Articles By Megan McCarty


It’s the New Year, and time for resolutions and changes. Maybe one of yours is to finally get a whole new look. But new isn't necessarily better. Here are some tips to get the best color, cut, and style for the New Year and the new you!

Do your research

Cindy Herrera, at Cindy Herrera Cuts at The Gallery of Salons in Austin, Texas, recommends you keep a folder of styles and colors you like.

“I recommend that clients start a folder of pictures that speak to them or of styles they’ve had in the past that they’ve liked or disliked.”

Once you’ve found a style that you love, Herrera recommends displaying it so you’ll see it every day.

“If you find something that you like about it every day, then that means it’s something you won’t get tired of," Herrera says.

Test it out virtually

One way to try out a new look without taking a real life risk is to have a virtual makeover. The virtual makeover at iVillage allows users upload a picture of themselves and try on several different hairstyles with the click of a button. That way, you can see firsthand how well a new style and color really suit you. Print two or three looks that you like best and bring them with you when you schedule a consultation.

Find the Right Stylist for You

One of the best things you can do for your hair is to find a stylist who really understands curly hair.

Gerri Curtis, at Blue Mambo Hair Salon in Houston, recommends that before you make an appointment with a new stylist, you should ask them a few questions: How much experience have you had cutting curly hair? What kind of training for curly hair do you have? How many curly clients do you have?

There are many ways to find a curl expert. Start by checking out the CurlSalons section of NaturallyCurly to find reviews for a stylist near you, and then schedule a consultation. And when you see a fellow curly with a cut you love, ask her who did it.

Following trends doesn't always make sense

It may seem like a good idea to get a short cut when pixies are back in or to head out for a Brazilian Keratin Treatment when straight hair is the rage. But it may not be the best look for you. Think about your lifestyle, and how much maintenance the new style will require. Becoming a redhead may seem exotic, but heading to the colorist every four weeks for touchups may be more upkeep then you can handle.

Vida Latimer, a master colorist at Devachan, isn’t a big fan of following current trends.

“I like to customize each color and style for the customer, and my goal is they will leave with a higher spirit and a higher feeling of themselves," Latimar says.

Latimer's tips for the new year include nurturing your hair.

"Always be conscious of how you’re taking care of it, and stay away from harsh chemicals, like sulfates and silicones," she says. "To get the most out of your color, you need to find a healthy product regime to boost your moisture. Once you’ve lined up the right products for your hair and learned the steps for reaching your ideal curly state, the process is very simple.”

Styling changes can make a big difference

When Yanishevsky meets with new clients, she first asks them what they want with their hair and how they take care of their hair. Then, “I 'unlearn' them and become their curly coach.”

That means teaching them the correct way to use products to get the look they want. It also means showing them different ways to wear their curls.

“I've found many curly girls don’t know how to throw their hair up and make it look cute, because when they were younger their mothers kept their hair short so they didn’t play with their hair as much,” says Curtis.

She has curly clients book appointments just to get a one-on-one lesson on easy ways to wear their hair up.

How hard is it to be a man with curly hair these days? Curls are becoming more and more popular for men. Just look at the reaction stars such as John Mayer, Adrian Grenier and Brody Jenner receive for their textured 'dos.

But it may surprise you to learn that men often struggle with curl acceptance just like women do — maybe more.

Most magazines and advertisements for hairstyles and products are directed toward women, but what about the curly male? According to a study conducted by Yale University, a bad hair day actually negatively affects a male’s self-esteem more than a woman’s, and men feel more nervous, less confident, and are more inclined to be unsociable when they are unhappy about their hair.

“Many curly men just go to a local barber and get a crew cut because they don’t know what to do with their hair," says Robert Nieves, a curly stylist at Devachan Salon & Departure Lounge. "That is one of the biggest mistakes guys can make. They don’t want to spend the money on a good haircut and healthy product for their hair.”

NaturallyCurly's Man Week

Education is the first step for men who have never tried to wear their hair curly, Nieves says.

“They need to understand that the growing-out process is going to be rough and can take up to three or four months, but the final result is worth it," he says. "Once they have a good style, they will only need a cut every three months. So, wearing their hair curly is actually a big time saver because when one has a crew cut, it needs to be cut about every two weeks.”

Nieves’ biggest tip for men with curly hair is to invest in good products and to get rid of that regular towel. “They should scrunch their hair, don’t rub, and use paper towels or an old clean t-shirt.”

As trends change and curly hair becomes more popular, men are finally starting to embrace their natural curl.

“Guys these days are more resourceful in finding help for their curly hair. A lot of clients find our salon through website recommendations," Shai Amiel at Capella Salon in Studio City, CA says. "You can also find stylist recommendations on when you click the CurlSalons link at the top of the page."

NaturallyCurly's Man Week

Amiel believes that today’s curly guys aren’t afraid to ask questions about their hair.

“Once they get here, most men are very confident about asking how to take care of their curls," Amiel says. "Men are usually newer to the whole curly process, so they have even more questions than many of my female clients.”

Gino, a color stylist at B.B. Hair Art in San Diego, says women are more comfortable with the fuller look then men are.

One thing that can help a man’s self-esteem is good color, says Gino.

“Highlights look really good on men with curly hair, especially when the hair is scrunched with gel," Gino says.

Gino says he’s even found that some brands of colors, such as Redken’s Shades EQ, makes curly hair more controllable. And having a sense of control can be the secret to helping a man feel more comfortable with his curls.

“When a man has a good cut and style, he feels better about himself, and there is a glow about him when he leaves the salon.”

Curly hair can be a struggle for anyone, but more and more men are learning to appreciate their curls and are embracing and feeling confident about a trait that makes them unique.

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