the haircare industry. Your clients probably request them daily. If your salon isn’t offering the latest treatments—ones that can be done in an hour or so— you should check them out!

You probably know that these treatments have many names—Brazilian blowout, BKT, keratin straightening, hair keratin straightening, escova progressiva—, and are a method of temporarily straightening hair by applying a liquid keratin and aldehyde solution and sealing it with a flat iron.

Keratin treatment is a long-term “blow dry” for hair that lasts about three months. It is designed for people who have curly or frizzy hair but would like a straighter appearance. Pioneered in Brazil, keratin treatments can be performed on virgin as well as chemically treated hair.

The system is said to eliminate any frizz, unruly curls and waves without making it too flat like other treatments such as the Japanese Yuko System.

Keratin treatments different from Japanese straightening treatments not only in the ingredients, but also in that keratin treatments are not permanent; the treatment gradually “wears off” after 10-12 weeks. Japanese straightening also tends to be more expensive and takes longer in the salon.

Robert Coykendall at Hair Studio 411 in Punta Gorda, Fla., said keratin treatments have a profound effect on his clients. “It makes a huge difference,” he said. “One woman we did recently was so excited because she could actually put her hands through her hair.”

CurlTalker Suzie E was somewhat less impressed with the results from her BKT. “My hair was loose, but not really that big of a difference.”

This result, however, is exactly what some curlies are looking for: looser curls, waves even, instead of tight ringlets. Many seek BKT to achieve the “beach wave” look that is so popular right now.

Read NaturallyCurly co-founder Michelle Breyer’s blog about her keratin treatment, and check here for more info about Keratin.

Deborah Dreyer, owner of A Nu-U Salon in Cranston, RI, agrees. Most of her customers who seek BKT are after a looser curl pattern. “They want to get up and go,” says Dreyer.

Dreyer says she especially loves the new advanced keratin treatments. “You don’t have to wait three days before washing your hair,” she says. “And the results with the new ones are much better,” she says.

“My clients walk out of here saying, ‘The answer is keratin,’” says Dreyer. “If your hair is frizzy and disheveled, you’ll love keratin.”

The keratin straightening treatment is a savior for hair in need of TLC, according to Michael Boychuck, hair aficionado, celebrity stylist and owner of three stylish salons. He says the treatments revive and replenish hair, leaving it soft, smooth and camera-ready.

Suzie E says she’s on the fence as to whether she’ll repeat BKT. “My hair is very dry — I’m having to constantly use deep treatments.”

The cost of the treatment ranges from $250 to $400, and most of the treatment manufactures recommend that you use their line of shampoos, conditioners, etc. after you have the treatment, to ensure best results.

Another new development is the marketing of many of these treatments as “formaldehyde-free”. While this is true, a truly straightening keratin treatment must contain some product from the aldehyde family of compounds in order to do the straightening. Keratin in and of itself does not straighten; it coats the hair and gives it the shiny, glossy finish. Many of the aldehydes are naturally derived and less toxic than formaldehyde. Still, it is recommended that pregnant women do not undergo the treatment. Additionally, many stylists and clients wear masks to protect themselves from any irritants. Some salons have even set up specially ventilated rooms to quickly dispel fumes.

If a “keratin” straightening product is truly aldehyde-free, then it is a different product than what is typically referred to as a keratin treatment, and the results from the treatment will likely last a much shorter time, possibly only until the next wash.

If you aren’t currently performing this service, you might want to check into it. It’s very popular and a good source of revenue. Many of the manufacturers offer training.

Here are a few of the keratin treatments available, with a bit of their marketing info:

Coppola Keratin Complex: Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy was founded by world-renowned stylist, salon owner and television personality, Peter Coppola. His life-long passion and talent lies in creating beautiful hair using the finest products available. The therapy eliminates up to 95% of frizz and curl and instantly adds amazing shine, silkiness and condition to the hair.

Liquid Keratin: Liquid Keratin formulas drench the hair with both keratin proteins and keratin peptides to allow the formation to bond to the hair inside and out, while adding keratin protein and nourishment that is naturally missing in your hair. The result is smoother, stronger, softer more manageable hair. Liquid Keratin is the first safe at home alternative to expensive salon treatments providing amazing results of healthier, longer, softer, shinier hair with 100% less frizz without the use of Formaldehyde and other harmful chemical ingredients. One application can last up to 30 days.

Keratin Fusion Texture Control: Keratin Fusion Texture Control: is an innovative salon service to instantly and permanently transform coarse, curly, unruly hair to smooth, straight and shiny. Or fine limp hair into volumous and beautiful. Contains no thio, no sodium hydroxide, no formaldehyde, no aldehydes. As part of the Keratin Fusion service, Pravana’s Thermal Insulator protects the hair during the texture control.

Marcia Teixeira Brazilian Keratin Treatment: It is a treatment for all kinds of hair. This intense treatment leaves hair soft, shiny and frizz free for up to four months. It can be used safely on just about any type of hair – dry, frizzy, over-processed, color treated, ethnic or even unprocessed virgin hair.

Brazilian Blowout: Through the use of a Brazilian Super Nutrient Complex and a proprietary polymer system, the Brazilian Blowout actually improves the condition of the hair by creating a protective protein layer around the hair shaft to eliminate frizz and smooth the cuticle. Results last up to 12 weeks.

Kerafusion Keratin Treatment by De Fabulous: The Kerafusion by De Fabulous provides a top quality look with results lasting for at least 3 to 4 months (depending on hair type virgin hair lasts about 2 months. As keratin is infused into the hair, it penetrates deep into the damaged cuticle giving the hair a naturally straight look and leaving even the most porous hair silky, shiny and healthy. It is formulated especially for damaged, chemically treated and dry hair to eliminate frizz and out of control curls.

Global Keratin: Juvexin Hair Taming System. incorporates our unique keratin formulation which protects the hair’s natural properties and prevents damage to the hair surface. Unlike over-processed hydrolyzed keratins found in the market today, Global Keratin’s Juvexin™ Hair Taming System. is an organic, active complex component, delivered to the hair in its raw, natural state. Critical amino acids and proteins remain whole to condition hair and protect it from damage and aging caused by environmental factors. It works on all hair types, leaving it healthy looking, shiny and frizz-free for up to 5 months. It is available in Light wave, Virgin/Curly/ Colored andThick/Coarse/Resistant.

Reform by Zerran Natural Hair Care: Zerran’s Reform is a revolutionary patented way to achieve straight, sleek hair without harsh chemicals. The gentle formula allows reprocessing from root to tips without breakage. It contains no sodium hydroxide, ammonium thioglycolate, formaldeyde or aldehyde. It is 100 percent vegan.

The Beach Wave by Pravana: The Beach Wave is designed to provide long-lasting, soft, natural, undulating waves that don’t damage the hair. This unique application and gentle formula contains no thio (thioglycate, a relaxing agent), and utilizes natural Cysteamine, a natural amino acid, to realign the hair’s internal bonds to create a soft, sensuous wave. This gentle formula is safe for color-treated hair and incorporates Keratin Fusion Restructurizing Serum to infuse hair with silk and human hair keratin amino acids which strengthen, protect and add shine.

La Brasiliana: Revolutionary and safe intense treatment that softens, smooths and relaxes all hair types. Comes in Original, Apple and Moca varieties.

Soft-Liss: The Soft-Liss Intelligent Brush is a line of products used for hair straightening through a “texturization” technique, in which the active ingredients of the product act on the hair, promoting the straightening of the strands and leaving them naturally straight. In addition, these products also act on the keratin and protein of the hair, which protect the hair from damage and keep it shiny and healthy.

OK Original Keratin: This product was developed and improved in cooperation with a leading university research biochemist. This cooperation resulted in the best, safest formulation available today.

Simply Smooth: Reduces curl by 25-50% on any hair type for up to 16 weeks. Formaldehyde-free. Uses highest grade of keratin possible.

Goleshlee Keratin: Goleshee Keratin is a professional, prescriptive, and revolutionary range of treatments for damaged hair; a special “hair enhancement” that will answer all your hair care worries! This product uses monomolecular technology to turn back time and restore your hair to its former glow! Using particles that are so small, they can penetrate the hair shaft. GKT then replaces the vital components of the hair structure to restore its health, vitality, strength and shine.

QOD: Experience our cutting-edge product line and throw away yesterday’s raw formaldehyde formulas. Avoid controversy by using our FDA-compliant, high-tech formulas.

Common Botanicals in Hair Care Products

by Gretchen Heber on Monday, March 8th, 2010

Many manufacturers tout the natural ingredients in their products, and, of course, who doesn’t like natural ingredients? But what exactly does grape seed do for the hair? What are the benefits? We’ve put together a handy primer of some of the hottest natural ingredients on the market right now, with information about what they’ll do for your hair.

Açaí: The combination of acai berry’s vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, EFAs and chemical constituents come together to greatly benefit the hair and skin. Açaí oil is said to deeply moisturize hair, add luster, and enrich hair color. Açaí also helps eliminate frizz.

Aloe vera: Aloe vera gel is a boon for us kinky, curly gals. It helps fix damage from heat appliances. Aloe vera is smoothing as it is soothing, controlling without stiffness. It is used as a treatment for hair loss because it stimulates new hair production and can even fight against Alopecia. It works very well as an anti-frizz product.

Argan: Argan oil—or Moroccan oil as it is sometimes called—is gaining attention in the haircare industry for its ability to soften unruly hair while offering protection from the elements. It is easily absorbed into the hair and promises to eliminate frizziness as well as provide intense conditioning to all hair types. It is known to promote hair growth by strengthening weak hair prone to breaking off, and with its rich vitamins and minerals, it promotes healing to the skin, nails and the hair shaft.

Avocado: For hair, avocade is used in hot-oil treatments and for deep, hair conditioning. Avocado pulp can be whipped smooth and applied to face or massaged into the hair for a quick and easy softening, conditioning and moisturizing mask.

Chocolate/cacao: Savoring cacao’s numerous health benefits is a nourishing treat for skin and hair—adding shine, vibrancy and improving the general health of both. By using chocolate and cocoa butter products on your hair and skin, you get to enjoy the delightful chocolatey aroma and reap the benefits of antioxidants, vitamin and mineral.

Grape seed: Grape seed extract is sometimes used to treat hair loss and to stimulate hair growth. It’s also used to combat dryness. Grape seed extract is a very strong antioxidant.

Jojoba: Jojoba acts as a humectant on the hair and scalp by sealing it to prevent moisture loss. All hair types will benefit from jojoba but hair that is dry and damaged will benefit the most, as jojoba coats and seals the hair cuticle. This maintains moisture balance, essential for healthy hair. Jojoba extract is also said to remove buildup.

Horsetail: If applied topically on hair, horsetail is known to help strengthen and restore shine in your hair. Horsetail adds silica to the hair, which can help prevent hair loss.

Monoi Tiare: The union of Tiare (Gardenia Tahitensis) with highly refined Tahitian coconut oil produces aromatic oil that penetrates and hydrates the hair and skin. It seals the surface of the scalp, hair cuticle and skin, preventing dryness. It is renowned for protecting the skin and hair against salt water and sun damage. The oil is hypoallergenic, moisturizing and nourishing. The Tiare extract has excellent rejuvenating and conditioning benefits for the scalp and hair cuticle. Minor scalp irritations and itchy scalp is alleviated.

Macadamia nut: Macadamia oil reduces wrinkles and dryness. It is a natural moisturizer and emollient (emollients attract and trap moisture from the air). Macadamia oil is light and non-greasy so it is easily absorbed into the hair shaft and skin. Another gift of macadamia nut oil is that it contains proteins, and its vitamin E contributes skin-care benefits and long shelf life. The high count of mono-unsaturated fatty acids makes the oil mimic the sebum (naturally produced oil on scalp and skin which protects it from damage). All of these qualities contribute to its reputation as a superb hair and skin treat, as well as an elixir for healing scars, sunburn, wounds and irritations.

Murumuru: Murumuru is especially useful to people with kinky, curly or wavy hair because of its softening ability. Often, kinky, and some types of curly, hair feels coarse. Murumuru coats coarse curls, making them more supple and manageable. Products containing an appreciative amount of murumuru oil or extract are well-suited to textured curls. Murumuru products moisturize the hair with lasting hydration, controlling frizz and defining curls.

Pomegranate: Pomegranate oil is preferred for hot oil treatments or pre-shampoo soothing for frizzy, over-processed hair and for general conditioning for kinky, curly and wavy hair. Pomegranate oil will enhance the appearance and feel of hair, help with detangling and will moisturize the hair shaft.

Seaweed: Seaweed is an emollient, defining and softening curls. Seaweed feeds the shafts and the ducts of the scalp to help improve the health of the hair. It has been said that the thick, black, lustrous hair of the Japanese is partly due to their regular diet of brown sea vegetables such as arame. Research has shown that minerals are important to healthy hair growth, and arame has a high mineral content.

Shea butter: Shea butter is remarkably high in unsaponifiables — up to 11% (this varies), giving natural UV protection. This is one of the reasons it is beloved by Africans whose skin and hair is almost constantly exposed to sunny and sometimes harsh weather conditions. The UV protection is useful elsewhere as well. Having some UV protection enables our hair to retain its natural vibrancy, color treatments and softness. The emollient, (softening) quality of shea butter makes it useful for hair and body care, as it is easily and quickly absorbed when applied topically. For most types of hair, shea is a good hot oil treatment, wherein it is melted, cooled slightly, then applied warm to the ends of hair where split ends occur and to the scalp. Agroforestry and environmental organizations fear over-harvesting of shea nuts could contribute to land degradation, eventually leading to desertification. This is one of the reasons some experts also advocate use of alternative butters such as mango butter, which is almost identical in efficacy and usage.

Sunflower: Sunflower oil contains vitamin A, D, and E and a good amount of protein for skin and hair; it’s a high-quality source of zinc (protein is very good for most types of hair, vitamin E is a great antioxidant and zinc is protective against the sun’s rays).

Tamanu: Tamanu oil’s ability to regenerate and act as an anti-inflammatory and antibiotic make it a welcome addition to the curly hair care arsenal, particularly in protective and healing formulas for those who use heat or chemical formulas on their locks. Many curlies seek natural ingredients to help with hair growth or to stop breakage—in this area tamanu oil shows promise. Not only is tamanu oil recommended for skin disorders or scalp burns, but its regenerative properties make it the oil to reach for when trying to recover from hair loss.

Exclusive Interview: Giacomo Forbes Talks About “Shear Genius” With CurlStylist

by Gretchen Heber on Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Giacomo Forbes

Giacomo Forbes has departed “Shear Genius.”

Fans of Bravo’s hit reality series “Shear Genius” were probably surprised when celebrity stylist Giacomo Forbes announced last week, with the season barely underway, that he was leaving the show.

Read more about “Shear Genius”

The A-list stylist did well in the first episode, earning compliments and respect from the judges. But just minutes into episode 2, Forbes interrupted the proceedings to announce to host Camila Alves and the other contestants that the series was over for him.

“I really love the competition but the living together part made me miss my kids,” he said today in an exclusive interview with CurlStylist. “I mean, the showers … there was no privacy! It was crazy.”

Part of the show’s drama is the ups and downs of the contestants—all strangers—living together in tight quarters. “It was like a dorm,” Forbes says, “and I’m not into that.” In fact, the curly-haired stylist said he wouldn’t be surprised if, going forward, the show’s producers focused less on the drama of the living arrangement—given the dysfunctional atmosphere— and more on the competition.

He said the whole thing made him think about what was more important, the chance to win $5,000 (as well as some seed money from Nexxus), or being with his kids. The choice was an easy one, he said.

Forbes also hinted that as a well-established industry stylist, with plenty of published work to his name already, being on the show to gain recognition or money wasn’t really necessary for him.

Forbes, who grew up in Rome, is well-known in the industry and has an impressive celebrity clientele, including model Claudia Schiffer and actress Marissa Tomei. After opening successful salons and manufacturing companies in both New York and Los Angeles, he made the move to Austin, Texas. There, Giacomo and his team developed a new line of innovative hair and body care products, meant to heal “hair, body and soul.” Both his talent and products have been featured in national print magazines including “Allure,” “Vogue” and “Harpers Bazaar.” His home base is Bella Salon in Austin.

With his stint on “Shear Genius” over, Forbes will concentrate on releasing an extension to his hair care line in the coming months, as well as a new skin care line that will “blow your mind,” he says. “People who love my Miracle Hair Oil Treatment will love the new products—both hair and skin.”

Also look for a new show from Forbes and Bravo within the next year or so—it’s still in the planning stages. “It will focus on beauty, food, fashion and health,” he says. “It will be called ‘Giacomo Forbes’ Favorites’ or something like that,” he says. “We’re still working it out.”

The show will highlight Forbes’ favorite small boutiques and shops from around the country.

Teaching Your Client to do Her Hair at Home

by Gretchen Heber on Thursday, February 4th, 2010

You’ve worked for two hours on your client’s hair. She looks amazing. The cut, the style… it all looks fantastic.

As she’s getting up from the chair, she comments, “I wish I could make my hair look this good at home!”

She has a point, and her concerns are shared by many clients, who often lament that they’ll never be able to duplicate their salon look at home, and that they’re doomed to second-best until they revisit the salon.

So how do you help your clients get “salon hair” at home?

David Babaii

Celebrity stylist and product entrepreneur David Babaii says it all starts with an understanding of your client. How much time does she have to style her hair? How knowledgeable and comfortable is she using styling tools?

“Once I have all this information, my job is to give them ways they can do the style at home,” he says.

“Usually when creating a new hairstyle, I book extra time so I can go through step by step what I am doing and how they can do it at home. I will even have them work with the styling tools before I finish the look so I can see that they are comfortable using them,” he adds.

Christo of Christo Fifth Avenue concurs. “When a client sits in my chair, they undergo a complete PsychoHair Therapy Session that includes a total consultation on her lifestyle and hair texture. This helps me better understand her needs so that I can deliver the best results.”


Christo also offers his clients a “hands-on styling lesson where she takes control and I correct any mistakes as well as give her tips.”

Los Angeles-based stylist Kimmi Hendrix wants to be sure the client is up to the task of maintaining a particular look before she even starts.

“If she or he is trying a new look, I try my very best to be detailed as to what maintenance will be like. I will share my honest opinion if her style of choice is high- or low-maintenance or just not a great option,” says Hendrix.

In addition to making your client feel good by being able to get “just stepped out of a salon” hair at home, there are practical reasons for making sure your client looks good all the time.

“As a hairdresser, it is imperative your client knows how to reproduce the look because her hair is your calling card. You want her hair to look its best at all times so other women will approach her on the street to ask who her hairdresser is—that’s how you land new business,” says Eufora founder Don Bewley.

Don Bewley

“With every tool, brush and styling product I use, I make sure to place it in my client’s hands so she can see exactly what I’m using. The first step is the blow dry. After demonstrating which styling products to use and how much is necessary, I teach her how to section her hair off. From there, I demonstrate how to handle each section with the blow dryer, as well as which brush to use and how to hold it at the proper angle. I will often place the dryer in her hands so she can try it with me there to coach,” says Bewley

Other experts agree that a client must have a fundamental understanding of how to take care of her curly hair.

“The success of having great curly hair totally depends on a client’s ability to style their hair by themselves. Cutting curly hair properly only contributes to half of the success. The other half is just as important and it is learning how to manage and maintain each curl. No cut will stop frizz.,” says Jonathan Torch of Toronto’s Curly Hair Institute. “Some clients even need lessons on how to shampoo correctly.”


Legendary celebrity stylist Oribe adds that sometimes clients can get an even better look at home because “it is undone and looks natural.”

“I also encourage clients to not fight their natural textures. For curly hair for instance, find ways to have a beautiful natural look— a great cut and great products will make it easy to recreate at home— much easier than trying to get it straight every day,” says Oribe, who’s also created his own line of products.

“Being able to duplicate any style at home requires patience and practice. First, communicate that it will require practice and that you are there to assist in achieving at-home maintenance. And do remind them to be patient as they learn,” says stylist Sam Villa, a Redken platform artist.

Even with all your educating, some clients can be overwhelmed, experts say. So be prepared to offer even more guidance, post-appointment.

“Unfortunately, there is about a 50/50 chance she can really duplicate it on her own, so I always rebook the client for a complimentary blow-dry lesson with my assistant 3 days later. This is especially useful for new clients and existing clients who changed their look significantly,” says Bewley.

When Bewley owned salons, before founding Eufora, his salons hosted a “Learn the Art of Blow Drying” night each Wednesday. Clients who were having challenges could bring their blow dryers and see demonstrations of proper techniques.

So, educate your client from the moment she sits in your chair, continue to teach her as you work with her hair throughout the appointment and invite her back for additional help if necessary. Follow these steps and you’ll have happy clients who help you build your client base!

Encourage Your Clients to Join the Grow-Out Challenge

by Gretchen Heber on Monday, October 5th, 2009

Some of your clients may be struggling with the decision to grow out their relaxers and embrace their natural texture. Or they may be part way through the process.

While you can provide the professional tips and advice they need during this challenging process, you might also want to suggest your clients check out NaturallyCurly’s just-launched Miss Jessie’s Grow-Out Challenge.

We invite your clients to come along on this exciting six-month adventure of natural hair. They can share their ups and downs as they transition from relaxed to natural with scores of other NaturallyCurly members. They’ll laugh and cry as they discover, bit by bit, the joy of embracing their natural textures. The journey can be daunting, but with the love and support of you and your clients’ curly sisters, it will be exhilarating and liberating.

Whatever stage your clients are in in their transitioning — thinking about it, just beginning, well into it or fully natural — we welcome their participation.

Titi Branch of Miss Jessie’s offers these tips for stylists working with transitioning clients:

Stylists that are working with transitioning clients for the first time must realize the frustration that this client is experiencing. The frustration lies in the fact that the client is dealing with 2 distinctly different textures of hair on one head. The roots are tight and/or curly and the relaxed ends are straight. Up to the point of doing the big chop, the goal for that client is to do everything in their power to make these two distinctively different textures appear similar. So here are some tips:

  • Do be patient with this client and realize the frustration that they are experiencing. They are coming to you for solutions . Probably the number #1 concern of this client is wondering if their hairstyle will last. For some, the styling may last; for others, you need to explain what the expectations can be.
  • In offering a solution there are a few things that you may want to consider.

    1. Is length an issue? If it is this is a client that may be more willing to deal with having two disparate textures rather than cutting all of the relaxed ends off before there is enough natural texture.

    2. Is this someone with an active lifestyle? Works out a lot? This is a client that may experience more benefit from doing the big chop than having to style two textures constantly.

    3. Breakage is an issue. As a stylist you must understand the importance of deep conditioning treatments like Miss Jessie’s Rapid Recovery and moisturizers like Baby or Curly Buttercreme. If breakage is so severe then cutting the hair may be the only option.

    4. For someone going natural for the first time, they are seeing their hair in a state that they may have not seen in decades or as long as they have been relaxing their hair. Do realize that this client is going to be really reliant upon you to offer suggestions and solutions as their styling time will now be increased at home.

    5. A loyal client. Once you have successfully helped someone transition, she is a client for life!!

Get started today.

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