Our Columnists' Bios
Titi Branch developed her passion and expertise for curly hair as a founder of Miss Jessie’s Salon and Miss Jessie’s Products.
Within a few short years Miss Jessie’s products like “Curly Pudding” have become a cult favorite on the lips of curlies in the know. Setting the overall direction of the Miss Jessie’s brand has meant bringing that vision back to the curly haired client. “Working in the salon for so many years has given me the opportunity to deliver to the curly haired client exactly what they want: solution oriented products produced with the highest grade of natural ingredients."
E-mail questions for Titi here; please put "Titi" in the subject field.
Christo started his career in his teens, apprenticing in a salon owned by a family member in Europe. He pursued his career in Europe and attended classes in Paris which provided him with the opportunity to work in leading salons all over Europe. In 1994 in search of bigger goals, he made his way to New York where he was the creative director for a top salon as he tutored and educated color and cutting techniques over Europe and Asia. Christo's philosophy is to give people with curly hair the freedom and flexibility to style their hair any way they prefer. After working with thousands of curly hair clients, Christo understands the needs and desires of every person with curly hair. In 2002, falling in love with the energy of New York City, Christo decided to make his permanent base in the heart of Manhattan -- Fifth Avenue. He opened his Aegean Chineserie style workshop and launched Curlisto Systems.
E-mail questions for Christo here; please put "Christo" in the subject field.
Diane Da Costa
Diane Da Costa
Celebrities like Lauryn Hill and Lenny Kravitz have flocked to Diane Da Costa for help with their natural hair for years.Da Costa is the author of Textured Tresses: The Ultimate Guide to Maintaining and Styling Natural Hair. She believes that whether you lock it, braid it, weave it, twist it or knot it, keeping it coily, curly, wavy and natural is the future of hairstyling. She recently launched her DaCosta Beauty line of hair products.E-mail questions for Diane here; please put "Diane" in the subject field.
Rodney Cutler, founder of Cutler Salon, is one of the top New York stylists, known for his innovative techniques and for creating sexy, healthy hair. He has been featured in top national and regional consumer publications and television programs such as Make Me A Supermodel, the Today Show, Rachael Ray and InStyle magazine, among others. In addition to running his successful salons, Rodney Cutler leads a talented, friendly and unpretentious staff of 150, 30 of whom are editorial stylists consistently working on cover shoots and fashion spreads. His celebrity clientele include Rachael Ray, Jamie King, Gavin DeGraw and Jordin Sparks.
E-mail questions for Rodney here; please put "Rodney" in the subject field.
Anthony Dickey has spent the better part of his 20-year styling career — both on set and in the salon — trying to dispel the myth among women with kinky, curly and wavy hair that their texture is problematic or unruly. Or that it needs to look different in order for them to feel pretty, socially accepted or simply, to blend in. Touted as a "Style Svengali" by the "New York Times," Dickey has mastered the mystery of textured hair to create iconic hairstyles for designers, advertisers, photographers and celebrities alike. Minnie Driver, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kelis, Michelle Obama and Alicia Keyes are but a few notables he has styled for publications including "Vogue," "Vanity Fair," "Essence," "Vibe" and "Harper's Bazaar."
He has worked at world-class salons such as Oribe, John Frieda and Louis Licari, where clients ranged from high-powered Wall Street executives to stay-at-home moms. In 2003, he penned "Hair Rules! The Ultimate Hair Care Guide for Women with Kinky, Curly, or Wavy Hair" (Random House, 2003), pioneering a new standard of hair care and styling solutions for a multi-textural world.
Inspired by the success of his book and the enthusiastic response from women around the world, Dickey recently launched the Hair Rules ine of products for kinky, curly or wavy hair.
E-mail questions for Anthony here; please put "Anthony" in the subject field.
Before becoming a licensed barber or having kids of her own, Cozy Friedman was struck by a revolutionary idea: create a salon where kids are a priority, not a nuisance. Inspired by a friend’s tale of her little nephew’s tearful visit to an intimidating — and unwelcoming — grownup salon, Cozy investigated the market and discovered that parents were clamoring for a salon dedicated to junior cuts.
After earning her barber’s license, Cozy opened the doors to her first salon on Madison Avenue in New York City. Staffed with stylists attuned to the unique needs of children and stocked with the latest, greatest toys, Cozy’s Cuts for Kids was an instant success. Instead of dreading their next trim, kids actually looked forward to haircuts. Parents were thrilled to put their children’s precious hair in the hands of experts equally trained in handling kids and their hair.
14 years, three salons — Madison Avenue, Upper Westside and East 74th St. — and two kids later, Cozy continues to provide stress-free cuts for New York kids. In response to client demand, Cozy has also created So Cozy Hair Care For Children, the first-ever “designer” line of hair care products created exclusively for kids. With paraben-free formulas specifically designed to gently and naturally treat children’s hair without sodium laurel or laureth sulfate. Available nationwide, the unique formulas are made with gentle, nourishing ingredients and yummy scents for a completely kid-friendly bath time experience. While New York celebs like Kelly Ripa and Matt Lauer have always counted on Cozy’s cuts for their little ones, now parents everywhere can tame their kids’ hair with So Cozy products.
E-mail questions for Cozy here; please put "Cozy" in the subject field.
Linda JonesSince her first gathering in 1998, Linda Jones — aka Mosetta — has hosted dozens of Hair Days — stress-free, casual workshops where women can learn how to wear their hair in natural, traditional African styles. The veteran award-winning Dallas journalist has built the Nappy Hair Affair Inc. into a successful business. She has becom a nappy pride fanatic, holding lectures, producing nappy friendly videos, DVDs, cultural enrichment workshops, a stage production and a book.
Celebrating her 10th year of membership at NaturallyCurly, Rouquinne (Angela Lukach) lives in London, Ontario where she is a mild-mannered civil servant by day and glamourous makeup diva by night.
Her obsession with makeup began before the age of 10, when she would play with her aunt's miniature Avon lipsticks. It was further enhanced when she embarked on an operatic career in the 1980s, said career being an excuse to play dress up. She has been a loyal customer of MAC Cosmetics since meeting founder Frank Toskan in 1984.
Single and approaching her 50th birthday, Rouquinne lives in a small downtown bungalow where her jewel-box of a dressing room is crammed with strappy gold sandals, giraffe-print handbags, sunhats and a makeup-filled vanity-table overlooked by her favourite poster of Rita Hayworth.
Contact Angela here.
Tonya McKayTonya McKay holds a B.S. in Chemistry and an M.S. in Polymer Science . She was privileged to do her graduate research under the tutelage of Dr. Robert Y. Lochhead, a colloid and polymer physical chemist, world-renowned for his expertise and inventions in a variety of industries and applications, most especially cosmetics and personal care. Upon completion of her master's, she spent several years working in industry as a research scientist, honing her skills and understanding in both the fundamentals of polymer science and applications thereof. Although her employment has not always been in the field of personal care and cosmetics during her career, Ms. McKay has worked on and led various research projects for major corporations in the field, both suppliers and end product manufacturers. An ever-curious curly herself, Tonya has applied herself to developing an understanding of how curly hair differs from straight and how the ingredients used on curly hair affect its health and beauty. Her passion for the complex interdisciplinary science of personal care products and skin and hair continues to grow, and she enthusiastically pursues new knowledge in this field and shares that knowledge by writing articles on the subject. Currently on hiatus from her professional career as a scientist while she fulfills the many duties of being a mom, Tonya looks forward to returning to her work on her PhD, where she will continue to develop expertise in the area of polymers, biochemistry/biomaterials, colloids and the physical chemistry of complex systems. Email your questions to Tonya.
Since 1982, Ouidad (pronounced wedôd) was the very first stylist and salon owner in the country to specialize in curly hair. Today, editors at national fashion and beauty magazines consult Ouidad regularly and consider her to be the "Queen of Curl." Ouidad combined scientific knowledge with an understanding of curly hair's special needs. She takes an active part in formulating and creating her line of protein and vitamin enriched hair products that work with antioxidants to make curls defined, soft, shiny and manageable.Her name has become synonymous with curly hair, as well as her famous trademark cutting technique "Carving and Slicing."
E-mail questions for Ouidad here; please put "Ouidad" in the subject field.
Suzanne Schroeder, aka "CurlySuzy," began her obsession with curls and finding the perfect product combinations the minute she walked through NaturallyCurly.com's doors. Like most curlies, she spent a lot of her life fighting the curls and frizz with blow outs, short haircuts and lots of scarves and hats. Once great curls became a reality, she left her old ways behind her. Inspiring many curlies to embrace their curls, she has become the 24/7 go-to gal for product advice and managing the many ways of curls. Suzanne has listened to and read hundreds of curly hair stories and always tries to suggest products and styling routines that are best for each Curly. Our curls are as unique as our personality.
E-mail questions for CurlySuzy here.
Master stylist and curly hair guru Jonathan Torch has gained an international reputation for his expertise in working with curly hair. His Toronto salon boasts a huge clientele of curly headed individuals. He developed Curly Hair Solutions -- a silk-based product line -- to meet the individual needs of curly hair. In January, 2004, he opened the Jonathan Torch Curly Hair Institute in Toronto -- a salon and training academy dedicated to curly hair.E-mail questions for Jonathan here; please put "Jonathan" in the subject field.