Paul Mitchell educator LaDonna Dryer knows a little about working with coilier hair textures. She’s a 4c herself, and her Savannah, Ga. salon, he Said…she Said Salon in Savannah, Ga., has a large clientele of women who have transitioned from relaxers to natural hair. So she brought a unique perspective to “The Truth About Curls” campaign to launch the Paul Mitchell Curls line.
LaDonna believes it’s an exciting time for natural women.
“I see a lot of people making the transition,” says Dryer, who transitioned herself. “I didn’t think I would be natural. I cut it really short and wondered what would happen if I never put a relaxer in again.”
These days, Dryer fully embraces her natural hair, wearing it in a 2-strand twist one day or an afro puff the next.
NaturallyCurly’s own Michelle Breyer asked Dryer to provide her top tips for natural women.
Michelle Breyer: What are some of your top tips to help women who are transitioning?
LaDonna Dryer: One of the biggest challenges when you go natural is to retain the moisture in your hair. Using sulfate-free shampoos is key. They help a lot in terms of keeping the cuticle calm and retaining that moisture. I really like the new Paul Mitchell Curls Spring Loaded Shampoo, which is ultra moisturizing and sulfate free.
The second most important thing is to condition. There are different kinds of moisturizing conditioners, and one size doesn’t fit all. Even baby fine hair may need some type of moisture, but maybe not something as heavy as you’d use on tight coils. I like that Paul Mitchell offers several moisturizing conditioners to choose from. There’s The Rinse, a light conditioner designed to deposit moisture where it’s needed; the Tea Trea Lavender Mint Conditioner, a heavier conditioner; and the Super-Charged Moisturizer, an intense hydrating treatment. You have to find the right moisturizing plan for your hair.
MB: What are some tips for natural hair styles?
LD: Obviously you let it be free. We do something in the salon called the Mo ‘Fro (Modern ‘Fro). Other options are 2-strand twists and coils. When people come into the salon and want something more intricate, I may do a 2-strand twist or coils in the salon, but I show them how they can do it themselves at home.
MB: What other options do you offer for clients transitioning to natural hair?
LD: Blowouts are still big. The client may like the look of relaxers but they don’t want to use chemicals. But I do warn them if you use a flat iron or blowdryer all the time, you will lose your curl pattern. It doesn’t always take a chemical to straighten the hair. If you are natural and like your natural curl, you need to take a break from heat styling so your hair doesn’t lose the curly texture it has.
MB: What are your favorite product cocktails?
LD: There’s a difference between cocktailing and layering products. I may prep the hair with the Awapuhi Styling Treatment Oil and then layer the Ultimate Wave and/or Twirl Around on top of it. It depends on the texture, the style and the degree of dryness.
One guest could come in with extremely dry hair and it’s necessary to cocktail with more shine-inducing and moisture-inducing products. I’ll put her on a treatment program, with regular deep conditioning. The more I do that, the less I need to cocktail styling products.
MB: There are some people with coilier hair textures who wonder whether the new Paul Mitchell products are made for their hair?
LD: I think there are a lot of misconceptions that it’s not for type 4s. I have to admit that before I came to the company, I wondered whether they had products that would work for my type 4c hair. Education opened up my eyes to what Paul Mitchell products can do for hair like mine. Paul Mitchell has had products for a long time that work well for my hair. I think the new Paul Mitchell Curl product made it easier for people with all textures to identify with the products.
MB: Any tips on how best to use the new Paul Mitchell Curl products for type 4 hair textures?
LD: You have to properly emulsify the styling products in your hands and work them through the hair.
For my natural looks, I’ll use Full Circle first. I also use Ultimate Wave and occasionally Gloss Drops. Then, I’ll add the Awapuhi Styling Treatment Oil because I like the way it feels.
Our Cover Style for this issue’s Texture! was created by Kansas City stylist and 2012 NAHA finalist Rusty Phillips. It’s the beautiful result of Phillips’ participation in Modern Salon Media’s Artist Session, a workshop designed to guide salon professionals through the process of freelance styling as they develop their photo session skills and connect with like minded salon professionals. The owner of Belle Epoque Salon, Phillips has not only taken the class several times himself, but has sent staff to experience the session.
Since launching seven years ago, Belle Epoque has twice been recognized as one of SALON TODAY’s 200 Best, and Elle magazine has highlighted the business as one of America’s 100 Best Salons for the past three years. A stylist for more than 30 years, Phillips has forged a bond of trust with clients through his genuine desire and ability to and make a difference in their lives as he customizes each client’s visit. Although Phillips is the consummate styling pro, he has enjoyed each Artist Session as a haven where professionals learn from each other.
“I’ve learned to really go for it!” he says. “I held back a bit at my first session and, although pleased with my results, I knew I could do something more exciting. For this last session, I really pumped up the volume and texture. It was an unforgettable experience!”
It was the model’s own hair, along with a tool tucked into the Artist Session Goody Bag, that inspired Philips to create the look seen on the cover.
“My model had massively thick wavy hair, the kind of hair every woman dreams about,” he explains. “I wanted to create over-the-top volume and curl, and in the Goody Bag was a micro-crimper. This gave me an idea to create a distressed curl that was somewhat frizzy and lived in.’” After prepping the hair with styling cream, Phillips dry-pincurled all of the hair and pressed each one with the crimper. He brushed out the set, then shampooed the hair with a dry shampoo to produce even more texture and volume. His finished look along with the Artist Session Creative Team resulted in a fabulous look for this issue of Texture.
The Texture! cover look was shot at a recent MODERN SALON Artist Session. Join editorial styling expert Maggie Mulhern with NAHA-nominated David Maderich and Roberto Ligresti for the next Artist Session workshop in New York City, October 2-3, and learn how to get your work published in magazines. Go to Modern Salon’s Artist Session to sign up.
The North American Hairstyling Awards represents the pinnacle of achievement in all categories of hairdressing, texture included. Jasmine Gibbs of The Cutting Edge Salon in Brooklyn, New York was named Texture Stylist of the Year at the 2012 NAHA ceremony held July 22 in Las Vegas. Her exquisite entries won the day, but she had some very worth competition. Here are Gibbs’ winning looks along with entries from the other NAHA 2012 Texture finalists: Liz Nevin, Liz Nevin Hairstyling; Amy Freudenberg, Maka Beauty Systems; Jose Julian Macias Navarro, Leonel Alta Peluqueria; and Richie Roman, R Rated Hair.
Liz Nevin: Liz Nevin Hairstyling
Jasmine Gibbs: The Cutting Edge
Amy Freudenberg: Maka Beauty Systems
Jose Macias and Julian Navarro: Leonel Alta Peluqueria
Ah yes, the ever-burning and often polarizing question within the community of stylists who work with curly hair: should curls be cut wet or dry? During The Truth About Curls session at the annual Paul Mitchell Gathering, the artists and educators provided their expert option on the subject matter: curly hair can be cut both ways!
The truth about cutting curls is that a wet cut or a dry cut should depend on the client’s unique texture. Before deciding which cutting technique to employ, a stylist should first discuss how a client typically wears their hair and analyze their texture. Attendees at The Gathering watched how textures with more shrinkage were cut dry using a “stroking” technique to “open up the hair” and create space while other looser textures were clipped wet. Watch how a Platform Artist analyzes and cuts this 3c hair:
The moral of the story is that as a stylist, you have flexibility in how you decide to cut your clients’ curls. Take the time to listen to the client and look at the texture before deciding which technique will work best for each unique curl.
Wash and Go Conditioning Basics One of the challenges with wash and go hair is quickly styling before seeing frizz or shrinkage. Here are some tips to ensure adequate moisture and ample time to style.
Use a hydrating leave-in conditioner, such as Design Essentials Natural Moisturizing Conditioner, for achieving more volume along with a daily moisturizing agent, such as Design Essentials Natural Daily Moisturizing Lotion, for achieving more definition as a base before using a curl enhancing product such as Design Essentials.
With these tips you can achieve a fabulous wash and go style that clients will step out of the salon raving about!
As Tampa’s first curl specialist, I know a thing or two about how to keep your curls looking great in the intense Florida heat and humidity. Florida has 4 of the top ten most humid cities in the country. With more than 60 percent of the population having textured hair, I saw more people working against their hair. It became my personal mission to help my clients love and embrace their curls.
I strongly believe that using high quality products the right way is just as important as getting the right cut. Helping curlies understand how to care for and style their curls to look great, even if they only have 5 minutes, CAN be done if they use the right products, in the right amounts and apply them in the right order.
My clients trust me because I don’t “sell” them products. I tell them what they need, what’s nice to have and what they can’t live without to recreate the curls they leave my chair with. I almost always send my clients to NaturallyCurly.com. It’s such a treasure trove of invaluable information and all of the tools curlies need to empower themselves to have great curls.
Join me this week in celebration of NaturallyCurly’s descent on Orlando for the 2012 Curly Pool Party! I will be blogging tips for keeping your curl awesomeness factor off the charts as I bring you proven summer defense tactics and true client stories about loving your curls, Florida style.
It is easy to see how unsafe chemical lab, mines or nuclear facilities can be. But in the soothing, comfortable, spa-like atmosphere of a hair salon it can be difficult to hone in on the harsh reality of the hazards employees face every day. Hazards that require a good salon safety plan.
Salon workers have daily contact with flammable, hazardous chemicals. They use high-voltage electrical tools in a water-rich environment, breathe harmful fumes from chemical solutions used in coloring, bleaching, perms and straighteners. And they handle and wear flammable products and clothing.
Stylists, shampoo staff and nail techs are at risk for contact dermatitis, eczema, asthma and respiratory illnesses, allergies, musculoskeletal disorders, slips, trips and other accidents. The World Health Organization has classified the occupation of hairdresser and barber as “probably carcinogenic”.
OSHA recently issued rules on the use of formaldehyde-releasing products. The safety organization is requiring employers to give employees appropriate gloves and other personal protective equipment such as face shields, chemical splash goggles and chemical-resistant aprons, and to train them on how to use this equipment while mixing and applying the products.
In partnership with hairstylist Cori Bardo of The Magnet Agency, René Furterer is supporting the Los Angeles-based, nonprofit organization, The Art of Elysium, dedicated to the needs of mentally disabled and critically ill children, with a special donation. The French hair care line, based on pure essential oils and active plant extracts that is loved by celebrities and top stylists alike, is donating their FIORAVANTI Shine Enhancing Kits—each one includes the FIORAVANTI shine enhancing shampoo, shine enhancing conditioner and spray gloss—to support a cause that Cori, a stylist fan of the line, devotes her free time to.
Along with providing artistic workshops in acting, art, comedy, fashion, music, radio, songwriting and creative writing to bring out each child’s creativity, The Art of Elysium also runs a makeover program designed to increase their self-esteem. Believing every child deserves the opportunity to shine, Cori says that she and her fellow volunteers have found “a little pretty goes a long way,” regardless of the child’s condition, be it a physical disfigurement, mental or physical delay or any serious illness. Cori and the volunteers, including make-up artists, hairstylists and nail technicians, will introduce the FIORAVANTI SHINE ENHANCING KITS to their young makeover subjects as they help them to look and feel their best.
In addition to being an advocate for The Art of Elysium, Cori Bardo is one of the most sought-after hairstylists working today. Trained by Vidal Sassoon and a former spokesperson and creative consultant for Sebastian, Cori’s work has appeared in publications including Vogue, Italian Vogue, Vanity Fair, Lucky and Rolling Stone. Her ever-growing client list includes a number of A-List celebrities and musicians from every genre.
We’ve known about the curly guru Shai Amiel, owner of Capella Salon in Studio City, California for quite a while. In fact, Capella Salon was one of the first salons to ever promote themselves as a curl-friendly salon in Southern California. Over the past years, Shai has been busy; most recently he started raising money for clean water and hosted the always-fabulous Lorraine Massey for a Curls Night Out event. And he continues to build his business one curly head at a time. We had a few minutes to chat with Shai and get his perspective on things.
NaturallyCurly: You have a huge curly following, and many stylists don’t work with curly or textured hair. How did you decide to become an expert with curly hair?
Shai Amiel: Curly hair to me is just like life. It’s always changing and you never stop learning. This curly thing just happened over the years. I never planned to have this focus on textured hair, but I believe that my dedication to the curls paid off in the long run.
NC: Yours was one of the first curly salons in Southern California; how have you seen hair change in your region? Are people moving away from the straight and narrow to embrace their curls?
SA: Many of my clients who were die-hard blowfryers are now committed to their curly hair. It is a hard sell to convince these girls that a little frizz is ok and your natural texture will always look better than that forced straight hair. Women have been told that straight hair is prettier. It has taken me many years showing some of my curly girls the benefits of the natural texture. Luckily, Los Angeles has great climate for natural curls. It’s much easier to let your natural curls air dry than sitting there with a hot blow dryer and frying your hair straight.
NC: What are the biggest mistakes you see with women (or men) and their curly hair?
SA: Curlies don’t trust their instincts. They tend to believe a story someone has sold to them that they must contain and tame their curly locks. They underestimate the value of the conditioner. Hydrating the curls is the key to healthy hair. People still think that they need volume so they use mousse, which is horrible for curls. It expands as it dries and it creates frizz. Curls need moisture and a holding product like a gel that seals the shine in the hair. We want to capture the look of the curls when they are wet and let them dry that way. After the curls are set and dried, we can fluff them and shake out any stiffness created by a holding gel.
NC: What are your go-to methods for treating damaged curly hair?
George Gonzalez, HARPO celebrity hairstylist and owner of George The Salon in downtown Chicago, opened his doors and heart to the On Your Feet Foundation (OYFF) by donating his salon services and space to raise money for this nonprofit organization. OYFF is dedicated to providing personal support to birthparents to help them get “back on their feet” after making an adoption plan for their child. This small not-for-profit foundation gained national recognition after one of their retreats, a weekend in Michigan City, Indiana, run by birthmothers for birthmothers, was featured on the MTV TV series “Teen Mom.”
Attendees enjoyed haircuts, color and styling sessions with George The Salon’s top stylists with a $100 donation for each service provided. $5,700 was raised during this 3-hour charity fundraiser, an accomplishment owner George Gonzalez is honored to contribute to.
“Having a business gives me a platform to do what I feel is necessary in order to give back to my community. George The Salon’s main focus is on helping victims of domestic violence regain self-esteem,” explains Gonzalez.
“I know firsthand what domestic violence does to a woman’s sense of self. As a child, I witnessed my mother abused by my former step-father and I watched her struggle with her own sense of worth. Whether a woman’s self esteem is damaged due to another person or a difficult situation, I find it is important to support organizations that can provide the resources they need to improve their lives. When I heard of what OYFF did for birthmothers—women who for a number of reasons place their children with adoptive families—I wanted to help. I have been blessed with the talent of making women feel beautiful and I want to share my gift with as many woman as I can.”