It’s an everyday occurrence for new clients to come into The Mane Tamer in Pikesville, Maryland, complaining about frizz. During the consultation, clients typically reveal that they wash their hair daily, use a comb a lot and blow the hair dry.
“We say that we have a way that’s successful in taming frizz,” says owner Marty Franco, who estimates that 30 percent of his business is rooted in natural curl looks. “Next we tell them the only time you should use a comb is in the shower with conditioner. And then we tell them about the three p’s: product, product, product! I can give them a great hair cut, but if they don’t follow up with the right products, the style isn’t going to work.”
Clients who ask for natural curly looks are especially prone to erring in product choice, because they’re just learning how to work with texture, according to Columbus stylist Mindi Umbrell at Akada Salon. “When they look in the mirror and see how amazing their hair looks with the products I used, they realize that product does make a difference,” Umbrell says. “I’m one of the top retailers in the salon, and I’m the one with the most diverse business. Because I give my curly clients so much information and teach them how to improve their hair’s condition, they probably buy a little more.”
Although stylists vary in exactly what they suggest for at-home maintenance, many mention:
• Shampoo and conditioner formulated to nourish curly texture and also target hair thickness
• Deep conditioner
• Styling cream
• Alcohol-free gels, mousses, foams, waxes and hair sprays are less universally agreed upon for curly hair but still used. Salons specializing in texture also sell a lot of diffusers, quality brushes, duckbill “clippies” for the crown and microfiber towels or other flat-surface alternatives to terrycloth.
“When you take away the frizz and show clients what you can do with a great hair cut and the right products,” says Franco, “they become hooked on curls.”