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How did you learn to cut curly hair?

When I was in grade school I performed my first curly haircut when my mom asked me to fix her botched salon haircut. I cut my own hair because I could never find a stylist to work with my texture. I discovered curly hair had to be cut dry to see the curl pattern. While majoring in theater at college, I was employed by the theater department as the wig and hair stylist. I was exposed to all types of hair and learned mostly by experimentation. After graduating, I taught myself how to tie hair (ventilation) and make custom wigs and hairpieces. For 15 years, I worked as a Wig Master all over the United State for top regional professional theater companies and styled hair on over 200 stage productions. In 2003, I obtained my license and began renting a chair in a salon. After reading the books by Ouidad and Lorraine Massey, I stopped fighting my curly hair and went curly full time. I focus my business on naturally curly clients and I love my job.

What's your technique?

It depends upon the curl type, damage from chemicals or heat tools, and the goal style. I look through the interior of the client's hair for texture changes and growth patterns and I alter my technique as I progress with the cut. Generally I cut hair dry and approach the cut as a sculpture; curl by curl. If my client frequently styles her hair straight, I will cut it wet first then finish with a dry haircut. I never use a razor or thinning shears.

What products do you like best?

I avoid products with petroleum based ingredients, SLS, and the "-cones". I look for manufacturers that strive to use organic and fair trade ingredients with no animal testing. In the salon and on my own hair, I use John Masters Organics and Jessicurl.

Any advice for other stylists?

I add 15 minutes to my first time client appointments to allow for a thorough consultation. I ask that all my curly haired clients come to their appointment with their hair in it's natural state with a minimum amount of products. Curly haired clients can be very nervous when trying out a new stylist. Before I pick up my scissors, I want them to feel relaxed and that I understand their expectations. During the consultation, I always stand face to face with my client, rather than talking to the mirror. It builds trust and starts the appointment off on a good note.

What's the hottest curly trend?

Embracing and celebrating your natural curl texture instead of fighting it.

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