Posts Tagged ‘Curly Hair Solutions’

Texture: Commitment-Free Retexturizing

by Michelle Breyer on Wednesday, September 1st, 2010


Learn more about Texture!, a collaboration between CurlStylist, NaturallyCurly and Modern Salon


There was a time when the only option for temporarily changing curly hair to straight or straight hair to curly—or to go from long to short and back—was a wig or a chemical treatment.

These days, there are numerous ways that stylists and consumers can temporarily change the look of hair, without chemicals. They range from innovative new styling products to natural-looking extensions.

Product Innovations

Toronto stylist Jonathan Torch, creator of the Curly Hair Solutions line of products, wanted to create a product that could temporarily loosen curls without chemicals. He spent years trying to find the ideal ingredient that could smooth the curls and keep the hair shiny and soft.



The answer, he says, was lecithin.

“It as a complete aha moment,” Torch says. “It’s in all of my conditioners; it’s thick as tar and it makes the hair shiny.”

Curly Hair Solutions is launching Extenzz this fall, which pushes water into the hair and uses the weight of the wet hair to straighten or loosen curl by using the product in conjunction with different brushing techniques.

While Curly Hair Solutions discovered a creative way to relax curls by using eggs (which contain lecithin), many of the most exciting advances have come in the laboratory, where chemists have concocted new formulations of polymers and silicones that help straighten and defrizz hair.

Living Proof, which has stormed onto the beauty scene, developed a new technology called polyfluoroEster—a smaller molecule than the traditional materials used for frizz control. Due to its chemical nature, the formulation adheres tightly to the hair, which allows for long-lasting moisture resistance and rebalancing of the hair fiber’s interaction with the atmosphere, even after extreme humidity.



“It helps prevent friction that causes hair to frizz,” says Eric Spengler, senior vice president of research and development for Living Proof, a line sold in both professional and consumer outlets. The Living Proof No Frizz Straight Styling line is designed to make it easier to and faster to blow out hair, while the Wave collection helps define curls.

“These products provide an alternative to silicone and more permanent chemical treatments,” Spengler says.

Stay tuned for several new products in the coming months that will be able to give people a straighter, smoother look for several days without using chemicals.

Hair Extensions



With hair extensions, a client can go from curly to straight, straight to curly and from long to short. The client can even get bangs, without the long-term commitment. Extensions are available in clip-ons, which can be put on for a quick change, to strand-by-strand extensions that can last several months.

“Extensions are a great option to chemicals, whether it be texture or color,” says Kimberly Castagna, public relations assistant at SO.CAP USA Hair Extensions, a leader in the world market of producing natural and synthetic hair.

“With our extensions, people have found they can create texture that feels better and looks more natural than their own hair,” she says

Curly hair can get a smooth, elegant by pulling the hair back and adding straight extensions. Wavy and curly extensions can be added to straighter hair for a completely different look. You can also add volume without length by putting in strand-by-strand extensions, Castagna says. Extensions are being used in place of wigs by some women who have undergone chemotherapy.

“It gives them the option of looking like its their own hair,” she says.

Come Celebrate Texture! With the Leaders and Innovators of the Category

by CurlStylist on Monday, March 15th, 2010

Follow CurlStylist on Twitter and Become a Fan on Facebook for special updates on ABS.

CurlStylist, NaturallyCurly and Modern Salon are teaming up to produce one of the hottest programming events at ABS!

America’s Beauty Show is one of the world’s premiere events for stylists, taking place March 27-29 at McCormick Place in Chicago. And the Texture! panel is already generating a lot of buzz and promises to be a sellout.

Here’s the scoop on the event!

Sunday, March 28
1:00 - 4:30 p.m. #716
Admission is FREE, but space is limited!
Registration required

Pioneer Panel Discussion and Q&A
This focused event brings together Texture! pioneers for a panel discussion and Q&A on trends, techniques and education.

Laurel Smoke, MODERN SALON Editor
Michelle Breyer, co-founder


  • Ouidad: “Queen of Curl,” a pioneer in the curly world who opened the world’s first salon 26 years ago devoted to curly hair and author of “Curl Talk”
  • Jonathan Torch Jonathan Torch, founder of Toronto’s Curly Hair Institute, creator of the Curly Hair Solutions line of hair products
  • Anthony Dickey textured hair expert, author of “Hair Rules!: The Ultimate Hair-Care Guide for Women with Kinky, Curly or Wavy Hair,” and creator of the Hair Rules line of products.
  • Miko and Titi Branch creators of Miss Jessie’s line of products and owners of Miss Jessie’s Salon in Brooklyn
  • Devacurl Denis Da Silva, co-founder of the Devachan Salon and creator of the Devacurl line of products
  • KMS California Edwin Johnston
  • Mizani Veronique Morrison, Director of Education

Exclusive Research Findings!
Find out what your clients and peers think about textured hair services, styling treatments and products in a special presentation of research commissioned by MODERN SALON Media and

Special Texture! Presentations

Texture Tools and Goodies
Special samples, education materials and handouts available first come, first served.


CurlStylist will be giving away over $1,500 in prizes at the Texture Panel! Don’t miss out on these great prizes.

All you have to do is drop your business card or fill out a form to WIN 1 of 10 PRIZES! Must be present to win. Only one prize per person.

1st Place Prize: (over $500.00 value)

ShiroShears ($300.00 Value)
• Smart Heat Flat Iron 1″ by Gold N Hot ($80.00 Value)
• Smart Heat Curling Iron by Gold N Hot (variety of sizes) ($50.00 Value)
• Smart Heat Hair Dryer by Gold N Hot ($80.00 Value) tote bag
• magnet

2nd Place Prize: (over $400.00 value)

ShiroShears ($300.00 Value)
• Smart Heat Hair Dryer by Gold N Hot ($80.00 Value)
• Belson 1-1/4″ Pro AccuSilver Digital Curling Iron ($40.00 Value) tote bag
• magnet

3rd Place Prize: (over $150.00 value)

• Smart Heat Flat Iron 1″ by Gold N Hot ($80.00 Value)
• Belson 1-1/4″ Pro AccuSilver Digital Curling Iron ($40.00 Value) tote bag
• magnet

4th-10th Place Prizes: (over $60.00 value)

• Smart Heat Curling Iron by Gold N Hot (variety of sizes) ($50.00 Value) tote bag
• magnet

Check Out Our Sponsors

  • Mizani
  • Joico
  • Curly Hair Solutions
  • Miss Jessies
  • Ouidad
  • Phytospecific
  • KMS California
  • Pureology
  • Hair Rules

How to Choose the Curly Hair Products that Fit Your Needs

by Lilly Rockwell on Friday, July 31st, 2009

The Styling Hutch in Plano, Texas, has made a name for itself for its expertise in cutting curly hair. So when owner Claudia Phillips was looking for a line of products to use and sell at her salon, she wanted to make sure she chose one that covered the gamut of clients who walked through her door — from wavy to super kinky.

After using products by Ouidad, a New York stylist who has been a pioneer in curly hair care, she decided to get her salon certified to use Ouidad products and cutting techniques. Phillips says she tried several lines, but across the board, nothing else compared to Ouidad.

“The fact that I can use the whole line for all of our clients was my major consideration,” Phillips says. “There was something for everyone, and it really works. Clients go out looking good, which makes us look good. People come from the other side of the Dallas Metroplex to buy more products.”

Walk into a random selection of salons, and you’ll see that the hair-care products stylists use vary dramatically. Their product choices often are influenced on such factors as the type of salon a stylist works for, the season, the clientele, environmental leanings, nearby competitors and even the economy.

For many stylists, picking which products to use can be an overwhelming task. How do you cut through the marketing hype to pick which products to offer clients and which ones to discard? Stylists say this task is made especially difficult when dealing with curly hair. A product that works well with wavy hair won’t necessarily help someone who has tight corkscrew-shaped curls. And often the choice may go beyond the product to the type of support a company offers, such as training.

aveda be curly hair products

Some salons carry one line, such as Aveda, exclusively.

In some cases, a stylists may work for a salon affiliated with a certain line of products, such as Aveda, Redken or Bumble and bumble. Others stylists may have more leeway, picking products based on the preferences of their clientele and their own personal likes and dislikes. That may mean picking and choosing products from a variety of brands to find the products that meet particular needs.

Some stylists have intricate methods they go about to select hair-care products.

Teresa Callen, who opened her Menlo Park, Calif.-based Image Arts Salon this year, said she frequently receives sample shipments of new hair-care products and sends some time through them to decide which ones to use. But this can be a chore, she says.

“When you work with a product you have to know it as intimately as the lines on the back of your hand,” explains Callen, who has worked as a hair stylist for more than 25 years and specializes in cutting curly hair. “Some of it is trial and error.”

Callen acknowledges she has made “a ton of mistakes” over the years.

“I first use them on my head, then I have my friends use them,” Callen says.

This process takes two to three weeks, and then her friends deliver what they don’t use and provide feedback. She also has a few select clients try the samples.

“Some clients are brilliant at giving feedback and they love to get new products,” she said.

jessicurl hair products

Jessicurl is among the lines Teresa Callen sells in her salon.

Callen currently offers Jessicurl and DevaCurl products, but keeps a close watch on which products sell faster than others. If sales drop “so bad I can’t move it off the shelf,” Callen’s solution is simple: she stops carrying it.

Picking the right product line can really enhance your business, Callen says, bringing in customers that are loyal to that brand. “In the long run, it can be lucrative,” to stick with a certain product line, she says.

Other hair stylists prefer to switch it up, bringing in new lines to attract clients.

That was the case for American Mortals Salon, a 9-year-old salon in Philadelphia. Co-owner Kimberly Bond says she tried a wide variety of product lines before pursuing Bumble and bumble, after watching one of the company’s “Hair Stories” videos, which documented the company’s history.

“We were riveted,” says Bond. “It was the first time my husband (co-owner of the salon) ever related to something like this. It was amazing to witness a company that had a culture so similar to our own culture. They created a product line based of need from their stylists’ experiences.”

American Mortals made the switch three years ago, and retail sales have responded dramatically, tripling from what it was before they became affliated with Bumble.

“We’re selling more retail than we ever sold before, and we have better access to training,” said Bond, who is a big fan of the company’s Curl Conscious line for curly hair.

Hair stylist Cristin Armstrong, who works at New York City-based Takamichi Salon, loves to try new products.

“I try to keep current and ask my clients what they are using,” she says. “I’m always curious what people are using and what is new.” Armstrong spends time researching new products as well, pouring over reviews online and flipping through style magazines to learn about new products.

Hair stylists said they learn a lot about new products by asking their clients what they use. If they hear a certain name pop up frequently, stylists say they will try it out on their own hair and look into carrying it at their salon.

Some stylists prefer to develop and sell their own products, a trend that has been particularly apparent in the curly niche. Curly hair guru Jonathan Torch, who opened the Toronto-based Curly Hair Institute in 2005, has designed his own product line Curly Hair Solutions.

Torch said developing the product line was key to improving his business. If somebody has curly hair, it needs cutting very seldom, while straight-haired customers may need their hair cut more frequently. Curly-haired customers are more apt to buy styling products and targeted shampoos and conditioners more often, he said.

Salons and stylists that cater to both curly and straight hair say they must offer a wide range of products for their clientele because their needs vary.

Tiffany Anderson-Taylor is in charge of retail sales for Essentials, the St. Petersburg, Fla. salon where she works.

“The lines we carry we felt were more appropriate to handle everybody’s needs,” she said.

Her salon carries DevaCurl, Aquage and Brocato product lines.

“Deva was one of the first to stand up and say ‘look, curly hair is different and you need to respect it for being different,’ ” she said.

In some cases, the decision is based on more than just the product in the bottles. It may be the brand recognition, the business support or the training that help a stylist or salon make the decision to choose one brand over another.

Bond was attracted to the business support Bumble provided as well as the continuing education. “You could see they really supported their salons,” she says.

Being a Ouidad-certified salon has helped The Styling Hutch attract clientele from around the country, says Phillips.

“That affiliation gives us credibility among our curly clients that we know what we’re doing with curly hair,” Phillips says.

Sometimes a salon has to take competitive factors into consideration, such as diversion. This refers to the controversial practice of professional hair-care products finding their way into grocery stores and pharmacies because of lax distribution processes. Walk into any supermarket, and there will be an aisle full of brands that used to be found exclusively at salons — a trend that angers stylists and cuts into their bottom line.

Essentials will only offer products that can’t be bought at your local supermarket, which enhances the allure of the salon, Anderson-Taylor said.

Now that many consumers are paying attention to how “green” their purchasing habits are, many stylists prefer to offer products made organically. Stylists say it’s important to read the product labels to figure out which products truly adhere to organic principles and which don’t.

Cala Renee, who runs her own salon in Beverly, Mass., says she carries the DevaCurl line in to cater to her curly-haired clientele, but also liked the product line’s emphasis on natural plant-based ingredients.

“I searched for a line that is all organic,” said Renee, whose salon specializes in curly hair.


Cala Renee carries Sukesha products in her salon.

She also carries Sukesha, which contains no sulfates and focuses on plant-based natural ingredients. And she offers the Aquage line, which uses organic ingredients from seaweed and algae extract. “I’m trying to go as green as possible.”

Representatives visit her salon every two weeks, she says, pushing new products. Like many stylists, she uses the products on herself first before she’ll consider using them on her clients.

Still, no matter how great a product is, if it’s too pricey, she doesn’t offer it, adding that a salon’s price ceiling can change depending on its location. She also monitors what her competitors are carrying and at what prices.

With all the attention Renee pays to the products she carries, she said she still isn’t sure that they ultimately drive clients to choose her salon over others.

“I don’t necessarily think it’s the product line that gets the people into the salon,” Renee said. “I think it’s the reputation of the hair-cutting and curly hair specialists.”

She hesitates a moment and adds, “And then, they love the Deva.”

The Benefits of Picking a Niche

by Lilly Rockwell on Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

cutting curly hair

Stylists have found picking a niche works well for their business.

Hair stylist Tiffany Anderson-Taylor’s weekends at her St. Petersburg, Fla. salon are booked a month in advance. She has clients fly in from far-flung states such as Arizona just to get their curly hair cut.

Not bad for a stylist who only got her hair-cutting license two years ago.

Anderson-Taylor credits her popularity to her decision to focus exclusively on cutting curly hair.

“There are so few of us that anyone who has a passion and is serious about doing a good job can do really well,” Anderson-Taylor said.

Picking a niche, whether it is cutting curly hair or a focus on hair coloring, helps to build a loyal clientele willing to pay top dollar for an expert.

“Whether you’re a curly hair specialist or not, you have to get your name out there and differentiate yourself,” Anderson-Taylor said.

Hair stylists suggest if curly hair isn’t your thing, try your hand at coloring or perfecting the art of an intricate up-do. Stylists who have chosen a niche say that it has helped grow their business and helped them better weather down financial times.

Specializing in curly haircuts and styles is especially popular because there is a growing demand for this expertise as straightening becomes less popular.

“Curly girls have always found me wherever I work,” said Teresa Callen, owner of the Menlo Park, Calif.-based Image Arts Salon. “It’s so rare for people to be good at it. Up until five years ago, it was terrible to be someone who specialized in curly and wavy hair. Right now curls are becoming the height of style.”

In the 1990s straight hair was popular and “it was hard to get clients,” Callen said. But in 2000, curly hair really began to catch on, she added. The demand has only increased since then, and Callen said her appointments fill up months in advance.

“Loyal doesn’t begin to describe a curly-haired girl when you do her right,” said hair stylist Laura Vendetti, who runs Fairhope, Ala.-based Laura Hair Co. “They are by far the most loyal clients I have.”

Although Vendetti also cuts straight hair, she said her curly-haired clients are more likely to be repeat customers. Because many beauty schools don’t offer training on curly hair, a stylist who can learn to cut curly hair well is in high demand.

A growing number of stylists are seeking out special training in curly hair cutting. Curly hair expert Lorraine Massey, the author of “Curly Girl,” and the creator of the Deva line of hair care products, offers training at her salon in New York.

Others teach themselves. Curly-haired Vendetti remembers the hairdresser who “butchered” her hair as a child, and it inspired her to perfect the curly hair cut. Anderson-Taylor practiced on friends and models and had them post reviews of her skills on Web sites like in order to gain more clients.

“Having a niche is important,” said hair stylist Cristin Armstrong, who works at the New York City-based Takamichi Salon. She specializes in cutting curly hair, but works at a salon that works with all hair types. “The curly hair thing has been a really good niche for me because it has helped me build my clientele.”

When picking a niche, find something you feel comfortable doing, Armstrong said. Often curly hair stylists have curly or wavy hair themselves. Others simply gravitate toward the challenge of a curly hair cut or the accuracy that straight hair demands.

“I feel like I have an understanding of it,” Armstrong said. “I understand texture. I like creating simple styles they can create at home.”

She adds that specializing in curly hair helps her stand out in New York City’s crowded, competitive salon landscape.

Some hair stylists have managed not only to make curly hair their specialty, but also have built entire salons that focus on curly hair. Jonathan Torch founded the Toronto-based Curly Hair Institute in 2005, a salon that only cuts and colors curly hair. He also has developed an extensive line of curly-hair products. He said curly hair has always been his passion, and finds the different sizes, shapes, and textures of curly hair fascinating.

“You can’t just wake up one day and open a curly hair salon,” Torch said. “You really have to love it.”

For Torch, developing an expertise in curly hair isn’t about making money, though his salon is doing very well. He likens it to therapy, helping people who have never had a “solution” to taming their curly manes.

“The minute I discovered it, I gravitated toward it because it’s such a rewarding feeling,” says Torch.

The Art of Cutting Curly Hair

by Michelle Breyer on Saturday, May 30th, 2009

Jonathan Torch

Jonathan Torch

Toronto stylist Jonathan Torch, founder of the Curly Hair Solutions line of products, says he never thought he’d become an expert on cutting curly hair. But he had one curly-headed customer with bulky, unmanageable hair and he made it his mission to find a cut that could help her get the haircut she desired.

What Torch discovered was that he didn’t need to cut every strand of hair. He needed to cut the pieces that could reduce the bulk, but cut them in a way that was invisible to the eye. And he needed to be able to cut these same pieces every time she came in.

“You have to look at each curl as an individual,” Torch says. “I worked on a system I could customize for each person.”

So Torch began to study curly hair. He studied the way it looked wet and dry; he worked with tight curls and loose waves. He learned about shrinkage and frizz and curl formation. He learned how to create different layers of ringlets. He learned to play with the hair to see what it wanted to do. And he learned to throw some old ideas out the window — ideas that were the holy grail for cutting straight hair.

“You can’t cut curly hair accurately,” Torch says. “Learning to break the rules and to cut hair unevenly is foreign to hairdressers. You have to change your whole thought process.”

It has happened to all of us curlyheads at least once. We encounter a stylist who swears she can cut curly hair, only to have our hair end up too short, too uneven, too puffy or just altogether an unmanageable mess.

In too many cases, the problem stems from bad training or a lack of training altogether. Most beauty schools don’t have the time to teach stylists how to work with curly hair. So many stylists attempt to cut curls just as they would straight hair or wavy hair. And they learn the hard way that it just doesn’t work.



“Schools don’t teach how to cut curly hair,” says Ouidad, the “Queen of Curl,” who developed a carve-and-slice technique to cut curly hair.

But a growing number of stylists have developed their own techniques for cutting curls — techniques learned through years of studying and working with hundreds of curlyheads. What they have found is that to cut curly hair well is as much an art as it is a science.

“There’s a period of illumination that happens when people realize they can cut curly hair,” says Chris Baran, global artistic director for design at Redken International. “They discover the beauty that goes on with it.”

Baran says the key to cutting curls is to think of the head of hair as positive and negative space. With positive, you can’t see through it. With negative, you can.

“That’s what gives the hair the degree of sensuality — that edge that people with straight hair don’t have,” Baran he says. “The trick is figuring out how to cut it to put it in.”

Austin stylist David Moreno, who has developed a large and loyal following of curlyheaded clients, says he likes to cut curly hair dry because wet hair can be deceiving. As he cuts, he creates an imaginary shape, cutting the hair outside of that shape, creating invisible layers. He likes to cut the hair on an angle to encourage the curl to wrap around itself. He’s a firm believer that every hair doesn’t need to be cut every time — a philosophy he calls his “Bonsai Theory.”

“What we’re trying to do is get texture,” Moreno says.

Stylists well versed in ringlets have learned about shrinkage and have developed their own techniques to adjust for it.

John Blaine, a stylist at Yutaka Salon in West Hollywood, says likes to start cutting with the hair wet, but finishes with it dry. He only cuts half as much as he would with straight hair.

“You can really see how much shrinkage there is with the hair,” he says.

Some techniques absolutely don’t work with curls. Layers may turn into ledges. A texturizing razor may create a dreadful headful of frizz if used on tight curls. Without the right shape, a head of curls can look like a pyramid.

“You can’t cut curly hair blunt,” Ouidad says. “You have to cut it in angles.”

Not every stylist is well suited to cutting curls, Torch says.

“They become frustrated by tangles, by the dryness, by the unpredictability,” he says. “With straight hair, they can get that one bang to fall into that same position every single day. But that curly hair may never go into that position again. For people with curly hair, control is never going to happen.”

“I can’t train a stylist until they develop a passion for curly hair,” Torch says.

Younger hairdressers, he says, seem more eager and less fearful of working with curls. They have also grown up at a time when curls are more prevalent in Hollywood and on the fashion runways. They see them as something to play up rather than something to fight, he says.

“The next generation of hairdressers may not be afraid of curly hair,” he says.

Kelli McClain, a stylist with INNU in Austin, has developed just such a passion for curly hair.

“In school we learned the bare minimum,” McClain says. “The mannequins in school all have straight hair.”

So the curlyhead has taught herself how to work with curls.

“It’s like sculpting — like trimming shrubbery,” McClain says. “You have to cut it and see where it falls. You have to cut the right hairs and look at it from all different angles.”

Even those considered the best at cutting curls say they are continually learning new things.

“The past 10 years, I’ve learned how to control the bulk and create a perfect canvas,” Torch says. “The next few years, I want to start playing around with design to come up with fresh styles for curly hair.”

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