Archive for the ‘Styling’ Category

Creating Polished Curls On Curly Hair

by Modern Salon on Thursday, June 25th, 2015

Most stylists don’t understand the amount of product curly hair needs to maintain any style,” says Holli CadmanPaul Mitchell Schools Advanced Academy member. “When curly hair is styled, you need about twice as much product as you need for straight hair. This will allow for a soft, conditioned style whether the hair is worn naturally curly or straight.”

Cole ThompsonSassoon creative director, and Traci Sakosits, Sassoon North American creative director, agree that when styling, products must be distributed evenly and hair should be dried completely. If it is worn naturally, the hair can be finger-combed or ribboned in sections to close the cuticle and then diffuse-dried. Here, minimal manipulation is key, or you’ll end up with frizz.

Damage from the excessive use of heat styling tools is a concern for everyone, but especially for clients with textured hair, who suffer when breakage results in curls looking dull and lifeless. Fortunately, there are non-thermal options that stylists can offer clients to avoid direct heat.


“Curls can be delicate and at times prone to damage,” says Melanie Fahey, assistant vice president of creative and education for Ouidad. “Excessive manipulation can fragment curls and cause fraying and frizz, so it’s important never to force a curl into submission. The key to styling is to position curls as they transition from wet to dry.”

Ouidad’s “rake and shake” is a simple, effective styling method that encourages and sets curl formation with just product and the touch of fingertips. For this technique, a client’s hair is sectioned off in to a unique pattern that best suits her curl type, and the prescribed product recipe is applied to each curl section individually, allowing the hair to form defined, breathable curls. Each section of the hair requires special attention to ensure there’s an even distribution of product.

For this reason, many stylists recommend applying product when the hair is wet. Hair product usually reacts better to wet hair because the hair is able to absorb product more effectively. Hair will only accept the amount of product it can absorb—layering the hair with too much moisture will produce limp, unresponsive curls.

“When defining curls with water or a styling product, stylists should let the hair crest or dry momentarily before manipulation,” says Mizani educator Toni Garcia-Jackson, who is also a salon owner and textured color artist for Product Club. “Running your fingers or a tool through wet hair separates the cuticle and contributes to the frizz factor.”

originally published on


by CurlStylist on Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Educating salon clients in the chair is an important role for any professional hairdresser.  People are hungry to learn.  Many clients are very interested in learning ways to work with their hair on their own at home. We too often hear clients complaining they can never achieve the same look at home as when they leave their salon, which is certainly not ideal.  I like to joke about this, saying it’s a good thing for me because otherwise I would be out of a job! Seriously, I believe it is our responsibility as stylists to teach our clients how to achieve beautiful, salon quality curls at home by walking them through the necessary steps of cleansing and styling, as well as selling them the necessary products/tools to assist them in duplicating their salon look.

My protocol for the first appointment with a client is to allow extra time to teach them everything they need to know about taking care of, and working with, their curly hair.  We go over all the do’s and don’ts of curly hair. That includes:

1) The proper way to cleanse, condition, hydrate

2) How to best apply styling products like gel, mousse or other product

3) To comb or not to comb…that is the question!

4) Scrunching – should you or shouldn’t you?

5) Ways to create height or ways to control curls

6) Drying tips

7) …finally, finishing tips and tools.

In follow-up appointments, we discuss any struggles they are having; we then re-visit how to address and best handle one’s hair.  I always suggest that people take what I am teaching them and adapt it to their lifestyle and find the balance of what works best for them.  Sometimes it takes a couple of visits to get the perfect system of products and styling instructions for an individual to achieve the look they truly want.

I have a client who was transitioning her look from constant ponytails to wearing her amazing curls naturally. After her salon appointment with me, she would go home and experiment on her hair, then come back and describe the results and struggles she had on her own. We would walk through some steps, making adjustments. After a few visits and test runs at home, she showed up for an appointment and her curls looked absolutely fabulous!  We were both very excited that she had finally accomplished the desired look!  She actually sent me a text message telling me how strangers were coming up to her, commenting on her beautiful hair! I love knowing that taking time to patiently work with a client paid off for them!

I do want to share some tips for clients as well:

  1. Don’t be afraid to voice your concerns or challenges – your stylist will help!

  2. Be open to suggestions. A professional will understand your curl/wave pattern and may suggest something that you would not have considered.

  3. Texture is absolutely on trend in 2015!  Embrace or enhance your natural texture!  It’s time to celebrate because curls are back in a big way.

  4. Condition is key–beautiful hair needs to be in great condition.

Personally, one of the most rewarding aspects of being a hairdresser is seeing how, with care and artistry, we can change people’s lives by enhancing what is already beautiful about them.  Making someone else feel good about his or her appearance makes me feel good in return.  Educating a client in our chair is a key to our success! They are a walking advertisement for our business.

This article was written by Melanie Nickels of Raw Hair Organics.

Lady Gaga Copies Beyonce’s Bangs!

by CurlStylist on Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Lady Gaga stepped out in Manchester Monday with a hairstyle quite similar to Beyonce’s “micro bang”. Could this be the new trend in fringe?
Chosen by Refinery29 as the ‘Best Bang Trim‘ in Chicago, celebrity hairstylist and owner of George the salon, GeorgeGonzalez, is available to discuss all things fringe. I look forward to working on any potential articles with you. Initial tips are below:
“The ‘micro bang‘ is a bold statement cut and the right amount of texture is key to pull them off,” explains George Gonzalez, owner of George the salon Chicago. “There are a few elements to consider before you take the plunge. If your hairline is dense, a bang like this can look fantastic. With a choppy, short fringe, you also can’t ignore natural cowlicks.  If a client has too many, they should consider the amount of work they will need to do daily to smooth them out. Plus, do you feel comfortable accentuating features like your forehead and eyebrows?”
Do: Bring pictures just in case you cannot find what you want in the salon magazines.
Don’t: Go too short. It is best to start gradually cutting. Your stylist can always take more off.
Do: Sit and discuss your hair before you get sent back to get shampooed.  Make sure your stylist connects with you and understands your needs. Don’t be afraid to say “no” that’s not what I mean. It is a stylist’s responsibility to understand your language and what you are describing when it comes to your hair, especially for a drastic cut like this.
originally written for George The Salon

Farouk Systems Battle of the strands

by CurlStylist on Monday, September 29th, 2014

Farouk Systems proudly announces its title sponsorship of Battle of the Strands, the world’s most extreme hair, makeup and wardrobe competition. On Oct. 6, 2014, 16 winning salon teams from around the globe will converge in Las Vegas for the final battle competing in all areas of beauty, using breakthrough techniques and the hottest consumer trends. That evening, the 2 hour event can be seen LIVE from Vegas in 400 movie theaters across the US. Starting December 2, 2014 the actual television product will begin airing on the Discovery Fit & Health Channel.

The competition will include 8 teams from the United States plus 8 teams from an International Pool that includes: Japan, Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Panama, South Africa, and Brazil. These teams will all partake in Battle Week October 1-6, 2014 at the Silverton Hotel and Casino. During the competition, Mr. Farouk Shami, Founder and Chairman of Farouk Systems will serve in several capacities including Challenge Presenter, Challenge Mentor and Finale Judge. Farouk Systems is also the Presenting Haircare Sponsor of the Student Battle featuring 20 US Student Teams as well as 8 International Student Teams.

Additionally, on October 5-6, 2014 Battle of the Strands will host their Platform Master Education Series to include both intensive workshops and look-and-learn classes from leading industry makers as well as cutting edge emerging educators. The education provided by Farouk Systems will be spearheaded by Patrick Kale, Artistic Director and Maurice den Exter, Creative Director of Cut and Design. Farouk Systems will also invite beauty students and professionals to attend their workshops: The Art of Hair, PRO Color, CHI TOUR Future Stylist & CHI Color for Students. Tickets can be purchased online.

“Battle of the Strands is going to open the door for more people to be attracted to the profession and to see that hairdressing is much more than the stereotype. It’s an art, it’s a science and it’s a business. This platform will introduce the public to the real hairdresser,” said Mr. Farouk Shami, Founder and Chairman of Farouk Systems.

“As a company of hairdressers for hairdressers, we are proud to support a program that provides professional and student hairstylists with an international platform to showcase their talents, skills and creative artistry to the public” said Lisa Marie Garcia, VP of Shows & Education at Farouk Systems.

This “Battle” is sure to push the boundaries of hair, makeup, nail art and fashion, as teams showcase the ultimate in creative coiffure. Kim Vo, international stylist icon and co-host, remarks, “These contestants are true artists who will be confronting the biggest beauty challenges of their lives. The teams are magnificent and I have no doubt that the audience will be astonished when they see the magic these teams are capable of creating.”

“Battle of the Strands’” grand finale will be live streamed to 400 plus movie theaters nationwide, courtesy of Fathom Events’ Digital Broadcast Network. Tickets are available for purchase at And, tune in this December when the entire competition will be the centerpiece for a four-part television series on the Discovery Fit and Health Network.

The no-holds-barred “Global Beauty Masters” will offer viewers a sneak peek into what really goes on behind the salon cape and throughout the competition. It is set to air weekly on Tuesdays at 5pm EST beginning Dec. 2 (check local listings). Finance partner Sycamore Entertainment is behind “Battle” and its upcoming Discovery series. According to Sycamore CEO Ed Sylvan, “‘Battle of The Strands’ is an event we believe can explode into a worldwide brand, which is why we are happy to be financing the show.”

Drink Up!

by Modern Salon on Thursday, September 11th, 2014

The answer to curly hair woes probably won’t come from one magic product. Luckily there’s cocktailing, where you can play mixologist to achieve the exact results your client wants. Check out these texture experts’ custom hair brews.

EXPERT: Dianne Nola, Curly Hair Specialist, Nola Studio, San Francisco

CHALLENGE: Reviving distressed curly hair

INGREDIENTS: DevaCurl Heaven in Hair, Styling Cream, Mirror Curls and DevaCurl Light, Ultra or Arc Gel

“When working with extremely dry, gray or colored hair, I like to use Heaven In Hair as a leave-in, then cocktail Styling Cream and Mirror Curls to add to it,” Nola says. “This leaves the hair in an extremely hydrated state. Unlike most serums in the industry, Mirror Curls contains no silicones and truly does add shine to the fi nished locks. Then I add one of the gels (Light, Ultra, or Arc) to the mix or apply next. Not only is the actual weight of the cocktail crucial in creating length, but the various techniques to hold those coils down.”

EXPERT: Robert Santana, Matrix artist

CHALLENGE: Moisturizing dehydrated coils

INGREDIENTS: Matrix Oil Wonders Indian Amla Oil, Amazonian Murumuru and Egyptian Hibiscus Oil

“Select your appropriate oil based on the desired result for your client,” Santana says. “Oils can be used in many ways with di- erent benefi ts. Indian Amla Oil strengthens weakened hair inside and out, Amazonian Murumuru de-volumizes rebellious hair for infi nite smoothness and control, and Egyptian Hibiscus Oil shields color treated hair for restored vibrancy with shine. Utilize oil at every step for the ultimate care experience, shampoo, condition, treat, style and fi nish, blending as you go.”

EXPERT: Sara Smith, Stylist, Barbara Forgione Salon, Tampa, FL

CHALLENGE: Creating soft curls with shine

INGREDIENTS: Amika Leave In Cream, Straight Up Smoothing Balm and Curl Defining Cream

Start with two pumps of Amika Leave In Cream from midshaft to ends says Smith. Then apply one palm-press of oil. Palm pressing is when you press the opening of your oil container into the palm of your hand, she explains. The small amount of oil in the palm of your hand is the perfect amount. Next, mix together two pumps of Straight Up Smooth and two pumps of Curl Cream. Work through the hair and scrunch.

EXPERT: Stacy Hill, Owner, DyeVerCity Hair Salon, Martinez, GA CHALLENGE: Long-lasting hold

INGREDIENTS: Urbanbella No. 7 Non Lather Cleanser, Mop Top Conditioner, Mop Top Light Hold Gel and Obia Curl Moisture Cream

“I start with Urbanbella non-lather cleanser,” Hills says. “Urbanbella gently cleans my hair from all residue build up while giving me a cool sensation on my scalp. My conditioner of choice is Mop Top daily conditioner. It doubles as a leave in. When rinsing, you only rinse 80 percent out of the hair. For styling, I use Mop Top light hold gel coupled with Obia moisture cream. The key is don’t over use the products, a quarter/half dollar size goes a long way. The seaweed extracts in Mop Top and moisturizing oils in Obia keep my curls intact for up to 3-4 days.”

Real World, Real Curls

by Modern Salon on Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

IN THE SALON INDUSTRY, there are two types of people— those who say they can do textured hair and the select group of stylists that specialize in texture hair. Cesar Ramirez, the newest Mizani celebrity stylist and our cover artist, is definitely a member of the latter. Having grown up amidst hairspray and rollers in his family’s small hair salon, the Puerto Rican curl guru knows his way around a diverse clientele base.

Ramirez has trained with some of the beauty industry’s top stylists, and his a-list looks have been featured on shows including Celebrity Apprentice, All About Aubrey, and Lala’s Full Court Life. He also offers his magic to a long list of celebrities (Beyoncé, Jennifer Hudson, Demi Lovato, Ciara, Adrienne Bailon and Rita Ora). But beyond Ramirez’s celebrity work, his unique, artistic approach has graced the runways at Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week and have adorned the pages of everything from Vogue and Harper’s Bazar to GQ and Latina Magazine.

With a following of more than 30,000 on Instagram alone (@cesar4styles), it comes as no surprise that the inspiration for this shoot came from social media. While researching, Ramirez found that the super-photoshopped hair images on Pinterest weren’t receiving a lot of attention. Instead, it was the shots of everyday clients and selfies of girls with beautiful hair that were trending. “We wanted to create a ‘real’ feel to the collection; that attracted consumers to see what Mizani can do,” Ramirez says. Mizani products were used on set at the shoot—including the recently released Fiberfyl treatment. “Fiberyfyl is a new strengthening treatment with breakthrough Filloxane technology; a strand-by-strand restorer that fills in weak area of the hair,” Ramirez says. “Traditionally, protein treatments are used for strength, which can result in the hair feeling hard or brittle. Fiberfyl maintains the hair’s pliability and softness.” Since models are constantly on set, the hair takes a beating, so using the Fiberfyl system set us up for success.” With New York City as his backdrop, Ramirez was able to successfully capture the understated cool that every curly girl craves. “Textured hair can be a challenge, but it can also be exciting when you realize the beautiful fabric that you are working with,” he says. “When you successfully achieve the perfect shape and style, it’s so fulfilling.”

Spring Trends at Fro Fashion Week

by CurlStylist on Friday, March 29th, 2013

There are hair shows and expos, and then there is Fro Fashion Week.  There is no doubt that Fro Fashion Week is the ultimate networking opportunity for natural hair stylists, social media mavens, entrepreneurs and natural hair enthusiasts alike!   The Spring 2013 edition had an Acid Summer theme, and it marks the fifth season for the Naturally Me! Media CEO Tarin Boone to bring a fabulous week of interactive & informative events that all could enjoy.

Fro Fashion Week started off on Wednesday with their first Fro Fashion’s Night Out, a meet and greet hosted by bloggers Oh Nikka! and VirtuousStyls at the posh Envy Boutique in the eclectic Little Five Points area of Atlanta.  These ladies did an awesome job of welcoming us and kicking off the Spring festivities.  The Thursday night I Love Me! Event for kids marked a first as it was co-ed.  It’s nothing like lifting the spirits and boosting the confidence of our young as a way to give back to the community.  Friday night marked another first as Jenell Stewart of Kinky Curly Coily Me! Played host to the first Dinner With CurlFriends in Atlanta.  This classy pink and black affair brought 100 naturals out to play at the swank Museum Bar, including top bloggers & vloggers Mahogany Knots, Naturally Kela, LexiWithTheCurls, and BlackOnyx.

The Spring edition brought some great changes and some major players in the natural hair community.  There were several changes to the program this time around and they definitely brought a shot of fresh energy to Fro Fashion Week.  The change of venue to the Marriott Perimeter offered a great space for us to gather for the main events.  The workshops began Saturday morning and featured topics ranging from beauty and fashion, to hair styling and transitioning tips.  This year even included an opportunity for stylists to continue their education through workshops offered by the Textured Hair Institute.  Both the Curls Unleashed Suite and the Shea Moisture Total Body Suite offered attendees the chance to lounge and learn.  There were great handselected companies in both the Trendsetting Business Suite and the Runway Shopping Area, including natural hair care brands like Obia Natural Hair Care and Alikay Naturals, sweet body treats from Purgasm Shop and fly fashions and accessories from BriJor Boutique.

The schedule shifted around as well, with the Fro Fashion Show taking place Saturday night, followed by the lively Acid Rain After Party, and the Bloggers, Brands, and Brunch moving to Sunday.  The fashion show gave us a full New York Fashion Week experience, complete with the white tent and lots of paparazzi.  Even though there were snow flurries outside, the Acid Summer theme kept it hot under the tent!  The Acid Rain after party was so much fun as well, and the DJ kept the sounds coming until the early morning.

Bloggers, Brands and Brunch was graced by none other than vlogger extraordinaire, CharyJay, as the guest speaker.  She broke down the business of being a vlogger, shared some great stories and answered lots of questions.  The spring edition of Fro Fashion Week was truly incredible and I’m SO glad I was able to attend.  The next milestone is going to be a huge one, as the Fall 2013 Fro Fashion Week edition will now be going on the road!  If you’re in the New York area, go ahead pencil in your calendars because you will NOT want to miss this first-rate event.

Festival Hairstyling with TIGI

by CurlStylist on Monday, March 18th, 2013

Festival fashion and hairstyles are a growing trend, so we asked TIGI to show us how to create a festival hairstyle on Cristina’s Type 2C hair for SXSW 2013. Textured hair is actually ideal for the carefree, bohemian looks that are popular at music festivals, and waves and braids are top trends right now. With the popularity of tools like Pinterest hairstyle inspiration is easier than ever to curate, and waves and braids are some of the top trends right now.

The talented women of Bettie Bangs hair salon in North Austin styled the bands and musicians performing at the Nikon Warner Sound showcase, as well as some of the guests at the TIGI Dry Styling Bar. While the stylists worked their hair magic, musicians took the stage including Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Icona Pop, Tegan and Sara, and our personal hair crush, Lianne La Havas!

Stylist Tasha Grimsley used a couple different styles of braids on Cristina’s hair, including hairband braids. She created two small braids using sections of hair from her temple. Using strands from the two headband braids, Grimsley then created a short fishtail, and then ended in a regular 3-strand braid. She used bobby pins to fix any strands that may be sticking out, and to get them looking just right. But remember, the final look should not be too polished, it’s meant to be boho! To add extra curl Grimsley finished off with a curling wand to touch up any waves that are lacking body. This helps especially for clients with multiple curl patterns. You can watch the full festival transformation video here!

Today’s Texture! Behind the Cover

by CurlStylist on Monday, March 4th, 2013

Our cover style for this issue of Texture! shows a commercial variation on long hair. Created by a team of texture experts from TIGI, the look was achieved on hair that had a lot of natural texture and was nearly all one length, with only slight layering. The second look was created by using bobby pins to grab internal lengths across the crown, pulling them into a shape that gives the illusion of more layers and pinning them across the crown.

Leading the team were TIGI U.S. Education Director Thomas Osborn and U.S. Creative Director heath Grout, who also did the photography. Both mentored by TIGI founder and industry icon Anthony Mascolo, Osborn and Grout have been with the company for 23 and 17 years, respectively. Grout is primarily based at the TIGI Advanced Hairdressing Academy in New York City, where he helps to develop ideas for new collections. Osborn is creative and educational director of the new flagship academy in NYC’s Soho district. He plays a key role in forecasting trends as well as inspiring team members to fulfill their artistic potential.

“People are embracing their natural texture,” Osborn observes. “our model for this shoot loved the natural look we gave her. We thought we might have to curl her hair, but when we shampooed it we saw that she had beautiful, natural wave. She watched how I combed and dried her hair, and she took home all of the products we used so that she could recreate the same touchable, soft, romantic curls. Once you share that with someone, you have a client for life.”

1. After wetting the hair, apply two products - TIGI Curlesque and TIGI Bedhead On the Rebound. Comb through with a wide-tooth comb, and squeeze out the moisture with a towel.

2. Attach a diffuser and set the dryer on low speed and low heat. Tilt head to the side, start from the perimeter length and push the diffuser up the length.

3. Avoid focusing on one side at a time. instead, keep the rotation going to produce an even curl pattern.

4. When hair is completely dry, let it cool. Then have the client flip over her head and shake out her hair to add volume.

Hair team: Thomas Osborn, Adriana Papaleo, Christopher Catanese, Brian Adelman

Photography: Heath Grout

Make-up: Julie Pope

Styling: Cindy Jo Taylor

Read the digital version of Texture!

Creating Professional Hairstyles for Your Clients

by Cassadie on Saturday, September 1st, 2012

Every stylist has had a curly-haired client ask for a smooth blow-out in order to look professional at a work conference or to make a good impression at a job interview.

“I find that clients with curly hair believe that they’re taken more seriously if their hair is straight,” explains Morgan Wilheite, creative director at Ouidad. Having frizzy and unruly hair at a business meeting can be the equivalent of showing up wearing a tank top and shorts, so curlies either straighten their hair or slick it back into a ponytail.

But curls and briefcases need not be mutually exclusive. By giving clients a curl-specific cut and color and then empowering them with the skills, tools and care routines they need to maintain it, you can ensure their curls will be workplace-ready. “Professional curly hair is all about maintenance and how you present it,” says Marie France, owner of Madusalon in San Francisco. “Dry hair tied back in a ponytail is not professional; it just shows lack of attention. What says ‘professional’ is moisture. It’s a cut, it’s style, it’s care.”

The Foundation: A Good Cut

Whether she plans on wearing her hair loose or pinned up in a style, a curly client must be cut in a way that enhances her texture, not works against it. The cutting of textured hair presents a unique opportunity not only to create volume, shape and dimension, but also to control the curl. “The key is to make sure the hair is cut in a way that is conducive to the curl pattern, especially if the client plans on wearing her hair curly,” explains Rafe Hardy, artistic creative director at Sexy Hair Concepts. “If you’re cutting waves, for example, don’t cut the hair in the middle of the S-pattern, because that’s when it will kick out. Make sure to cut at the beginning of the wave so that it naturally curves under.”

Executing a proper curly hair cut using techniques you wouldn’t use on straight hair presents an opportunity for you to develop and demonstrate an expertise in texture. Once recognized as a curl-savvy stylist, you can promote your texture specialty to increase your income and client base. “Stylists who specialize in curly cuts tend to have a cult following,” Hardy notes. “If you can build up a business that includes people with textured hair, you’ll be sure to gain influence in this specific curly niche.”

9-to-5 Styling + Care

Once your client’s curls are clipped into shape, the next step is determining a maintenance routine and some workday styling options. Throughout your client’s appointment, you can explain the building blocks of styling curls so that her natural texture will no longer be limited to the weekend. “When a client is in your chair, this is the opportunity to show her results and teach her how to achieve them on her own,” explains Hardy. “More than with any other client, styling curly hair should be about education. Show these clients how to diffuse their curls and scrunch in product so that they can take the good curl care habits home with them.”

For the client, the benefits of a good session with her stylist are both immediate and long-lasting. “My hair used to be dry and frizzy so I always pulled it back at work because I didn’t know how to give it the attention it needs,” confides one salon client, Paloma Herman, who became loyal to a salon once she found a stylist who specializes in textured hair. Co-director of admissions at the San Francisco School, Herman says this was the first stylist who’d ever given her a cut that was “intentional and mature.” She adds, “The stylist showed me how to maintain it with only a couple of products. Since then, I’ve been much more comfortable with wearing my curls loose in the office.”

Salon client Bianca Ummat, a Resident MD in Washington, DC, interacts with patients on a daily basis and, to prevent a health hazard, needs to have her hair pulled back from her face. Still, she wants style. “I like to switch it up,” Bianca says. “I do loose buns, ponytails and braids to keep my curls from being in the way.” To secure curls away from the face, Wilheite advises using pins as opposed to ponytail holders. “A slick ponytail is a very severe look and potentially damaging to curls,” she says. “Instead, use larger bobby pins to pull pieces back and secure pieces section by section for a professional style that is also gentle on curls.” For longer curls from loose to tight, Wilheite suggests an on-trend high bun, again using bobby pins to secure the hair around the base.

For tighter curls that have the tendency to shrink up to 80 percent of their length, Product Specialist and Celebrity Stylist Felicia Leatherwood suggests styles allowing the back section of the hair to remain loose while the front sections are pulled away from the face in a half ponytail or bouffant, or sweeping just one side back and securing with a pin. “This allows your clients and colleagues to focus on the face, eyes and smile, not the hair,” says Leatherwood, who offers chemical-free solutions to her ethnic clients who struggle with trying to wear their natural hair at the office.

Some Like it Straight

Even with the right curly cut and maintenance routine available to them, many curly-haired professionals prefer to wear their hair straight. “That’s the beauty of curls,” says Hardy. “They’re so versatile. One day they can be full and voluminous, and the next they can be sleek and straight.”

Consult with your stylist to determine how to incorporate a straight look into a curly styling routine.

Some options:
1. Schedule a blow-out as part of the client’s regular visit so she can leave with sleek hair and wear it straight for a few days.
2. Set up a blow-out bar for clients to walk in for a professional blow-out at their convenience between cuts.
3. Provide a professional smoothing treatment to reduce frizz while allowing the client to easily toggle between straight and curly styles. “There are many women who do not have a preference for work between straight or curly,” says Hardy. “They just love having the option to do both!”

Put Your Best Curl Forward

Your clients’ looks can be almost as important as their PowerPoint presentation for navigating their career path. Professional curly hair is about mitigating the hair’s tendency to be unkempt, which means keeping frizz, dryness and flyaways in check by promoting the hair’s health and hydration. Encourage clients to take the extra step for their curls, such as deep conditioning before an interview, or even style and diffuse them before a presentation.

“Your clients’ curls represent their personality, so you really want them looking their best,” encourages Wilheite. “Curls show off a distinctive personality and self-confidence, which is critical in business.” By starting with a proper cut, style and color to enhance texture and then giving clients the education and tools to maintain their curls, you can ensure that your curly clients look great on every rung of the career ladder—from the interview to the boardroom. “I used to think of my hair as something that detracted from my professional appearance,” says Paloma Herman. “Now that I know how to take care of my curls, they’ve become an asset.”

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