Posts Tagged ‘CURLS’

Curlies Tell All: Mahisha Dellinger

by Michelle Breyer on Monday, October 18th, 2010

In this occasional series, we have asked prominent industry professionals to tell us about their hair and what it was like growing up with curly hair.

Mahisha Dellinger

Mahisha Dellinger (center) poses with two models during a TV taping.

In this Mahisha Dellinger, the multi-ethnic founder of the CURLS hair-care line shares her personal and professional experiences working with naturally curly hair.

Q: What kind of texture do you have? Describe your hair.

A: I have type 3b hair that’s not very frizz-prone, but is prone to dryness.

Q: How did you feel about your hair growing up?

A: I tortured my hair growing up. I am surprised that I had any hair at all! Because straight hair was considered the “ideal standard,” I felt that I needed to change my texture to belong. I, like most curlies, spent a good portion of my youth relaxing, straightening, coloring and removing the curl pattern from my hair.

Q: How has that changed since you became involved in the beauty industry?

A: Because I have a better understanding of how to properly care for curls, I now embrace my them. They are beautiful! I rarely ever straighten my hair now. The last time I had a blow out was five years ago.

Q: What are the biggest developments in the world of texture?

A: Honestly, just having products available for naturally curly hair (minus the gooey/greasy products mostly found in the ethnic aisles) is a huge win for curlies! Our product offerings in the past were slim. Now there are a host of wonderful curly brands to choose from.

Q: What type of products/tools and what amount of time do you spend on your hair on “curly” days and on “straight” days?

A: I use two products: one styler (LINK LINK LINKCURLS Milkshake for no hold or CURLS Curl Gel-les’c when I need more control/hold), and CURLS Quenched Curls Organic Moisturizer (to refresh and replenish my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th day hair) on my curly days. When I wear my hair straight, I use a little CURLS Champagne & Caviar Curl Elixir as a heat protectant before flat ironing.

Q: Any other comments/observations on curly/textured hair?

A: If you treat your curls right, like a fine silk blouse, you will have beautiful, healthy curls that will last you a lifetime!

Top 12 Snacks for Super Hair

by CurlStylist on Monday, September 27th, 2010

Hungry? Why not improve the health of your hair in the process? Below are some quick and healthy munchies that will give you and your clients great hair also!


1. Almonds

2. Walnuts

3. Sunflower seeds

4. Figs

5. Apricots

6. Bananas

7. Raspberries or strawberries

8. Oranges

9. Raisins

10. Prunes

11. Skim milk, soy latte decaf, or 4oz frozen or regular low fat yogurt

12. Small box whole grain cereal or whole grain snack bar

The Shears Can Make or Break The Cut

by Megan Dorcey on Monday, August 9th, 2010

I have heard it all  from stylists about what you should and should not do when cutting curly hair, which got me thinking: What is the difference between shears and how they shape your hair?


The right shears for the job

For more information about this, I went straight to my local curly expert, Ron Valdez at Estilo Valdez Salon in Austin, TX.  There are so many different types of shears on the market, each claiming that it is one and only tool you will need.  Ron Valdez sings a different tune, “I cycle through six pairs of sheers.  You can’t tell which you will need to use until you cut down into the curly hair.  Every head of hair is different, so it responds differently to each pair of scissors.”

How can you tell when you’re using the right pair or scissors?  Valdez offers some advice, “Start off with one pair and (it) may change throughout the head.  One pair won’t always cut it.  When you close the shear and it glides through the hair and doesn’t push it out, that is the right type of shear for that hair.”

Not surprisingly, there are many types of haircutting scissors available on the market, including: barber shears, thinning shears, styling shears, tempered shears, left-handed shears and more.

One glance at these scissors will tell you just how different they are from each other. Each is designed to perform a specific task—some are used to create subtle effects while others are perfect for basic haircuts.

What Type of Shear is Best for You?

You have some choices to make before you select the right pair of scissors. Of course, you’ll also want to shop around for the best prices.

Type of Blades

Beveled blades feature one serrated edge and are ideal for layered cuts, tapered cuts and the “scissor over the comb” method.

Convex blades are razor sharp and promise a clean, smooth, flawless cut. They are ideal for slide cutting.

Type of Handles

Opposing grips feature handles of the same length that are symmetrical to the center screw. It is perfect for individuals who cut with the thumb and middle finger.
Offset grips feature a short thumb handle and a longer finger handle. This allows natural, fluid movement and is ideal for individuals who cut with the thumb and ring finger.
Crane grips feature a long finger handle and an angled thumb. This ensures less strain on the wrist and shoulder and allows a freer, open cut.

Types of Thumb Grips

Standard thumb scissors feature a removable and reversible finger resting piece that can be attached to either the left or right. This allows individuals greater versatility (with left and right hand use.

Cutaway thumb scissors do not feature the reversible finger resting piece, but does provide exceptional comfort.

Anatomic thumb scissors allow for greater radial movement due to its curved design. Thus it provides more freedom of movement for the stylist.

Rotating thumb scissors are a new advancement in the haircutting industry. They reduce hand and wrist strain and feature an open-hand grip design, which reduces thumb “travel” and creates a more comfortable experience for the stylist.

Length of Blade


You can only use one at a time, but switch if you need to.

Choosing the blade length is really a matter of comfort and preferred styling methods. You will find you probably need to utilize several different types of scissors, but your hand should feel comfortable no matter what size it is.

Short blades are useful for detailed touchups, such as cutting around the ears or very close to the skin. This type of blade is recommended for all stylists; chances are it will be used frequently for more intricate cutting. The blade should be no longer than 5.5 inches.

Long blades are ideal for cutting thick hair, slide cutting, scissor over comb methods, and bobs, to name a few.

Some other features that stylists may choose to focus on include the production material of the shears, the method of production of the shears and the tension system the shears provide.

So how can you get hands-on experience using various shears with different curl patterns?  The new stylists at Estilio Valdez ask their curly friends to come in for a cut, and Valdez even puts an ad on Craigslist for all types of curls to receive a free cut while the stylists are learning how to shape and style curls correctly.

The best advice Ron could give me was, “It’s a craft and just like any other craft, you will master it over time.”

2010 NAHA Award Winners

by Evelyn Ngugi on Monday, July 19th, 2010


Dimitrios Tsioumas won in the texture category.

The “Academy Awards of hairstyling” as some would call it, this year’s NAHA contest rallied hairstylists from around the continent for one night of creativity and innovation.

The award ceremony was held July 18 in Las Vegas, and more than 700 professionals entered the contest’s 13 categories, ranging from Master Stylist and Student Hairstylist, to Avant-Garde, Salon Design, Texture & Makeup Artist.

The contest showcased these categories in the form of high-profile photographs, and were judged based on criteria including concept, demonstration of skill, and harmony between photographer’s execution and stylist’s creativity.

This year’s NAHA judges included industry leaders such as Sam Brocato, Mary Brunetti, Tabatha Coffey, Ruth Roche, Sally Hershberger and Nick Arrojo.

Congratulations to the winners of this year’s North American Hairstyling Awards!

Master Stylist:
Wendy and Oscar Bond
Upper Montclair, NJ
Photographer: Trevor Owsley

Hairstylist of the Year
Tony Ricci
Edmonton, AB
Photographer: Ara Sassoonian

Salon Team
Salon Pure
Montreal, QB
Photographer: Ara Sassoonian

Editorial Hairstylist
Steve Elias
Berkeley, CA
Photographer: Tony Maesto

Student Hairstylist
Patrick Mathes
Indianapolis, IN
Photographer: Babak

Makeup Artist
Seong Hee Park
New York, NY
Photographer: Hyuna Shin

Avant Garde
Nicholas French
Westhampton, NY
Photographer: Roberto Ligresti

Contemporary Classic
Alain Pereque
Montreal, QB
Photographer: Ara Sassoonian

Fashion Forward
Antoine Vadacchino
Montreal, QB
Photographer: Ara Sassoonian

Hair Color
Chrystofer Benson
New York, NY
Photographer: Joseph Cartright

Salon Design
Vasken Demirjian Salon
White Plains, NY
Photographer: Stan Wan

Dimitrios Tsioumas
New York, NY
Photographer: Babak

Salon MBA
Lunatic Fringe
Shawn Trujillo and Angie Katsanevas
Salt Lake City, UT
Photographer: Douglas Carter

NAHA Awards Showcase Creativity, Innovation

by Michelle Breyer on Thursday, July 1st, 2010

The winners for this year were announced. Check them out here.

When Mahisha Dellinger of CURLS signed on as a sponsor this year for the 2010 North American Hairstyling Awards, it was a no-brainer.

Silas Tsang

Silas Tsang

“NAHA is truly the pulse of American stylist’s artistry at its best,” says Dellinger.

CURLS joins some of the biggest names in the business—RUSK, Modern Salon, KMS California, Aquage, Joico, Pureology, to name a few—in supporting the annual competition, which has become a true pinnacle of career achievement for stylists. Many consider it the Academy Awards of the beauty industry.

This year’s NAHA awards will be presented at 6:30 p.m. July 18 at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, Nev.

NAHAs are given in 13 categories, including Master Stylist, Hairstylist of the Year, Editorial Stylist, Student Hairstylist, Avant-Garde, Contemporary Classic, Fashion Foward, Haircolor, Salon Team, Salon Design, Texture and Makeup Artist.

Dimitrios Tsioumas

Dimitrios Tsioumas

A favorite category for Dellinger, and many stylists who focus on waves, curls and kinks, is the Texture category, which draws some of the most creative and innovative entries. “Those contestants are going to receive extra CURLS love,” says Dellinger.

This year, the NAHAs will also salute two professionals who have had a significant impact on the industry. The Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Beth Minardi, an internationally renowned haircolor specialist, educator and salon owner. Freferic Holzberger, an entrepreneur, educator and philanthropist, will be inducted into the NAHA Hall of Leaders.

Chad Seale

Chad Seale

This year’s NAHAs boasted a record-setting number of entries. More than 700 beauty professionals entered—up 18 percent from 2009 and a 35 percent increase from 2008. This is a testament to the growing prestige of the NAHAs, and the impact they can have on a stylists’ career.

This year’s NAHA judges include industry leaders such as Tabatha Coffey, Ruth Roche, Nick Arrojo, Mary Brunetti, Sally Hershberger and Sam Brocato.

Click here for more information about the event.

Beach Waves, Keratin, and Curls…Oh My!

by Megan Dorcey on Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

The Pravana Beach Wave

It’s (finally) summer time and although we are all excited about the warming trends, there is something more important that needs our attention: the hair trends. With every season comes a little something different and with beach vacations, pool parties, and everything in between, one trend that is sticking this summer season is the beachy wave. You can catch it everywhere from a Derek Lam runway show to this year’s MTV movie awards. So how do you, as a stylist, cash in on this trend? Do your homework!

Classes all over the country are being offered on a regular basis to help tame the frizzies and promote beautiful waves. Two educational endeavors that will ensure your pocket book success: keratin treatments and the beach wave.

Although many curl pro’s are leery about the keratin treatments, they really are hitting the market hard and curls of all kind are demanding the frizz-reducing treatment. So many of us curlies are at wit’s end during the humid summer months and these treatments are a saving grace! There are many different options when choosing a treatment: Braziliante, Brazilian Blowout, De Fabulous, Global Keratin, La Brasiliana, and the list goes on. The point is, research the products and understand what they offer your potential client.

As for the beach wave, this is a new spin on the “perm” which gives those of the non-curly persuasion a better option when it comes to wash-and-wear hair styles. This treatment gives clients a sense of freedom from their blow driers and flat irons, and letting them fit right in with the summer beach feel that everyone strives to achieve. The company standing at the forefront of the beach wave craze is Pravana. They offer Q&A’s on their site as well as class schedules (they will be on the east coast this summer so check out their schedule to get the nearest class information).

Need more exposure? Tons of stylists are already gaining new curly clients through’s advertising program. With well over 500,000 visits to the site each month, it’s a great way to grab the attention of the curly community. They will post an ad on the salon reviews section in your state so all of the curlies can find you! Make sure your salon is listed for all to find.

Crystal Wright

I am constantly speaking with stylists across the country about what they are doing in their salons to gain more exposure. I would love to hear what you are doing! Have questions about a certain brand/treatment/trend? Go ahead and email me your questions and comments!

Now to leave you all with a few words of wisdom from stylist and beauty guru Crystal Wright about building your business and client base. I prodded Crystal for a few tips for the CurlStylist audience while at the Mizani Forum in Houston. Her advice is precious, so listen up!

MD What are some of the biggest mistakes you see stylists making today?

CW: They don’t know what they don’t know. What I mean is, sometimes stylists don’t realize that they are working in a vacuum with only the limited information they have in their heads about a subject. Whether it’s working behind the scenes, opening up a new salon, adding a new employee, or choosing the furniture for your salon environment, in order to do it right it’s important to read your trades, do your homework, and seek the advice of people who know more than you and who can help you get to the next level even if it costs a little money. Rest assured that I have been penny wise and pound foolish. I’ve learned that the right book, or paying the right person for 30 minutes of advice can save thousands of dollars and so much time. I learned to call someone up and say “Can I buy 20 minutes of your time”.

MD: What is one key piece of advice you can give to someone wanting to change their lives professionally and personally?

CW: Just one! Ahh shucks. Plan to work and work the plan. That’s the advice that my sales manager at Xerox gave me over 20 years ago and it still works. The only time I falter is when I don’t have a plan. A real plan. One that’s written down on paper with a date from which you can work backwards. That date becomes an appointment that you have to keep, and it makes you accountable to yourself.

MD: Can I have two?

CW: Stop trying to fix everything that isn’t working all at once. You don’t have to do everything all at once. When you identify the things that aren’t working (personally or professionally) in your life you don’t have to fix them all next month. Fix one thing every 30 days.

Help Your Clients Discover their Inner Curl!

by Mahisha Dellinger on Monday, January 11th, 2010

Let’s face it, most stylists today focus on creating perfectly coiffed tresses with the help of the latest chemical processes, straightening tools, and styling techniques introduced by the new self-appointed “Hair Care Guru.”

Too few salons today offer services that cater to the woman that is longing to discover and embrace her natural curls. Which profile best describes your hair care philosophy? If you are the stylist that fears the latter will erode your business, think again. More and more women today have decided to forgo relaxers and are transitioning back to their natural tresses. These same women are looking for quality hair care products to use during their journey (hint: a great retail opportunity for your salon to earn more money) and a stylist that understands her plight and can help her learn more about her natural texture, and offer new styles and treatments that fit her new lifestyle (hint: this is a great time to revolutionize the way you do business).

One of the challenges with transitioning is the concern of lack of styling options, and the struggle during the growing-out period. I have a few options for both concerns, all of which are also business opportunities for you.


I know that weaves are considered undesirable by some. However, more and more women, of all ethnicities, are enjoying the flexibility that weaves offer. In fact, I myself had a certain view on weaves, until I discovered this option could truly help my customers who email me daily, frustrated with the transition process.

  • Client benefit: Your customers can allow their natural hair to grow back without the hassle of breakage from improper care, or the frustration of dealing with half straight/half curly hair.
  • Your benefit: A quality weave job can command from $200-$1000 (depending on your city, hair used, and type). Offering this premium service can greatly increase your revenue.


Newly natural clients tend to require more hands-on assistance when selecting a hair care line for their tresses….assistance that only an educated stylist can offer.

  • Client benefit: One-stop shop! Not only are they able to get the much-needed services for their natural tresses, they also can get top-notch natural products for their natural tresses all in one visit.
  • Your benefit: Niche products created for natural hair are in high demand these days. By becoming a vendor of these brands, you have the ability to gain even more clients through the brand’s Salon Finder page on their website (most have a salon locator page).

Product suggestion: New by CURLS – Champagne & Caviar Curl Elixir – Formulated with certified organic champagne extract and caviar extract, this product enhances growth when applied to the scalp, and strengthens the hair, while adding sheen, when applied to the hair shaft.

NOTE: Are you a CURLS Vendor? If you are interested in retailing CURLS, email me at to learn about our New Vendor Special. For more info on CURLS products visit our website at


Still today, natural hair care stylists are hard to find. Beauty schools are slow to adopt new methodologies. However, Beauty Shows tend to highlight new trends in the industry and offer classes and seminars on the topic.

  • Client benefit: Clients searching for a stylists that understands her hair needs will have a local stylist. Current clients.
  • Your benefit: Here is your opportunity to reinvent yourself, your philosophy, your business. You can become a hot commodity in your city while seizing an opportunity to set yourself apart from the rest.

Texture Tips: A Transitioning Kit

by Mahisha Dellinger on Thursday, October 8th, 2009

According to “Happi” magazine, almost 10 million Hispanic, Asian and African American women have used hair relaxers to remove their natural curl/wave pattern. During the last 5-10 years, ethnic curlies have begun to embrace their natural textures, and the trend toward natural styles have resulted in lower sales in relaxers.

Are you currently servicing clients that are transitioning from relaxed to natural or on the cusp of taking that leap of “curly girl faith?” The good news is there are far more resources and quality hair care lines available today to aide you and your clients in their quest for curl freedom.

Where Do We Begin?

PRODUCT RECOMMENDATION: Curl Souffle is perfect for transitioners. It helps “bridge the gap” between natural and relaxed hair and smooths new growth

Your clients have a few choices. You can recommend that they a. grow out the perm (which takes time and patience), b. do the big chop — cut off all of the chemicals, or c. cut half of it off and get regular trims (~ 3-4″) every 3 months to speed up the process. Unfortunately, there isn’t a quick fix for this situation…you will have to do what is right for your client.

Very important note: The point at which your natural and your relaxed hair meet is THE most vulnerable…therefore is more likely to break if not properly handled and taken care of. You want to keep their hair well-conditioned and hydrated to ensure a smooth transition.

CURLS offers a “Transitioning Diva” kit that has all of the products needed to get you through this transition.

Here are a few tips to help your clients get through their transitioning time.

    CURL Ecstasy Hair Tea conditioner

  1. You definitely want to recommend that they get a deep treatment with heat WEEKLY for the next few months. CURL Ecstasy Hair Tea conditioner will transform dry, chemically damaged, over stressed tresses within minutes! This magical Asian tea formulation combines natural botanicals and vitamin packed extracts with rich, exotic emollients to moisturize, condition, strengthen and protect delicate locks.
  2. Recommend that they invest in the Hair Therapy Wrap, available on our website (and a few plastic caps) so they can also do at-home deep treatments.
  3. Reduce the amount of times per month you heat process their hair. If you currently are doing so 3x a month, cut back to 2x a month with a goal of 1x a month MAX! This will ensure the health and integrity of their hair.
  4. Make sure you give them regular trims…starting off with an inch or two is a great idea!

Texture Tips: CURLS Rehab Tips

by Mahisha Dellinger on Saturday, August 15th, 2009

Curly hair is the most temperamental textured tress on this planet. Frizz from touching the hair too often, limp-noodle curls from over-conditioning, dry, straw-like curls from under-conditioning or over-shampooing, and seasonal changes that make us wonder, “What on God’s green earth has happened to my beautiful curls?” are all common curly girl experiences.

You can help rehab your clients. Push your curly hair clients into a mini-boot camp for a healthy curls recovery.

CURLS Rehab Tips

  1. Strip, but don’t tease! Encourage your clients to start with a clean palate every three months, especially the product junkies who just cannot seem to say “no” to any product that is curl related. Offer a “CURLS Detox” cleansing as a part of your services rendered. Choose a clarifying shampoo that is ph balanced and contains mild surfactants to avoid over drying the hair.
    Product Recommendation: Pure Curls Clarifying Shampoo.
  2. Product Relativity – While some curlies like to “cocktail” two or more products together to create the perfect coil, advise against mixing styling products from different product lines. Oftentimes active ingredients will collide and cause the white ball effect or harden up on the hair. Encourage your clients to try one product line at a time. CURLS offers a complete regime of products for every curl pattern, from wavy to kinky.
  3. Defrizz & Debunk! Debunk the myth that the more products applied on the hair the better the curls. The truth is the number one cause of frizz is product overload. Simplify their styling regime - recommend only one styling product and one liquid moisturizer/2nd day curl refresher.
    Product Recommendation: Curl Gel-les’c Quenched Curls Moisturizer.

CURLS delivers organic curly hair care products for women, girls and babies across the US, Canada, UK, Brazil and other international markets. CURLS outshines the rest by offering customized hair care regimes, personalized hair care support, and live workshops on demand. For additional information visit

Texture Tips: Top Challenges

by Mahisha Dellinger on Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Mahisha Dellinger

Mahisha Dellinger, founder and CEO of CURLS LLC, is revolutionizing the way women care for their curls. As a multi-ethnic, naturally curly woman, Dellinger was no stranger to the frustration of searching for a product line that could properly care for her unique curls. After years of mixing products to create the perfect balance for her hair, Dellinger took matters into her own hands, launching CURLS, a comprehensive line of hair products designed for multi-ethnic hair.

Servicing curly hair clients is always gratifying, especially for stylists stuck in a rut of style slick straight tresses. BORING! The texture, the depth, the range, and all of the variety that curly tresses offer can be exhilarating! While there are specific challenges that are unique to curly hair, none of these challenges are without solutions.

Top Challenges
Curly Girls Face

1. Frizz control
2. Keeping tresses hydrated
3. Attaining the “perfect” curl pattern

The most common complaint that I hear from my clients, and the stylists who cater to them, is battling Frizz. More often than not, where there are curls, frizz is not too far away. There are many reasons why curlies are plagued with frizz. Some causes are client-inflicted, such as overuse of styling products or using the wrong type of products, such as drying mousses and hairsprays. Others are inflicted at the hands of stylists, such as overuse of heat appliances, damage from coloring, perming and bleaching.


Curl Ecstacy Hair Tea Conditioner

While hair cuts are the most requested service at Urbanbella Salon in Atlanta, GA, Keneesha Hudson says that it is her Steam Hydration Therapy, which she often uses in conjunction with our Curl Ecstasy Hair Tea Conditioner that solves dilemma #2 — dehydrated tresses. This luxurious curl therapy incorporates the benefits of steam with a deep conditioner to penetrate the hair shaft, lock in moisture and improve the condition of curls, kinks and waves.


Quenched Curls Moisturizer

IN HOME SOLUTION: Encourage your clients to moisturize their tresses on a daily basis, when they are not able to indulge in salon treatments. Recommend a daily moisturizer that is formulated natural oils and humectants. I recommended using a moisturizer formulated with jojoba, as it is the natural extract that most resembles sebum (the natural oil produced in the sebaceous glands in your scalp). Quenched Curls Moisturizer is a great option.

While most curlies state that they love their natural texture, some secretly long for curls rocked by their favorite Hollywood actress/model. While promising Halle Berry-esque curls isn’t quite feasible, delivering hydrated, frizz free, beautifully unique curls is well within your reach.

For more information, visit


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