Archive for the ‘Curly Care Basics’ Category

Haircuts for Curly Hair: Movement, Dimension, and Layers…Oh My!

by CurlStylist on Thursday, March 27th, 2014

haircuts for curly hair

With over 20 years of experience in the professional curly industry, senior stylist Leslie Ellen Abbate has seen trends come and go, especially being located on the popular, upscale 5th Avenue in New York City. Her love of the modern woman’s hair and beauty has taken her far in her career, and clients appreciate it. Leslie Ellen doesn’t only consider herself a stylist, but rather an enhancer of dramatic style and lifestyle changes.

CurlStylist: Introduce yourself.

Leslie Ellen Abbate: I am so passionate about what I do. My focus is to work with the natural beauty of your hair to achieve your desired look. I love and specialize in hair makeovers, which can dramatically change your style. My goal is to make you look stylish and feel beautiful. Every client is so special to me. I would love to show you how hair color and highlights would add dimension to your look.

CurlStylist: How did you enter the curly salon industry?

Leslie Ellen Abbate: I am a curly girl! For years I was saddened by one unfortunate haircut after another. I knew there had to be a better way. I have always been particularly fascinated by the beauty and versatility of curls. Because of these reasons, I have dedicated my styling techniques to fit the individual needs of those with curly hair.

CurlStylist: What inspires you throughout the day?
Leslie Ellen Abbate: I feel blessed and inspired by the love of God everyday. I am humbled and in awe that I can to do what I love and be used as a vessel.
CurlStylist: What are your favorite curly hair cuts or styles?
Leslie Ellen Abbate: My favorite thing to enhance a curly girl is to add some movement and dimension. This is can be achieved buy adding some layers and a bayalage. Curly hair should always have some sort of layering. I love to give some movement and life, back  to the hair. Without layering, it can be flat and triangular. As you elevate and layer the hair, it creates movement and frames the face.

CurlStylist: What are some hair trends you’re seeing in NY?
Leslie Ellen Abbate: Bayalage has been around for a while but has really been taken the spotlight lately. It is a way of highlighting the hair without foils. It is a more natural dimensional look, great to hug the curls and add dimension without it being too light or obvious that you added some lightness.

CurlStylist: What is one thing you wish every curly man or woman knew about their hair?

Leslie Ellen Abbate: Do not disturb the curls. The curls have their families they belong with and once separated they will frizz.

CurlStylist: Where is your shop located and how can we schedule an appointment?
Leslie Ellen Abbate: I am currently renting a space at Capelli D’Oro, a bright, airy salon overlooking the buzz of 5th Avenue, in the Flatiron district, at 123 5th Avenue, New York City. Call me directly for an appointment at 718-926-4050. You will enjoy the ambiance of the salon, with its great welcoming energy.

Essential Tips for Hair Growth

by CurlStylist on Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Michelle O’Connor is the L’Oreal Mizani designer and Artistic Regional Leader of JCP Salons. She shares tips on hair growth from a professional standpoint– and how to address your client’s concerns next time they ask the daunting question, “Why isn’t my hair growing?”
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As a stylists & educator & creative director for a major salon chain, I’m been on more than one occasion been posed with that question has always been considered an elusive conquest amongst the highly textured set . Why doesn’t my hair grow?
This false illusion that curly to excessively curly women experience first hand is the shrunken halo of hair that appears like it’s never growing, or moving beyond a certain point.Misconception……..or is it ? We all know that curly hair is dry hair. Why you ask ? Well, we all produce natural oil from our scalps, however due to the nature of curls or coils twisting & turning around & around, sometimes even zig zagging, the oil just can’t hold on for the ride. As a result of this, the mid-shaft & ends never receive that natural goodness, leading to dry parched hair. This often times leads to split ends, which later results in breakage. This is what usually draws the conclusion that hair isn’t growing. let’s just put this fact out there. Everyone’s hair grows! Whatever growth happened is usually negated by the breaking at the ends, therefore the hair will not pass that treasured landmark we have on our bodies, affectionately known as the chin , shoulders & oh yeah the Rocky Balboa of landmarks…..#brastraplength!
HELP YOU SAY! I can certainly enlighten you. Here is my 2 cents, if you will. I really want you to pay attention to to what I’m about to lay on you. You’ll wonder where I’ve been all your life. All jokes aside, let’s get to the root of things (no pun, seriously) . We’ll call this the Michelle’s hair growth boot camp essentials.

1. Use shampoos without sulfates. Sulfates dry the hair out leading to even more dryness & you know what I told you about that!
2. Don’t wash excessively. Remember we are in desperate need of moisture. Let’s stick to no more that 2-3 times a week. I highly recommend a co-wash or conditioning wash. This is basically a conditioner with cleansing properties.
3. Deep condition at least once a week. A hooded dryer or a warm towel wrapped around the head will help the conditioner to penetrate the hair deeper. Think about warm water when washing your face. It opens the pores right? Well warmth will open the cuticles in the hair. Get it? Oh yeah, whine your at it , a scalp massage wouldn’t hurt either. It’ll increase the blood flow.
4. Get a protein treatment around once a month, more than that if necessary. This helps restore the strength to the hair. When we color, flat iron , blow dry & do anything that decreases the strength, we have to put back in what we’ve depleted. Kinda like when we go in our savings account. I won’t tell.
5. Use a protective covering over your hair, like a satin bonnet. I know that you’re giving me the side eye right now, but just hear me out. You can also get your sexy on and make it a satin pillow case. You see standard cotton pillow cases absorb moisture out of the hair. Satin will not do that. The hair will slide around on satin & keep all your due diligence intact. Make satin your hair’s new BFF.
6. Moisture, moisture moisture ! That’s my nod to the Brady bunch. Every day before you walk out of the house, grace your tresses with a moisturizing hair dress or essential oil. Steer clear of silicones, petrolatum & mineral oil. You want penetrating oils, not substances that sit on top of your hair.
7. limit your use of heat, and on those occasions, do not forget to use a thermal protector. This includes blow dryers & irons, not hooded dryers or warm towel which are essential to deep conditioning. Daily heat use can contribute to heat damage. Heat damage= poor elasticity. Poor elasticity= weak hair . Weak hair= breakage.
8. Last but not least, get your hair trimmed regularly! YES, don’t wine about it. It’s necessary. Each hair strand is growing at a different interval. There are three stages of hair growth. Anagen (the growth phase) approximately 85% of all hairs are in the growing phase at any one time. This stage can last from 2-6 years. Then there is Catagen (the transitional phase). This stage lasts for about two weeks & the hair follicle shrinks to about 1/6 of its normal  length. Lastly there is Telogen (the resting phase). 10-15% of hairs are in this phase. During this time of 5-6 weeks the hair doesn’t grow, but it stays attached to the follicle. At the end of Telogen the hair follicle re-enters the Anagen phase. If the old hair has not already shed, the new hair pushes the old one out and the growth cycle starts all over again. Sorry I had to get all scientific on you, but I just wanted you to understand that trimming the hair is essential, because at any stage, the thousands of stands of hair on your head are going through different phases. The more uniform you keep those ends the stronger your hair will be. It’s like when you see a person with long hair & only 3 strands of it are long . One wrong move with a hairbrush & it’s a wrap! Don’t do it! . Don’t be that girl! In the hair world, there is strength in numbers.

In closing I have one thing to chant …..Rocky, Rocky, Rocky!

Curl Talk: Top Curly and Natural Hair Terms

by CurlStylist on Monday, March 4th, 2013

Curlies will relax in your chair when they feel they’re being understood! Learn the language with these texture terms.

2a, 2b, 2c, 3a, 3b, 3c, 4a, 4b, 4c: Hair type classification system

2nd day hair: Hair that looks good enough the day after styling that it can just be misted with water or have a little product added try to revive and refresh its style

Baggy: A plastic shopping bag or shower cap to cover the hair overnight after moisturizing  it

Big chop: Cutting off all your chemically treated hair

Braid-n-curl: To braid the hair and roll the ends on rods or flexis

Canopy: The top layer of hair, which is exposed to the elements and most prone to frizzing

CG: Curly Girl Method for taking care of curly hair as described by author Lorraine Massey in the book Curly Girl

Clarify: Remove build-up from the hair

Clumping: The process of gathering strands of hair together to form bigger, chunkier curls

Co-Wash: Using conditioner rather than shampoo to wash the hair

Crunch: The stiff texture left by some gels when they dry

DT or DC: Deep Treatment or Deep Conditioner that is applied to the hair for an extended period of time, along with a heat source to aid penetration

EO: Essential Oil

Holy Grail: Products that are “tried and true”

No-poo: A curly who co-washes and shuns cones and other heavy or oily products that require shampooing to remove

Pineapple: Hair gathered into a loose ponytail at the top of the head to protect curls while sleeping on a satin pillowcase in order to have great 2nd day hair by simply removing the pony and shaking out the preserved curls

Plopping: Drying the hair with a T-shirt, terrycloth towel or paper towel to drastically reduce drying time

Pre-pooing: Applying a treatment prior to shampooing consisting of oils and/or conditioners, with a heat source to aid penetration

Product junkie: A client who buys any and all hair care products, forever on a mission to find the next best formula

Sealing: A method of keeping moisture in the hair, specifically on the ends, that follows application of a water-based moisturizer with a butter or oil

Shrinkage: Shortening of length due to curl tightness

Slip: Describes a product’s degree of slipperiness and effectiveness in detangling; the more slip, the better the product will coat the hair to aid in detangling

SLS: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, a harsh ingredient in some shampoos that curlies try to avoid

TNC (Twist-n-curl): To twist the hair and roll the ends on rods or flexis

Transitioning: The period of time since the client’s last relaxer

TWA: Teeny Weeny Afro

Twist out: Twisting two strands before air drying or sitting under a dryer, and then separating the twists and styling

Wash and go: Styling the hair by co-washing adding a gel or cream and drying with a diffuser or letting the hair air-dry

Read the digital version of Texture!

10 Mistakes Stylists Make When Cutting Curlies

by CurlStylist on Monday, March 4th, 2013

When we asked curly clients for their horror cut-and-blow dry stories, we got an earful!

1. Thinned the hair/used a razor.

2. Gave a blunt cut.

3. Didn’t use a diffuser.

4. Ran fingers through the hair during the blow dry.

5. Dried the head upside down.

6. Cut the hair wet.

7. Cut too much; didn’t consider how much curl takes away from length.

8. Combed the hair while wet.

9. Used a small round brush to blow dry.

10. Used no product.

Now you know what NOT to do, use the education and suggestions in this issue and other texture education to focus on all the positive things you can do to be a curl expert and total beauty resource for your clients!

Read the digital version of Texture!

Fit and Beautiful

by CurlStylist on Monday, March 4th, 2013

With studies showing that many curlies shun fitness in order to make sure sweat never dampens their hair style, U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin has made a public plea to women to put their health before their hair. Must this be an either/or? Help your naturally textured clients keep their coif and exercise, too!

Carry products that guard against humidity, refresh the curl and maintain the hair’s health under even stressful conditions. Suggest a “kurly kit” for the gym bag, to include:

-A refresher to mist and cut the gym odor.

-Soft ponytail holders that won’t pull the hair.

-Updated-or retro!- sweat bands.

-A dry shampoo for an easy cleansing solution.

-A curl booster in a mist bottle for scrunch-and-go convenience.

-Travel sizes of the essentials. If she has time for a shower, she’ll need her texture-specific shampoo, conditioner and stylers.

Read the digital version of Texture!

Innovation, Creativity on Display in Long Beach

by Michelle Breyer on Friday, February 1st, 2013

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Long Beach, Calif. –

More than five years ago, inventor Nick Johnson was watching all the excitement over the keratin boom. Stylists, including his wife, were excited by the potential to offer their clients an easy way to smooth their hair, and the technique also provided huge revenue potential.

But Johnson also saw the downside. Stylists and their clients often were irritated by the fumes created when the hot flat iron was applied to the keratin formula.

“My wife said ‘You have to invent something,’” Johnson said of his wife Marzia Johnson, who owns the Marzia Salon in San Francisco, Calif. “So I spent two weeks in my workshop inventing a device.”

The result is the Izunami Fume Iron, a device that extracts fumes such as formaldehyde gas, odors, and VOC’s by suctioning the vapors directly through the flat iron into an air purification system.

“I believe this product provides stylists and their clients with peace of mind,” Johnson says.

Right: Izunami fume iron, Left: ISSE

Right: Izunami fume iron, Left: ISSE attendee

Right: Izunami fume iron, Left: ISSE attendee

Stylists got their first look at the Izunami Fume Iron at the Professional Beauty Association’s International Salon & Spa Expo in Long Beach the last weekend in January.

Creativity and innovation were on display throughout the ISSE show, which kicks off the hair show season. Whether it was watching top talents like Nick Arrojo and Martin Parsons show off their cutting and styling skills or looking at some of the newest product developments, stylists had plenty to inspire them.

For those stylists specializing in texture, there were a number of new product introductions, including Yuko’s Anti-Frizz, a gentler version of its straightening product designed to tame frizz rather than eliminate curl. Other standouts include Amika’s new Straight Up Straightening Balm and Haute Mess Texture Gel; Erayba’s HydraKer Keratin & Argan Oil Therapy Line and Neuma Beauty’s NeuSmooth line.

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Right: ISSE attendee, Left: InStyler straightening curls

ISSE Long Beach always has a diverse exhibitor base, and 2013 was no exception. Known as the launch pad for new beauty products and services, ISSE Long Beach 2013 featured amore than 400 beauty brands ranging such industry leaders as Rusk and Farouk Systems to hot brands like Macadamia Natural Oil and Moroccan Natural Oil.

Keratin treatments continued to be a major focus for many companies, although the number of companies has dwindled due to competition and calls for safer products.

If ISSE is a barometer of what 2013 holds for stylists and salons, there is reason for optimism. Many brands said sales were up noticeably from last year.

Texture! Hits the Runways

by CurlStylist on Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Models strut their stuff on Fashion Week runways across the globe every fall and spring, sporting trend-setting frocks and head-turning hairstyles.

Traditionally, these styles have revolved around straight strands — think sleek ponytails and shiny bobs. But as fashion evolves, so does the hair. Now there are many manes of curls and variations in texture.

In this issue of Texture!, we’ve taken a peek at recent shows and seasons and the wide variety of textured styles worn to complement the clothes.

Also, this month, NaturallyCurly.com editors are participating in New York’s Fashion Week in an exciting new endeavor called Texture on the Runway. More than 400 stylists, influencers, industry leaders and consumer media will gather at this first-of-its-kind show. MODERN is a media sponsor of the event that is sure to make waves in the industry, with stylists from each brand showcasing their texture vision.

NaturallyCurly.com co-founder and Texture! partner Michelle Breyer of Texture Media, Inc., says, “The world today is a much different place than it was when we started the site 14 years ago, with a multitude of curl-specific products, a growing legion of curl-savvy stylists and increasing respect in society for texture in all of its beautiful forms. But while much progress has been made, many people still believe texture is a passing trend. Much like this special Texture! collaboration with MODERN, Texture on the Runway is about telling the world that curls, kinks and waves are here to stay.”

Riding the Wave

Editorial stylists and runway looks aren’t alone in their love of texture. More professionals are seeking education on cutting, styling and coloring curly clients.

Whether you take a class from your favorite manufacturer, download a course from Modern Salon Learning or take advantage of education in your own salon, becoming a texture expert should be a main priority this year.

Looking for a place to jump right into texture education? MODERN SALON Media and Texture Media will have a special texture stage and exhibit area at America’s Beauty Show, March 3-5 at McCormick Place in Chicago (americasbeautyshow.com).Texture experts from our sponsors will bring Texture! to life on stage.

Remember, a stylist who can handle any type of texture — for cuts and color — is an invaluable resource to a frustrated client.

Read the digital edition!

Air Drying Hair is Good For Your Clients

by Ivan Zoot/The Clipper Guy on Friday, September 16th, 2011

antonio gonzales

Sometimes it is hard to love curly hair. Frizziness and styling difficulty are great examples in which all the fun and love can disappear in a hurry. And, for our curly clients, they struggle with this at home.

Air drying is one of the best ways to keep the love alive. Here are my tip five air drying hair tips for helping clients build a better relationship with their curls.

1. Apply styling product – Mousse, gel or styling glaze are best choices for defined curl, reduced frizz and successful air drying. Experiment until you find the one that is best for your client’s hair. Use a shampooing-in motion for thorough coverage and distribution.

2. Cocktail as needed – Mix products to get optimum result. This is called cocktailing. Mixing gel with anti-frizz serum is one great recipe. Experiment with the proportions. Mixing mousse with gel creates differing levels of hold and crispiness.

3. Work it in and rake it through – “Shampoo” in your styling cocktail. Make sure to achieve good, all-over coverage. Use your fingers, your big rake combs, to separate and define your wet and cocktail saturated hair.

4. Do nothing – The Beatles sang “Let it be.” Make that your theme song. Once you have applied your styling cocktail, let you hair dry undisturbed. Avoid the temptation to scrunch, touch or otherwise interfere with the drying process. Go about your other business, from make-up to breakfast to kids and to work. Simply let the hair air dry how it wants.

5. Reactivate as needed – Enjoy the freedom of your time and the easy of your hair. Dampen your big rake combs (your hands) in the sink and re-dampen your hair if and when needed to pop some life back into it as the day goes on. Let it air dry again to refresh your look.

Your clients will love their curls and love you for these air drying hair tips.

8 Tips for Creating Perfect Wedding Hairstyles

by Alicia Ward on Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

8 Tips for Perfect Wedding Hairstyles

Veteran stylist Anna Craig of Trashy Root Salon & Spa offers 8 tips to help your client get the perfect wedding hairstyle.

1. Ask for a photo

Always help your client select a picture to show you of someone with a similar hair type.

2. Think length

Talk to your client about length right away! Remind her if she want to rock longer locks on her wedding day make sure you are open to clip in or permanent extensions.

3. Suggest something new

Make sure to give your client a different look. It’s her BIG day—go fancy!

4. Keep her dry

Make sure to use a product that fights frizz and humidity. Look for products that contain anti-humectants.

5. Ask her to show up ready

Remind your client to wear her hair into the salon straight or curly, depending on the final style.

6. Apply more product than normal

7. Remind her to book a trial

Encourage your client to book a trial run. This will give her an idea of what her final look with be.

8. Hands off the hair!

Tell your client not to mess with her hair when it’s wet to keep frizz at a minimum.

How to Achieve Salon Perfect Curls in the Summertime

by Chair to Chair/Shannon McCarthy on Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

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Shannon McCarthy is a senior stylist and educator for James Joseph Studio and James Joseph Salon. James Joseph Salon and Studios are the most award-winning salons in Boston with more than 30 local and national awards. James Joseph Salon has been named one of the Top 100 Salons in America by “Elle” magazine, and James Joseph Studio has been named the Best Affordable Salon in Boston. James Joseph has also been one of the Salon Today 200 three times.

With summer right around the corner, focus on helping your clients understand how to achieve salon perfect curls at home. Styling hair naturally in the summer months gives a huge benefit to their hair looking good all day. Giving them a few good products to fight heat and humidity and a few tips on styling will make a big difference for their summer look.

There are many good products to choose from, so understanding what you have in your salon and what has worked best for you with different textures will help to narrow down a few “go to” products. Anything that is humidity resistant will be a great choice for all curly clients. This will allow their hair to keep the puff factor at bay. I have previously worked with the Phyto line and found their Phtodefrisant to be wonderful. It is heat activated and will actually relax the hair with the heat from the air. If you have something like that available to your clients it will be their “go to” all summer long. Cocktailing a humidity resistant product with a hold product for more unruly curls will also give lasting effects. Finding products that will withstand the test of our clients’ busy days is a real challenge, so take time to educate yourself on the products available to you and your clients.

summertime curls

Caring for summertime curls

Taking a few extra minutes in the morning to twirl parts of the hair and/or hand forming ringlets will help their hair dry better and hold a shape throughout the day. Work with them while in your chair on how to best approach this. Taking a few sections around the face to ensure what is most seen will look better than if nothing was done. Possibly this will even encourage them to take the time at home. I start with the hair divided into 3 sections. One behind each ear and the back of the head as the third. Starting in the front and remembering to keep the hair evenly damp, twist small sections to form the hair in the way it naturally wants to curl. In the salon, I will continue this throughout the head. Diffuse hair a little or place the client under a dryer to reduce frizz. At home, doing just a few sections around the face will not only make them look better throughout the day, but they will appreciate what a great haircut they are getting.

Encouraging clients to shampoo as infrequently as possible in the summer months can also make a big difference. Curls form better when well moisturized. Give them the most moisturizing shampoo that is appropriate for their texture and density. On the off days, a very moisturizing conditioner will keep it soft and easy to manage. Tell them to comb it through in the shower and leave it on while showering. This will keep their hair as moisturized as possible in the summer months.

Behind every good looking client is a great stylist. Giving them great haircuts is not always enough. Educate your clients on products and tricks to make their life easier. Hopefully, the effect will be curly girls learning how to embrace their curls… at least in the summer.

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