Industry News

Curly or Straight? The Great Debate

Melissa Hill | July 10, 2011 | 11:47 PM

Each morning, curly girls everywhere face the same decision: natural hair or straight today? Nobody knows that question better than celebs, with their every style move being critiqued. Curly girl Beyonce modeled pin straight locks at her New Year’s Eve bash with husband, Jay-Z—but she just as often shows off her natural side. Taylor Swift created a sensation when she straightened—and added a thick fringe—at a recent awards show. Let’s weigh the pros and cons with Joico International Artistic Director Damien Carney.

Pro—it’s a great way to achieve uncontrived elegance.
Straightening locks is “the coif equivalent of donning high heels, lip gloss and a little black dress,” says Carney. “It brings instant polish and glamour. If you have an unruly texture, a straight look is a great option for achieving elegant, polished control that moves.”
Pro & Con—Sleek texture and a strong fringe sharpen soft features.
“Taylor Swift is a pretty girl without any one particularly strong feature,” says Carney. “The sharp lines of her hairstyle really sharpen her features and make them more dramatic.” If your client has a long face, large nose or small chin, on the other hand, this graphic hairstyle might add unwanted emphasis.

 Curly or Straight? The Great Debate
Kevin Mazur/WireImage
 Curly or Straight? The Great Debate
Kevin Mazur/WireImage
Pro—Straight strands always look shinier.
Straightening coarse or fuzzy hair with a blow dryer or a flat iron, like the Joico K-PAK ReconstRx VaporIron, seals the strand surface, which in turn refracts light. Hair appears glossier, shinier and as a result, healthier. “Gleaming hair evokes a real ‘wow’ factor,” says Damien, “so if hair is naturally unruly, smoothing it makes a significant impact.”
Pro—Straight hair brings out beautiful color.
The twists and turns of fuzzy or curly hair can also diminish the vibrancy of hair color. Think mohair as opposed to satin. Because they reflect more light, smooth strands also enhance the hue.
Con—Straightening extremely skinny strands can make them to go flat.
If your client’s hair is fine, says Carney, you’re better off staying away from stick straight styles and coaxing out as much natural texture as possible. “Straightening fine hair will flatten what little body remains,” he says.
Pro—It may take a bit longer to smooth curly strands, but the look lasts for days.
“Go slow when you’re smoothing massively curly hair. Work with small sections of hair and blow the hair dry completely with a round or flat brush, directing the nozzle from top to tip to smooth the surface cuticle,” says Carney. “Then go back over each section with a flatiron. If you carefully smooth each section, your client’s style will last longer and they won’t need to ‘top it up’ over the next few days.”

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