stylist spotlight

How did you learn to cut curly hair?

My first big chop was actually my very first time cutting curly hair. Since then I've done three more big chops on myself and several on my clients. The true honor actually goes to none other than- YouTube! Seriously. I would watch YouTube videos like they were on clearance and going out of business! After that, it was my trusty mannequin "Naomi" that brought me on my way. Every video tutorial I watched ended with Naomi in my lap and a mission on my mind. Everything is history from there.

What's your technique?

It really depends on my client and the type of hair they have. For my clients with hair in the in between stages of going natural, I prefer to cut their hair while wet. The wet texture gives me a better look at where the two-textures meet, allowing me to rid them of their chemically treated hair much easier. Some clients, usually moms who prefer not to have too much of their child's hair cut or trimmed, request a kind of "search and destroy" mission. When this happens, I usually trim the ends of their hair at the end of their two-strand twists or single braids. For everyone else, a good blow-dry on low setting before cutting/trimming is helpful. I will divide the clients hair in six sections of no particular pattern, and trim their hair section by section.

What products do you like best?

As a natural hair stylist, I prefer natural products of course. Detangling my clients hair before a wash usually involves coconut or extra virgin olive oils. For a moisture treatment after a wash, I prefer castor oil for thicker hair and coconut oil for hair that is less thick. For washing, peppermint castile soap is my #1. I prefer this soap as well as apple cider vinegar and baking soda for my loc wearers and clients with a lot of build-up. Otherwise, Shea Moisture has a raw shea butter moisture retention shampoo that I absolutely love. For the most part, I do not use commercial products for styling and maintenance, but Shea Moisture is always my go-to when it's necessary. I love their deep conditioning treatments (yucca and baobab as well as the raw Shea Butter treatment). For shine after a style, heat straightening and oiling the scalp for cornrows, Shea Moisture's finishing elixir is bomb!

Any advice for other stylists?

Listen to your clients. Respect their requests and keep the dialogue open and honest.

What's the hottest curly trend?

Right now? For me? More and more of my clients are opting for the big-chop instead of transitioning. I respect the decision to do so and love it when I'm the one who can provide the service! As for other trends in my field, Tree Braids and Crochet Weaves are filling up my schedule more often than before!

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