Christin Brown is an Advanced Deva-Inspired Stylist and colorist at her boutique, LunaBella Makeup & Hair in Santa Barbara. Her dedication to educating her clients is one thing that sets her apart from other stylists. She travels nationwide providing her services.
NaturallyCurly: What made you decide to become a stylist?
Christin: The funny thing is that I accidentally fell into hair. I was a chef before cosmetology, but my partner needed a hairstylist to help build her budding makeup company. I agreed to help her until she found a “real” hairstylist. I did weddings and photoshoots for almost four years before deciding that I needed to commit to my newfound passion, which was curly hair. The rest is history.
NaturallyCurly: What made you decide to specialize in texture?
Christin: I decided to specialize in natural textures because it was the first thing in this new career that spoke to me. When I first met my partner 17 years ago, she was the very first person who introduced me to my own natural hair. My hair was chemically relaxed at the time, and she assured me that if I did a big chop, then I would finally get a chance to see what my hair actually wanted to do. Of course I was terrified, but she was so confident at her knowledge of what my hair could/ would do, that I was ready for me to meet “me.” I knew that if this was my beginning into a curl journey, how many other people in the world have similar stories like mine? That became the ah-ha moment of realizing that if I was going to be in this industry, I was going to make a difference in the lives of people like me, curly.
NaturallyCurly: How would you describe your technique?
Christin: My technique and approach to curly hair is simple: give the curls what they want, give the clients what they need, and let nature do its thing. So often, we try to manipulate and over work the hair, especially when it comes to wavy hair and natural textures. But what I like to do is take the kid-gloves approach to a client’s past because there is typically a layer of trauma hidden within their hair story. I hear them. I listen to them. Then the two of us devise a plan that will give us more successful days versus them troubleshooting by themselves. Setting a client up for success through education and positive reinforcement is truly the recipe for success.
NaturallyCurly: How have you honed your technique over the years?
Christin: I have absolutely honed my technique over the years. I’ve gone from taking more of the standard model approach of how to cut curly hair to more of a personalized approach to every person. Let’s be honest. We are all different. We are all unique. Some of us even have multiple types of textures on one head of hair. Sometimes the standard version or technique does not always apply the same way to everyone. You have to switch it up, be willing to take risks, and learn from every opportunity with every single client.
NaturallyCurly: You work with a wide variety of textures. What are some of the different considerations when working with looser waves rather than tight coils?
Christin: When it comes to working with different textures, technique is not one-size-fits-all approach. For example, a client with wavy hair may not have as much of a “spring factor” or recoil on their strands versus someone who has coils like mine. When it comes to a much tighter coil, you have to be so careful to not cut too much or apply tension to the hair when cutting. Many have made the mistake of going too short because they’re unaware of how much length can be lost with tighter curls. Different curl patterns have different needs and guidelines. There’s nothing wrong with that, but as artists, we need to know all of the rules before engaging.
NaturallyCurly: Who are the stylists that inspire you?
Christin: The stylists that inspire me the most are the ones that will come behind me. This new wave of stylists give me hope because they immediately want to know about curly hair and they embrace these textures. They are eager and ready to soak up all of the knowledge about curly hair, and they constantly reach out to say how much I inspire them. It’s the perfect cycle of aspiration, motivation, and recognition. I see them and they see me.
NaturallyCurly: What are the biggest mistakes that curly girls make when working with their hair?
Christin: I feel that one of the biggest mistakes girls and guys can make is that they dry their hair with a towel first before applying styling products. This is a huge mistake because it’s almost as if you are the one telling your hair how thirsty it is versus your hair telling you how thirsty it is. Allow for your hair to be completely wet in the shower, and just before stepping out, scrunch your hair without product to remove a little bit of water. Then, immediately apply product on top of soaking wet curls before stepping out of the shower. Many people find that this makes one of the biggest differences in achieving an incredible wash-and-go style that is less crunchy and that lasts for days without overusing styling products. It’s a game changer!
NaturallyCurly: Can you share a few of your favorite curl tips - things curly girl can do at home.
Christin: One of my favorite tips for curly girls is to finger detangle their curls instead of using a wide-tooth comb or even a brush. Many of us grow up in a household where we are told to brush our hair as a kid. However, a lot of our parents don’t realize that brushing our hair can lead to breakage, excess frizz, and ultimately prolong the process of loving what we’ve been blessed with naturally. So, I would highly suggest using your fingers for the best detangling and curl clumping.
Another curl tip is to watch out when it comes to hot water. The majority of my new clients will come into my salon and I can automatically tell they shower in too-hot water. When water is too hot, it dries out the crown area creating excess frizz and dry patches. By simply cleansing in pleasantly warm water versus. Super-hot water, your curls won’t be as thirsty for water and your cuticle won’t be as upset. Also, rinse your conditioner out in cooler water than what you washed it with. This will help close the hair cuticle, locking in moisture, and creating happier curls.
NaturallyCurly: Who is your curl crush?
Christin: My curl crush is me. I’ve waited long enough in my early life to have hair like mine. Then when I finally saw myself, I was beside myself. The very hair that I had searched for my whole adolescence was buried underneath chemicals and dead-weight hair! I figured that I’d waited this long, I’m going to fall in love with my hair every day for the rest of my life. I encourage this for everyone with curls. Fall in love with your hair first. You are your own curl goals, so pat yourself on the back, document all of your journey, and spread the love to someone else looking for encouragement.