More and more clients are embracing their natural hair texture, but they’re still depending on you to do it in style. We’ve rounded up the pros for their styling advice and product picks when working with a range of textures.
Marlo Steenman, educator, Revlon Professional, Edmonton
Before you begin cutting or styling curly hair, Marlo Steenman, an educator with Revlon Professional and creator of Curls Gone Wild, refers to curl types as coily, curly, wave curl and wavy. “Knowing a curl type will highly influence a haircut or styling,” says Steenman. “Curl typing should be the first thing you do in a consultation.” Understanding the type of curl will help you decide the tension you need when cutting, along with help make the right product recommendations for your client’s at home maintenance.
For curly hair:
When styling curly hair, Steenman says that the key is to keep hair hydrated with the right products, which depends on the texture of the hair. “All types of curly hair need moisture and I always start with a leave-in conditioner like Revlon Professional’s Uniq One All In One Hair Treatment,” says Steenman. “I begin layering products with Style Masters Orbital, which reduces frizziness, and then Style Masters Fanaticurls for maximum hold.”
Maggie Semaan, master stylist and co-owner of Nüva Beauty & Spa, Laval, Que.
For wavy or curly, frizzy hair:
“When hair is naturally textured, you should loosen the wave rather than activate texture. Use a moisturizing lotion that will enhance shine to give it a more polished finish,” says Semaan. “Starting on damp hair, apply your desired hydrating cream or mousse, such as Davines This Is A Curl Moisturizing Mousse. Rub the product evenly in your hands, then gently spread it on the ends and work your way up towards the roots. For frizzier hair, doubling up the product dose may be needed. Air-drying is ideal, but you can blow-dry with low heat and low air pressure and pull down strands of hair at the same time to loosen up the curl and give it more of a wave.”
For fine or straight hair:
“On damp hair, spray about four pumps of a moisturizing leave-in conditioner, then spray sea salt leave-in styling spray, such as Davines This Is A Sea Salt Spray, to create texture by scrunching the hair over the mid- length area of your hair,” says Semaan. “Use low heat and low air pressure to dry hair or simply air-dry it. Once dry, you can lightly reapply some sea salt spray to activate more texture, if necessary.”
Ludovic Leroy, Redken educator and hairstylist, Rayko Coiffure, Montreal
For giving textured hair a sleek finish:
“I apply an anti-humidity product before I blow-dry hair with a round ceramic brush and then I brush it again, section by section, with a boar bristle brush for super-shiny hair,” says Leroy. “I’ll avoid flat irons because it can create too much damage, but if I do use it, keep the heat at a lower setting.”
For a smooth finish, Leroy suggests Redken’s Frizz Dismiss, formulated with a frizz protection system that is super-efficient.
For adding texture to straight hair:
“Create a ponytail on top of the head, then secure with a non-slip elastic band, and add a fine mist of heat-protecting spray, such as Redken Iron Shape 11,” says Leroy. “I start creating curls with either a flat iron or a curling iron on sections of hair that are 1/2-inch to one inch wide. For a natural look, take random sections of different widths.” Once hair cools, Leroy removes the elastic band and finishes hair with a medium-hold spray, such as Redken Wind Blown 05, a volumizing and texturizing dry spray.
Kevin Hughes, artistic director for Moroccanoil
For controlling curls:
“You need to put product in the hair for thick or coarse hair,” says Hughes. “Moroccanoil’s Curl Defining Cream will help keep out moisture in the air and give you more control over the type of curl you want to achieve when styling.” He adds that the brand’s Curl Control Mousse will keep it hydrated while retaining the volume. Although fine-textured hair requires hydration, you’ll need a product that’s more lightweight, such as Moroccanoil’s Style Cream.
For wavy or curly hair:
Braids can work as a hairstyle for curly-haired clients, but this can also be a way to control the type of curl you want to achieve. “For clients with curly hair, if you do a larger braid, it opens up the curl,”explains Hughes. “You can actually take bigger sections of the hair, apply product from roots to ends and create a braid that can be worn during the day to help decrease volume and elongate hair after you have taken it out.”
Karlene Valentine, Curly hair specialist, Donna Dolphy Hair, Toronto
For drying coily curly hair:
Karlene Valentine, a curly hair specialist at Donna Dolphy Hair in Toronto says that the drying technique is just as important as product. “With a blow-dryer, the diffuser is my best friend, but I’m only drying to 80 per cent, leaving 20 per cent of the moisture in the hair to dry naturally, which creates the best curl.” She adds that to get perfect curls when styling coily hair, using a water-based product when the hair is very wet will help retain moisture.
Photos: Hair: The International Creative Team led by Mark Hayes; Makeup: Daniel Koleric; Styling: Lucie Perrier; Photo: Benjamin Vnuk