Four curl experts share their curl mistakes, so you can avoid making the same ones.
The life of a stylist is fraught with trials, triumphs and many tribulations, especially if you choose to specialize in textured tresses. Yes, some mistakes are inevitable no matter how savvy you are as a stylist—but you may be surprised how many common faux pas are avoidable. And you don’t need years of experience to gure it out, if you’re willing to learn from the wisdom of those who spent decades creating a brave (and curly) new world.
Texture! turned to leading curl experts, and asked: “If you knew then what you know now, what nostalgic texture advice would you share with up-and-coming stylists?” Read on for the top six lessons of curl-centric veterans— lessons they learned the hard way, so you don’t have to.
Philip Pelusi mistake 1:
Experimentation in Place of Education
Becoming a curl pro means adopting a whole new language, new services, and new skills, and the best way to do that is through professional education. Seek out the best possible knowledge before practicing your skills. Take it from Philip Pelusi, founder of Philip Pelusi Salons and Tela Beauty Organics. “When I first wanted to learn how to relax hair, I decided to try it on myself,” he says. “The biggest mistake I made was leaving the relaxer in my hair overnight! The good news is I did it to myself and not a client, and it was a miracle my hair didn’t fall out. But I had to take Excedrine for the pain, and it took two weeks for my scalp to clear.” The moral of his story: “Be responsible with a chemical!”
Ouidad mistake 2:
Setting Unrealistic Expectations
When Ouidad, the “Queen of Curls,” first started cutting curly hair, she acknowledges that her idealism took over. “I wanted to change the world with the hair cut I gave them. I wanted to fix it all and change it all,” says Ouidad, who is a stylist, salon owner, author, curl educator and manufacturer. “What I learned is to really look at the hair, study all the curl patterns, and learn exactly how much curls shrink, and how they fit within each other when you cut. It’s not like cutting straight hair, you can’t just change it all at once.” So, before conjuring an image of what you think you’re going to do with the client, Ouidad encourages up-and-coming stylists to examine the different hair textures—really study them and understand them— first.