When Cala Sabella Mahoney opened her salon three decades ago in Beverly, Mass., it was a family salon focused on children’s haircuts. Since completing her first Curlaboration training with Devachan Salon in 2005, the Cala Renee Salon now is the go-to salon for curly girls around the country.
NaturallyCurly: What made you decide to become a stylist?
Cala: I was inspired by my parents to own my own company and I was better with my hands than I was with my studies. I think the final decision was made when I went to a stylist and requested a particular haircut and got the complete opposite, I was very upset and I knew I could do a better job with Curly hair clients like myself.
NaturallyCurly: Do you have a technique you use for cutting curly hair, and does it very depending upon the texture?
Cala: I will always stay true to curl-by-curl dry cutting. Whether the hair is wavy or super curly, I look at it like a jigsaw puzzle, I want each curl and wave to fit together perfectly with the pieces around it.
NaturallyCrurly: You have several curl experts in your salon. How do find people who are skilled in working with curls?
Cala: I try to make it to the local schools once or twice a year for a look-and -earn session with Curls, from that visit, I spread the word we are hiring. I like to take new stylists right from school and train them myself.
NaturallyCurly: How do you hone your skills?
Cala: I love education! I attend at least four to eight classes a year. I think your mind and skills always need to be challenged, we can all learn something no matter how long we have been doing something.
NaturallyCurly: How important is a consultation before cutting a curly girls hair?
Cala: Curlygirl consultation is the key to success. I like to take a seat with my curly girls and talk eye to eye before I even drape them. I need to understand what they expect from me as a stylist and what they are hoping their hair will look like in the end result. Being honest with your client and letting them know that sometimes, they may not get instant results or that their hair may not look like this or that is very important during the consultation so no one is disappointed when the appointment is over,
NaturallyCurly: Do you ever have clients who come in with unrealistic expectations, and how do you work with them to insure realistic expectations?
Cala: Absolutely! It is important for me to know where a client inspirations lie for their hair. And it is my responsibility as a professional to let them know what their hair can achieve. Pictures are key in this situation so the client can see what to expect. This way there is no question at the end of what she asked for and what I gave her as an expectation.
NaturallyCurly: What are the hottest trends when it comes to curly hair?
Cala: Right now, layers, big hair and bangs are big!
NaturallyCurly: What are your favorite curly cocktails?
Cala: I have loved layering Devacurl Ultra Defining Gel and DevaCurl Set it Free, but when I cocktail products, I love Innersense Organic Beauty I Create Volume and Innersense Quiet Calm for a fresh wash-and-go style.
NaturallyCurly: Can you share a few of your favorite curl tips - things curly girl can do at home.
Cala: My best tips for curly girls are:
- Get a satin pillowcase. That lets you have great 2nd, 3rd and 4th day hair.
- Apply your styling products in the shower. Flip your hair and scrunch some water from the hair before grabbing your favorite styler. I love the moist air and soaking wet hair to apply my products this always gives me best curl sets
- The best microfiber towel for me is the Turbie Twist, But don't leave it in there too long (Just enough to get dry and dressed.)
NaturallyCurly: Who are the stylists that inspire you? I
Cala: n the 80's-90's I was inspired by Robert Cromeans, Then I met Lorraine Massey! I continue to be inspired by her and the Curly World Community