Posts Tagged ‘jill leitz’

Jill Leitz: Styling Rebecca Folsom

by Jill Leitz on Monday, July 26th, 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.

The day had finally come! A photo shoot with Rebecca Folsom, a talented musician, set in a local music studio that made Rebecca feel right at home and provided the perfect backdrop for setting the scene and nurturing our creative energy. And, believe me, the energy was buzzing that day! I felt like a kid on Christmas morning—what more could a passionate hair designer ask for? A talented musician (who happens to have a gorgeous head of reddish-auburn curls), a crew of open-minded people (a budding photographer with a bright future ahead of her, an experienced make-up artist, and an uber-creative artistic director), along with the freedom to shape and transform Rebecca’s hair any amazing way that I wanted.

I had a vision, but things kept unfolding in my mind as I began prepping Rebecca’s hair for the transformation. After shampooing and conditioning, I applied Redken Extreme Anti-Snap leave-in treatment to gently smooth the cuticle, fortify the hair, and act as a foundation for the day. Then, I applied a combo of Satinwear 02 Ultimate Blow-Dry Lotion and Blown Away 09 Blow-Dry Gel (both from Redken) for hold and protection, and then blew her dry with a medium-sized round Denman brush to create a full-bodied base.

Rebecca and I had discussed creating three entirely different looks for the shoot that she would choose from for the cover of her next CD. It was so much fun to see her enthusiasm and open-mindedness about both the shoot and her hair—she exemplified everything that a stylist could hope for in a model, and then some. I was inspired, and began the day with a beautiful romantic look to set the mood and get the creative juices rolling. I set a basic pattern for a Hollywood-glam wave, using a one-inch barrel Marcel curling iron.

With her first look done, Rebecca slipped into a hot little red dress and the camera began snapping away. That’s when the magic began … she picked up her guitar and began to sing—it was all so beautiful … Rebecca’s romantic hair, her sultry voice, and the soft riffs coming from her guitar. Everyone in the room could feel it, and that magical energy stayed with us the entire day. Even though we shot for the next five hours, it seemed like it flashed by in five minutes.

Folsom Red Dress

In line with the day’s building energy, I built the texture of Rebecca’s hair out for the next two looks with hairpieces that I had colored with the Shades EQ color line to match her hair. I prepped both the hairpieces and Rebecca’s hair with the tiniest Marcel curling iron (1/16”), combining the set with spiral tonging along with a rick-rack pin set. I used really small sections to get the maximum amount of texture, taking each individual curl, separating it with my fingers, and then brushing it out.



Folsom Blue Dress

With Rebecca in a slinky, galatic blue dress, we experimented with reproducing the soft, billowing texture of a cloud. She leaned against a black grand piano as the camera captured the whole atmosphere of magic for us. Throughout the day, I was thrilled that Rebecca didn’t say ‘no’ to anything I proposed. I had a vision of a harder, rocker style for the final look. I added more hairpieces and piled the texture in an up-do, which happened to perfectly match Rebecca’s black tank top, jeans, and cowboy boots. I heard her say “WOW” every time she looked in the mirror, which brought a big smile to my face.

Folsom Black Tank Top

It was truly a magical day. Rebecca had a great idea about how we could share the energy, the excitement, and the adventure of that day with you. We recorded a track during the photo shoot called ‘Mama’s House’—which we’ve made available here as a free download for all the readers of CurlStylist.com. You can hear Rebecca laughing at the end and saying something about her ‘big hair’ being stuck to the microphone. This is a special track that really captures the magic of that day—we hope you enjoy it! And, we’d love to hear your thoughts about Rebecca’s transformation, your tips and tricks for creating texture, and which of Rebecca’s looks gets your vote for her CD cover?

Have a listen!

Jill Leitz: Working with Rebecca Folsom Part II

by Jill Leitz on Monday, June 21st, 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.

My mind has been consumed by thoughts of curl—starting with natural curl and building a voluminous, billowing foundation that an imaginative stylist can take in any direction to create something out of this world.

I mentioned in a previous blog that I’ve worked with naturally curly client Rebecca Folsom—a very talented musician who conjures a unique, sultry sound that might call to mind Shawn Colvin, Sheryl Crow or Natalie Merchant. Check out her web site. We’ve worked together for many years to define and enhance her beautiful signature natural curls for photo shoots and solo performances, as well as performances with The Rebecca Folsom Band.

A few months ago, I exposed her to Eugene Souleiman’s collection “Knit Wit”. As we all know, Eugene’s work is always inspirational, and this collection definitely did not disappoint. The collection has been described thusly: “With vision and courage,” he creates “explosive shapes, textures, colors and silhouettes” to transform “the ordinary into the extraordinary.”

Rebecca looked at the images. She studied the pages. Her eyes focused in on the beauty behind the three-dimensional texture. As an artist herself, she started to appreciate the vision behind the concept, and began to push to limits of her own comfort zone.

My head was spinning at the opportunity to create something amazing with her long, medium curl. So many ideas flying around: using one of my smallest curling irons, large hairpins with a rick-rack around them, creating texture with pipe cleaners, building teeny-tiny pincurls using a thickening lotion. I began to imaging creating a tighter texture with her curl and then—doing the unthinkable, a big no-no with curl—brushing it out! I’m willing to break the rules to create a foundation with incredible texture, and then—the sky ‘s the limit!




What’s so cool about this whole thing is that Rebecca is incredibility excited about it. Being the artist that she is, she broke through the ceiling of possibility and said, “Why not? Let’s go for it!” This is just the beginning – Rebecca and I are coordinating our schedules to make this happen soon. Stay tuned in the coming months to read about Rebecca’s transformation—I’ll take notes on tools, techniques, and products. If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them—I’m excited to continue to gather ideas and inspiration in advance of Rebecca’s transformation. This is gonna be fun!

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!

Jill Leitz: Working with Musician Rebecca Folsom

by Jill Leitz on Monday, April 19th, 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.

For many years, I’ve split my time between my salon and performing on the road as a global educator. I find inspiration from both, and have found that fellow stylists are the most engaged when I use real-life examples to share my passion—in this case—for curly hair.

One of my most fabulous clients is a very successful musician—Rebecca Folsom. With power and soul, she performs extensively with her own band, as a solo performer, and as an acoustic duo. And, she just happens to have a gorgeous head of medium curls—just the topic I had planned for this month’s blog! I’ve been doing her hair since she was a teenager, and she’s one of my few curly haired clients who has always embraced and been comfortable with her naturally curly hair.

She realizes that her medium curls are one of her biggest assets, and she’s known for her beautiful, red, naturally curly locks. Along with the success and recognition she’s enjoyed, she also has certain expectations built around how her curls look. Last time she was in, I wanted to open her mind to what was next for her—so I pulled out a recent hairstyling magazine and showed her a picture of medium curl taken to the next level of texture.

Well, Rebecca is a die-hard curlista and her first reaction … well, she put her hand up and gave me a firm, “No way!” But, pictures are really worth a 1,000 words, because after taking a closer look and being exposed to page after page of big, fluffy clouds of amazing blown-out medium curl, she was excited to give it a go.

Medium curl is the easiest, most malleable type of curl to work with, transform and change. I’ll be discussing specific tips, tricks and techniques for medium curly hair next time. But, as we start to see signs of the spring season all around us, I was inspired to tell my story of Rebecca. I want to illuminate the importance of communicating all the options available to curly haired clients and in helping them embrace the energy of spring—of growth, change and the vision of the future.

Curl Crazy: Working with Fine Curly Hair

by Jill Leitz on Monday, March 15th, 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.

I believe that to master something, you must first understand it. I know that hair stylists have an insatiable appetite for knowledge—a commitment to continually educating themselves. Power springs from this knowledge—power to deliver amazing results to your clients. Power to keep them coming back for more. This is especially true for curly-haired clients—once they believe in you and the magic you can work on transforming their curls into something they love, they’re loyal clients for life.

Over the course of my next couple blogs, I’d like to share some tips and tricks for each specific type of curly hair. And, I’d love it if all the stylists reading this would share your comments and make this a forum where we can all learn from each other. So, onto the first, and perhaps the most challenging, type of curly hair: fine-textured curl.

Not only does curly hair have its own body, it has its own rules. I put a lot of focus on how I work with fine-textured curl to bring the delicate structure of the curl to life. I consider every step in the way the hair is handled—from how I touch it after I wash it and how I towel it, to what products I use and how I set it to dry.

Less handling is usually better for curly hair—especially fine-textured curl. After washing, I take great care to softly scrunch hair with a towel to get some of the moisture out. I avoid roughing the hair up, as that immediately encourages frizziness. And, from my experience, frizziness is one of the biggest evils for the fine-textured curly haired client.

Selecting product for fine-textured curly hair is vital for giving strength to fragile, fine-textured curl. For most fine curls, I like Redken Soft Spin—a lightweight gel with avocado oil that defines curl for a soft, shiny finish. I apply Soft Spin to damp hair and divide the hair into rectangular sections, the size of which depends on how large or small I want the curls to end up. From there, I only use my hands to work on defining and setting the curl—usually doing a soft twist around my finger.

At this stage, I sometimes layer a little heavier product on top of the other to enhance and strengthen the curl further, and get it into that perfect place to dry naturally. I don’t use heat to dry the curl, and I don’t touch it again until it’s completely dry. Once the hair is dry, I softly shake the curl out, loosely using my hands—but I never comb or brush it—less is definitely more for curly hair. Once the structure is built into the hair, I go to great lengths not to mess with it or, as I’ve learned the hard way—it doesn’t come back.

As I write this, I’m headed to Amsterdam for Euro RAC, an event where Redken artists and educators come together to share the latest trend-setting techniques, inspire each other, and keep the creative juices flowing. I’m looking forward to sharing what new techniques, products and styles I saw for curly hair at the show. Until then, I’d love to hear what you’re thinking, seeing and hearing about curly hair!

Introducing CurlStylist Blogger Jill Leitz

by Jill Leitz on Monday, February 15th, 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.

I have a confession to make: I love curly hair. Since my very early days as a hairstylist, I’ve always been drawn to curly hair—intrigued and fascinated by its texture, structure and body. Curly hair has such an amazing, creative, playful, flirtatious energy associated with it. With its infinite shape, it exudes glamour and beauty, captures attention and draws the eye to it.

Most of my fellow stylists at the time were afraid of curl. They didn’t understand it, and didn’t want to work with it. But, I wasn’t—I’m thankful to say that I’ve always been comfortable working with curly hair. So I forged ahead, styling the hair of as many curly-haired clients as I could. I was hungry to learn more about it, understand the unique needs and challenges it presented, and discover how stylists could unlock its potential to create healthy, great-looking curls that their curly-headed clients would embrace, maintain and love.

I practiced. I experimented. I made mistakes. But, with every curly-haired client, I listened and learned. I listened to women sharing stories about how they’ve been fighting with their curls their entire life—trying to change them into something they were never meant to be. I learned that some clients have curls that will cooperate one day and then turn around and rebel the next day, leaving them confused and frustrated. I listened to cries for help from curly-haired woman who sought help with frizzy and dry curls, wild and uncontrollable curls, temperamental and unruly curls, and unintentionally big and voluminous curls.

I won’t say I’ve heard it all because I still continually learn from clients—past, present and future. But, I will say I’ve learned that curly hair is completely different than straight hair, in its structure and its overall needs. Understanding and respecting the different types of curly hair textures—fine, medium and coarse—is key to determining what your game plan is to giving the right cut and educating your clients about the type of care and products their curly hair needs to retain its shape and style. And, I’ve gained an understanding of how color really complements and completes the story of that beautiful, textured hair.

I’ve learned that one of my biggest thrills in being a hairstylist is helping someone embrace their curly hair, and showing them how their hair is special—showing them that no one else has exactly their kind, texture and shape of curl. It’s so much fun to see someone finally accept their curl—being there to see that moment where the light goes on and they see what you see: ways to transform their curl into something they can work with, love and show off. It’s at that point I feel as if I’ve given them a gift, and I’m so lucky to have been part of that process—achieving your and your client’s agreed-upon vision of their shiny, beautiful, naturally curly hair.

Curly hair has come a long way. There are two things that come to mind when I think of today’s acceptance and admiration for naturally curly hair. The first is today’s culture. Hollywood, celebs, film, music, runway, couture, fashion magazines—curly hair is literally everywhere these days. Everyone is showing off nothing but sexy, glamorous curls as the “in” trend. From Colbie Caillat’s soft, romantic curls to Taylor Swift’s wavy, mermaid locks, this year’s Grammy awards show was full of curly-haired glamour. And, last month’s issue of Italian Vogue—my personal bible of inspiration—didn’t seem to have one beautiful fashion spread that didn’t show textured, curly hair.

The second thing is product. Today, stylists and curly haired clients are supported with so many amazing products that help manipulate and transform almost any kind of curl into manageable, shiny, smooth, beautiful curl. Curly haired clients have so many incredible products at their disposal that help them work with the curl they’ve got, have fun with it, and make it the best that it can be in its naturally curly state. There are products that can help define curl, lock moisture into every curl, smooth frizzy curl, bring shine to curly hair, tame unmanageable curl, transform a day look into a beautiful, glamorous evening look…the list is practically endless.

I can’t say enough about the loyalty of a naturally curly client. They covet a stylist who can cut, color, finish and help them manage their curls. And rest assured, if one curly hair spots another woman whose curls she admires, she most definitely will ask for her stylist’s number. And she will regard that number as one of the most important seven digits in her cell phone. Word of mouth is so powerful in our industry. If curly haired clients experience that you really understand curly hair—they will believe in you and trust you—you’ll truly become priceless to them. They will rebook every time, even in these hard economic times.

And in addition to referrals and rebooking regular appointments, a curly haired client helps boost your bottom line. Educate clients on the maintenance of their healthy curls while they’re in your chair, and help them understand what products will help them work with their unique type of curl. Trust me, they’ll want to purchase those products to recreate and maintain their beautiful curls at home. It’s a win-win for everyone.

And, that’s what this blog is all about. I’m so excited and grateful for the opportunity to work with curlstylist.com - to share what I’ve learned from years of experience, as well as the opportunity I have to learn from fellow stylists. So, I want to extend an open invitation to all of you – feel free to comment about what I’ve said, share your experience working with curly hair, and really make this an interactive experience that will benefit all salon professionals.

A special note to stylists that are afraid of doing curly hair….c’mon, I know you’re out there. It’s time to confront your fears. It’s time to embrace cutting, coloring and finishing curly hair. It’s time to increase your knowledge by doing something that scares you again – because 2010 is all about curl and texture.

Join me every month as we explore the ups and downs of curly hair.

With love,
Jill Leitz

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