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We asked prominent stylists to tell us about their hair and what it was like growing up with curly hair.

Diane Da Costa

Diane Da Costa,

textured hair expert, Mizani multi-textured expert /creative consultant and author of "Textured Tresses"

Q: What type of texture do you have?

A: If you look on the Mizani Natural Curl Key, my hair is a combination of Type V to Type VI - very curly and coiled. I have a loose afro with medium-size coils.

Q: How did having textured hair affect you growing up? How did you feel about your hair growing up and how has that changed since you became involved in the beauty industry?

A: My entire family has natural textured hair—from loose waves to coily hair. I was very comfortable with natural hair, but always wanted my hair longer and smoother as my hair was a thick and voluminous shoulder-length soft curly-afro hair. My sisters had mid-back length, long smooth wavy and spirally curly hair. So, growing up, I was somewhat envious of their hair. And my mother didn't know how to style my hair — it was more difficult, so she made my older sister do it. She finally made me start styling my own hair when I was about 9 years old. That's how I started in the business as a child.

When I was about 11 years old, I went for a relaxer at the salon so I could be more like my sisters with long and wavy hair. However my hair was relaxed straight.That meant I still had a lot of work to do with my hair, blow drying, roller setting, hot curling etc.

texture

When I got in the industry, that completely changed. I got off all my relaxers, went natural and grew out my natural hair. It was at that point that I started experimenting with all the natural, curly styles and sets my mother would do to my sisters and tried on my hair when we were children. I love my hair for all its curls and versatility. Now with all the styling products and with the ceramic tools we have today, I am able to wear my hair blown straight without any chemicals or worn naturally curly with enhancing products. In the last two to three years, I've enjoyed wearing my hair straight in the fall and the winter. All I have to do is wrap it, dry, blow it out slightly with MIzani ThermaSmooth System and ceramic iron. Because I live in New York and I don't have a texturizer, I wear my hair curly with enhancing products from about April to October.

Q: What do you think are the biggest/most important/most interesting developments in the world of hair texture today?

A: It's amazing that everyone has embraced curly hair in all fashions and forms. Taylor Swift's long curly waves are going to be the next big look for the spring. She's taking the music and entertainment industry by storm, and everyone's going to want her look, whether there are using irons, sets or extensions to complete the look.

It's also quite amazing that there in the last 10 years that so many small, independent companies have been able to develop and manufacture hair care products for naturally curly hair, with natural and organic ingredients for all hair textures. And every salon brand now has a curly line incorporated in their overall product line-up with some natural ingredients included. Twenty years ago there were only about three, there were a handful of products available. Even Mizani, the multi-textured professional brand known for relaxers and treatments, has created True Textures Curl Defining System, which launches this month.

Q: What type of products/tools and what amount of time do you spend on your hair on “curly” days and on “straight” days?

A: On curly days, I'll shampoo and condition my hair and apply a light leave-in cream on my entire head. Then I comb through it with a wide-toothed comb. After I apply a enhancing cream/gel on my entire head, I'll go through the hair with my fingers and finger stretch with some products, section by section. This technique, the Mizani True Textures Free Hand Styling Technique, is part of the new techniques that I have created for the True Textures Styling Collection and Techniques, which includes six styling and three cutting techniques. After, I'll air dry or diffuse to define the curls. Sometimes, I'll place a turban towel on my hair and let the curls set in the towel while I get dress or finish up house chores, then I'll finger comb with a styling cream or gloss for more vibrancy. All this takes about 10 minutes.

When I wear my hair straight, I'll have it straightened with a wrap set, blow dry and ceramic iron in the salon after a weekly shampoo and conditioning treatment. On a daily basis, if I have to refresh the style with the ceramic iron. It takes me about 20-25 minutes, including apply a gloss or styling cream and comb-out.

Q: Any other comments/observations on curly/textured hair?

A: Curly/textured hair is the most versatile, and provides the most options, whether you keep it completely natural or use a texturizer.


Kevin Murphy

Kevin Murphy

Stylist, "Texture Master" and creator of the Kevin Murphy line of products

Q: What type of texture do you have? Describe your hair.

A: I have salt-and-pepper curly hair.

Q: How did having textured hair affect you growing up? How did you feel about your hair growing up and how has that changed since you became involved in the beauty industry?

A: My hair was always really big, and I always felt like a boof head. I was never able to get the style I wanted without a lot of maintenance until I began to make my own hair products, which began in my kitchen at home. I could never get the right texture for my hair and once I made what I needed, a light went on in my head and I thought hmmmm there could be something in this.

Q: What do you think are the biggest/most important/most interesting developments in the world of hair texture today?

A: When I was young you just had to go with your texture, and there really were no products or tools that helped you get what you needed. You just had to suffer looking really goofy. Now there are so many products and great styling tools. If you aren’t happy with your texture you can just go and get a product or a tool and get the hair you want (with a little work, that is).

Q: What type of products/tools and what amount of time do you spend on your hair on “curly” days and on “straight” days?

A: I don’t really have straight days, but I do spend a bit of time with a “Doo Rag.” I apply a moisture cream first and have to flatten my hair with the doo rag and wait. If I try to blow my hair dry, I look like a Bee Gee. From start to finish my hair can take up to 30 minutes, but it’s more of a waiting game.

Q: Any other comments/observations on curly/textured hair?

A: My thing with my curly hair is it has a little temper tantrum every couple of day. You have to get the right thing in at the right time otherwise it's all over. Straight hair really looks the same every day. Even after being a hairdresser for over 30 years, I just can't roll out of bed, if I didn’t have my own range of products dedicated to texture I'd be screwed.


Nick Arrojo

Nick Arrojo

Q: What type of texture do you have? Describe your hair.

A: I have fine, curly hair. In the past I’ve worn it long, but nowadays I go for a short, cropped men’s style.

Q: How did having textured hair affect you growing up? How did you feel about your hair growing up and how has that changed since you became involved in the beauty industry?

A: I didn’t like my curly hair at all as a teenager. It was very different from most of my friends and infuriatingly difficult to manage. Most of the time, I tried to straighten it as best I could, but the results were often disastrous—especially when it rained! Since becoming a professional, I’ve learned to love my curly hair, and I encourage all clients with natural texture to wear it natural. It’s a lot better to work with your natural texture than to try to fight against it.

Q: What do you think are the biggest/most important/most interesting developments in the world of hair texture today?

A: The best thing about modern-day curly hair is how acceptable it has become in our culture to the point where it is actually revered by many. I think that’s a great leap forward for naturally textured tresses. It’s also great to see a lot of products on the market that work really well with curly hair, helping it be what it should be: bouncy, voluptuous and unique. I’ve had clients tell me the ARROJO curl crème has changed their hairstyling life. That’s got to be a good thing.

Q: What type of products/tools and what amount of time do you spend on your hair with curly vs. straight hair?

A: Right now my hair is so short that I only use one product: texture paste. I only spend two minutes working a little paste through for extra texture and definition.

Q: Any other comments/observations on curly/textured hair?

A: You should love and embrace your natural texture. It truly is unique and wonderful.


Michael Crispel

Michael Crispel

KMS California artistic team member from Earth Salon in Toronto

Q: What type of texture do you have? Describe your hair.

A: I have thick and coarse curly hair.

Q: How did having textured hair affect you growing up?

A: I was the FRO child in school and was singled out as the ethnic kid.

Q: How did you feel about your hair growing up and how has that changed since you became involved in the beauty industry?

A: As a child I wanted flat hair that was smooth so I would blend in but as I became a hair stylist I learned to embrace my hair with all the salon products that gave me so many options, from long to short textured—making my hair the most versatile of anyone in the salon.

Q: What do you think are the biggest/most important/most interesting developments in the world of hair texture today?

A: Curly products have come a long way. In the '70s and '80s, it was gel or mousse at best for a natural look. But now we can give hair nutrition and style in the same products.

Q: What type of products/tools and what amount of time do you spend on your hair on "curly" days and on "straight" days?

A: KMS California Curl up Control Cream, with a diffuser, for curly days and Silk Sheen Therapy Plus or straight days

Q: Any other comments/observations on curly/textured hair?

A: We curly people are the most diverse hair type in the world, and the most afraid so for all the hair salons do your home work know your clients and products and proceed with caution!


Lorraine Massey

Lorraine Massey

Q: What type of texture do you have? Describe your hair.

A: I have predominantly corkscrew curls. But when it's ultra humid, the mood ring personality of my curls can change on a whim and become “bottiscrew,” which is a mix of corkscrew and Botticelli! After pulling a curl strand to its actual length and releasing it, its spring-back factor can be as much as 6 inches! That's why it's a disaster when you cut curly hair wet. Anything wet expands, and when it dries, it contracts. It's like a transformer.

Q: How did having textured hair affect you growing up? How did you feel about your hair growing up and how has that changed since you became involved in the beauty industry?

A: I was so young when I figured out "this is it!" me, my curls and I till death do we part! But I was not happy about it until later in life. We curlies are not born loving our hair. We have to learn to love it and if we are lucky to find a curl sponsor who will encourage us on our unavoidably curly path—that is priceless! As a child, the teasing and name calling didn't help either with comments like "with hair like that you don't notice her ankles”!

Q: What do you think are the biggest/most important/most interesting developments in the world of hair texture today?

A: The Devafuser is truly unique and efficient in its design and makes so much "logiCURL" sense! I don't think there are any other developments at the moment—just regurgitated sameness but packaged differently. It's all geared to make you feel you are not quite good enough to really have and love what you are born with!

Q: What type of products/tools and what amount of time do you spend on your hair on “curly” days and on “straight” days?

A: Frizz and curly hair is still severely misunderstood! Unruly is a word I hear all the time in the media, and I do not like it! As they say in text book, "unruly children are looking for consistency." Same goes for curls! When your consistent in your approach, you get consistency back. I started to love my curls the day i stopped shampooing! So no shampoo equals no sulfates. Add superior conditioners and alcohol and silicone free gels. Love me as I am and do not disturb curls in progress.

The only straight I do is talk straight or straight to bed (but always curly to rise). I am a 100 percnet committed Curly Girl, and I spend such little time on my curls because fuss equals frizz. For me it’s about truly radiCurl simplicity.

Q: Any other comments/observations on curly/textured hair?

A: When the word "texturized" is applied to natural textured hair, it really concerns me since curly hair is nothing but texture naturally, and with what I have observed over the last 10 years by committing to the natural selection, is what can happen naturally in the hair is far more beautiful than anything I can manufacture, "ManuFracture" or impose upon! It's very humbling and goes against all we in the hair biz have been trained to do!


Ouidad

Ouidad

Q: What type of texture do you have? Describe your hair.

A: I have a combination of tight and loose curls. When I was younger my hair was so thick that if I ran my hands through it, I would lose any rings I had on my fingers.

Q: How did texture hair affect you growing up? How did you feel about your hair growing up and how has that changed since you became in the beauty industry?

A: I grew up in Beirut, Lebanon where everyone has beautiful curly hair of all shapes and sizes and color. It was the norm! When I came to the United States, people would make fun of my sister’s and my curls and no one knew how to work with curls or how to handle them.

This motivated me to be the pioneer of the curly hair industry by establishing the first salon dedicated to curly hair and creating the first product line specifically for curls. Since I started my curly hair crusade 25 years ago, the curly hair segment has grown tremendously and a lot more attention is paid to it.

Q: What do you think are the biggest/most important/most interesting developments in the world of texture today?

A: Today texture is celebrated—it’s big, it’s beautiful, it’s sexy. It has a language of its own and it’s sought after in all aspects of fashion, beauty and design.

Q: What type of products/tools, and what amount of time do you spend on your hair on “curly” days and on “straight” days?

A: What’s a “straight” day? I only have one kind of day with my hair—CURLY! It takes 5 minutes to do my hair, and it lasts for two to three days. I use a range of my products and my Double Detangler both as a comb and as a styling tool for my hair. The sky’s the limit with my Double Detangler—it gives me the opportunity to create any type of curl or wave pattern.

Q: Any other comments/observations on curly/textured hair?

A: I believe textured/curly hair is regal and the most beautiful hair in the world. It has so much dimension and plays up the features of its owner.


Dickey

Dickey

Q: What are the different textures of hair and how can you determine which texture you have? Once you do, how can you figure out how to best care for your texture?

A: Texture can easily be broken down by kinky, curly wavy or straight. To really confuse you, most people have multiple textures on on head of hair, but there is still a dominant kinky, curly, wavy or straight. Women who have the most problem identifying with their hair texture are ones that have found it to be a problem- the kinkys and the curlys. Because of the lack of info or knowledge on how to deal with those textures until recently, women often end up chemically altering and thermally manipulating their hair, some from the earliest age of 7 for the next 30 years and are just now trying to rediscover their natural texture. The best way to familiarize yourself with your texture is by gently feeling the root area (if in fact you're relaxed) or gently caressing your natural texture while wet. Go to the mirror and look at these textures that come to life when wet and soft. Add conditioner to wet hair to see even more definition in your true texture. The first line of defense for any texture is to make sure you're using an appropriate cleanser. Using a non suds, sulfate free cleanser such as Daily Cleansing Cream will ensure you're hair is left clean and hydrated, without stripping hair of its natural oils. This helps hair to retain its softness and pliability, which unleashes its optimal potential, unlike conventional shampoos that prevent those textures from looking their best and make it difficult for you to recognized your true texture. Using a non suds cleanser helps your conditioner work more effectively and be the super softening conditioning treatment that you always hoped your conditioner to be. Unfortunately, those conventional shampoos made it difficult for that to happen. Your conditioner spent most of its time dealing with the damaging effects of the shampoo rather than hydrating to its fullest potential. Try using Hair Rules Quench ultra rich conditioner. This thick, concentrated conditioner, hydrates, moisturizes and softens the dryest, parched, hard hair. Do you see the common theme here? Moisture. Every texture needs it. For finer textures,this is where conditioning becomes optional, using as a treatment or a light weight conditioner such as Hair Rules Nourishment Leave In conditioner. Similar to a light moisturizer on your skin before makeup, this leave in conditioner will hydrate without weighing the hair down. Now here's where all of this affords you to use more light-weight styling products. The hair is hydrated, in its fullest potential allowing your styling products to work better without heavy, sticky, hard, waxy results. A new generation of styling products that have a dual purpose leaving hair both conditioned and perfectly defined, will help you maximize your hair texture. The first rule in dealing with texture is, with kinky being the more severe in curl pattern and most fragile of all textures, the care of this texture is not from the standpoint of maintaing a straight style (which you can usually wear 4-5 days without touching water.) Wash and wear results can be achieved every day, for kinky/curly textures, but don't go longer than three days before repeating your wash and wear style. This will help your curl pattern stay detangled and hydrated so it doesn't dry out, become brittle and break off. The second rule is to get a proper hair cut every 3 months, with the ends being adequately cut when straight. You can't cut what you can't see on hair that is tightly wound (with shrinkage and a ziz-zag pattern.) The timing of these hair cuts is more essential than anything. Hair grows 1/4 inch to a 1/2 inch a month. If over a period of three months, you've gained an inch and a half, the idea is that you're only cutting 1/4 or less of an inch. This means you've gained length! Taking all of this in to account when caring for your texture will help you achieve salon results at home, helping you to love and honor your hair.

Q: What was your inspiration behind creating the Hair Rules product line? The Hair Rules salon?

A: Built on a heritage of beauty, education and community, Hair Rules New York is the FIRST and ONLY multi-textural salon in the U.S., offering the healthiest approach to hair care and styling as a means toward evolving mindset, changing perceptions and influencing practice. Our goal is to help our clients re-discover their natural texture, embrace the versatility it offers, and wear it however they choose- but via healthy, responsible methods. We offer an elite team of stylists and colorists, all trained in the safe and healthy approach to hair care, color, texturizers, relaxers and styling methods. At Hair Rules, we understand that while all hair textures are not created equal, they should be treated equally. The brand came first, delivering top notch, truthful results, while the salon was created as a platform for education and sharing the truth.

Q: It seems as though women with “non-straight” hair have a complicated relationship with their hair type and texture. Why do you think this is?

A: The many faces of the beauty industry, be it hairdressers that started out in beauty school learning how to process hair and not deal with it in its natural state to the mass market manufacturers of beauty products that market products based on ethnicity rather than the texture specific approach that should be taken, have confused the consumer. The Hair Rules approach to beauty is a truthful approach, designed to offer the healthiest approach to hair care and styling as a means toward evolving mindset, changing perceptions and influencing practice.

Q: What do you tell women who are trying to embrace their natural texture but are apprehensive about how they will be perceived?

A: This is a natural evolution. Once you plant the seed and expand perceptions of beauty, women will move in a more positive, comfortable direction when they start to see images of themselves portrayed more beautifully in media. We can only influence women and build their trust from a truthful, honest approach. Truth allows you to feel comfortable in your skin.

0 Comments
Okay...now I'm starting to get confused. IDK if my hair is wavy or curly? HELP!
I grew up with people actually making fun of my curly hair. Now, sometimes I notice young kids do, high schoolers, but usually I think it is someone who doesn't accept that they have curly hair. I am older now and realize what my parents told me is true. Life is to be lived not spent straightening your hair for three hours, just to have it curl again when you go out the door. I finally like my hair now thanks to Naturallycurly.com
I love Dickey's very simple classification - kinky, curly, wavy, straight - and also the "before" and "now" photos - they're great!
Great insight/advice/tips from all the hairdressers, esp. Dickey. I do find it ironic that Nick Arrojo talks about embracing true hair texture/curls when during his tenure at What Not to Wear - he rarely if ever let a curly girl remain curly!
great article!!!

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