Articles By Toree Roy

sprial solutions

Shantelle Small

Shantelle Smail did not like her fine curly hair when she was growing up.

“I was a girly-girl in love with makeup, perfume, and all that good stuff, but I hated my hair,” Small says. “My hair was always fine and somewhat wavy, but it didn’t go curly till I was nearing puberty.”

So all throughout middle school and high school, she had her hair chemically straightened, and she says for years many of her friends didn’t even know she had a head full of naturally curly hair.

“I thought that it would always be my fate to fight with my hair,” she says.

However, in 1990, while living in England and watching a morning television show she discovered John Frieda and fell in love with his frizz-fighting hair products. After seeing how John Frieda transformed frizzy hair into “glorious heads of defined, shiny frizz-free curls" with his Frizz-Ease serum, she immediately went searching for the product and used it.

spiral solutions

Caitlin's Conditioner and Curl Enhancing Treatment

“For the first time thought I could love my curls because they looked fantastic and that started my obsession with making the most of my natural curls,” Small says.

Small refers to herself as a “do-it-yourselfer” and she says that she was always trying to make things better.

In college she majored in chemistry because she loved makeup and she wanted to develop cosmetics.

“I became a serious label-reader when I started being able to decipher all the chemicals that were in the cosmetics and hair and body care products on the market,” she says. “I would look at a product and I wanted to make it myself but better.”

spiral solutions

Deeply Decadent Moisturizing Treatment

By the time she graduated from college she was married with two kids. She ended up getting her degree in business but she had had a lot of education in math, science and chemistry.

“I learned to mix up my own concoctions for my hair and body but they were just simple things that I didn’t even use recipes for: A spray mist for dealing with my bedhead every day and an oil blend to soothe my sensitive scalp,” she says.

One day her son’s fiancé, Caitlin Borland, wanted a conditioner that would make her nearly waist-length highlighted hair soft and shiny.

“The “do-it-yourselfer” in me was happy to take on the challenge,” Small says. “I made some, gave it to her and she loved it.”

spiral solutions

Emollience Hair and Scalp Oil

Small says that Caitlin is the person who encouraged her to think about selling the conditioner and the idea of Spiral Solutions Hair Care was born.

The Spiral Solutions Hair Care line was launched in January 2010; there are currently eight hair and body products available.

The products include:

  • Deeply Decadent Moisturizing Treatment
  • Firm Hold Styling Gel
  • Strength & Shine Protein Spray
  • Emollience, Hair & Scalp Oil
  • Caitlin’s Conditioner and Curl Enhancing Jelly.

Almost all of these products do double duty; they not only can work on your hair but also as body butter and after-shower moisture creams.

The prices range from $12-$18 and the most popular product is the Firm Hold Styling Gel. The gel has aloe vera and a natural silicone alternative that gives the hair a shiny appearance and a silky feel.

Small says that people also use this product as a curl enhancer during the summer and that it works really well for them.

spiral solutions

Firm Hold Styling Gel

“Once this product dries it feels like there’s nothing in your hair; it just feels silky and soft,” she says.

Almost all of her products can be used on every type of hair and she says that women with fine, curly hair love her products.

“I have fine, curly hair and if the products didn’t work for me then they wouldn’t go in my line,” she says.

Spiral Solutions Hair care products are available at through Etsy, a site that allows entrepreneurs who make homemade products to sell their products. Small’s business is headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and her products are also available in two Colorado Springs salons, Studio 111 and Spiral Evolution.

Small hopes to expand her line and she currently has five to six products in the works. She also wants to develop products that can help women with 4c curls or women with thicker and coarser hair.

spiral solutions

Strength and Shine Protein Spray

“The challenge is that all ‘curlies’ don’t have the same needs and I’m trying to keep that in mind with my newer products,” she says.

Small says she wants her customers to feel as though their having a spa experience while using her products.

“I use only the finest ingredients, and I try to keep the products as natural as I can, but the chemistry lover in me looks for the best modern ingredients to use as well,” she says. “I utilize a mix of nature and science when I’m designing a product. I also focus on RESULTS. I want every curly girl out there to love her curls as much as I have come to love my own. That means products have to deliver.”

Small feels that her knowledge of business practices and chemistry will help make her business more successful.

“I really feel that I’ve come full circle. I began with a love of chemistry and a desire to design my own products, ended up getting my degree in business, and now I’m utilizing everything I’ve learned to bring my products to the public.”

The proof is in the pudding or in this case the Brazilian keratin treatment. Although there are several types of keratin treatments on the market, many hair stylists and keratin experts agree on several basic post-treatment hair care methods.

First things first: what exactly is keratin and how does it affect hair?

Keratin is a strong protein that is found in skin, hair, nails and teeth. The chemical aldehyde, a derivative of formaldehyde, works with the keratin to help make hair smoother, healthier and less frizzy. Most, but not all, keratin treatments contain an aldehyde.

Although there are different keratin treatments, there are a few staple post-care treatment methods that every client who has recently had the treatment should follow.

In a small salon in Round Rock, Texas, called Trashy Roots Salon, hair stylists use a keratin treatment method called Pravana Keratin Fusion Texture Control, which is one of the keratin treatments that does not contain any aldehydes.

After a client receives this treatment, Pravana artistic educator Anna Craig suggests that she use Pravana Keratin Fusion shampoo, conditioner and Thermal Insulator (a heat-protecting product) to help maintain the integrity of the treatment.

Craig also says that clients should not shampoo or swim for 48 hours.  She also says that clients should not put clips, pony tails, etc., in their hair. This will ensure that the hair will not have any bends in it.  However, a client can color her hair after 48 hours.

Tracy Kollmer, a distributor liaison with M&M International Inc. gives the dos and don’ts of the Marcia Teixeira Brazilian Keratin Treatment, yet another type of keratin treatment available to clients.

Braziliant Keratin Treatment Products

Marcia Teixeira has three different formulas that accommodate any hair texture. There’s the original Brazilian Keratin Treatment, which is best used on fine- to medium-textured hair, the Chocolate Extreme De-frizzing Treatment and Advanced Brazilian Keratin Treatment, which is best suited for coarse, kinky, resistant hair.

The Advanced formula can be rinsed out on the same day, and clients can shampoo in 24 hours instead of waiting 3 or 4 days as is necessary with the original or chocolate treatments.

Kollmer says that several days following the treatment clients should not apply any products to their hair. They should avoid getting their hair wet (i.e. working out, or otherwise perspiring profusely).

“If the hair does get wet, or if any marks are noticed (i.e. upon waking up), clients should immediately touch up with a blow dryer or flat iron,” she says.

Kollmer also emphasizes that clients should not need to use any products after their first shampoo because the results of the treatment should leave their hair frizz-free, smooth, shiny and manageable. However, if a client does decide to use products, she should read the labels carefully to make sure the products are free of sodium chloride, sulfates and alcohol.

“It’s important to avoid sodium chloride and sulfates because they will strip the cuticle faster, and accelerate how quickly the results fade.  Sulfates create more sudsing action which will open the cuticle and strip both keratin and moisture from the hair, while sodium chloride (salt) will do the same thing,” Kollmer says.

If a client wants to go swimming in chlorinated or salt water, she should apply a leave-in conditioner to her hair or wet her hair with clear water first so that the hair is already saturated. When already saturated, the hair will absorb that much less additional chlorinated or salt water.

“This is not hugely effective in preventing results from starting to fade, but it can be helpful,” Kollmer says. “Clients should rinse their hair with clear water as soon as possible after getting out of a pool or the ocean to eliminate as much residue as possible until they can shampoo.”

Many women with naturally curly or wavy hair may ask if getting a keratin treatment will not only help straighten their hair but still allow them to keep their natural texture.

Kollmer has the perfect advice to ease these concerns, at least in terms of the Marcia Teixeira products.

“If it is a client’s goal to eliminate frizz but maintain some of their curl, they can use the original formula and wash their hair in 1½ to 2 days instead of waiting 4 days. The Advanced Brazilian Keratin Treatment is also an option for this purpose, but the initial results will be straighter,” Kollmer says.

Oddly enough, Kollmer also says that their treatments will last longer on previously chemically treated hair (colored, highlighted, relaxed, etc.) than on natural, virgin hair. The reason for this is that the cuticle of virgin hair is likely to be less porous than that of chemically treated hair thus the results of the first treatment may not be as dramatic.

Overall, because there are several kinds of keratin treatments, some post-care hair methods may be different but all in all many agree that these aforementioned methods are standard.

So take heed of what products you decide to use after getting a keratin treatment, just say no to swimming, and although you may be dying to wear that cute hair band you better think twice if you want your new 'do to last.

It all started in a kitchen.

“Some friends of mine were making their own [natural hair products] and we were talking about how expensive natural hair care products are and I decided, why not just make my own?,” says Pamela Jenkins, founder of Koils by Nature, a company that provides homemade completely natural hair care and skin products.

After Pamela realized that the ingredients for natural beauty products were inexpensive, she came up with the logo and name and then the company’s Web site went live in December 2008 and product shipment began in March 2009.

Pamela used to work as a network engineer for the government and decided to leave that job in November 2009 and now she pursues Koils by Nature full time.

Pamela creates all of her products in her the comfort of her own kitchen in Temple Hills, Maryland, and she plans on moving production to her basement because she needs a larger work area.

“I feel that it’s important to make my own products,” she says.

As her company expands, she says she still wants to continue hand-making her products but that she may hire other employees as demand increases for her products.

“I want to make sure that I keep the integrity of the products,” Jenkins says. “I want to make sure the people are still getting great quality products.”

Pamela is also working on getting a master’s degree in herbal studies from Tai Sophia Institute in Laurel, Maryland.

Pamela says her prices are what make her company different from other natural beauty product companies. Koils by Nature has several products ranging in price from $6 to $30.

She started out making hair products for herself and then she began researching different ingredients and began creating and producing different products on a larger scale.

The most popular product is the Nourishing Hair and Body Butter Sweet Almonds Joy. It is a butter that can be used not only on your hair but as a moisturizing lotion for your body. This versatility is one of the main reasons why these body/hair butters are so popular.

"Thanks so much—the product is so versatile; I think that's what is most appealing to me because I can not only put it in my hair but after I shower it works as a great skin moistener for this rough Michigan winter skin. [I] love it, [and] will be ordering more products soon. Thank you again for asking my opinion, I'm honored,” says Crystal Wilburn, a customer from Detroit, MI who posted a testimonial on the Web site.

Other body/hair butter scents include unscented, Marvelous Mango, Citrus Bliss, Heavenly Delight and Wonderful Watermelon.

These butters come in three sizes: 4 ounces, 8 ounces and 16 ounces.

Koils by Nature also provides alcohol-free herbal gels, stimulating hair-growth serums, leave-in conditioners, hair and skin products for men and gift baskets that serve as great presents for men or women.

Customers can buy her products on the Koils by Nature Web site by using PayPal or a Google pay account. Pamela also takes orders over the phone and accepts money orders. Currently these products are only available online, but Pamela’s next step is to try and sell her products in Whole Foods stores in her area.

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