Articles By Rodney Cutler

Q: My name is Andrea and I'm 13 years old. I enjoy my curls after I wash my hair and let them dry naturally. But the next day, after I wake up, my curls are all stiff and the ends are all straight. I usually put it in a ponytail (which I hate). I would really appreciate some tips.

Barrow: What product do you put into your hair after washing? There is a reason why your hair feels stiff. The ends are all straight due to a lack of moisture. When you wake up, quickly spritz your hair with water and add a slight amount of Cutler Curling Cream, distribute evenly, squeeze the hair and go! You'll look AMAZING!

Q: I'm really having trouble adjusting to summertime. My hair now is either too flat, undefined, wavy and frizzy, or too big, curly and frizzy. At the risk of sounding like Goldilocks, I can't get it to be just right. Both looks are bad. In the winter I really like my hair. At the moment, Now I end up putting it in a bun everyday. Help! Summer has only just begun.

Barrow: A product, product, product! It's the only way to cure your curse. You have been blessed with curly hair: celebrate and enjoy it. Stroke your hair with moisturizers and oils and don't wash it too often. Instead, rinse and let Mother Nature take control. Supplementing is necessary with Redken's line for curly hair. Hair is like skin. Treat it according to the season.

Q: My curls are getting long and droopy. I measured last night and my hair is 30 inches long. Right when I get to this point in length, the curl really starts to fall out. I'm wondering if I just need more layers? A different cut? If I cut off 10 inches, will it give me more bounce?

Barrow: Thirty inches? That's almost 3 feet! Depending upon texture and density I would say that you need a good haircut. I would say you need layers, but "Cutler layers" that don't sacrifice length! For more information, contact Anthony Barrow at Cutler Salon.

Q: I have 3 b/c longish hair and would love some bangs to cover up my large forehead. Do curly bangs ever actually look good?

Barrow: Bangs can always look good as long as they are designed well. Bangs create a facial point, and therefore details are everything.

Q: I have 3a/3b — more 3b medium length, — thin (but lots of it) curls. I love my hair when the curls aren't quite as tight. Any tips to naturally loosen them up?

Barrow: Wash, condition and graze your hair with Cutler Straightening Cream. Apply gently in a downward fashion and let your curls relax! It really works!

Q: My under layer is incredibly frizzy and dry. I've tried deep treatments and regular conditioning, but it's still dry. I'm wondering if this is just something I have to live with or is there any way to smooth out the under layer?

Barrow: Apart from chemically softening, which I would recommend, try layering different products. Think heavier underneath and lighter on top. It usually works. I recommend a combo of Cutler Straightening and Curling creams to even things out!

Anthony Barrow is creative director of Cutler Salon in New York.

Rodney Cutler

Rodney Cutler

Q: I have what appears to be "Type 3" wavy hair. Specifically, it has more wave on the right and crown (more "S" curl), and less on the left side and below the crown. Unfortunately, my mother also blessed me with three cowlicks: front right, crown and at the base of the neck. I have been through eight hairdressers in two years, and have yet to find someone who can cut my hair in a style that looks fashionable. I noticed that most hairdressers who have cut my hair do not appear to part the hair , they just cut. What style would you suggest and what products?

Cutler: My advice would be to flick through magazines to find some looks you like and think would be possible on your hair. I don’t know the length or thickness of your hair, but I would begin by sectioning your hair in its loose natural part. I would work with your natural texture to achieve maximum versatility. I recommend Cutler Curling Cream. It's fantastic on medium to thick wavy/curly hair.

Q: I have 3b hair that is a little longer than the middle of my back. I like the curls, but my hair gets really frizzy when I wear it down so I almost always end up putting it in a bun. I would like to be able to wear my hair down more often without it getting so puffy. Do you have any suggestions?

Cutler: First, I would have long layers introduced to your hair to create balance and movement throughout. Next, shampoo and condition your hair, towel dry, and use a wide-tooth comb to detangle. Then apply Cutler Curling Cream from roots to ends. Twist both side sections loosely and then two sections at the back. Allow to dry naturally. Shake out and you have beautifully, defined, curly, frizz free hair.

Q: I had a wonderful summer with my curls. Unfortunately, now that it's getting colder out with far less humidity, my curls are fewer and less defined. How do you cope with the change in weather? I don't want to spend my whole winter season striving and failing to recreate what I had this summer. Changes in routine? Styling products?

Cutler: Use a medium round brush with natural boar bristles to smooth and give lift to the front sections of your part. Then finger dry the underneath by twisting large sections and have the dryer on low speed to achieve a softer wave. This is a great technique when it’s too cold to go out with damp hair.

Q: I get the best curls right before my hair is completely dry. When I fluff and scrunch the scrunch (what there is it) my curls look great for about a nanosecond. Does anyone out there NOT scrunch? If you do scrunch, and your curl tends to lose definition and clumping, what do you do to retain it? I've been using a spray gel, but it's not enough to give my curls hold and hair spray's not an option. Maybe I'm asking for the impossible.

Cutler: I tend not to scrunch dry curly hair. I find it does become frizzy in places. What the hair needs most is moisture. By applying Cutler Curling Cream all over, it will rehydrate the hair, which will give more bounce and definition to your curls. Then you won’t feel the need to weigh your hair down with spray gel.

Q: I am in need of a hair color change! I never know what to do with color and am looking for some advice. I have dark brown hair and fair skin with dark features, so I can't do anything too light. I want to do some kind of highlights or low lights, or whatever, but not necessarily all-over color. I'm also wanting something a little funky because I've had basic highlights and they never show up as much as I'd like.

Cutler: A fantastic look right now for you raven-haired beauties that would like something to brighten -- but not too light or obvious -- is to have some slices of color randomly placed throughout the mid-underneath your hair in light brown to caramel tones. This gives the look that it has been kissed by the sun and gives your hair a little more dimension.

Contact Rodney or read his bio.

Rodney Cutler

Rodney Cutler

Q: My problem is that my curls form at the end of my hair, but it's flatter and straighter at the roots. What can I do to get more volume at the crown?

Cutler: Use a nice, gentle shampoo to cleanse (Redken Fresh Curls) which will also add some bounce. Concentrate Redken Curl Booster at the roots for extra lift. On damp hair, wrap 1-inch sections around your finger from the root to create more of a uniform consistent curl and style as normal.

Q: Please help! I am 45 years old and am tired of my current hairstyle. I have had this style for more than 20 years. It is short all over, shaved in the back lower portion and shaved around my ears. The top and crown are about 1.5 inches long. I get many compliments from older people about my style. I do like the tailored look more than a wild look. I have tight, kinky, coarse curls. It doesn't grow long; it grows "out." I have tried, several times, to grow it out, but get so tired of the "bush" look. I then run as fast as I can to get it cut. I would love to have it about shoulder length. But, I'm just not sure it's possible with my naturally curly hair. I would welcome ANY ideas you may have.

Cutler: Growing your hair out after having short hair for many years is one of the most difficult things -- but not impossible. Two things are important -- what I call "feel good" and "look good." You have to feel good and comfortable with the hairstyle, and our job as a hairdresser is to create a style that looks good. Pictures out of magazines are the best way to convey to your hairdresser what inspires you and makes you feel good. It will help him/her better understand your vision. Make sure that you are seeing a hairdresser that is open to looking at pictures with you.

My recommendation is to keep the shape stylish, even if it means it takes you a little longer to get longer hair. That way, it will look good throughout the whole process of growing out your hair. Also, experiment with headbands, pretty bobby pins and other accessories while you're growing it out. You may, by chance, discover some great in-between lengths that suit you even more than longer hair. It’s about trial without the error.

Q: I have really curly hair -- thick and hard to manage. I always have to straighten my curls because otherwise my curls get all fluffy, and I like to wear my hair down. I really like the look of those models who have such lovely curls all around. But I don't know how they manage them. Do you have any tips on how I can keep my curls from getting fluffy curls around my face?

Cutler: Redefining your curl is not a difficult thing to do. It’s important that you start the process on damp hair. with products that are going to help define the curl. Once your hair is dry, it is really set for the day. You can define the curls by either diffusing it or get a larger, looser, sexy curl by wrapping the hair around two fingers. Today’s "it" look also is to wear it a little flatter at the roots. For extra hold and definition, use a medium to large T3 Twirl curling iron once the hair is dry.

Q: I'm 17 years old, and very involved in the performing arts. I often find that I need to wear my hair rather formally, and I usually break out the flat iron and/or the curling iron. My hair is naturally wavy, and I was wondering if you have any suggestions for hair 'dos that are a little more dressy than the usual "scrunch and go." My poor heat-damaged hair and I would greatly appreciate any ideas!

Cutler: The past few seasons, the red carpet of the Oscars has really been a great resource for some wonderful, casual stylish updos. Gone are the contrived updos of the past. Now we are seeing those stylish, elegant and simple do’s that are worn so wonderfully by Naomi Watts and Kate Hudson, to name a few. My suggestion is to keep it simple.

Q: Everyone talks about how to deal with the increased humidity. But I live in the land of sagebrush and dust. There's even less moisture in the air now than a few months ago. My hair seems a little over-conditioned lately, but I figured that was because I had been going heavy on the conditioners and oils. When I cut out my leave-in conditioner, I get a lot of dry frizz. My curls tend to jump from one extreme to another - either they're weighed down and gross or frizzy and dry. Maybe I should still try cutting back on conditioner or I should use lighter ones? Suggestions? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Cutler: Redken Fresh Curls technology Elastapol has key ingredients – curl memory, anti-humectants, moisture and proteins for strength so you can wash your hair and style it to create long lasting curls.

Q: I have long naturally curly hair. On top of that, I have had to color my gray since I was 13 years old. So I need some recommendations for good products. I want definition, and I do like my hair crunchy, but not too crunchy. I need something that will also take out the frizz. Any suggestions?

Cutler: Cutler Curling Cream will create hold and moisture for your curls. Our latest product, Cutler Definition Cream, has enabled us to incorporate texture and shine. With curly hair, since the cuticle is bent, is not easy. This product is an answer to your curly prayers.

Q: My hair was chemically straightened in 2005. I've been blow-drying and brushing my hair my whole life, so I thought my hair just grew out frizzy. I'd been straightening with a blow-dryer and comb for the past few years.

Cutler: I have a few suggestions. Regulate your hair cuts and treat while you heat. T3’s Featherweight Dryer with ionic technology will moisturize and Cutler Protectant Treatment Spray will protect your hair from the heat.

Q: Recently I discovered that brushing/combing causes frizzies. So after my most recent haircut, I thought I'd try conditioning and air drying without combing. But now my hair gets all tangled. Any suggestions?

Cutler: Combing your hair while it’s damp with a large-tooth comb starting from the bottom and working your way up. Then apply your conditioner and comb while you are in the shower. You shouldn't have any problems with breakage and frizzies.

Rodney Cutler

Rodney Cutler

Q: One thing that's annoying for me is the fact that my hair doesn't curl right from the scalp. It's wavy or just plain straight for about six inches or so. Then it starts to curl. It looks kind of flat on top -- I think it’s due to all the products I have to use to prevent it from getting big and bushy as it dries during the day. Any suggestions on how to make it curly from the scalp, and give it more volume there?

Cutler: Add some layers to remove weight from the hair so that the curl is not pulled out. Use a curl activating product that is not too heavy. Try Cutler Curling Cream or Redken Ringlet.

Q: Is there a way to keep curls nice overnight without sleeping sitting up?

Cutler: Use a trick that grandma used. Sleep on a satin pillowcase. This allows your hair to slide over the pillow's surface, keeping the curl less-disturbed.

Q: My hair was naturally curly nine months ago. I decided to get it permanently straightened (CHI), and now my hair is slowly returning to its curl, with a wave on the crown of my head. I miss my curls and plan to have a perm to quicken the process of getting my natural texture back since I always wear it in a ponytail to hide the wavy hair on my crown. Before I do anything, I'm looking for advice from an expert. Should I go ahead and have a perm or wait for it to naturally return to its natural curl?

Cutler: Do not perm your hair. The reason why it is called "permanently straightened" is because it is permanent. In this situation, it’s best to let your hair grow and return to its natural curl while continuing to trim the straight ends away. Use your curling iron to add some curl to the ends whenever you are having a bad hair day, or to get you through this awkward hump.

Q: After I color my hair — even just the roots — my hair is stringy and difficult for a few days. I'm guessing it's from the weight of the color particles. It takes at least three or four washings for it to get back to normal. Is this normal?

Cutler: The color is creating a super, almost astringent clean feel to your hair. While addingcolor, hair color also cleanses your hair of its natural conditioners. These conditioners help give your hair body, texture and shine, and even add weight to your hair. Next time your hair is colored, use a little more conditioner, leave it on a little longer and rinse it out a little less. Your hair will feel a lot better.

Q: Now that the weather is cooler, I like to wear my hair straight. But I’m not sure which causes less damage –a blow-dryer or a straightening iron. Any thoughts?

Cutler: The answer to this is like the chicken and the egg. With both, you can start with wavy or curly hair and finish with straight hair. It comes down to which you are more comfortable using, and which are you less likely to over do. The most damage is done when the user overdries/overheats the hair. A great way to protect your hair with either method is to first apply a thermal protectant product that will actually treat the hair while protecting it as you heat style it, Teri Hatcher and Rachel Ray love Cutler Protectant Treatment Spray.

Contact Rodney or read his bio.

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