Archive for the ‘Stylist Spotlight’ Category

CURL EDUCATION IN THE CHAIR

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.

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.”

Scholarship Honoring Beauty Legend Vidal Sassoon Kicks Off

by CurlStylist on Friday, August 8th, 2014

The Vidal Sassoon Professional Beauty Education Scholarship Program - Basic provides 50% tuition scholarships ($10,000) to individuals aspiring to work as a hairstylist. The application simply requires a one-to-three-minute video or an online “inspiration board” that shares the applicant’s passion for the beauty industry. Ten winners will be selected by a judging panel comprised of the nation’s top hairstylists along with an online “vote” component. The competition is administered by the Beauty Changes Lives Foundation, a 501(c3) initiative of the American Association of Cosmetology Schools. Wella (the Salon Professional Division of P&G) funds the scholarships that celebrate the legacy of hairstylist Vidal Sassoon.

Enter and find out contest rules here.

How to Cope With A Bad Curly Haircut

by CurlStylist on Friday, June 13th, 2014

photo Theresa Harrison

Neel Morley is the owner of the first hair salon in Melbourne, Australia that is completely dedicated to curly hair. These are his tips on how to deal with a bad curly haircut. Visit the Neel Loves Curls blog here, and like his salon on Facebook here. You may also book online here.


This is a question is often talked about when a client comes in with their Christmas tree haircut or a curly haircut thats been attacked by a razor!


It’s devastating and when people have searched for a curly hair specialist to help their curl recover.

If you are walking out of a salon with your hair blow-dried straight then you will have no idea what it looks like afterwards when it returns curly. It’s not uncommon for people with curly to go home and re do their hair after a haircut. What other service do you have where you have to re do it?

Some curlies say to their peers, “Try it yourself!”

“Use strong pins to pin sections back to mix it up and change the shape.”

I’ve also heard “Try changing your part line,” or “Style it a different way!”

“Headbands and hair accessories are useful. Add a beanie if you can.”

“Having to artificially curl your hair as it doesn’t do it naturally anymore!”

“Accept the possibility of going shorter for a stronger curly hair shape, better to have it short and styled than a mid-length nightmare.”

I would normally say to to cut it shorter if its been razored or thinning scissors used, as the hair is then beyond repair.

It’s just not salvageable and the curls have been badly deformed this way.I would use the internet to find a curly hair dresser and search online for 3 possible curly/wavy haircuts that may suit to take them to the hairdressers. Going along with 30 photos on your iPad isn’t very clear as to what you are actually looking for!
The only good part about a bad curly haircut is that it may have given you the option of trying something new with your hair which in the past you may not have been open to. You could go back and ask the stylist to re cut it .Sometimes a few snips is all that it actually needs. The most important question for a curly haired person is to know that they are going to cut your hair dry as curly hair springs ups so much once it dries.You should be leaving the salon with your hair dry so that you know exactly what your curly haircut is going to look like.

Forums on curly hair are a great source of information.

Once you know the correct things to say, that will limit bad curly haircuts after all prevention is better than the cure. Most people with curly hair have suffered a bad curly haircut a few times in their life.More people are learning about their curls/waves and are learning to be more direct with what they want. I sometimes feel that I am doing more than what my job is as I am teaching someone to love what nature gave them. Sometimes the worst curly haircut can make you Google to see if there is someone out there that can actually cut curly hair!!!

How Toxic is Your Hair Salon? 3 Scary Salon Waste Facts

by CurlStylist on Thursday, May 29th, 2014

toxic salon
Alarmingly, the majority of salon waste such as hair color and foils, ends up down the drain and into our water supply or in the trash and headed to a landfill. George the salon Chicago is combating the toxic effects of beauty services by starting a new program that recycles & reuses 95% of their total waste. Please see more information on this below along with 3 scary salon waste facts.

George the salon Chicago Now Recycling 95% of Salon Waste with New Program

Once considered garbage, leftover hair, foils, color tubes, paper, plastics, and liquid chemicals will now be recycled and reused at this Chicago salon

While some industries have access to paid recycling for paper and plastic, the bulk of salon waste – hair, metals, excess chemicals, and much more – has always been destined for the trash bin and sink.

In an effort to change this alarming fact and significantly reduce their environmental impact, George the salon Chicago is proud to begin a new comprehensive recycling / reuse program, ensuring 95% of their waste is reprocessed. This program founded by Green Circle Salons will redirect daily waste like hair, foils, color tubes, paper, plastics, and liquid chemicals out of our water streams and landfills, creating environmental accountability in the beauty industry. Now with each salon visit, clients of George the salon will contribute to local and international community development, as well as environmental research and innovation for a healthier planet.

Did you know hair when placed in garbage bags will mummify, continue to fill our landfill, and give off methane gas?

George the salon will now be diverting all hair out of landfills and into other more sustainable projects. Green Circle Salons, in connection with various partners, is looking at ways that hair can play an important role in a number of commercial applications. It’s exciting to know that hair can be used on our oceans to help in oil spill cleanup and recovery projects.

Did you know that currently all aluminum foils and color tubes are not being recycled and are sent to landfill?

Recycling aluminum uses roughly 5% of the energy required to create virgin aluminum from bauxite. 95% of all aluminum can be recycled over and over again, including the foils and color tubes that are used in salons across North America. Now properly recycled, this will help to reduce the need for more landfill space, reduce our dependence on non-renewable resources, and decrease the amount of toxins going into our landfill sites.

Did you know that all excess chemicals including color, perm solutions and ammonia get rinsed down the sink into our water stream?

This is the ugly truth of the industry. Our solution will be to send all excess color waste to a hazardous waste facility where they will be incinerated to produce clean energy!


This was written for George the Salon in Chicago, IL.

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.

Stylist Jason Leo Hurst on West Coast Hair Trends

by CurlStylist on Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Jason Leo Hurst of Dej Salon in Sherman Oaks, CA is a veteran stylist with 16 years experience in the hair industry. Being less than a thirty minute drive from Los Angeles, Jason has seen it all when it comes to hair and beauty. But before being well known on the west coast for his hair artistry, Jason actually kicked off his career in Soho, NYC at the Devachan Salon. The founders of DevaCurl helped Jason mold and perfect his craft, and before he knew it, he was in California practicing his passion. I recently chatted with him to pick his brain about the latest and greatest in the west coast curly community.

CurlStylist: Where do you find daily inspiration?

Jason Leo Hurst: I love helping curly girls that are desperately seeking solutions. I constantly hear things like “I’ve tried every product” and “I cannot find anyone who understands my hair.”

CS: What are your favorite curly hair cuts or styles to perform on clients?

JLH: I love big hair! My favorites are long, layered, and full. I also enjoy cutting angular bobs with an edge.

CS: Which hair products do you love to use?

JLH: I love DevaCurl’s NoPoo. It’s simplicity and performance transforms dry textured hair while preserving hair color like no other! Elita makes a hair mask that is also great. I use it solely as a leave-in styling aid in the dryer. It truly performs. It has just the right amount of emollients to provide shine and weight to control frizz! Having only one hair product for my clients to use is truly life changing for them!

CS: What are some hair trends you are seeing a lot of nowadays?

JLH: Balayage hair color and beach waves!

CS: Finally, what is one thing you wish every curly man or woman knew about their hair?

JLH: I want them to know that it CAN be easy!

If you are in the Sherman Oaks area, you may book an appointment with Jason at Dej Salon on the website, www.dejsalon.com. Or, contact the salon by phone at (818) 981-4440.

Curly Hair Artistry

by CurlStylist on Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Since founding NaturallyCurly 15 years ago, I’ve noticed some unique things about the curl market.

  1. It was largely ignored until recently, despite a world where more than 60 percent of the population has curls, coils and waves.

  2. It exists primarily because of the grass-roots efforts of a small but  growing number of passionate entrepreneurs who have worked to fill the voids they see.

The latest example of this ingenuity is Curly Hair Artistry, a 1-year-old group of curl experts who have banded together to provide education and support to other stylists who have made waves, curls and coils their niche.

“We as hairstylists have come to realize that curly hair should not be treated the way we are taught in cosmetology schools across the globe,” said Scott Musgrave, a curl specialist in Cary, N.C. with 3b ringlets himself. “A simple fact emerges – wavy, curly and multi-textural hair is not treated with respect for what I is but is treated as something to fix.”

Musgrave said he was working on some unique business models with his  own  and started receiving questions from other stylists about how he was doing what he was doing.  He began working with a small group of stylists, and decided to pull together a group of the best curl stylists in the industry – a group that could help each other in this specialized niche.

Curly Hair Artistry was born. The original 20 has grown to more than 85, hailing from all over the globe. Their gathering place is their own gathering place.

“We at Curly Hair Artistry make the art, methods, techniques and the business of working with curly hair a priority,” Musgrave says. “We can influence not only the artists working with curly hair, but more importantly the more than 65 percent of the population who has some form of wave, curl or multi-textural hair who sits in our chairs every day.”

“It’s a natural draw – a passion that creates connections. You see, we are a rare breed and require certain attributes that need nurturing and vision to draw out and improve.”

Dianne Nola of Nola Studio in San Francisco is an enthusiastic member of Curly Hair Artistry, and traveled to the first training symposium in October in Atlanta, where 30 stylists gathered to train with Lorraine Massey, one of the founders of Devacurl.

The members provide each other with the unvarnished truth. Common topics include new product discoveries, the most effective cocktails and the nuances of cutting and coloring curls. They have discussed the cheapest place to buy microfiber towels as well as the most comfortable shoes to wear when you’re doing a 2-hour curly dry cut. They often share stories about difficult clients and business challenges. Stylists post before and after photos, showcasing styles they’re especially proud of.

She said it’s a very supportive community, where the goal is to help each other grow their businesses. They often refer clients to each other.

“It’s completely empowering,” Nola says. “My eyes just keep opening.”

The sky’s the limit for Curly Hair Artistry. Training sessions are coming up in Washington D.C. in May as well as Los Angeles in October. There’s even the possibility of creating a Curl Academy one day where stylists from around the globe could come to learn about latest cutting and coloring techniques for curls, coils and waves.

For me personally, it’s shocking that in 2014 beauty schools don’t address texture in their curriculum, and this isn’t likely to change dramatically in the near future. Most discussions about texture focus on how to chemically straighten it.

I was thrilled to hear about Curly Hair Artistry, which is filling a void.

“Beauty schools may teach about it, but antiquated requirements make it difficult to take the necessary time to really understand all the different curl types, porority, chimstry and what makes curly hair do what it does,” he ssays. “I believe it should be pursued after school, because you can’t make someone like working with something they don’t care about. Not every stylist cares about wavy, curly and multi-textural hair.”

Musgrave’s own obsession began with the corkscrews on his own head, and his frustration with an industry that “mistreats and misinforms those with curly hair.”

While working as a stylist, he read “Curly Girl: The Handbook” by Lorraine Massey.

“Ever since then, I started tweaking my cuts, doing things differently than other stylists,” he said. “It was working. I developed a service experience that changed the way a client is treated and gave them the best information to help them embrace their hair even more.”

For more posts like this, check out Michelle Breyer’s personal blog, The Curly Connection

Beauty Industry West’s Legend of Beauty Luncheon

by CurlStylist on Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Every other year, Beauty Industry West’s Board of Directors selects a recipient for the Legend of Beauty Award based upon the criteria of an innovator whose thinking, commitment and practices have changed the direction of our industry in significant ways, and one who has contributed to the advancement of the beauty industry as a whole.

This year John Paul DeJoria was selected, and he will share his experience in co-founding John Paul Mitchell Systems, the initial challenges, as well as his environmental commitment and distribution choices that have distinguished him as a true leader in the professional beauty industry.

In 2007 he signed a legally binding document dictating that none of the family members or generations to come are to sell part of or the entire John Paul Mitchell Systems Company for 360 years, ensuring that the products will always remain professional and will stay where they started, with the Mitchell and DeJoria families.

John Paul DeJoria’s rags-to-riches story exemplifies the American dream - once homeless, he struggled against the odds to achieve success, launching three global enterprises and paying it forward, living by his motto, “Success Unshared is Failure.”  With just $700 he started John Paul Mitchell Systems, converting it into the largest privately held salon hair care line, and later turned a passion into success by co-founding Patrón, the world’s number one ultra-premium tequila. A longtime activist for sustainable business practices and corporate responsibility, John Paul makes these practices paramount as he continues to evolve and grow his businesses, and inspire others.

Click here to register for the event.

Curly Hair Artistry Symposium

by CurlStylist on Monday, September 30th, 2013

Hair Stylists across the country & Europe are looking for advanced curly hair education to help them understand the “how to” of cutting with style and design concepts, and how to teach their natural curly clients an individualized routine they can do at home.
Getting his license in 1986 and having curly hair, Scott Musgrave, owner of Scott Musgrave Hair in Cary, N.C., has been working with curls all his life. Training was very limited and it was in the year 2000 that Scott was inspired by reading the first edition of Curly Girl the Handbook by Lorraine Massey that ignited Scott’s passion for what others are born with and began focusing his journey to be exclusive in building up his curly hair business.
Scott began reading, researching and experimenting the ins and outs of what has worked for other stylists and from his own clients. One mandatory step was to get training from what is known as The Deva Method and in 2011 he became a DEVA Inspired trained stylist. Scott always tells other stylists that, “This training will instill a significant understanding of products, ingredients and curl care through their cutting method and getting rid of frizz through their excellent product line.”
Knowing that each head of curly hair requires a unique blend of products, application techniques and cutting methods, he continued experimenting and expanded his reach for curly hair products with bringing another curl line into his care for curls with a brand called Jessicurl. Scott says, “Jessicurl was developed over 10 years ago through a passion for wanting a product that was made in the kitchen with ingredients not found in products back then.”
Over the past 2 years, Scott has worked hard by listening to the demand of curly hair people all over the world and is expanding the vision of what is possible with curly hair by creating a curl cutting method called The Cubist Curl Cut and a product application method that helps to get rid of frizz that he calls The “MAP”.
Also during this time Scott went online with a website at www.scottmusgravehair.com and was posting tips and guidance on Facebook and a blog called MagiCurl (found on Scott’s website) that other stylists were inquiring about product usage, cutting methods and building their own business based on what Scott was achieving. This lead to developing a private group of hair stylists that have a passion for working with curls and as the group has grown with members all over the world and the methods discussed worked and helped others to achieve their vision, it was a natural progression to have our first event of advanced curl education.

Curly Hair Art Symposium

October 19 -21, 2013, in Atlanta, Georgia, he will host, along with Robin Sjoblom, the first Curly Hair Artistry Symposium for licensed hair professionals who will be attending from all over the USA and Canada. Stylists will contribute their own experience with each other and special guest curly hair artists will present information based on their own passion and methods of working with curly hair. We will even celebrate with having a toast for the author of Curly Girl the Handbook Lorraine Massey.
The event is sold out, and with talks of more to come, we have hope in knowing that curly hair as an art form is alive and well because stylists are growing with excitement to gain more curly hair knowledge and to expand our small niche arena through education. Also, what is more exciting is knowing that the clients are learning about this and are just as passionate in knowing that their hair will be treated the way it should be treated.

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