Posts Tagged ‘Deva’

The Deva Cut: Look Before You Layer Curly Hair

by Ivan Zoot/The Clipper Guy on Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

ivan zoot

Ivan Zoot is the director of education and customer engagement for the Andis Company and the founder of Zoot! Hair professional hair care products. Ivan identifies, recruits, trains and manages Andis’s team of professional beauty industry educators. Ivan continues to be a featured presenter at industry shows and events, sharing his unique blend of information, education and enthusiasm for clipper cutting and the entire professional beauty industry. Ivan’s background includes experiences ranging from salon ownership to achieving 3 Guinness World Haircutting records. Here, he shares his cutting and business-building expertise.

A reflection on my time in the DevaCurl cutting program a few weeks back . . .

Look before you layer. How do you decide where to begin the layering of a mid- to long-length curly cut? Layer too soon (taking sections too far down the head) and you cut into the perimeter weight of the cut. You lose the perimeter shape. Layer too late (just taking hair from the top of the head) and you will not remove enough of the weight from the shape to have the layers have any real impact on the shape. Rather than creating a haircut shape, you will just create poof.

The powerful trick I learned was to take horizontal sections beginning at the lower nape. Keep sectioning—that is to say, take a horizontal parting and drop down the hair. Look at the hair and at the baseline of the hanging length of the hair. Do not cut any layering until you have dropped all the necessary sections to have the base line fill in completely. Once the baseline fills in solidly this is the point vertically, up the headform, where you can begin to layer if your intended result calls for a layered exterior shape. Layer any sooner and you will cut into the base.

The powerful portion of this idea is that in many cases, most cases in fact, you will section higher up the head than you might have first guessed would have been needed to avoid cutting into the base. This small step of look-before-you-layer can make a huge, positive impact on the curly shapes you cut.

One big piece of curly cutting wisdom that was shared in relation to the look-before-you-layer suggestion was to do this looking carefully at the dry hair before the client has been shampooed. The Deva system advocates a dry cut. Some cutters choose to cut curly hair wet, some choose to cut dry. That is a conversation for another day. This look first can be implemented no matter if you choose to cut wet or dry. Just look first before you leap into the cut.

ABS Texture! Panel with Top Curl Experts was a Huge Success

by Alicia Ward on Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

America’s Beauty Show was underway and thousands of stylist and salon owners gather to expand their knowledge, see top stylist and enjoy the entire “show” experience. Sunday March 13th was a huge day at ABS as it was the second annual “Texture” programming.

Texture! returned to ABS this year! This one-of-a kind free event showcased leading texture experts and educators in an intimate, interactive forum which included live hair demos. Texture! was hosted by founder Michelle Breyer and Modern Salon’s Editor-in-Chief Laurel Nelson, highlights of the event included:

Texture Trends: Fashion, Entertainment and Pop Culture Influences
Texture Cut, Color and Style: How-To Demos and Advice
Texture Opportunities: Make More Money Serving Curly Clients
Texture for Men: What’s New for Curly Guys?
Texture Q&A: Our experts, your questions!

Attendees were able to meet and greet the leading texture educators and brand leaders. The panel included the following:

John Benedetto, Director of Education for GK Hair: John has over 25 years of experience in the salon industry. In his prior role as Aveda’s Director of Global Hair Color Education, John was instrumental in creating Aveda’s Brands of Full Spectrum Hair Color and creating techniques for Aveda Collections at Video and Photo Shoots.

Shari Harbinger, “The Go To Curl Girl”: In her double-duty role as Director of Education for DevaConcepts and Color Director for Devachan Salon and Departure Lounge, Shari has both a loyal group of clients that rely on her for shiny, vibrant shades that are as modern as they are beautiful, and an enormous following in the salon industry for her eponymous training sessions.

Ouidad, the “Queen of Curl”: She is an internationally recognized stylist, salon owner mother, author and global educator. In 1984, as the pioneer of the curly hair industry, she opened the first salon in the country to cater exclusively to curly hair. Since then her trademarked cutting and styling techniques and specialized line of award winning products, have instilled confidence in curly and wavy haired people everywhere.

Anthony Dickey: He has spent the better part of his styling career—both on set and in the salon—trying to dispel the myth among women with kinky, curly and wavy hair that their texture is problematic or unruly. Touted as a “Style Svengali” by the New York Times, Dickey has mastered the mystery of textured hair to create iconic hair styles for designers, advertisers, photographers and celebrities alike.

Veronique Morrison: As Director of Education for MIZANI, a division of L’Oreal, USA, Veronique creates and manages the production of all technical curriculum, training programs, and creative trend presentations for a national salon audience.

Erica Grabczyk: American Crew’s International All-Star Erica Grabczyk certainly knows how to talk and cut men’s hair at the same time. She swiftly became the Director of Education at Groom Salon in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, specializing in male-specific design. Erica is top-rated in the City of Milwaukee for men’s hair (Milwaukee Magazine), having worked at Groom since 1999 as both a Lead and now Master Stylist. She trains nationally and internationally as an American Crew International All-Star Educator.

Ana Daniel, Artistic Director & Educator for Ouidad: This Dominican Republic native has spent several years working with Ouidad and loves ensuring that her clients not only have a style they love but also have the information they need to care for their curls at home. Ana’s work has appeared on the pages of many magazines and on the heads of numerous celebrities.

Michelle Breyer and Shari Harbinger

Michelle Breyer and Dickey

Megan at Ouidad Demo

Megan at Ouidad Demo

Bag giveaway winner

Stylist bag giveaway

ABS Chicago: Day Two

by Megan Dorcey on Monday, March 14th, 2011

Our feet hurt and our heads are full of inspiration and new ideas to bring into our business. You could say that ABS Chicago 2011 was a success.  Not only did we fall in love with the platform artists at Farouk’s stage, but we found new and exciting companies that are going to be on our radar this year.

Yesterday was an amazing day, jam-packed full of floor time, the NaturallyCurly & Modern Salon Texture! panel, and spending some quality time with brands like Schedulicity.  We are inspired by this company that understands what a stylist needs as far as an online booking system, and wants to give you the information and tools to keep clients happy.  We will be sharing more on this new online booking company very soon!

The Texture! panel was a huge success, drawing a full crowd of curl stylists from across the country.  We were so happy to have Hair Rules, Ouidad, Mizani, Deva, GK Hair, and American Crew there to share their knowledge and host demo’s to give a little education to our stylist community.  It was definitely an educational day, allowing stylists to ask some of their own texture questions and learn more about the different styles and methods of cutting and styling curly hair.

We are so lucky to be able to participate in ABS Chicago and always walk away with more knowledge, inspiration, and new friends each year!

ABS hair show

The Ouidad booth

ABS hair show

People, people everywhere

Get Acquainted With Texture At ABS Chicago

by Megan Dorcey on Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

America's Beauty Show

America’s Beauty Show is almost here.

America’s Beauty Show

America’s Beauty Show will play host to the NaturallyCurly, CurlStylist & Modern Salon Texture! panel for the second year in a row, which will showcase the most influential curl experts in the world.  We won’t lie—we almost can’t contain ourselves.

The high-power panel will include brands such as Hair Rules, Ouidad, Deva, Mizani and GK Hair.  This group of experts will also be hosting a demo where they style curls for you to see.  American Crew will also join the demo, showing us all how to care for our curly male clients’ curls.

This panel is comprised of the hottest names in curls, who will be speaking about how to make your business profitable in the curly niche market, the evolution of keratin treatments and smoothing systems and the latest cutting and styling techniques—just to name a few.  The panelists will also be available to answer any questions you may have about your own curly business.

Make sure to check out the Texture! panel at America’s Beauty Show in Chicago on Sunday, March 14, at 1:00 p.m.

Curly Cutting Deva Style

by Ivan Zoot/The Clipper Guy on Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

ivan zoot

Ivan Zoot is the director of education and customer engagement for the Andis Company and the founder of Zoot! Hair professional hair care products. Ivan identifies, recruits, trains and manages Andis’s team of professional beauty industry educators. Ivan continues to be a featured presenter at industry shows and events, sharing his unique blend of information, education and enthusiasm for clipper cutting and the entire professional beauty industry. Ivan’s background includes experiences ranging from salon ownership to achieving 3 Guinness World Haircutting records. Here, he shares his cutting and business-building expertise.

I was a guest at a recent Deva Concepts Curlaboration program and participated in their curly hair cutting program. I learned a lot about the world of curly hair and specifically their take on how to cut it. Following are my top five reflections from that curly cutting experience.

1. Respect length: It is not that curly hair grows more slowly, it is that it takes a lot longer to show that length as the hair coils. To that end, every millimeter and month of growth is that much more precious. Go easy. Trim small. Respect the length that is so important to the curly client.

2. Cut dry: They wear it dry. It curls dry. Examine it dry and cut it dry to truly assess the behavior of the curl. Curls can vary throughout the head and once it is wet, all this information is lost.

3. Keep it simple: The kinds of hair cuts that would not make a bit of difference for straight-haired clients make a world of difference for the curly ones. Think simple. Clean up ends and define perimeter shapes. Remove some interior weight and open up face areas. Do not think in terms of complicated structural shapes. Think more maintenance and less creation.

4. Length and width: Focus on these two dimensions. How much length does the client wish to keep? Notice I did not say, “How much length do we want to remove?” How much weight must we retain to prevent the look from expanding sideways? We can alter length and width, but we want to do so slowly and carefully.

5. Make it an experience: Every element of the salon experience must be made special and memorable. Curly clients visit less often and so each visit must have that much more impact to sustain our relationship with them. Appealing to all five senses in powerful ways creates experiences that justify our prices and enhance the experience in the eyes of our clients.

Curly hair cutting can be a huge profit center in and of itself. Other companies beyond Deva offer curl specific systems and training but Deva has really separated themselves as the segment leader. In future posts, I will share more of what I am learning in the curly world. I welcome your thoughts, comments and experiences. Please comment and post below.

Lorraine Massey Charming Over Sushi

by Ivan Zoot/The Clipper Guy on Monday, February 21st, 2011

ivan zoot

Ivan Zoot is the director of education and customer engagement for the Andis Company and the founder of Zoot! Hair professional hair care products. Ivan identifies, recruits, trains and manages Andis’s team of professional beauty industry educators. Ivan continues to be a featured presenter at industry shows and events, sharing his unique blend of information, education and enthusiasm for clipper cutting and the entire professional beauty industry. Ivan’s background includes experiences ranging from salon ownership to achieving 3 Guinness World Haircutting records. Here, he shares his cutting and business-building expertise.

On a recent trip to New York City, I had the pleasure of dining with curly hair queen, Lorraine Massey of DevaCurl and “Curly Girl” fame. We enjoyed a wonderful assortment of sushi and lively exchange about the world of curly hair.

I certainly was way overmatched in the curly knowledge department, yet it was fun to get to know her a bit and experience first hand the energy and creative drive behind this powerful and successful brand in the curly hair game.

Lorraine gifted me a signed copy of her newly updated book “Curly Girl, The Handbook.” I was already a fan of the first edition. I even had multiple copies on hand in my shop for loan to curly clients. This second edition is a fresh update on her curly hair concepts and system. It is interesting to read the book and see how much further she and her team have developed their system for caring for curly hair. The original book predates the launch of the DevaCare product line. I thought the old edition was quite quaint with Lorraine’s recipes for homemade curly hair care products. The new book does not read like a commercial for her liquids. She has done a good job of selling the need to adopt a system and care for curly hair differently. The depth and breadth of this system and her superior knowledge does a fine job at selling her salons and her products without needing to clobber readers over the head with a sales push.

I highly recommend the book for any and all curly hair owners and for salon professionals intent on developing a curly clientele and properly caring for their curls. Surely there are other brands and approaches in the curly world. If you are to become a committed curl champion, this book is must-read material.

I will share more of what I have learned from Lorraine and about the DevaCurl world in a number of future postings.

Full disclosure: I have been engaged by the DevaCurl brand to provide limited consulting services. I am compensated for these services. This compensation does not support my writings of this blog nor does DevaCurl have any expectations relative to the Deva-related content I post here. If you have any questions regarding my paid work for Deva, please contact me via email.

How Has the DevaCurl Haircut Affected my Business?

by Trash Talk with Anna Craig on Monday, November 15th, 2010

anna craig

Hair has been Anna Craig’s passion since she was 12 years old, this has always been her path in life. In 2001 she went to school in Tempe, AZ, at the Carsten Aveda Institute. After doing hair for about 5 years, she realized that precision haircuts were her specialty, after years of thinking that color was her calling. After doing hair in Arizona for several years, she took the plunge and moved to Texas, and her career took off. She soon opened her own salon, Trashy Roots Salon & Spa. There she became a Certified Deva Stylist, specializing in Curly Girl haircuts. She is also an Artistic Educator for Pravana, which gives her the opportunity to go out to different salons in the area and educate them on new products and techniques. She is also very involved in her community; holding annual cut-a-thons, participating in benefit hair shows, and helping with local beauty schools.

Our sales rep from RDA/State was always coming into our salon every week trying to get me to try new products and I always turned her down. But this one time I paid attention and found out about an amazing product—DevaCurl. I had seen little articles in various hair magazines and I thought what the heck, let’s try something new. So I brought the line in and I signed up for the various classes they offered. First I took a brief product knowledge class and watched a cutting demo. Then I took the hands-on in depth Deva Cutting and Balayaging class. This class was harder than I thought it would be, and I didn’t know if I could sell my clients on it, but I was ready for the challenge. The big thing is I have straight hair, so how was I going to relate to these clients and talk to them about their curly hair?

I emailed some of the curly clients our salon had and offered complimentary Deva styling for anyone who was interested just to try the products out. This created a lot of interest, and almost everyone that did the demo purchased the products. While I did the demo, this gave me a chance to talk to them about the DevaCut. After several of these clients left, they went home and their friends and family loved their hair, so then they started referring them to me to fix their crazy unruly curly hair. The word was starting to spread like wildfire.

But the best thing to happen to our curly business was getting on and having reviews on there. I am now getting 3-4 calls a day and I am doing 1-3 DevaCuts a day. I have clients driving in from all over the state, even out of state, and I just had a client come in from Guam. As I am educating my clients, they are telling their friends and they are telling their friends. It’s amazing what this product has done for my clients and for my business. I went from having a small curly clientele who flat-ironed the death out of their hair every time they came in, to having a huge curly clientele that loves their curls and never straightens their hair any more. About 1/3 of my clientele are now curly girls and it’s just continuing to grow. My color services are also changing from DevaCurl too, I’m now doing more Balayaging which looks more natural on curly hair. Curly girls are definitely loyal clients and they will do anything to finally love their hair.

Texture: Salons Set Themselves Apart with Curls

by Michelle Breyer on Wednesday, September 1st, 2010


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

High-profile salons like New York City’s Ouidad, Miss Jessie’s and Devachan have proven that salons can successfully focus on the curly niche. Their chairs are filled with wavy-, curly- and kinky-haired clients who flock to them from around the world for their stylists’ expertise in working with texture.

But this trend isn’t limited to the Big Apple. Salons from Toronto to Tucson also have proven that texture can be a powerful way to set themselves apart at a time when everyone is looking for ways to get the edge in a challenging economy. With a large population of people with wavy, curly and kinky hair — people willing to spend a lot of money to make their hair look its best — this trend is only likely to increase. And with more women embracing their texture than ever before, the salons that know how to work with it are likely to reap the benefits.

“There’s a salon on every street, but if you specialize, you set yourself apart,” Kim Wicks of Frontenac Salon. “Our salon chose to specialize in naturally curly hair. It’s been huge. It’s really helped us through this recession.”

Here’s a look at some standout curly salons—from a one-chair stylist to a salon that recently opened a second location to accommodate the demand form curly clients.

Curltopia, Smyrna, Ga.


Curltopia opened in Smyrna, Ga. in May 2008 as a salon where “it’s all about making peace with your hair.”

“We know how difficult it can be to find a stylist who can work with curly hair,” says Curltopia Flavia Medina who opened the salon with fellow curly Tricia Joyner.

Inititally, they envisioned a small salon with one chair. But demand grew quickly, and today they have seven stylists. All stylists must be licensed and experienced and must assist a senior stylist for six months before working on their own. During this training period, they learn what types of products and cuts work for different textures.

Curltopia sends clients home with a prescription of what products they should use and how they should use them—education that is especially important to curly clients. They like to see their clients two weeks later for a follow up.

“We want to make sure we’re teaching them about product use,” Medina says.

Curltopia, like many curly salons, attracts a diverse clientele, who travel to the salon from as far as North Carolina, Florida and Tennessee.

“There is nothing that walks in that door that we can’t handle,” Medina says. “We’re not a black salon or a white salon. We’re a hair salon.”

The salon’s decor mirrors this philosophy, with its black and white stripes.

Spirals, Tucscon, Ariz.


“It started small,” says Tonja Chagris, who opened the salon six years ago with two other people.

Chagris, who has curly hair herself, worked as a hairdresser for 17 years.

“I wanted to address curly and textured hair,” she says. “It was an immediate success, We had an article in the newspaper, and we were not prepared for the crowds. We couldn’t even let the people in. It was scary.”

Today, the Paul Mitchell salon has seven stylists, all trained in how to work with curly and textured hair. Although the salon does have curly clients, 90 percent of its clientele has textured hair.

Chagris believes the curly niche has helped the salon survive and thrive, despite tough economic times.

“It really has kept us afloat,” she says. “We consistently get new curly hair people, and they are willing to travel. It enables us to draw from a larger area.”

But the curly world does have some challenges, she says. The curly client tends to be gun shy, usually having had many a bad haircut in her past.

“Most people with texture have had bad experiences,” she says. “We focus on slowing down and making sure each time they’re there.”

The Curl Ambassadors, Toronto, Ont.

The Curl Ambassadors

Curly tops Caroline Muir and Betty Di Salvo were frustrated by the difficulty they had finding stylists who knew how to work with their hair. They heard similar frustrations from other curly friends and family.

“We realized it was time to provide a place that specialized in naturally curly hair,” says Muir.

In October 2006, the duo opened their first location in downtown Toronto. They openend a second salon in the Toronto suburb of Vaughan in November 2009. The Curl Ambassadors’ clientele travel from as far away as Vancouver and Chicago,

“Our clients’ motto seem to be ‘Have curls, will travel,’” Di Salvo says.

For other salons considering focusing on texture as a niche, Muir suggests locating in a cosmopolitan, multicultural area.

“Are there a lot of people with curls?” she says.

One of the most important things, says Muir, is to recruit the right stylists for the salon. It’s not enough to be well-trained.

“We’re looking for those that will want to really care for curly hair with all their heart,” Muir says.

Hello Curls, San Diego, Calif.

Hello Curls

Beverly Neeland learned how to do a wet set when she was 3 years old, playing with her stylist grandmother’s tools to create styles. She began cutting hair when she was still in grade school. She intuitively knew how to work with curls, perfecting her technique on her mother’s hair.

“My mother would come home from the hairdresser and her wavy hair, and I would fix her bad cuts,” says Neeland. “I had a knack for hairdressing.”

Although Neeland always wanted to be a hairdresser, her father convinced her to get a college degree. She gravitated toward the world of theater, working as a stylist, costume designer and wigmaker for professional theater companies for 15 years. While working on wigs, she would style them dry, cutting them based on what they need rather than any particular formula.

She never lost her desire to be a professional hairstylist. So when she had the chance, she got her cosmetology license.

At beauty school, she began externing at a salon and naturally gravitated toward curly clients.

Neeland said she initially hated salons because of her own traumatic experiences with stylists who would roll their eyes when she would sit in their chair with her thick curls.

“I started thinking, what if I opened a salon and just worked on curly people,” she says. “Having my own understanding of what it’s like, I thought I could make my clients more comfortable.”

She rented space at salons in Sacramento, specializing in naturally curly hair. Earlier this year, she opened a studio salon in San Diego and has teamed up with another stylist who specializes in curls.

Neeland says focusing on this niche has been a definite selling point for her

“When they find out I only work on curly hair—I don’t even have a round brush in my salon—they relax,” she says. “It’s a deciding factor for them. They feel comfortable before they come in. They know I talk the talk.”

She gets most of her clients through word of mouth, an especially powerful tool in the curly world. She recalled one of her clients who was stopped by a curly woman who wanted to know who did her hair. Suddenly, she found herself with 10 new clients who traveled more than two hours to get their hair cut by her.

But working with curly clients also has a downside, she says. They tend to go longer between cuts—an average of every 12 to 14 weeks rather than every six to eight weeks. Some of her clients only come in once every two to three years, she says.

“I feel like I have to have more clients than the average hairdressers so my book stays full,” she says.

Texture: Cool Tools

by Michelle Breyer on Wednesday, September 1st, 2010


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

For decades, stylists and consumers have relied on the tried-and-true tools to create textured styles. Diffusers help coax the natural curl out of the hair. Flat irons straighten and smooth. Curling irons add ringlets or waves. While these tools are still useful in the salon setting and at home, technology is changing—advancing the way stylists texturize hair—and evolving the way salons do business.

CHI Orbit:

CHI Orbit

Why it’s cool: CHI Orbits are available in multiple sizes to mimic diverse natural curl patterns. When used on curly hair, the Orbit tames frizz and reroutes curls. Orbit tools use CHI 44 technology to penetrate the hair shaft giving each curl long-lasting results with elasticity. A non-stick heating surface lets hair be wrapped around without tangles or pulling and alleviating wrist strain.

White Sands Curling Iron

White Sands Curling Iron

Why it’s cool: This curling iron fuses together the spring iron and Marcel methods into one tool. Utilize the professionalism and wave technique of a Marcel iron to create waves or switch to the direct control and ease of a spring load without the need for multiple irons. Check it out!

Joico K-PAK ReconstRx Vapor Iron

K-PAK ReconstructRx Vaopr Iron

Why it’s cool: K-PAK ReconstRx Vapor Iron infuses hair with K-PAK Quadramine Complex, which reconstructs and nourishes hair, working from the inside out to improve hair’s health and condition. The iron’s vented ceramic/silicon hybrid plates and Vapor Fuel steam produce shiny, vibrant hair. Check it out!

Belson Triple-Barrel Waver

Belson Triple-Barrel Waver

Why it’s cool: The intuitive controls allow the user to choose heat settings according to hair type, including synthetic extensions and wigs. Select the “hair type” button and the iron automatically adjusts to the precise temperature setting needed. Nano ceramic coated triple barrels radiate gentle farinfrared heat, locking in moisture in the hair shaft and sealing the cuticle from damage; leaving hair frizz-free, shiny and silky. Check it out!

Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium 1″ U Styler

Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium

Why it’s cool: Sol-Gel technology reduces friction for a strong, smooth glide, while the curved side heating plates create curls in one smooth flip. Straighten, add body, wave and curls. It includes a ceramic heater for consistent heat and recovery, up to 450°F. Plus stay-cool Ryton housing, a rubberized thumb rest, and a cool tip for comfort. Chaeck it out!


Why it’s cool: Fun and easy to apply, Curlformers can be used to create glossy curls and loose sexy waves, or to add texture and body without subjecting hair to heat or damage. Check it out!

DevaConcepts DevaSun Dryer

DevaConcepts DevaSun Dryer

Why it’s cool: Designed specifically for curly tresses, the DevaSun Dryer uses ion-generating technology and features three custom temperature settings for curly and wavy hair. The hand-shaped DevaFuser utilizes a 360-degree airflow to gently dry curls from the inside out. Check it out!

Tool Time

Ceramic, ionic and tourmaline made hot tools sizzle. Understand the technology behind the trends in tools with our quick guide.

Ceramic: Creates even heat distribution and snag-free gliding.

Far-infrared Heat: When absorbed, it dries hair from the inside out to work faster and minimize cuticle damage.

Ionic: Negative ions split or electrolyze water molecules, causing them to penetrate deeply but evaporate faster. When negative ions are attracted to positive ones, they neutralize them, causing the cuticle to close. Results: smoother, shinier hair.

Tourmaline: When heated, this gemstone produces more negative ions than any other substance, plus far-infrared heat. The claims: Even heat distribution, faster drying times, less damage, increased shine.

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.”

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