Posts Tagged ‘frizz’

Is Frizz the New Trend?

by Tracey on Saturday, September 1st, 2012

Just when we’re laser focused on the matter and finally winning the battle against frizz, we glance up to notice something on the horizon.

Oh no, frizz is making a reappearance! But wait. It’s different. It’s—it’s pretty! From the catwalks to the coasts, frizz is seriously trending. In a way, that means textured clients can let out a collective sigh of relief. Frizz is at least the devil they know.

Nature’s Gift

“Curly and wavy hair textures tend to naturally be more frizzy,” says Davin Alan Testerman, artistic style manager at Kenra Professional. “The core bonds of the hair shaft are crooked and, even if healthy, have the tendency to appear frizzy.”

Furthermore, because of the structure of wavy, curly and coily hair, it is harder for the scalp’s natural oils to move down the hair shaft. Less oil means less hydration, and less hydration means more frizz.

“Hair becomes frizzy when it lacks moisture, which can happen from styling methods, chemical services or natural occurrence,” says Jaritza Ortiz, education and testing coordinator at GK Hair. “When there is high humidity in the air, hair tends to pull in needed moisture, thereby causing frizz.”

Frizz as Fashion

Accepting their frizzy fate, curlies have learned to live with it or conquer it, but they haven’t glorified it in decades. This was one pendulum that was rarely predicted to swing back. But pendulums always do.

“Frizz is becoming more of a trend on the runway because, quite simply, it’s time,” says Testerman. “The looks on the silver screen, runways and magazine covers have been straight for so long that the avant-garde direction that sashays down the runway should seem to go to the extreme of curly-frizzy.”

Houston salon owner Efrain Leiva, an educator and international platform artist for Farouk, agrees. “This look is coming because the younger generation hasn’t tried it yet,” he observes.

“Now that they’re seeing it, they’ll want to try it.”

And they’ll be seeing more of it, says Ortiz, who notes that hair silhouettes always balance clothing design. “Runway fashion for this fall is showing military chic, with sleek lines and olive green and brass, along with the laminated look,”she adds. “Those masculine styles and hard finishes are complemented by a softer, frizzy, romantic style.”

On Main Street, Leiva sees the trend more as evolution than revolution.

“Right now only the trendiest clients are asking for frizz,” he says. “In New York and L.A., there are women from all over the world, so clients are more exposed to international looks, but here in Houston we’re not seeing a lot of it. However, our clients are getting into wavy hair. Before we get them into frizzy hair, we have to move them into a nice wave — a softer look — and after that it will slowly happen.”

That was Then

Perhaps salon clients have to first trust that this is not their mother’s — or grandmother’s—frizz.

“The last time we had the chance to see a true shift from sleek-straight trends was the transition from Cher’s parted-down the-middle ’70s ’do to the over-processed and big hair of the ’80s,” says Testerman. While overprocessing may have been an appropriate vehicle at the time, it won’t fly today. But neither will the opposite — just letting hair have its way.

“In the ’80s, most of the frizz was natural,” says Leiva. “Today we make it happen with products, tools and even color techniques.”

Frizz-seeking clients will replace smoothing shampoos and conditioners with hydrating products. Instead of flat irons and curling irons, the heat tool of choice will be the blow dryer. And rather than drenching the hair in styling creams, they will rough up the cuticle with pomades and polishes.

“I love to see frizzy hair with shine in it,” Leiva says. “Use some spray to hold it, so it looks as though it’s been styled and didn’t just happen. This time around, we’re creating manageable frizz.”

Good Frizz / Bad Frizz

Frizz is already a big staple in current hair fashion. You know the messy French twist, braid, chignon or loose pony? Yep, the unfinished part—the coolest part—is frizz. But it’s good frizz.

“Good frizz is something we stylists call ‘flyaway hair,’” says Matrix Artistic Director Daniel Roldan, a hair stylist at NYC’s Cutler Salon and a finalist in the NAHA 2011 texture category. “When you have good frizz, the hair is light and airy. Bad frizz, on the other hand, is overworked and over-dry hair with no control.”

To create good frizz, first dry the hair thoroughly and apply product throughout the hair, Roldan advises.

“You can use a variety of tools,” he continues, naming a teasing comb, cushion brush and wig brush. “Once you have control of the hair’s direction, you can go against the grain to create the frizz.”

Farouk Educator and International Platform Artist Efrain Leiva uses the air from the blow dryer to do the backcombing for him.

“Hold the hair with the brush and apply some tension,” he directs. “Then to rough-up the hair, blow-dry toward the scalp — against the natural pattern.”

While color services have a purpose beyond that of frizzmaker, they can be worked to that added advantage. Leiva employs blonding baliage techniques to tease out the frizz.

“We place lighter color on the ends, and then we don’t style them,” he explains. “Very blonde color helps the hair on the ends become frizzy. These unfinished looks are very in style.”

The professionals at Global Keratin Hair offer this recipe for healthy, haute frizz:

1. Prep the hair by mixing a cocktail of GK Hair’s Curl Define Her and Leave In Cream.

2. Either let the hair dry naturally or gently use a diffuser.

3. Divide the hair into four sections, and grab chunks of about one inch each. Taking each chunk, do a few wraps with your index finger.

4. Holding the wrap gently between your thumb and index finger, push back with the thumb and index finger of your other hand. This will create a beautifully textured, curly, controlled frizz look.

5. Finish with the GK Hair Light Hold Hairspray.

From Kenra Professional come these tips:

1. After moisturizing the hair, use a curl-enhancing product such as Kenra Classic’s Curl Glaze Mousse 13, Curl Defining Creme 5 or Curl Spray 8. Choose the product most appropriate for the client’s hair type.

2. Diffuse the hair to maximize volume and promote lustrous curl.

3. After hair is dry, turn the head upside down, lightly mist an aerosol working spray and gently fluff and separate existing curl.

4. Flip hair back over and reapply a working spray such as Kenra Classic’s Design Spray 9 or Perfect Medium Spray 13.

5. For any desired curl formations that need to be touched up or enhanced with a small curling iron, spray Kenra Classic’s Thermal Styling Spray 19.

Air Drying Hair is Good For Your Clients

by Ivan Zoot/The Clipper Guy on Friday, September 16th, 2011

antonio gonzales

Sometimes it is hard to love curly hair. Frizziness and styling difficulty are great examples in which all the fun and love can disappear in a hurry. And, for our curly clients, they struggle with this at home.

Air drying is one of the best ways to keep the love alive. Here are my tip five air drying hair tips for helping clients build a better relationship with their curls.

1. Apply styling product – Mousse, gel or styling glaze are best choices for defined curl, reduced frizz and successful air drying. Experiment until you find the one that is best for your client’s hair. Use a shampooing-in motion for thorough coverage and distribution.

2. Cocktail as needed – Mix products to get optimum result. This is called cocktailing. Mixing gel with anti-frizz serum is one great recipe. Experiment with the proportions. Mixing mousse with gel creates differing levels of hold and crispiness.

3. Work it in and rake it through – “Shampoo” in your styling cocktail. Make sure to achieve good, all-over coverage. Use your fingers, your big rake combs, to separate and define your wet and cocktail saturated hair.

4. Do nothing – The Beatles sang “Let it be.” Make that your theme song. Once you have applied your styling cocktail, let you hair dry undisturbed. Avoid the temptation to scrunch, touch or otherwise interfere with the drying process. Go about your other business, from make-up to breakfast to kids and to work. Simply let the hair air dry how it wants.

5. Reactivate as needed – Enjoy the freedom of your time and the easy of your hair. Dampen your big rake combs (your hands) in the sink and re-dampen your hair if and when needed to pop some life back into it as the day goes on. Let it air dry again to refresh your look.

Your clients will love their curls and love you for these air drying hair tips.

Texture: Giving Clients the Texture They Want

by Michelle Breyer on Wednesday, September 1st, 2010


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

What if there was a product that allowed you to give clients exactly what they want? It could be used to straighten, loosen or defrizz waves and curls without damaging hair or creating an awkward grow-out period. What if this product could be used on any hair type to make the hair softer and shinier? And what if it boosted profits for salons and stylists by creating an entirely new market?

That product, say some stylists, now exists. Keratin treatments have exploded onto the scene, generating buzz among consumers and stylists alike.

A Cure for Frizz?

Keratin Complex Treatment

Three years ago, a handful of keratin companies existed—pioneers like Brazilian Keratin Treatment by Marcia Teixeira, Keratin Complex by Coppola and Global Keratin. At July’s 2010 Cosmoprof North America show in Las Vegas, there were more than 40 companies offering keratin treatment products, from large hair-care companies to small start ups.

“To have a product like a keratin straightener is a breakthrough,” says Stephanie Kocielski, a John Paul Mitchell.

Keratin Complex Products

Not so long ago, the only option to remove texture in the hair was to use a product containing sodium hydroxide—lye. Next came relaxers containing ammonium thioglycolate (nicknamed “thio relaxer”), a gentler service.

Most recently, those opting for a straighter look flocked to Japanese thermal reconditioning, a chemical process that permanently alters the internal structure of the hair shaft, rendering it totally straight. Thermal reconditioning (TR) was an all-or-nothing proposition, and many women with texture weren’t willing to commit to it.

But keratin treatments have not been without their share of controversy, either. When they first came on the scene, the formulas contained formaldehyde—sometimes in high concentrations. Formaldehyde is listed as a carcinogen by a number of health and safety agencies. Now many of the treatments are lower or free of formaldehyde and aldehydes, a family of compounds that straighten the hair. Many of the aldehydes are naturally derived and less toxic than formaldehyde. Additionally, some stylists and clients may wear masks to protect themselves from any irritants.

A World of Options

Global Keratin Products

Today’s new wave of relaxers, silkeners and smoothers give clients and stylists more choices than ever.

“It’s all about making your texture—whatever it is—better,” says Sasha Polit, marketing manager for Global Keratin Smoothing System. “If you want to change the texture, we offer that option, but if you want to work with your natural texture, we also offer that option.”

Global Keratin offers Light Wave, for those who want to keep their natural texture; Curly, for those who want more straightening capability; and Resistant, for the straightest look.

Methods vary, but the most commonly-used keratin treatment involves the stylist washing a client’s hair with a clarifying shampoo, applying the keratin treatment and then using a flat iron to straighten the hair and “seal” the treatment.

Global Keratin Before


“In the past, there weren’t a lot of options,” says Darby Shields, associate artistic director for ISO, which developed the Maintamer, a semi permanent retexturizer that softens and smooths naturally curly or previously permed hair. “You either had floppy hair, curly hair or straw hair. There wasn’t a lot in between. It was a big decision for people to do something so permanent with their hair. Maintamer is reversible the next day.”

Global Keratin After


With variety of new options comes an increased need for communication between stylist and client.

“When they start asking about a treatment, you have to dig deep into what they really want,” says Amanda Jenkins, master stylist and education director at Arrojo Studio. “Can they achieve it without a chemical treatment? I ask my clients to bring in pictures so we’re both very clear about what they’re expecting. It’s all about the consultation.”

Sleek Service

Some clients may want their hair completely straight. In that case, Kocielski says she may suggest The Relaxer by JPMS, a sodium hydroxide relaxer that eliminates curl. “Some people think they’ll be able to wash their hair and it will dry straight, but that’s probably not the case with a keratin treatment,” she says. “Keratin treatments can condition and soften the hair, but they don’t always straighten it.”

Price is also an important consideration. Keratin treatments and other types of chemical relaxers cost several hundred dollars, and may need to be redone every three to five months.

For the stylist, keratin treatments have provided a way to make their clients happy and boost their profit margin at the same time. One 32-ounce bottle of the KeraFusion System from De Fabulous can generate $4,000 for the stylist, says Rebecca Letizia, marketing director of De Fabulous.

BKT Products

In addition to the in-salon treatments, companies like Keratin Complex, Global Keratin and Marcia Teixeira Brazilian Keratin Treatment offer maintenance products designed to extend the life of the service and enhance the results. These products can also boost retail sales for the salon.

“These clients will come back every three to five months,” Polit says. “The more they use the product, the shinier, softer and more manageable their hair will be. You’re building
a client for life.”

The PhytoSpecific PhytoRelaxer relaxes or texturizes all hair types with a non-chemical formula. It comes in two levels: one for fine, delicate hair and one for coarse, resistant hair.

Smooth Operators

Here are a few of the keratin treatments available on the market today:

Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy by Coppola: Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy was founded by stylist and salon owner Peter Coppola. The therapy eliminates up to 95 percent of frizz and curl and instantly adds shine and condition to the hair.

Marcia Teixeira Brazilian Keratin Treatment: This treatment is for all kinds of hair to leave it soft, shiny and frizz-free for up to four months. It can be used safely on just about any type of hair—dry, frizzy, overprocessed, color treated, ethnic unprocessed virgin hair.

Pravana Kerafusion Keratin Treatment: This salon service permanently transforms coarse, curly, unruly hair to smooth, straight and shiny. Or, it makes fine, limp hair voluminous. It contains no thio, no sodium hydroxide, no formaldehyde, no aldehydes. As part of the Keratin Fusion service, Pravana’s Thermal Insulator protects the hair during the texture control.

Brazilian Blowout: Through the use of a Brazilian Super Nutrient Complex and a proprietary polymer system, the Brazilian Blowout improves the condition of the hair by creating a protective protein layer around the hair shaft to eliminate frizz and smooth the cuticle. Results last up to 12 weeks.

Global Keratin: The Juvexin Hair Taming System incorporates a keratin formulation which protects the hair and prevents damage to hair surface. The system is an organic, active complex component, delivered to the hair in its raw, natural state. Amino acids and proteins remain whole to condition hair and protect it from damage caused by environmental factors.

ISO Maintamer: ISO Maintamer Straightening System is a two-step straightening system that smoothes coarse hair, taming unruly curls and waves, un-perming ends and controlling frizzy hair. Maintamer uses a damage-free, thio-free, lye-free Isoamine technology that processes primarily within the cortex of the hair, to minimize damage to the cuticle while altering the pattern of naturally curly or previously permed hair to soften and smooth.

La Brasiliana: Intense treatment that softens, smoothes and relaxes all hair types. Available in Original, Apple and Mocha varieties.

PhytoSpecific PhytoRelaxer: This non-chemical relaxer relaxes or texturizes all hair types. Formulated with molecules from egg and soya, it is odorless and does not contain lye. It’s available in two levels: for fine, delicate hair and one for coarse, resistant hair.

Keep Those Keratin Clients

by Megan Dorcey on Monday, August 16th, 2010

By now, we have all heard enough about how a keratin treatment can zap your clients’ frizzies for the summer, but what happens when the weather cools down and humidity abates?  Most of the country is staring fall weather right in the face, and it begs the question of whether or not keratin treatments will still be a profitable source of income in the winter months.

There are many valid points that you should bring up to assure that your clients are keeping their treatments regular.  For starters, the humidity may not be an issue any longer, but the majority of the country is facing brutally cold and dry air, which can lead to damage.  Make sure that they know that while they are getting a keratin treatment, they are also coating their strands which will prevent any breaking that dry air and flat irons will cause.

Cuticle Pictures

Marcia Teixeira offers a line called Brazilian Keratin Treatment (BKT), which boasts on their website that the product “penetrates the hair, repairing internal damage and coats the hair preventing further damage. The results are SOFT, SHINY, STRAIGHT hair”, on their website.  The main focus of these keratin treatments is to repair the hair strands that have been damaged and to protect them from future breakage.

Keeping your clients as regulars in your chair will not only help your pocketbook, but will ultimately help them maintain their hair health.  Remember, when you are facing a client who has struggled with trying to smooth their locks—you are the therapist.

Keratin Education Event in Austin

by CurlStylist on Monday, June 7th, 2010

Braziliante by Cadiveu is to proud announce that they are teaming up with, and Avenue Five to host an education seminar on the Braziliante Treatment in Austin on Sunday, June 27, 2010! Head Educator, Zac Watson of Dolce & Co. in Arizona, will be educating on the Braziliante by Cadiveu Treatment from beginning to end, showing you tips and tricks along the way to ensure the perfect results. After the class you will be certified to perform this amazing treatment on your own clients. Your clients who once struggled to blow-dry and flat iron their hair for hours each morning will now be able to blow out their hair in a third of the time for a beautiful, shiny and smooth finish; they can go out on the most humid day of summer and their hair will not frizz!

The Braziliante by Cadiveu Treatment is a 90-minute salon treatment that offers results lasting up to 16 weeks! It leaves hair shiny smooth and frizz-free without formaldehyde or harsh chemicals.

The class is complimentary, but seats are filling up quickly. You may call or e-mail your salon’s reservation to guarantee your spot. We look forward to seeing you at the class and helping you launch this amazing service in your salon!

Space is limited; call to reserve your seat at this event today as it will fill up quickly: 323-512-3299

Frizz Fight

by Victoria Wurdinger on Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Unlike the secretive rule behind the book and movie “Fight Club,” frizz fight is all the talk of salons. With summer humidity around the corner, conversations are heating up. But as clients get more educated about their curl, an emerging mini-trend is to go natural in summer and choose frizz-fighting treatments in winter, when blow drying is required if you don’t want to leave the house with wet hair.

“The key to going natural in summer is to keep the hair well moisturized on the inside; the weather keeps the outside moisturized,” says Irvine Russo, owner of Eclips in Mclean, VA .

For those who want to fight the frizz anytime, in-salon services are plentiful. The newest options stop short of the traditional approach—reduce frizz by killing curl—used by Japanese TR, which takes up to 8 hours, and “Brazilian” keratin services, which have suffered from lack of transparency about their use of various aldehydes. The holy grail is a long-lasting frizz controller that works in increments, uses no aldehydes and doesn’t break bonds—and it looks like it’s arrived.

In-Salon Treatment Options

Some frizz reducers rely on ammonium thioglycolate sans the expected perm rods. For instance, Rusk Anti Curl AntiFrizz, is a frizz remover and anti-humectant that does not remove natural curl. It takes 30 minutes in the salon. Create Ion’s demi-permanent, thio-based re-texturizing treatment, Texture Management, allows stylists to reduce texture by degree, smooth hair and fight frizz. It is intended to “maintain the positives of Japanese TR, while removing the negatives” (costly, time-consuming, hard to retouch). After about 6 weeks, it fades away. These services cannot be used on hair that’s been exposed to sodium hydroxide.

“Brazilian” treatments break no bonds and actually make trashed hair look better. In a twist on these, Rejuvenol Brazilian Keratin Treatment with Collagen uses Vanilin, and the company’s Pure Collagen is a unique protein-delivery, take-home treatment that helps smooth curly hair and fight frizz, while restoring condition. Watch for more of these, but be sure you ask what’s in them.

A number of newer treatments like BioIonic KeraSmooth Demi-Permanent Anti-Frizz use a mild perm solution, which is increasingly likely to be cysteamine—the main active in thio-free permanent waves, which cleaves inter-protein bonds. For those familiar with the perms, cysteamine usually must be rinsed for more than 5 minutes to avoid an unpleasant smell, and the hair cannot be shampooed for 48 hours. The newest cysteamine treatments can be used incrementally for anything from frizz reduction to total smoothing.

For instance, Russo uses Smooth and Healthy Protein Treatment from Surface. He says the hair must be “competent,” meaning it must have healthy, structural protein for the product to soften, and he likens the process to loosening or relaxing the spring in curl, then reinforcing the protein structure with more proteins. Basically, a protein cream is misted on before a smoothing cream is applied off-the-scalp in sections. Then the hair is smoothed, processed and rinsed before it is re-misted with protein cream and oxidized with a hydrogen peroxide locking lotion. By changing variables such as timing and potential blow drying or flat ironing, Smooth and Healthy allows customized options, from frizz reduction to smoothing.

According to the company, an amino acid complex softens the hair’s structural, protein and Amaranth protein binds to hair during the smoothing process. The smoothing cream contains ammonium hydroxide and cysteamine HCL. However, Surface’s president Wayne Grund says the protein cream provides a low pH with a heavy base, so that when the smoothing cream is applied over it, the cysteamine softens the structural protein, including the disulfide bond, without breaking it.

Caribbean Dream Relaxer (CDR) also uses cysteamine and is a “four in one” system that allows you to reduce frizz, tame hair, create softer wave or straighten, according to retexutrizing experts Homer and Dani Prefontaine, owners of Salon Prefontaine in Carsbad, CA.

“The differences are in how the product is applied; for the frizz killer, you mix all four ingredients together at once,” says Dani. “The treatment can take less than an hour and bring in $150 to $180. Also, I can use CDR on hair that has been exposed to a sodium relaxer or a thio-based product.”

Adds Homer, “About 75% of our curly haired clients choose a CDR service for one of the four ways it can retexturize hair, and many of them are men.”

Home School

Just as Brazilian keratin treatments require sulfate-free shampoos, many of the frizz fighters require their own ancillary maintenance products. Darlene Lodge, owner of Galleria in Waldorf, MD, who replaced her Brazilian system with Smooth & Healthy, says home use of the protein creme is a must. For clients who prefer it totally natural, diffuse drying goes a long way to eliminating frizz.

“It makes any wave pattern more consistent; the hair dries frizz-free because there is no finger-manipulation,” says Lodge. “Once the hair is dry, you can go back in and break it up.”

Any salon can offer anti-frizz systems, like bain de terre’s All About Curls Camelina Collection, which includes a shampoo, conditioner and defining crème, and reduces frizz by 50% while moisturizing natural-looking curls. Additional frizz-fighting tips:

  • • You can only air dry if you start with the right shampoo and conditioner for the hair type.
  • • Avoid towel-drying, which mats hair; squeeze out moisture instead. Or, use a T-shirt which doesn’t have the hair-grabbing nubs of a towel.
  • • The shorter the hair, the more likely it is to frizz. Longer hair is heavier, which can help pull out the frizz.
  • • Frizzy hair should rarely be cut with a razor; keep ends blunt so they stick together. If a razor is even slightly dull, it will make hair frizz more.
  • • Frizz can be a problem for any hair type, but naturally dry hair that lacks moisture tends to frizz the most. Because the cuticle is open, the moisture escapes.
  • • Don’t style naturally textured hair with a brush, unless you want to pull it straight. In that case, use a paddle brush. The more you brush through the hair as you dry it, the more it will separate and the frizzier it will get. Instead, use a wide-toothed comb, smooth in the product with your hands and style with your fingers.
  • • Once you’ve shaped curly or wavy hair, don’t touch it again. After it’s dry, you can work through pomade for shine or molding products to subdue texture or break it up.

Notes Russo, “There are two types of frizz. Once is from damaged ends, and those can be cut off. The other is ‘style frizz’ from overworking a style or too-dry hair. The more moisture you add, the heavier the hair is and the less big it will get. Get moisture into the cortex, and you’ll avoid frizz for good.”

Antonio’s View: Tips for Avoiding Making Clients Frizzy

by Antonio Gonzales on Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

antonio gonzales

I was born in Trinidad in the height of a hurricane. I spent my childhood surrounded by the sights and sounds and smells of Carnival and the other Indian, African and Spanish festivals of the Islands. Loving the amazing costumes, I got my start dressing my sisters and doing their hair and makeup. An opportunity came up to work with Trinidad’s leading costume designers, makeup artists and hair stylists. After I left the Island, my career evolved with work in Munich, Los Angeles and now New York City. Here in New York, I am a stylist at the Orlo Salon in the Meat Packing district. Vogue magazine recently named me as one of the rising hairstylist stars in N.Y., I was awarded the best haircut of 2008 by shecky’, Gotham Magazine called me a Shear Genius and Allure Magazine featured me as one of the best cuts 2009.

See Antonio’s blog here.

The word “frizz” never sounds good in any sentence unless you are asked to create couture hair for a Paris runway show. Apart from that, frizz is not a desired look and can be challenging.

From one hair stylist to another, we have all had the client (sometimes daily) who wants our help in making her hair frizz-free. I would like to talk a bit about the part we may be playing in making the client’s hair even frizzier. Please keep in mind, I am not here to lecture anyone or talk about what I do better. I’m here to share with you all the mistakes I’ve made in the past and how I changed my techniques to get better results and happier clients.

What Stylists Might Do That Can Make Hair Frizzier When Cutting

1) Thinning shears on dry, thick curly hair is the No. 1 culprit in turning curly hair into frizzy hair. Although using thinning shears may seem like an easy solution, it can lose you a client if used incorrectly. When used on dry hair, thinning shears create a line of shorter length within the section of hair. And as we know in building the structure of the hair, short hair supports long hair. By using these shears, you may have removed bulk but what you have also done is made the hair fuller (shorts supports long). This can become frizzy if there are too many internal shorter pieces.

If you would like to remove bulk from thick curly hair, I recommend doing your haircut (wet or dry) with regular shears. Blow dry the hair smooth. Then hold a dry section of hair half way down the hair shaft and point cut the bulk away. This is not only safer than the thinning shears, it also gives you more control without disturbing the shape you’ve created.

TIP: Remember when removing bulk with any tool or technique, keep in mind not to disturb the shape of your haircut. Also be careful not to over thin the hair as this can create an unwanted texture that will work against your hair cut.

2) Razors can be another culprit in making a client’s hair frizzier. Remember the razor we were given in beauty school? Yes, the razor with the guard and the straight handle. Well, this razor in particular can make a not-so-good situation really bad and here’s why. When we use a razor with a guard, we have to scrape the blade against the hair to get friction and remove hair. Some of you may say “it’s not scraping”! Well, if you use the old-school barber razor on the hair instead, instantly you can feel the difference (and so does the client). Because the razor has no guard, that little blade becomes a magical tool that makes love to the curls. Don’t get me wrong, with any tool in the wrong hands, a client could end up looking like she was attacked with a weed whacker. That’s why we as hairstylists have forums like this, to share and learn from our mistakes.

TIP: I recommend any hairstylist to find an academy that teaches how to use the barber razor to cut hair and advance your training. Sometimes mastering the techniques which we are afraid of could be the best move for our career.

Too Much Heat on Your Highlights

This is another “frizz creator” hiding in our salons. I’m sure you’ve heard of clients with fine hair wanting a few (bleach) highlights because it helps give a little body. As we already know, bleach aggravates the cuticle, which in return gives a little lift. Well add bleach to curly hair which lacks moisture on a great day (and already has lift), put too much heat on it, and voila!! You have frizz. I’m a firm believer in allowing the bleach (and developer) to do its job. What’s the rush? Curly hair deserves better treatment, don’t you think?

TIP: Avoid using hooded hair dryers to process your foils. They not only get hot, but they also pump an endless amount of hot air into your foils which serves to dry the bleach. I recommend getting a Climazone or a roller ball for the salon, these generate heat without the endless air.

Too Little Product

I have two words for you, layering products. Most of us agree that this is the one sure way to combat frizz. I won’t go in to details about which brand to use (that’s my next article) but I will share three easy steps: cleanse, tone and moisturize (oops that’s for your skin). The three things to think of when reaching for your products at your station are:

Hydration - Keep curls healthy and hydrated with any water based curl cream you see fit. Now I’m not talking about heavy oil based lotions. I’m talking about water based curl creams that hydrate from the inside out that and comes in different strength for different types of curls. As we know there are oils on the market for us to use that are very hydrating, if you feel your curl cream is not rich enough for thicker hair, add a little Morrocan oil or Hamadi healing Serum to the curl cream for an added boost of hydration.

Hold: We know drinking alcohol in excess is bad for us. Well the same goes for our hair. I love using an alcohol-based liquid spray to help define my curls. Applying the curl cream first helps dilute the alcohol content. Together they give great hold and definition.

Shine: This is the final step in the layering process. Use a light cream, lotion or silicone to give the ends the shine and hydration it needs. Whether you diffuse the client’s hair or have the client sit under the roller ball to dry their gorgeous curls, the ends tend to look a little dry. To avoid this dryness, apply a light silicone-based cream or oil-based cream like Lumiere by Kerastase. This the final step of the layering process, and can be applied to dry hair or you can even apply it to the ends when the hair is still damp. When applying, use your fingertips to work the product through without destroying the curl.

TIP: Have your client bring in her favorite products for you to see and watch them apply her products. You will be amazed with what you will see. Layering the wrong products using the wrong techniques is one sure way to get frizz.

Over-drying the hair

If we think of hair as a fabric that we can mold into anything we want, it becomes easier to handle and we can create ideas of our own. There are so many ways to style curly hair, but let’s keep in mind that not every curly head of hair responds the same. When diffusing, try not to dry the hair all the way. Try drying your style 70 percent of the way and then allow the hair to air dry. Sometimes over-drying the hair can create a halo of frizz, so not drying all the way and leaving a little moisture in the hair can keep the curls hydrated, repelling frizz.. When using the hairdryer, use stronger heat and air flow on the root area and less pressure and heat on the ends. This will result in getting rid of excess water in the root area and creating lift where needed the most. Since the ends are the older part of the hair, they tend to dry faster so be gentle with your approach.

Aggressive Hair Coloring

When doing single processes and glosses, always think of the most gentle way to get your end result. In the past 20 years I have used Framesi, Davines, Redken (permanent and demi-permanent), Majirel, Dia Color, Miss Clairol, Clairol Professionals, Wella Color Charm, Koleston Perfect and Color Touch, just to name a few. And I actually love all these colors but stick to my favorites. I believe that whichever color your salon chooses to use, there should be continual in-salon training focusing on promoting healthy hair. Think of why you are using stronger volume peroxides. Perhaps you can use a lower volume with your bleach. Ask yourself “Why am I doing this soap cap with permanent color?” or “Should I be using semi-permanent color?” For your first-time color clients I am passionate about using Colorshines (Cellophanes) and staying away from any peroxides, even the littlest amount. I’m determined to encourage a resurgence of Colorshines into the salon. I think many stylists have become hooked on peroxide and they need to think of peroxide as an aggressive chemical.

My next article will cover cocktailing products and my favorite creams, oils and silicone products to keep curls feeling loved.

Enhance Medium Curl With Summer Styles

by Jill Leitz on Monday, May 24th, 2010

Jill Leitz

As one of the most sought-after stylists in the beauty industry, Jill Leitz possesses an endless passion for creating innovative and conceptual styles that display the perfect balance between texture and movement. After almost four decades in the business, Jill stays on the cutting-edge of the hair industry with her unquenchable thirst for knowledge and training on the latest styles, techniques and theory. From design and color to client building and salon management, Jill has been gifted with overflowing creative talent combined with a strong commitment to educating, empowering, and inspiring fellow salon professionals. As a three-time NAHA award-winner, Jill’s reputation as a innovative and creative force has been recognized in spades by the beauty industry.

Summer is coming—I can’t think of a better time to educate your clients about how to show off their natural curl! It’s the season for the natural look—the perfect time to help curly haired clients maximize their time having fun in the sun and minimize their time messing with their curls. In the world of curly hair, medium curl is the easiest curl to transform and change—good news for medium curly-haired clients who are looking for easy options this summer.

A few simple tips and tricks about handling medium curl, the most workable, pliable type of curl. As with any type of curl, it’s still vital to consider every step in the process—from how to touch it after washing, to selecting the best products and choosing the right techniques for setting the style.

Medium curl has a tendency to go frizzy, so less handling is better. Educate your medium curly clients to carefully and softly scrunch hair with a towel to get some of the moisture out after washing. Then, the choice of product depends on what direction you want to take. There are so many options with medium curly hair— enhancing and molding it into larger curls, structuring stronger ringlet curls, reworking it into a lazy wave, or setting it to dry in its naturally curly state—just to name a few.

I’ve found one of the most interesting ways to transform medium curl is to randomly put a pin curl set into the hair. It’s a quick way to transform medium curls into a beautiful, random assortment of different-sized curls. The most important thing to remember with this technique is let go a little and not to get too meticulous about sectioning.

Divide the hair into random sections—either long, vertical sections or wide, horizontal sections. Take the curl in its natural form, without pulling or raking through it. Gently lift each section out and apply a soft/light product (I use Redken Fabricate 03 to activate texture and give definition). Curl each section around your finger, then curl it back in toward the head and clip it.

Another option is to lift out each section and spray it with a light spray to seal in shine and smoothness (I recommend Redken Iron Silk). Roll each section back on itself so you end up with a stand-up curl and clip it. This transforms loose medium curl into a stronger, more committed curl. This technique also works well by using a piece of tissue shaped like a cigar, wrapping the hair around it, and tying to itself (think rag curls).

After all the sections are set, you can use a diffuser to dry the hair, and then go in with a flat iron and press each pin curl. Talk to and educate your clients. Let them try these techniques while you have them in the chair. They will feel empowered with new options. With a little practice—and the right product recommendations—your clients can easily master these techniques.

Presenting curly-haired clients with recommended products to help them embrace whatever direction they want to take their curl almost always results in the sale of a product or two. It’s a win-win situation, one that motivates, educates and celebrates your medium curly clients to look and feel their best this summer!

Antonio’s View: Taming Your Tresses

by Antonio Gonzales on Monday, March 22nd, 2010

antonio gonzales

I was born in Trinidad in the height of a hurricane. I spent my childhood surrounded by the sights and sounds and smells of Carnival and the other Indian, African and Spanish festivals of the Islands. Loving the amazing costumes, I got my start dressing my sisters and doing their hair and makeup. An opportunity came up to work with Trinidad’s leading costume designers, makeup artists and hair stylists. After I left the Island, my career evolved with work in Munich, Los Angeles and now New York City. Here in New York, I am a stylist at the Orlo Salon in the Meat Packing district. Vogue magazine recently named me as one of the rising hairstylist stars in N.Y., I was awarded the best haircut of 2008 by shecky’, Gotham Magazine called me a Shear Genius and Allure Magazine featured me as one of the best cuts 2009.

See Antonio’s blog here.

Curly hair in the summer can be difficult for some women and a challenge for most. Depending on where we live, our climates can be characterized by dry heat or being extremely humid. Generally, some of the obstacles we face include: dehydrated hair, frizzing and curls shrinking as opposed to being a bit looser as they are in the winter.

As hairstylists, we have our favorite products of all time that we use to address these issues and we love to share them with each other. I am happy to have the opportunity to share these products with you; products that have changed my life and that of my clients. Some of them are new and some are old, but no matter what, I expect they will add something to your station and make your life easier when dealing with curly tresses.

Renew by Orlando Pita (Dry Conditioner)

Working with Orlando Pita has changed the way I see, touch and think about hair. A big part of my training is understanding how products can affect hair in order to obtain the best results. This product has actually won awards for Orlando and T3, and here’s why. We’ve all heard about dry shampoos, but this dry conditioner can change hair that is a bit fly away and contains static to hair with far more control.

It truly is a miracle product! It’s conditioning with a unique blend of botanicals and Vitamins E, B6 and…the best part…no water is needed.

Plump (for all hair types)

Curly hair lacks two things—definition and moisture. Plump can give definition without being packed with alcohol and can also leave the hair feeling great. If you have a client with fine, color-treated curls and you don’t want to stress her/his hair, try adding this with one of your favorite curl creams to get the definition needed. It’s great to diffuse with as well and has heat protection.

Moroccan Oil Treatment (for all hair types)

On my many trips to Trinidad and Tobago, I always see my nieces running into the ocean and running out with dehydrated and tangled hair. On my recent trip, I lined up the girls (like a crazy person) and one by one I added a quarter-size dab of this product to their dry hair from roots to ends.

The smell is to die for and the result as they returned from the water was nothing short of a miracle. As the hair dries, the combination between the salt water and Moroccan Oil left the hair feeling fantastic!

Kérastase Gelee Aqua Proof (ultimate sun protection)

Kérastase has created a wetsuit for the hair and it really works. Have your clients use it as a styling gel before hitting the beach or lying out. They can wear their hair curly or slicked into a bun. One thing’s for sure; they will maintain the curl and the best protection from the sun and salt. It will also protect the hair from further dehydration and loss of color.

Kérastase Soleil Voile Protecteur (leave-in spray)

I love this product!

It’s one of the best styling products for my own hair. Being Ethiopian and Portuguese, my hair is different on the top and sides. My hair is also fine, but I have a lot of it. This product is great for clients who like to air dry their hair. I recommend spraying it into your hand and applying it to the client’s hair while molding it into the shape you want.

The result is hair that dries well and the client can feel free to run their fingers through it after it is completely dry. I also add a little of the next product in the lineup on thicker hair.

Kérastase Crème UV Défense Active (rinse off conditioner)

I use this product on my own curly hair in the height of summer and the results are flawless. Although it’s a rinse-off conditioner, I leave it in as a styling product. Amazingly, it does not build up like some other products. In the spring, I mix it with the previous product to weaken it a bit.

Naturina Rejuvenating Pure Oils

I am always looking for one product to share that can achieve the job of many. This is especially true during these times when there are several products on the market to choose from. About four months ago (at least), I came across a product that seemed interesting. That product is Longevity Rejuvenating Oil by Naturina.

It’s a multi-purpose, pure oil that will be an incredible asset to your daily routine in the salon. I recommend adding a little to hair color for clients with sensitive scalps. It’s amazing for thick, frizzy hair in the sun because of its conditioning effects and its UV protection. You can add a little to your favorite hair mask as well. I also use it. Simply add a few drops to your styling products and dry as usual. If air-drying, use less.

I look forward to hearing your feedback and of any recommendations of your own.

I wish you a great day in the salon.

Texture Tips: Top Challenges

by Mahisha Dellinger on Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Mahisha Dellinger

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

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

Top Challenges
Curly Girls Face

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

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


Curl Ecstacy Hair Tea Conditioner

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


Quenched Curls Moisturizer

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

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

For more information, visit


Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS)