By Michelle Breyer and Alison Shipley
Mixing products, or cocktailing, to get just the right results, is the best way to enhance
your clientsâ hair textureâand the opportunity to increase retail sales.
Any curly girl or stylist who regularly works
with texture will say they are makeshift chemists,
creating their own product concoctions in
search of the perfect solution for texture. These
may include combinations of conditioners, gels, mousses,
serums, creams and pomades from various companies to get
the right look.
âThe benefit of using more than one product in curly
hair is to fine-tune the texture and resilience of the curl
and the shape of the style,â says New York-based stylist
Giovanni Giuntoli, artistic director at Tearsheet Editorial
Styling Classes and a Redken session stylist. âSometimes
one product doesnât give you all the benefits of two or three.
Itâs similar to giving your hair a multivitamin, compared to
just a vitamin C tablet. It helps out more.â
Diedre Boone, owner of The Root of You Salon and
Day Spa in Houston, says African-American and multiethnic
women have varied hair types and one product
rarely does the trick.
âThe fact that their hair textures vary so dramatically,
we find it necessary to mix together different products on
different clients,â says Boone.
Stylists also stress mixing products that complement
each other. For example, you might mix a curl enhancer
with a leave-in conditioner to provide a softer hold, or a
little styling gel with a straightening balm for loose, defined waves.
While using a variety of products can be a great way
to customize products, some caution stylists against complicated
cocktailing. Luis Alvarez, co-founder of Aquage,
believes stylists do their clients a disservice if they created
complicated cocktails that are difficult to replicate at
home. For example, the company advocates stylists cocktail
Aquageâs Defining Gel with its new SeaExtend Silkening Oil
on waves and curls because the combo canât be botched.
However, itâs always good to exercise care, cautions
Alvarez, âBe careful with cocktailing because it can go south
very quickly. Some of the things we do behind the chair
might not be something you want to pass on to a client who
may not have the technical expertise to replicate it at home.
The more straightforward the information, the greater the
odds the client will succeed.â
Recipes for Success
Just like a good bartender, stylists know their products and what works best together.
We talked to some âcurl-tendersâ to find out what their favorite cocktail recipes are.
Owner and Stylist, Spa Papaleo, Los Angeles, California
Ingredients: Pravana Curves Curl Enhancer, Bold Defiant Design Gel and Detail Shine and Define Polish
For fine, curly hair to give volume and curl definition, begin with damp hair and apply equal parts Curves
Curl Enhancer with Bold Defiant Design Gelâplace at the base and diffused for volume. Finish with one-part
Curves and a dab of Detail Shine and Define Polish to give ends separation and detail.
Farouk Systems Global Artistic Board,
Dutch Hair Netherlands
Ingredients: CHI Twisted Fabric and CHI Silk Infusion
Cocktail together a drop of Silk Infusion and Twisted
Fabric to a nice transparent mixture, apply evenly with
your fingers through the hair for maximum hold, support,
definition and beautiful shine. Itâs a great cocktail for
untamed curly and frizzy hair to create beautiful, thick
curls and conditioned definition, but also for the trendy
style with volume and long-lasting hold.
Ouidad Certified Stylist, Salon Ciseaux,
Winter Park, Florida
Ingredients: Ouidad Moisture Lock Leave in Conditioner, Climate
Control Gel and Sun Shield
For thick curl types, separate hair into three sections. Apply
a quarter size of Moisture Lock Leave-In Conditioner to each
section. Apply slight pressure when raking the product through
the hairâthis will allow for a better curl pattern. Begin at the
nape and work upward. Next, apply the same quantity of Climate
Control Gel. This combination will help keep the shape and shine
in the curls. If curls need refreshing, apply Sun Shield.
Owner, Devachan Salon, New York, New York
Ingredients: Mist-Er Right, AnGell or DevaCare Arc AnGell
Lorraine Massey has conjured up just the right cocktail to add
control without crunchiness. âI like to put half Mist-er Right and
half AnGell or DevaCare Arc AnGell,â says Massey. âYou mix it in
a spray bottle and then you have yourself a nice spray gel. If you
like a stronger hold, add a little more AnGell.â
Founder and Creative Director, Hair Rules, New York, NY
Ingredients: Hair Rules Hydrating Finishing
Cream and Wavy Mousse
Hydrating Finishing Cream and Wavy Mousse
work perfectly together. The Wavy Mousse
is a great pre-blow drying cream
when dealing with thick, wavy hair,
and finishing the look with the
Cream will offer a
lightweight hold with
just enough moisture
and shine, so your
blow dry doesnât
down or greasy.
Hair stylist and Development Team Member for Mizani
Ingredients: Mizani True Textures Cleansing Cream, Curl Balance Shampoo
and True Textures Moisture Stretch
Cleanse hair with Cleansing Cream and Curl Balance Shampoo and deep
condition for 10 minutes. Detangle and apply True Textures Moisture Stretch.
Subdivide each section in one-inch squares; separate the section into two strands.
Twist the strands over each other in a clockwise direction until you reach the end,
then spiral the curl around your finger, once or twice to secure the strand. Repeat
with each subsection, continuing in a staggered bricklay pattern. Mist with water
and reapply True Textures Moisture Stretch as needed. Then place the client under
a hooded dryer for 30 minutes or when the curls are dry. Untwist the curls in a
counter clockwise direction until the strands become unwound.