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What a Curl Wants: Styling Versatility for Textured Hair

Elizabeth Jakaitis | June 2, 2017 | 2:39 PM
Hair: Sebastian Professional Global Artistic Directors Michael Polsinelli and Shay Dempsey

Curly clients today are way past being told that the only option for their hair is smoothing. Beyond that, they want to be able to wear their curls in different ways, with options to mix up their style every couple years, seasonally, or maybe even from day to day.

Big, natural curls are on-trend right now and for some clients, wearing that style just means maintaining the health of their texture. Other clients with little or no texture may need services, products and styling tips to achieve high-volume curls.

Image courtesy of Matrix
Image courtesy of Matrix

“Texture is incredible right now,” says Matrix Artistic Director Danielle Keasling. “I am so excited to see this movement lean toward natural texture. What I mean by that is even if the curl is from a texture service or heat applied into the hair, the overall finished look is still a very organic and natural-looking texture. It’s all about easy, wearable hair.”

Ultimately, it’s the stylist’s job to help each client achieve the look she wants. “Natural” to some may mean only using products to style, not chemical services or heat styling. For other clients, “natural” is a soft, effortless look that may have required a perming service or a curling iron to achieve.

Sebastian Professional International Top Artist Anthony Cole describes this distinction as, “curls by nature versus curls by tools.” Clients can have either as long as their hair is healthy and hydrated. It is true that heat styling or smoothing textured hair will diminish curl memory and, over time, will likely prevent curls from looking their best when worn naturally. Some clients are okay with this and are willing to meet in the middle. It’s the job of the stylist to communicate this to them and help them keep their hair as healthy as possible.

“The best thing for curly hair is to go right to where it’s growing—the scalp,” Cole says. “It’s about teaching your clients to cleanse their scalp really well, use a clarifying shampoo, apply conditioner and get steam treatments to put more moisture into the hair. A healthy scalp is going to make healthy hair.”

Furthermore, it is safer than ever to make dramatic changes to hair because of the way that services and products have improved.

“We have made so many advances now in hair technology that we finally have products such as Bond Ultim8 that allow us to manipulate the hair in ways we never thought imaginable,” Keasling says. “You must always assess the hair integrity before recommending a service. However, if you’re working with healthy hair, we now have tools to allow us to create textures we may not have been able to create even five years ago. The industry as a whole is creating so many amazing opportunities for hair stylists now.”

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