PICTURED: STYLIST NIKKI KEPLEY AKA @CRAFT_AND_MANE
Nikki Kepley is a stylist and educator that enjoys sharing her passion for all things hair and beauty. You will find her spending time with her growing family and lifelong friends when she's not fueling her love for hairdressing at Local Honey. Learn more about her journey as a stylist and a few top tips on how to care for loose, fine wavy and curly hair.
Q: Share how you got started in the hair industry..
A: After high school all of my friends were going to college. Like every single one of them. For some reason, I just knew that wasn't for me. Immediately after high school I enrolled in Cosmetology school and dove head first into all things hair. I had a great experience in hair school and felt at home in that environment. However, looking back, it's ironic how little hair school teaches you about naturally curly hair. When discussing curly hair, the meat of the information was focused on relaxers and how to do a blow out successfully. I would love for there to be a shift in curly hair education so others can be empowered with information on how to embrace their curls if they so choose.
Q: What are your top tips for a successful wash day?
A: Wash day can look a little different for everyone and I think when you're new to embracing your natural wave you have to do a bit of experimenting with products and techniques to find what's right for you. Remember waves are a curl pattern, not a texture. Some waves are fine and soft while other waves can be thick and coarse. That's why there isn't one miracle product that is perfect for "all wavy people." I know we all wish it were that easy! My best tip for a successful wash day is to continue to try different techniques and products till you find a combination that makes your hair happy.
Q: What's your advice on getting volume for loose, fine wavy hair?
A: Being upside down! When your head is upside down you are in the best position to promote volume during styling and diffusing. You can also gently flip side to side when applying stylers for even product distribution and to promote movement while maintaining volume.
Q: What are your tips for maximum definition and curl clumping for wavies?
A: The first thing that pops into my mind is Squish to Condish, for sure! This step happens after shampoo and conditioner and is done with your head upside down. While upside down, detangle your hair with your fingers or a wide tooth comb at the most. Apply a small amount of leave-in conditioner to your hair along with a couple handfuls of water and scrunch your hair until your frizz is gone and the waves look juicy and are clumping together. This step prepares your waves for styling products. After Squish to Condish, micro plop (gently blot your hair with a cotton T-shirt or a light weight cotton hair towel) and apply your styling products. Remember, your head is still upside down. This is when you can gently flip your hair to one side, then the other for even product distribution. Plopping (carefully wrapping your hair) with a cotton T-Shirt or light weight cotton hair towel, can help expedite dry time without disrupting your wave pattern.
Q: What are your highly suggested products, tips, or techniques for combating frizz and dryness?
A: Frizz and dryness and basically the same thing. Know that when your hair is dry it is going to appear frizzy. Sometimes dryness can be a result of shampooing too often. (I would say shampooing everyday or every other day is "a lot") If you find yourself wanting to shampoo that often I would suggest incorporating a co wash every other time you use a lathering shampoo so you can cut down on dryness and still be effectively cleaning your hair and scalp. Some of my favorite products for reducing frizz and dryness are, Oribe Cleansing Crème (which is a co wash), Oribe Priming Lotion Leave-In Conditioning Detangler and the Lake Shore Dry Goods Organic Cotton T-Shirt Hair Towel (size Large.)
Q: What products would you recommend for wavies that are great for adding moisture without weighing their hair down?
A: The detangler I mentioned above is great, you would just need less if your hair is extra silky, fine or easily weighed down. Oribe also makes a lightweight leave -in conditioner called Supershine Light Moisturizing Cream which is really helpful! This can be applied during Squish to Condish or on day two for added softness and shine. A great light weight gel that I've been using lately is Oribe's Curl Gloss. This is PERFECT for people who are easily weighed down. It is so light and user friendly!
What are the biggest mistakes that wavies make when caring for their hair?
I would say the biggest mistake that wavies make when embracing their natural curl pattern is feeling boxed into certain methods and guidelines. Unfortunately, there isn't a one size fits all game plan for all curl types. Some people need more lather, some people need less. Some people need heavy products for maximum moisture and some people need light weight stylers for hold without the weight. Find out what's best for you via trial and error and don't be miserable following a set of rules just because some said you were "supposed to." I also want wavies to remember that curlier hair isn't better. Waves are soft and gorgeous in their own ways! Using some special product isn't going to change your hair into a curlier version of itself. Embrace your loose curl pattern and see the beauty in the effortless beach-y vibes you were blessed with! xoxo!