Salute to Stylists Contest Reveals Boom in Curl-Friendly Stylists and Salons


2011-02-17 11:25:03

Salute to Stylists Contest Reveals Boom in Curl-Friendly Stylists and Salons

See who you picked for best curl-friendly stylist and read why many stylists and salons are making curly and kinky hair their specialty

You've Got Curls

You've Got Curls teaches participants to work with texture

Much of this growth has come over the past five years, with salons popping up in cities around the world—salons like Curls & Co. in Chicago, IL and Curl Lounge in Raleigh, NC; Kinky, Curly Straight Salon in South Euclid, OH and Me My Curls and I in San Diego, CA. The trend stretches around the globe, from Purely Natural in London, England to Curl Ambassadors in Toronto, Ontario, which recently opened a second location. And it's not limited to salons with the word "curl" or "kinks" in the name. Most salons now make it a priority to train their stylists in the ways of curls, and stylists are filling texture training classes at hair shows.

It's a curl revolution that could have a profound effect on how curlies feel about their hair—especially younger girls who now can grow up embracing their kinks and curls rather than fighting them.

"This has been my passion," says Melanie Higgins, a curl specialist at Seasons Salon & Spa in Lexington, KY. "I look at hair as a fabric. It's not about race." For many stylists, their passion for curls started close to home. Higgins, who went natural six years ago, struggled with how to work with her own natural texture. Since becoming a stylist in 2005, she trained with different stylists to learn the best techniques for working with curls and kinks, learning the "volumetrix" technique from Philip Pelusi.

Last August, she hosted her first workshop called "You've Got Curls," teaching participants about how to work with their curls and kinks. She recently launched to promote her curl passion. "When you're trying to figure out what you want to do, you try everything," Higgins says. "I realized this is me. I'm so happy. It allowed me to experience different angles and bring it back to the chair," Higgins says.

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As co-founder of, a website for curly hair she began with her business partner and friend, Gretchen Heber, Michelle Breyer helped create the leading community and resource for people with curly hair. Frustrated by the lack of information on curly hair and the limited products available in the marketplace, the duo launched the site in 1998 with the help of a 14-year-old web designer. When Procter & Gamble called three years later to advertise to the® audience, Breyer knew they had indeed created a force in the industry, providing helpful information and unparalleled expertise for what was then considered a niche market.