Posts Tagged ‘denis da silva’

Curl Highlighting Techniques: Tips from Top Curl Experts

by Karen Mcintosh on Monday, April 5th, 2010

There are exciting possibilities and scary pitfalls when it comes to highlighting curls. With the endless variations in curl types, deciding which techniques to embrace and which techniques to avoid can be complicated.

To focus on the most successful techniques and the methodology behind them, CurlStylist talked to three top curl and color experts.

Christo, creator of the Curlisto Systems line of hair care and owner of Christo Fifth Avenue, has made curls a life study since age 13, “The most important thing is to understand the curls…to know the elasticity of each and every curl—how it curls, if it’s a tight curl, a loose curl, or a medium curl. They [hairdressers] have to know how the elasticity of the balance of the hair if it’s curly…The colorist and person that’s doing their hair must understand their skin tone, their texture of hair—and be honest about it. You are more honest and you will have clients who are going to follow you for life”.

Products to Watch:

HC Color Fantasies Kit Developed by Denis Da Silva will be available for retail sale at salons soon and is available here now.

Curlisto No-Heat Keratin Treatment A healthy, in-house alternative to the Brazilian Keratin treatment that transforms dry, frizzy and unmanageable curls into beautiful waves.

Curlisto Systems Anti-Frizz Treatment A 30-minute in-salon breakthrough treatment for transforming all types of dry, frizzy damaged hair into silky, bouncy locks.

For the latest and greatest, check out Antonio’s blog Comessenyc and his regular articles on Curlstylist.com.

Devachan co-founder and president, inventor, and color innovator Denis Da Silva says, “curly hair needs to be highlighted because it has texture and it doesn’t have dimension. It’s different from straight hair which shows shine. My idea for Pintura (Portuguese for “work of art”) was having a free way of doing highlights on hair that has free life. Every day curls look different, so it needed its own thing when it comes to color. Pintura respects the hair color.”

Antonio Gonzales, hairstylist at Orlando Pita Salon and CurlStylist contributor, was recently named by “Vogue” magazine as one of the rising hairstylist stars in New York. He feels that “Every head is different. “ I have learned for myself it’s really about exploring the techniques …we have balayage and we have foil,” he says. “My golden rule is always to do both. I feel for me I need to cut and color. And as a colorist I need to do foils and to do balayage; there’s no preference. When we’re working with one head of curls, we really explore the technique.”

Each of these curl virtuosos developed a passion for curls in his early teens. We examine their philosophies and methods to highlighting curly hair. Here, they freely share their passion and their expertise.

Tips:

Consult with the client and evaluate—the hair, lifestyle, chemical service history, and more: Free consultations are key to developing both the relationship and a highlighting strategy, say the experts. “For me the foil client is the woman who wants more intense coverage”, says Gonzales. “She might be coming in for a lot of low lights but a few highlights so I would lowlight the foil and paint the highlights.”

At Christo Fifth Avenue Salon, consultations with Christo’s staff are always free. ”The free consultation will encourage someone to come in and talk to you,” he says.

With new clients, it’s important to know what coloring or styling “baggage” they may be carrying into your chair along with their hair. For Christo, the consultation is a form of “psychohairapy”. “They need psycho hair therapy because they experience a lot of bad hairdos, either bad cut or bad color, so they are traumatized,” he says. “It takes a lot for the stylist to sit down and understand the client’s lifestyle. That’s why we have the consultation…It takes time to understand the hair, the culture they live in, and what we can do to better their hair.”

Use different approaches for different curl types: All curls are not created equal, and each curl type needs a custom approach. It depends on the desired effect as well, says Gonzales. “You know I have African American clients who have curlier hair and they just want to wear the hair as an Afro and they want blonder tips but on dark, dark hair the contrast is too drastic. So if the client is okay with it, I sometimes just break the base by half a shade to soften it. It’s still overall a deep brown rather than a black and we’ll put lighter tips so that it relates.”

Christo thinks wavier type 2s, Botticelli type 3s and coiler type 4a hair need to be handled differently. “Because of the tighter, coilier hair, that means you have to be careful. When you weave the hair you have to take part of the coil into the foil…or take a whole coil and leave a coil behind. So when you have the highlights done, you can actually see them. Otherwise, if you just weave them, they will look just like a frizziness in the hair, they will not look good, and they will look like the color is not into the curl. It will look just like brassiness.”

Condition! “Hair is thirsty for more conditioner,” says DaSilva. “Hair has a lot of protein and when it sits in the protein, it can get very dry. Curly or straight, hair needs lots of conditioner.”

For Christo, pre-conditioning is the first step when the client comes in for highlighting. “It’s very easy for the curls to get dry and damaged, if you don’t precondition it,” he says. He uses the Curlisto Colorective mask, lets it sit for 5 minutes to get into the cuticle, then halfway dries the hair under the dryer before coloring. “Curly hair doesn’t have to be all the way dry in order to pick up the color,” he says.

“The tools are just endless. It’s just a matter of taking a deep breath, assessing the situation and moving forward with knowing that if you do this, it’s not going to be a disaster, it’s not going to be wrong. But it’s definitely something you are exploring, something that you are trying. Create your own techniques. I love it!” —Antonio Gonzales

Antonio Gonzales observes “curly hair tends to always be a little bit dehydrated. It’s the No. 1 complaint amongst curly heads, that it frizzes depending on the weather. So I feel that when I’m approaching color and curly hair, I’m extra careful in terms of my volume of peroxide.”

Christo and Denis Da Silva also take conditioning into the color process. Da Silva incorporates Acai, a Brazilian fruit loaded with powerful antioxidants and moisturizing properties in his HC Color Systems Kit (see Products to Watch)

Christo uses vegetable-based colors from Goldwell and Wella. “Usually we try to do as many colors that are ammonia-free. You know, curly hair takes color very easily so you don’t need ammonia. But it’s also very easy to fade which is why we have the Colorective line, which helps maintain their hair.”

Curls have volume—and coloring increases volume: With highlighting you are also creating more density and volume, according to Christo. “The hair, especially if they are going to use bleach…gets fatter by 30 percent because the hair gets swollen. That means that person’s hair, if it’s already dry because it’s curly and you are using bleach on their hair, can get puffier because you are making it thicker.”

Conversely, clients with very fine, thin hair who get highlights will love this effect because it gives the hair more density, more fullness and more body. “A lot of people who have curls and thin density love to color the hair every 3 weeks because it makes the hair thicker,” Christo says. “That’s a color fact, which is great. Sometimes.”

Help clients maintain the color between visits: Colors, especially reds, fade. Recommending the right products to help maintain color between visits not only increases your sales, says Christo. It is also “going to make your client happy! Don’t forget that part. It’s not about selling, it’s about to (giving) a client solutions. And people with curly hair are always looking for solutions. They are always looking for that perfect color that’s going to look good on them. It’s not the easiest thing to do, unless you guide them and give them the right tools to maintain their hair. And that’s one of our very strong tools when it comes to color. We make something for them to take home so we can now expect that the color in two months will now be just fine, except we touch up the roots.” At Christo, clients receive a Colorective shampoo and mask that is custom-blended to match more than 75 shades.

Learn new techniques and expand your repertoire: Despite their high level of expertise, Christo, Da Silva and Gonzales continue to learn and evolve —and they believe all stylists should. Whether it is working at Fashion Week, flying to a hair show in Brazil or simply from the exchange of ideas with their styling teams, they live and breathe in an atmosphere of inspiration.

“Hairdressers should understand how much pressure we are on and how much we should learn every single day” says Da Silva. “ To hear clients talk we are special people. Some hairdressers say they are bored with what they are doing. If they are bored, they are not willing to learn new things”

For Gonzales, education is as close as the salon. “I changed salons 6 months ago and am now working with Orlando Pita and he is really my idol in the industry,” he says. “ I’m working in the hub of trends that are being set for the next season and the next year…I’m really fortunate that I work with a team of people that I can go in every day and learn something new.” And he advises “Go to Style.com. I do it every day to see what’s available. And I try for my work to reflect what’s happening on Style.com.”

And they share their knowledge with other stylists, offering workshops and multi-day bootcamps for professionals (see box).

Techniques

Balayage or Foils Or Both? Oh my!

Antonio Gonzales loves them both. “I use both of them; I can’t do one without the other. It depends on the client, and every head is different. Some women are definitely foil women and some women are balayage women, depending on the coverage.”

Denis Da Silva developed the Pintura Technique for Schwartzkopf which is now used at DevaChan. “Pintura works with any type of hair,” Denis said. Balayage is a free style of highlighting hair. Pintura is a free style, but with a method. It has pre-sections done and it uses tissue to protect hair. We developed and use a patented tool, the Comb. And you can use 2 colors in the same hair at the same time. It’s very advanced.”

Where to Learn More

A course or workshop may be the perfect shot to energize your skills and bring you happy curly clients. Check out these exciting opportunities to learn directly from the experts:

Deva training events:
April 19 in Holliston, MA
May 10 in Columbus, OH
Coming this fall: A three-day professional curl course in New York City.

Contact DevaCurl, Director of Education, 917-596-9278 or shari@mydevacurl.com

Curlisto “The Art of Curly Hair;” Featuring Christo
Specializing in Curly Hair can Bring Extra Profit to Salon Professionals
April 25 IBS Las Vegas, 2pm – 3:30 pm Room N241
June 6 Premier Orlando, 2:30 - 4 p.m.

Christo’s well-known Smart Lights highlighting technique lets clients go longer between highlights: as long as 4 or 5 months. He skips the hairline, starting an inch behind. “and I put the foils in triangle shapes. When I highlight I don’t highlight straight or traditionally from the side. I put it in a pyramid or diagonally from the front. When I start from side to side from the front I put it in a triangle or pyramid shape. And then at the back, I start from the point of the pyramid and I open up on the bottom. That gives me leverage when the roots start to come in – you don’t see the roots so much.”

Weaving and foil management. Weaving techniques and the placement of foils so that you can see the highlights on curly hair are both key to getting beautiful highlights that pop, our experts said.

For Christo, the client’s desires and preferences dictate how much you are going to weave out of the curl. Do they want full exposure, or something more subtle? “ I use a medium weave and I take into consideration how thick or how thin is the curl. If the curls are very thick, then it is to weave maybe one-third or one-fourth because how much I want the highlights to show…The idea is to want highlights hugging around the curl all the way down. And the best way to do it is by how much of that curl you are going to take into your foil.”

For Gonzales, sectioning is foremost and he works with sections that go around the head. “Another technique that I specifically like for curly hair is …around the technique and the way I approach the shape of the head. I tend to have my sections go around the head…And I change my volume of peroxide as I move around the head.

“With straight hair it’s very easy to approach your highlighting, either balayage or foils, from the neck up and then work in block sections. Whereas with curly hair … you look at the curl and you work with the growth of the curl. Curly hair definitely has a mind of its own. And rather than working against the growth pattern or against the way the curl is formed, I like working with it.”

Pitfalls to Avoid

Treating curly hair just like another head of hair and highlighting it as you would straight hair. Christo says a hairdresser can be a “good colorist but not a good judge of the hair, and that is going to be a mistake. Because they will not highlight to the pattern of the curl, so that means they will not see the highlights.” Who cares if the color is perfect if you can’t see it?

“Your hair is your No. 1 accessory. Because think about how much money you spend to buy a beautiful dress to go to a party, right? Then if your hair doesn’t look good that dress will mean nothing. So what brings the puzzle together is your hair. If your hair looks good then you are going to look good whatever you put on.” —Christo

Gonzales agrees. “I would also feel – not approaching every head the same way. If the client comes in and she’s a brunette and she has curly hair and wants a few light pieces, you need to decide if this is a foil client or a balayage client. For me the foil client is the woman who wants more intense coverage. She might be coming in for a lot of low lights but a few highlights so I would lowlight the foil and paint the highlights. Another great thing is knowing that you can mix foil and balayage on the same client.”

Avoid over-lightening: Gonzales changes the volume of peroxide as he moves around the head. “I would start off with a 5 volume and end up with a 20 volume. Which means that when I’m done highlighting the client’s hair, the back and the front are equally lifted around the same time and get the same results, rather than using a high volume in the back and then going too high in the front. Sometimes you can start a 20 volume in the back and before you know it it’s a 30 volume in the front. I seldom use 30 or 40 volume”.

Trends

Antonio’s current focus is on extensions, clip in extensions. And he advises “Go to Style.com. I do it every day to see what’s available. And I try for my work to reflect what’s happening on Style.com.” He also advises that texture more than color will be a trend. “ Orlando for most of the trends he set for the past Fashion Week was about texture, about creating a texture without a crimping iron or curling iron.” A lot of Antonio’s work will be “getting myself ready in the salon for all these ad campaigns that are going to be coming out with hair that has a bit of frizz to it, or that is a bit messy but still looks glamorous.”

Christo predicts you are going to see a lot of reds this year, “especially from the European women; they love their reds. A lot of women in Italy and Greece with olive skin, you will see more of a wine red with more copper colored highlights. And for those women with more fair skin, you will see strawberry blonds and also a lot of caramel, light browns with a lot of blond highlights.”

Blonds will never go out of style, according to Christo. “Very rarely a blond will go red. And I say always be careful with what you do with your color and the trends. I would say trend is what looks good on you.”

Denis Da Silva, who we caught en route to a hair show in Brazil, had this to say about trends. “Girls… anywhere in the world…are always looking to have better hair every single day. The second conversation between girls is hair. So the hair is more important than clothes. The stylist is more important than clothes. We just lose to sex.”

Top 10 Lessons
From Veteran Curl Stylists

by Teri Evans on Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

The life of a stylist is fraught with trials, triumphs and many tribulations, especially if you choose to specialize in textured tresses. Yes, some mistakes are inevitable no matter how savvy you are as a stylist— but you may be surprised how many common faux pas are avoidable. And you don’t need years of experience to figure it out, if you’re willing to learn from the wisdom of those who spent decades creating a brave (and curly) new world.

Here, we turn to leading curl experts, and asked: If they knew then what they know now, what nostalgic advice would they share with up-and-coming stylists? Read on for the top 10 lessons of curl-centric veterans—lessons they learned the hard way, so you don’t have to.

Lesson #1: Let go of your ego.

Christo

Christo

Arrogance ultimately never serves you, your colleagues or your clients, according to Christo of New York’s Christo Fifth Avenue salon.

“You should always be willing to learn from your surroundings, what you see and how other people do things,” Christo says. “You can be the best, but you can learn from someone who is not as good as you. You have to be very open minded.”

Diane DaCosta, curl expert and author of “Textured Tresses,” agrees. “Don’t think you know everything,” she warns. “Be confident and secure in your creativity and imagination, but your skills—like any other profession—need to be honed and perfected.”

Bottom line: Leave your arrogance behind, and be a little more humble. “You’ll become a lot stronger, and be a lot better stylist,” Christo says.


Lesson #2: Manage your expectations.

When Ouidad, the “Queen of Curls,” first started cutting curly hair, she acknowledges that her idealism took over.

“I wanted to change the world with the haircut that I gave them. I wanted to fix it all and change it all,” Ouidad says. “But it’s impossible to take a head of hair and change it all completely at once. What I learned is to really look at the hair, study all the curl patterns, and learn exactly how much curls shrink, each section, and how they fit within each other when you cut. It’s not like cutting straight hair, you can’t just change it all at once.”

So, instead of having an image of what you think you’re going to do with the client, like change their life, Ouidad encourages up-and-coming stylists to examine the different hair textures, really study them and understand them first.

Lesson #3: Listen more, talk less.

Christo

Ouidad

“Let the client talk, don’t talk over them. Just observe them,” says Denis DaSilva, co-owner of New York’s Devachan Salon. “You win over people when you agree with them. If you try to disagree, you’ll never win. Agree with them and then change them a little to the right or left according to what needs to be done, but never say no.”

No is not a word your clients are going to accept easily. So, experts say, be certain you understand what they want before you react. “You’re going to have to really listen,” adds Christo. “You’re going to have to analyze their hair, so you can give them options and ideas.”

Lesson #4: Practice patience.

Curl experts say you cannot treat curly clients the same way you treat clients with straight hair.

“Most of the time, people with straight hair will let you do whatever you want,” Christo says. “But with curly clients, you have to take into consideration she has already tried many things and ended up in your chair because you claim you specialize in curly hair. So you have to live up to those expectations.”

And that can mean a much longer consultation for new clients. For example, Christo blocks out an hour for new clients.

“We want to make sure that person is going to stay with us because we know we have all the solutions for them,” he says.

He suggests stylists ask themselves if they really know how to deal with curly hair. “Anyone can say they do curly hair, but can they really? Or, are they making disasters out there for us to fix?” Christo asks.

Diane DaCosta

Diane DaCosta

Lesson #5: Find a mentor.

“Always look for a mentor who can guide you,” DaCosta says. “Nowadays, it’s easier because all the veteran stylists are writing books and making videos, so that’s one way, but there’s really nothing like hands-on experience with a mentor. That’s how you avoid a lot of mistakes.”

Even if you can’t afford to take classes with the nation’s top experts, DaCosta suggests seeking out a top curl stylist in your own town.

“If you don’t give them solutions, they won’t come back to you for a haircut,” adds Christo. “If you do, you’ll have a client for life.”

Lesson #6: Your client is not your friend.

“Young stylists sometimes think the client is their friend, but the client is paying you, so they’re not your friend,” DaSilva says.

He warns stylists to always be aware that the client is in your chair for a reason — not to make small talk, but to receive a service and leave as a satisfied customer.

“If you talk too much with the client and get too friendly, you make the client uncomfortable to come back to you,” DaSilva says. “The client may talk about their personal life and you talk about yours and, before you know it, you think the client is your friend. But the bottom line is a month from now she’s going to get her credit card bill and look in the mirror.”

It’s your job to make sure they like what they see.

Lesson #7: Be fearless.

Dennis DaSilva

Dennis DaSilva

Although you may feel fear when first approaching curly clients, don’t give in to it.

“The first 10 years as a stylist, you’re so afraid of clients. When they want what they want, they make you concerned about that. The second 10 years, you learn how to present what is better for them, but the end result is they will push you, even though you gave them whatever they wanted,” DaSilva says. “The third 10 years, now you’re smarter. You listen, but learn how strategically to put them in a spot where you can always give them more.”

Especially when it comes to color, DaSilva warns that if you give the client too much control, it will be hard to get it back.

“I don’t have confrontations with any clients, but if they say I want a lot of blonde highlights, I’ll put the blonde strategically in places where they will see more blonde, but not necessarily doing more blonde,” he explains. “If they say I want a little red, I may know that warm brown for them is red.”

DaSilva says it’s all about understanding how to interpret and balance a client’s wants and needs.

Lesson #8: Watch your words.

Curl experts say your words matter — a lot — when working with curly clients.

“If you say, ‘I know exactly what I need to do,’ it just blows up in your face. Even if you do know, it just puts [the curly client] on the defense,” Ouidad says. “It’s essential to talk about how you’re going to work with the hair, what kind of movement you want to put in the hair. You want to be able to verbalize and explain how it’s going to fit and how it’s going to look like when the hair is dry.”

Ouidad says you can ease a curly’s fear by saying things like, “I know layers would be too rough for your hair or it would shrink too much.” You really want to make sure curly clients know that you’re not going to give them ledges, a pyramid or some other shape they dread— and you do understand their texture.

“Make your client as comfortable and trusting as possible by saying things that resonate with them,” Ouidad says.

Lesson #9: Find a product line you believe in.

“A common mistake stylists make is they like to have two or three different lines of products for curly hair, but that’s misleading to clients,” Christo says. “Different lines have different philosophies. You can’t mix them, it never works.”

He suggests stylists decide which product line they believe in the most, and stick with it.

“When you believe in the products and the philosophy behind them, you become a better stylist,” he says. “Also make sure your station only has curly hair products there. The client will not tell you, but they will feel better already when they’re sitting in your chair and they see a curly product. They don’t care if your salon is fancy, if you have marble floors or beautiful ceiling fans or whatever, clients want answers and if you don’t give them answers you can kiss them goodbye.”

Lesson #10: Pay attention to a client’s emotions.

Gauge the emotions of a client. Never touch a client when they’re emotional or distraught — at all — ever — because they’re never going to be happy with a decision they make, if it’s based on emotion, especially when it comes to a drastic change in a haircut or color.

“You can explain to them all the styles and cuts that would look good on them, but offer them another service,” DaCosta says. “You can always give them a conditioning treatment, a gloss or even a demi-permanent color, until they’re ready for a major change.”

Coloring Curls:

Five Must-Follow Rules

by Teri Evans on Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

While curly hair comes in a tapestry of textures, color is what adds sparkle and dimension. Sounds simple enough to do, but it’s actually much more complex to color curls than stick-straight locks.

“With curly hair, it’s very hard to fix a problem with color,” says Denis DaSilva, co-owner of New York’s Devachan Salon.”The hair is more dense, there’s more hair to deal with, so a little mistake in color can be more painful for the person who has it. Curly hair has a tendency to be dry, so fixing a color means you’re going to damage it even more, and the end result is the curl is affected and so is the shine.”

Curls and kinks can also be crushed by color, if the hair is already damaged before you even get started.

“Maybe the client does not do enough to maintain the hair at home,” says Christo of New York’s Christo Fifth Avenue salon. “Or, maybe they like to blow out their hair or flat iron it. You have to take that into consideration before you color their hair.”

As a stylist, working with color on curlies requires the skills of a true artist — or at least someone who knows what the rules are and how to follow them. Here, we provide five simple rules to navigate the unique twists and turns of coloring curls.

Rule #1: Choose semi- or demi-permanent color whenever possible.

Curly hair is drier and more porous than straight hair, so you always want to offer your clients color options that will condition their curls instead of drying them out even more.

“Use semi- and demi-permanent color, and you can cover gray almost 100% with less damage,” DaSilva says. “Be aware that permanent color is going to add even more dryness into the hair.”

DaSilva says he always thinks long and hard before making a decision about color. “Never come to a conclusion by what the client wants or what you think,” he says. “You have to look at what the hair can take and what is best for the hair.”

Rule #2: If you must use permanent color, be strategic.

When permanent color is needed for highlights, curl-centric stylist Tamara Mooney creates only a few triangle sections of foils with three different, yet complementary, colors.

“I keep the permanent color to a minimum, and have it just be surprise color popping out from underneath so there’s less damage,” says Mooney, who specializes in curly hair at Tasha’s Beauty Studio in San Diego, Calif. “I’m only doing three or four foils that create a triangle shape on the head and the rest is semi-permanent color.”

Too many highlights or too much bleach can not only damage curly hair (which is already fragile), but can also deflate the roundness of the curls.

“Color can straighten the hair and make it frizzy, so only use ammonia and peroxide, when you’re covering gray or highlighting,” Mooney says. “Any other time use semi-permanent colors.”

Rule #3: Never, ever overlap color.

One of the most commonly overlooked mistakes stylists make is to overlap when coloring the roots, according to Christo.

“Curly hair is more porous [than straight hair], so when you apply color you have to stay on the roots. Whatever you overlap is going to get darker,” Christo says. “The uneven color will create a zebra strip when the color starts to grow out.”

Christo suggests using a brush that is thin and clean enough to easily apply color exactly where the client needs it.

“A lot of stylists make the mistake of applying color 20 minutes on the roots, then the last 10 minutes they’ll do the ends,” Christo explains. “But with curly hair, the ends are so porous that it will become darker, creating a demarcation.”

Michael Crispel, a creative artist for KMS California and owner of Earth Salon in Toronto, Ont., agrees.

“For all-over color, make sure to split up the formulation from roots to ends,” Crispel says. “Because of the porosity of curly hair, the roots get hotter. The roots look lighter than the ends. Good stylists know to watch the roots versus the ends.”

Rule #4: Remember, healthy hair is critical for coloring curls.

No matter the color service, Christo encourages his clients to deep condition their curls before coming into the salon. If they don’t — and their hair shows up damaged and dry— he’ll begin the service with a 10-minute conditioning treatment before he applies even the first drop of color.

“That way the color will look more shiny and it won’t dry the hair out,” Christo says.

After every color service Christo always adds his conditioning treatment (which does not require heat) lasting five to eight minutes, and builds the cost into the overall price of the color service.

“I don’t charge them the price of a full treatment, just maybe one third of it, depending on how often the client comes into the salon,” he says.

Rule #5: Always educate your clients and offer option; never turn them away.

Even if a client shows up with damaged or over-processed hair, it’s your responsibility as a professional to come up with options.

“You can’t promise them the world and then damage their hair and expect the curls to bounce back, but you also never want to say, ‘I can’t do it,’” Mooney says. “You just have to turn it around in a way that will work for their hair, and work for them.”

For example, if a curly client arrives with severely damaged hair, Mooney says your best bet is to focus on semi-permanent color, along with low-lites to get their hair closer to its natural state.

“You want to have a much higher percentage of natural hair with just accent colors in there, unless you’re covering gray,” she says.

For those clients who are addicted to being a bleach-blonde, be careful taking them too dark too fast or it will “freak them out,” Mooney says, “and you’re going to lose the client.”

Instead, move slowly toward the dark side, keeping enough blonde in their hair to keep them happy, while also educating them that hair must be healthy to be at its curly, bouncy best.

Mooney also suggests stylists collect European magazines and tear out examples of beautiful color and curls—and contrast that with examples of hair disasters. Then, put it all together in your own curly book of color (and keep it right next to your chair) so you can quickly show clients, instead of just tell them, what their options are and what will work best.

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