Posts Tagged ‘Styling’

Tips from Christo

by CurlStylist on Monday, January 25th, 2010

Christo of Christo Fifth Avenue, a much-celebrated curl expert, offers these tips for stylists who work with curly hair:

Tips for Stylists:

  1. Never cut straight layers, but rather angles.
  2. Never blow the hair out straight and cut.
  3. Never thin, but texturize when cutting curls.
  4. Always choose the styling tools that fit your client’s texture.

Texturize with Ecru New York

by Staff on Friday, September 4th, 2009

Ecru New York

Emulsify a small amount of Ecru New York Silk Texturizing Balm in hands and work through hair lightly—starting with the ends. Instantly separates, defines, and gives pliable hold to any type of hair. Also adds moisture and shine, and is perfect for short cuts, textured bobs, layers and curls.

Sam Villa Shares his Cross Hatch Technique

by CurlStylist on Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

sam villa

Sam Villa.

Celebrity stylist Sam Villa shares with us his Cross Hatch technique — a temporary tattoo for the hair that’s popular among the young and trendy.

Curly Hair Tips from Stylist Kim Vo

by Staff on Friday, July 31st, 2009

stylist kim vo

Kim Vo

Celebrity stylist Kim Vo has appeared on Extreme Makeover and Sheer Genius. He offers these tips for working with curly hair:

  • When cutting, never use a razor because it’ll create frizz. Do a blunt cut.
  • When you style it, don’t dry it all the way.
  • Styling cream is great. Twist hair around your finger so the ends stick together.
  • If you’re afraid of having the hair too big, divide the hair and put it in two loose braids.
  • Once curls are dry, use Kim Vo Perfect Polish serum for breaking up the curls. It also adds shine!
  • Don’t cut short bangs because they will shrink up.

How KMS Attracts Star Power: The Stylists

by Michelle Breyer on Friday, July 31st, 2009

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

In recent years, hair products have become a staple in celebrity goodie bags as brands look for ways to get star endorsements.

But KPSS, Inc., parent company of Goldwell and KMS California, decided this year to try a different tactic. Their strategy was to put their professional products into the hands of the stylists who work on movie and television sets – the people who actually create the hot looks we see on the screen.

“A year ago, it was hard to get our products into the hands of celebrities,” says Paige Fadden, media relations manager for Goldwell and KMS. “We’ve learned this is the most successful vehicle for us.”

To do this, KPSS has reached out to the unions that represent these stylists, offering up Goldwell and KMS products to those who want them as well as offering them free educational seminars at the company’s Santa Monica Academy at its new Salon 1452 and discounts on other seminars.

“The stylists told us no one has ever done that for them,” says Fadden. “It has helped elevate our brand to a new level.”

Nicholas Cages’ latest film, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice which is currently in production, has been receiving weekly shipments of Goldwell and KMS products. Frank Barbosa, hair stylist on the set of “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” cannot get enough of Goldwell Jewel Shimmer Brilliance Crème Wax and KMS California Hairplay Makeover Spray (which acts as a dry shampoo). Additionally, Mr. Barbosa worked as lead hair stylist on the set of “Bride Wars” featuring Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway and went through bottle after bottle of Goldwell Big Finish Volume Spray.

Hollywood set stylists working on the upcoming films “Fair Game” starring Sean Penn and Naomi Watts and Stone featuring Edward Norton, Robert De Niro and Milla Jovovich will have plenty of products on hand to create any color and style that fits the character.

Stylists on set of TV shows such as “Weeds”, the “Bonnie Hunt Show” and “Drop Dead Diva” also using Goldwell and KMS California products. KMS California Hairstay Max Gel is a “must-have” on the set of AMC Originals’ Mad Men.

Barbosa, who has headed up the hair and makeup departments on numerous films, says the endorsement of a celebrity can be huge for a hair-care manufacturer. But most celebrities depend on their stylists to introduce them to products.

“Believe it or not, the celebrities aren’t using what’s in the gift bags,” Barbosa says. “We’re the ones using it every day. Then (the stars) want to know what you used on them to make their hair look so good. They know I’m seeing the latest and the greatest every day. And when people know a celebrity used it in their hair, everyone wants to use it.”

KMS HairPlay Sea Salt Spray was a huge hit among stylists and celebrities alike.

“Before we knew it, we had no Sea Salt Spray,” Barbosa says.

In the past, Barbosa says many stylists had to bring their own products on the set. KPSS has been amazing, he says, in terms of providing all the color and hair products they need to create the looks they want. He says some other brands also have begun doing this.

Barbosa, who has been working non-stop for the past four years, says he also is thankful for the educational opportunities provided by the company because he has little free to pursue it on his own.

Sacha Quarles, who has worked on Sex & the City, is excited to work with the new KMS products. /p>

He plans to use Goldwell and KMS products when production begins on the “Sex & The City” sequel, and can’t wait to try Goldwell’s Radiant Star Shining Spray, Jewel Shimmer Cream Wax and Glamour Whip Mousse on her wavy tresses.

“The hair looks shiny and amazing under the lights,” Quarles says.

But it’s not enough just to give out free products. Those products have to work, says Brent Keene, a stylist who has worked on “The Mentalist” as well as a number of other films and TV shows. KMS and Goldwell products have not let him down, says Keene, who is a big fan of KMS Sea Salt Spray and HairPlay Dry Wax.

“When you’re on the set, those products have to perform,” Keene says. “You only have so much time to get people ready, and if a product doesn’t work, you’re screwed.”

The Wedding Dress and the ‘Do

by Teri Evans on Saturday, May 30th, 2009

What makes a picture-perfect bride? The curly coif should match the style of the wedding gown, says curl expert Christo of New York’s Christo Fifth Avenue salon.

It’s a critical step in creating the overall look on your wedding day. In fact, Christo says he always asks to see a bride’s dress before even considering how to style her hair.

Here we provide several sensational style options to match the five most-popular dream dresses. Whether your client envisions a wedding day steeped in elegant tradition or dazzling drama, here are some ideas that should suit every bride.


STYLE: A Renaissance dress with a raised waistline placed just below the bust, while the rest of the gown flows freely to the hem.


This captivating gown is reminiscent of the Victorian era. (Think of Ang Lee’s movie “Sense & Sensibility.”)

“This is my favorite dress for naturally curly hair, because you can leave a lot of curls showing,” Christo says. “Curls can either tied back or loose, and it’s very romantic.”

If she chooses to wear her hair half-up, half-down, Christo suggests taking small sections of curls — starting from the temples and then ear to ear — and tie them into small knots (as you would a rope). To sprinkle in more romance and innocence, adorn the ‘do with baby’s breath or miniature roses.

“You can also add extensions for a more dramatic look, as long as they match your hair texture,” Christo says.

Ball gown

STYLE: A traditional, fairy-tale dress with a fitted bodice and full skirt. Think Cinderella!


This enchanting gown also offers several style options for curly brides, especially those with long, textured tresses, according to Christo.

“The ball gown is more dramatic, so you can create more drama with your curls,” Christo says. “You can go with big hair because the gown is full on the bottom. If the dress is over the shoulders and you’re showing the back a bit, leave the hair down, and you can even add extensions. If she chooses a high neckline, put some of the hair up and create big, glamorous curls.”

Or, opt for a modern French twist, allowing some curls to peek out from the back and around the face.


STYLE: A dramatic dress that hugs curves from the bust to the knee, then flares out to the hem.

BEST SUITED FOR: Wavy to Curly

This alluring gown looks best with hair in beautiful waves, letting them flow like the sea’s cascading currents.

“This dress is very romantic, allowing for a lot of movement,” says Christo, noting that brides with tighter curls may want to consider softening the spirals into waves.

His style suggestion? Create a little height at the crown, gather one side of your loose curls or waves and sweep them back with a flower, then let it be!

Consider a richly fragrant, beautiful bloom like a wild gardenia, calla lily, magnolia, or the ever-romantic rose.


STYLE: A classic dress that is fitted around the bust and flows out to the hem, resembling the shape of an uppercase A.

BEST SUITED FOR: Straight to Wavy

This dress can be worn with curly hair, but you will want to simplify the texture, Christo says.

“This dress always looks best when the hair is pulled up,” he says. “If you leave your curly hair down, you’re taking a style that’s very simple and you’re making it very busy. If you have tight curls, loosen them up a bit with a curling iron.”

Christo suggests positioning the hair off the face into a side-swept, loose ponytail or pulling it back into a bun (with a few curls peeking out) and accessorize! If you have wavy hair or loose curls, use a curling iron all around and then tuck small groupings of curls away from the face.

Another option? Create a ponytail at the crown, then loop the hair in a chignon around the ponytail. Add a simple, beautiful flower, and you’re done!


STYLE: An elegant sheath dress that hugs the body from the neckline to the hem.

BEST SUITED FOR: Straight to Wavy

If she chooses this body-contouring style, remember that less is more when it comes to creating a magnificent mane.

“This is another simple style so the hair shouldn’t be busy,” Christo says. “It should be completely off the face. If you show too many curls, it will look enormous compared to the dress!”

Instead, he suggests gently pulling back your textured tresses with a side or off-center part, then create a twist, a simple ponytail or a low bun. Add a touch of elegance with natural flowers — or a little glitter to spice it up a bit.

Planning tips for curly brides:

  • No matter what curly style you choose, make sure the hair is healthy for that all-important day. Encourage them to use a deep-conditioning treatment every week, consistently, to add moisture and prevent split ends. And, make sure they head to the salon for a great cut and touch-up color, if needed.

  • Don’t stray too far from their everyday style. This is not the time to experiment! “Don’t blow-dry their hair straight and put it into a bun, if it doesn’t represent her,” Christo warns. “Don’t do something on their wedding day that is not them, where they look like a whole different person. Remember those pictures will stay with them for the rest of their marriage!”

  • Most important, she shouldn’t put her hair last on the wedding to-do list. “Hair is one of the most important elements of your wedding day,” Christo says. “(The client) should Invest time and money to do a trial session, it’s very important to have style options to choose from.”

  • The Mane Manual
    for Curl Philosophies

    by Teri Evans on Saturday, May 30th, 2009

    The options seem endless. Do you shampoo your clients using a sulfate-free cleanser? Should you cut curls wet or dry? Should you forego the flat iron forever? Confused yet?

    There are a growing number of philosophies to consider when caring for clients’ curls.

    Rest easy — we cut through the clutter and gathered the top experts in the curly world for their bottom-line stance on cutting, cleansing and styling.

    These curl experts have invested decades in studying and styling curly hair. Their life’s mission revolves around curls! Although their approaches may differ, their goal is the same: creating gorgeous, healthy curls for their clients.

     shari harbinger


    Shari Harbinger, partner of Lorraine Massey of New York’s Devachan Salon

    CUT: When stylists at Devachan Salon prep for a curly cut, they know to trust their intuitive eye and their visual eye.

    “You can’t really understand that if the hair is wet because you’re not seeing the hair as you wear it, in its natural form, which is dry,” says Shari Harbinger, who emphasizes that curls should be cut only when the hair is dry.

    When curlies make an appointment at Devachan, they’re asked to stop shampooing their curly locks one to two weeks before their cut, although daily conditioning is recommended. When they step into the stylist’s chair, clients are required to arrive with their hair dry and in its natural state, uncombed and without any products in it at all.

    “We look at the face shape, the hair, the curl type, the hydration level, and all those factors will determine where we cut, and how much we cut,” Harbinger adds.

    The only tools in a Devachan curly cut are scissors and the stylist’s hands — no combs or brushes.

    “Combs aren’t necessary because you’re then stretching the curl out of its natural form, which defeats the whole purpose of cutting curly hair in its natural order,” she says.

    CLEANSE & CONDITION: Curly hair can’t get enough moisture, and Harbinger says sulfates in shampoos add to the dehydration of curly locks.

    “The philosophy is to remove the sulfates from the product, which are the harsh, lathering and dehydrating ingredients found in 99 percent of the conventional shampoo on the market,” says Harbinger, noting DevaCurl’s product line includes No-Poo, a sulfate-free botanical cleanser. “Just by virtue of eliminating those sulfates and replacing them with botanically derived ingredients, the hair responds immediately.”

    If curls are extremely dehydrated, she recommends conditioning every day. For a deeper treatment, Harbinger recommends leaving in the daily conditioner for a half hour to intensify the hydration.

    “But you can cleanse every other day because our styling products have nothing synthetic in them to cause buildup or to make the hair feel dirty,” Harbinger says.

    STYLE: The styling process begins the moment you’ve stepped out of the shower, Harbinger says.

    “Gently tilt your head over, in an upside down position, and squeeze the excess water out of the hair with paper towels or a cotton t-shirt in an upward scrunching motion,” Harbinger says. “Regular towels cause friction and cause the cuticle of curly hair to fray and appear frizzy. They also absorb too much water out of the hair. For the best curl definition, you want to remove just enough water to release the curl of its own water weight and that’s best done by using a paper towel.”

    Once you’ve applied a leave-in conditioner and/or gel, then gently bring your head and hair to an upright position and gently shake the curls.

    “Wherever they lay, they shall stay,” says Harbinger, who recommends adding clips to the crown for additional lift. “Do not touch the curls when they’re drying because that can create frizz and cause the curl to lose its formation.”

    As for flat irons, Harbinger views them as a “death sentence for all hair.”

    “Every time you flat iron or ‘blow fry’ the hair, you’re one step further away from your curls being the best they can be,” Harbinger explains. “You’re compromising the elasticity of the curl. The curls will never be as authentic as they can be if they’re in a push-me, pull-me cycle or back and forth.”

    Harbinger emphasizes that curly hair is not a trend, it’s a lifestyle.

    “If we understand what we have and how to work with it, we can learn to embrace and love our curls,” she says.


    Christo, Artistic Director of New York’s Christo Fifth Avenue Salon

    CUT: Christo has always believed curly hair should be cut wet.

    “Curly hair, when you cut it dry, won’t have the freedom of style,” Christo says. “You may wear your hair curly 90 percent of the time, but maybe the other 10 percent, you want to wear your hair in glamorous waves or you want to blow it straight. I think you should have that option.”

    Your textured mane should only be combed (wide-tooth comb only!) when it’s wet and then allowed to bounce back, according to Christo. “That way you can see how the curl is going to bounce, and then you cut accordingly,” he explains. “If the hair is dry, how is it going to bounce? It doesn’t.”

    Since there may be many textures on one curly head, Christo may choose to texturize tresses using regular scissors, channel scissors or a double-blade razor on wavy, coarse hair.

    “Some people have wavy hair on the bottom, while it’s curly on the top, so you can texturize the bottom in long angle layers, but you have to know to know what you’re doing,” Christo says. “You want the waves to lock into each other — not become bushy and frizzy.”

    After the hair is cut and then dried with a diffuser, Christo may make a few touch-up snips on a dry mane, but without combing the hair or disturbing the curl.

    CLEANSE & CONDITION: Christo emphasizes that life is about balance — and he applies that philosophy to curly hair. As an advocate of shampoo, Christo views sulfates in shampoo as simply one cleansing component, balanced with other nourishing ingredients, such as proteins and amino acids.

    “I think your hair needs shampoo once or twice a week,” Christo says. “The reason is this: It’s not only to remove the buildup that you get from products, etc. There’s also the buildup you get from the environment, which is so dirty.”

    He’s also a firm believer in deep conditioners, and recommends feeding your curls with a conditioning treatment or mask once a week — or twice a week, if you color your curls.

    STYLE: To style curly locks, Christo divides the hair in four or five sections.

    “If you want to make it easy, clip each section so it’s not in your way,” he says. “Then, take one section at a time, and apply the lotion or gel according to your texture. Then, run your fingers through your hair, shake it a little bit or scrunch it to get the curl to bounce back.”

    If you want to smooth it with a flat iron for a different look, Christo warns curlies not to overdo it.

    “Use it with balance, once in a while,” he says. “If you use the flat iron once a month it will not damage your hair, but if you use it two or three times a week, that doesn’t work.”

    And if you have a daily addiction to the iron, Christo says there’s no way to avoid damaging your hair, no matter how much you condition it.



    Jonathan Torch, of Toronto’s Curly Hair Institute

    CUT: Jonathan Torch studies curly hair when it’s dry to look at the direction the hair grows, but he always cuts hair when it’s wet.

    “That way I can see the grouping of the curls and the way the curls bounce,” Torch says. “We look at the individual curls and choose the size of the curl. In order to make a ringlet, the hair has to rotate 2.5 times, otherwise you get wings.”

    Since every curly head has more than one curl pattern, Torch recommends against traditional layers for curly hair.

    “Even layers do not work in curly hair,” Torch says. “We have developed a technique called curly layers, and it’s all about creating unevenness, breaking it up.”

    If you’re looking for height, volume or bounce, Torch suggests telling your stylist exactly that.

    “You have to change your terminology. If you want volume, say you want volume. Don’t say you want layers because you’re going to be upset with the result,” Torch warns.

    CLEANSE & CONDITION: Cleansing your curls with shampoo is an important step to maintaining healthy hair, according to Torch, whose shampoos contain sulfates, along with silk amino acids.

    “We chose silk amino acids as our moisturizing protein because it has the tiniest molecule,” Torch says. “The size of the molecule is essential, because the smaller the molecule the deeper the penetration of absorption. The most important thing is getting that moisture molecule inside the hair.”

    When conditioning your curls, he says it’s not as simple as “laying it on thick.”

    “Just because a conditioner is thicker in consistency doesn’t make it a better-performing product,” Torch explains. “People like the heaviness because they feel it’s actually going to be doing something, but in reality, it may be only cosmetic.”

    How a conditioner performs depends on its ability to penetrate and help the hair hold onto the moisture, according to Torch.

    “Naturally curly hair repels moisture, so how do you condition hair that is repelling moisture? Our conditioners have pH levels of 3.5 to 4 — that’s extremely low. The lower the pH, the more you’re going to close the cuticle,” Torch says. “Our products deposit generous amounts of silk amino acids and panthenol.”

    STYLE: Even if you have healthy hair and a great curly cut, you won’t truly embrace your curls until you master the styling process. The key to achieving a successful style, Torch says, is not how well you dry your hair. It’s how well you prepare your hair before it dries.

    “You have to start off with tangle-free hair, and the more hair you group in an individual ringlet the looser the curls,” Torch explains. “If you want your hair off your face, you have to get it back off your face from the roots. If you can get the roots going in a certain direction then you can get successful hair. Allowing the cuticle to dry on its own will guarantee frizz-free hairstyles.”



    Ouidad, author of CurlTalk, owner of New York’s Ouidad Salon, the Curl Education Center

    CUT: Using her “Carve-and-Slice” method, Ouidad always cuts curly hair when it’s wet.

    “Curly hair doesn’t dry the same, so it’s very difficult to cut it dry. You need to know the curvature of the curl in its natural state,” Ouidad says.

    The Carve-and-Slice cut is a process that follows the curvature of the curl, and Ouidad says it allows the curls to puzzle into each other so they don’t expand.

    “I section the pieces and shake the curls between my fingers so I can see the wave pattern and the curvature of the curl,” she explains.

    CLEANSE & CONDITION: Ouidad believes shampoo (including sulfates) is “essential” for healthy hair.

    “It’s very important to shampoo twice a week and apply conditioner daily, starting about two inches from the root so you’re not blocking the pores of the scalp,” she says.

    Although Ouidad warns against shampooing too frequently, she emphasizes the importance of cleansing the oils from the scalp to allow the hair follicle to breathe.

    “My philosophy is to work from the inside out — not topically” Ouidad says. “The idea is to rebuild the internal layer by connecting your internal molecular layer with protein, amino acid and sulfur — that’s what my deep treatments are made of. The idea is to feed the curls by using deep treatments on a regular basis. They’re essential to have successful curly hair. Curly hair can’t live without deep treatments, it just doesn’t work.”

    And don’t forget that leave-in conditioner before you start styling, she adds.

    STYLE: When it comes to styling, Ouidad believes that less is more.

    “The less you handle and manipulate your curl, the more successful you’ll be with your hair,” she explains.

    Use only water-soluble styling products, and skip the oils, waxes and silicones that boost buildup, Ouidad says.

    When applying gel or styling lotion, she follows her “shake and rake” technique, which uses your fingers to “rake” through the hair, and then “shake” the curl pattern back into place.

    “Section the hair starting in the nape area and use a quarter-size of gel, rubbing the palms together,” Ouidad explains. “Separate the fingers and run them through the hair. The more hair between your fingers, the looser the curl will be. Then, hold it at the bottom and just shake it.”

    To add some lift to the crown, she suggests sliding a few duckbill clips at the roots, allowing the curls to cascade down freely and dry naturally.

    Create Corkscrew Curls

    by Staff on Thursday, May 21st, 2009


    The finished look

    The Look: Perfect for short curly hair, this innovative technique scatters tighter more compressed curls throughout the hair to increase interest and up the fun factor of a sassy style.


    Step 1.

    Step 1: Blend ringlet 07 and solid water 06 wet set gel in your palms and apply through the hair. Comb through to distribute evenly. Diffuse the hair dry.


    Step 2.

    Step 2: Take random sections — anywhere you wish to add a different textured effect into the natural diffused wave pattern. Using a color brush (or a chopstick or tail comb) wrap the section neatly around the brush twisting the section as you wrap. Slide out the brush, pin in place and then use your diffuser to apply heat. Repeat on random sections around the head. Allow to cool.


    Step 3.

    Step 3: Apply a small amount of solid water 06 to your hands and then “pull through” the corkscrews to release the curls. You could also “ruch” the sections by holding the section at the tip and pushing the hair upward to create more volume and lighter, airier curls.

    — Redken

    Curl Expert Creates
    New Curl Line

    by Michelle Breyer on Wednesday, May 13th, 2009


    For years, curl expert Elie Gerdak listened to his clients talk about their need for products that would keep their hair nourished and stylish between salon visits.

    With 30 years of experience as a hairdresser — specializing in curls — he decided to create the dream line that they were asking for. The result is Curl Definesse, a collection of products designed to define and nourish waves and curls.

    “The collection combines Mediterranean style with a specialized flair to create bouncy radiance and serious curl envy,” says Gerdak, owner of the two Virginia Elie Elie Salons in Winchester and Tysons Corner Center.

    Gerdak spent more than a year working with the chemist the to get the formulas exactly right. The Curl Definesse line includes Daily Shampoo, Conditioning Creme Rinse, Moisture Shampoo, Moisture Conditioning Creme, Leave-in Conditioning Spray, Elixer Boucle Gel for fine to medium curls, Elixer Boucle gel for medium and thicker curls and Polishing Gelee.

    elie elie

    The Curl Definesse line

    Gerdak’s passion for curls began as a child, growing up in Lebanon where curly hair is common. The European master stylist and international curl coiffeur has spent his career developing cutting, styling and care techniques to help curls look their best. His work has been featured in major beauty magazines throughout the world.

    In addition to the Curl Definesse line, Gerdak also has created the Moderne for Classic Coifs, a care collection of shampoos and conditioners.

    The two new products are available at the two Elie Elie Salons as well as at the company’s web site.

    Blow Drying Tip

    by Staff on Friday, May 8th, 2009


    Paddle brush

    When blow drying, use a paddle brush for completely straight looks, and use a round brush for a little curl at the end.

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