stylist spotlight


How did you learn to cut curly hair?

I learned how to cut Curly Hair/African American Hair Texture back when I graduated from Beauty School in 1976. I was blessed to land a job at a salon called "Headmasters" in New Haven Connecticut . I gained an incredible following and soaked up as much as I can. There was a stylist there that took me under his wing, his named was Doug Roe(A David Bowie look alike) He was amazing, his entire clientele was black. I was determined at 18 to learn all I can from him and I did. I was the queen of Jeri Curls, cutting Afros , styling black hair. I was determined to broaden my knowledge with African American Hair Textures, attended every black hair show that I could, and followed my passion. You can imagine the the looks I received back then being the only white girl at these shows. Like I tell my teenagers -You can do anything and be anything you want to be, go for your passion. I won't lie , it was hard for me, but I was my thing and wouldn't allow detractions get in my way.

What's your technique?

Never--- ever use a thinning shears on thick curly hair!! This will only lift the hair out even more and create frizz. If the client wears her hair natural I will cut her hair wet. If a client goes back and forth, curly to straight, I will cut it dry. Always remember a client with curly hair is very sensitive about their hair and without doubt has had a bad haircut experience so be patient, understanding and compassion,this will be one of the keys to your success .Listen -– really listen -- to their needs, future hair plan and take the time and explain to them what you are going to do. Also, help them find solutions and products that can help achieve the look they are looking for . In doing so, you’ll develop a loyal following.

What products do you like best?

Milbon Unite Alfa Parf Thermalfuse

Any advice for other stylists?

Success with African American Hair Texture Demands Great Service by Gina Rivera The Basics of Black Hair-Care Black hair-care can be challenging and time-consuming, but I’ve long found it so very rewarding. When you turn your client around to face the mirror and she’s thrilled -- that’s a great feeling and a wonderful accomplishment. Once you get the feel for textured hair, styling it will come easy to you. African-American hair can be fragile and weak at times, but with proper care and nourishment, black hair can be silky and healthy. Here are a few essential tips you should know on your path to becoming that expert. Chemical treatments on African-American hair -- like colors and relaxers -- strip the hair of its moisture and protein. But if you know how to provide expert hair-care, your client’s hair will acquire a silkiness of its own, and it can stay straight for weeks. African-American hair tends to be porous, which means that moisture easily passes through the cuticle layer of the hair. The cuticle layer of the hair shaft tends to be raised, which means that, although it can readily absorb moisture, it also loses moisture easily. First, understand that clients with curly textures may only wash their hair once every one to three weeks -- or sometimes once a month. Often, it takes so much time and such effort to wash, condition and style-– and they still wind up with unwanted results. It’s easy to understand why these clients sometimes put off such an undertaking for as long as possible. It’s essential that their shampoo is done correctly and completely. It’s sometimes necessary to wash their hair three to four times because of the amount of product that’s built-up over time on some. If you don’t shampoo their hair until it’s completely clean, it won’t move or shine, and will take forever to dry. Don't be surprised if the hair smokes up and the smell of oil permeates the salon as your blow-drying the hair. This is not uncommon and it’s certainly understandable once you understand the challenges your client faces. I once had a stylist who waved her hand over her nose as she walked by an African-American client getting her hair blown-dry. Needless to say, I fired that stylist immediately; you can’t run a salon with rude and ignorant stylists. Never, never, never make a client feel uncomfortable about her hair! And never tell a client, "You have bad hair,” because if she’s your client, it’s likely to be your fault that she’s having difficulty with her hair. And, if she’s a new client, she likely didn't want the style that she’s now asking you to fix. Help her learn new techniques to care for her hair -- that's what a professionaldoes. Black clients want you to teach them how to achieve a style they can care for without much fuss. As professionals, we must develop a passion for helping our clients find short and long-term solutions.If you feel you can’t help a client because you’re inexperienced, don’t tell the client you can’t help them. You can! First, be positive. Explain that you’re not yet as experienced as the stylist you recommend -- and it’s important to you that she’s happy with her results. Let her know that her needs are your top priority; you want to ensure her satisfaction. That’s good business -- for you and for your salon. Then, refer your client to someone in your own salon who’s got the expertise that your client needs. Or, if need be, recommend another salon that can help your client. Yes, you’ll lose a client but gain a good reputation. And, you’d have lost that client anyway if you tried to style her hair and failed miserably. So put your clients first. Many stylists don’t realize that, for many black clients, styling their hair takes an inordinate amount of time and effort -- every single day! A few weeks ago, a client and her daughter flew in from Florida to my salon in Connecticut for Japanese Straightening- Thermal Reconditionings. When asked why she’d made such a long trip to Connecticut, she said, “I am so tired of my hair controlling my life. I spend more than an hour styling it, then I go outside, and all that styling was for nothing. It’s just exhausting.” Compassion for your clients will be one of the keys to your success. You should have a full understanding about your client hair history. knowing this will help you to understand the different levels of porosity that are running down the hair shaft from every relaxer and color that’s been applied. This will help you decide chemical use, protection, how to apply and how quick you have to work. So, needless to say, you should work each section differently because the full strand has the many different porosity levels you will be encountering -- and you need to take your time and address every one. Listen -– really listen -- to their answers. Help them find solutions, products and services that can help them. In doing so, you’ll develop a loyal following.

What's the hottest curly trend?

I believe "Healthy and Natural" or " Healthy and Straight" But definitly Healthy is the hottest curly hair trend

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