Cally Raduenzel’s salon Cally’s Curls & Co. has made a name for itself as one of the best curl salons in the country. Specializing in the Devachan method of curly dry cutting, the salon attracts a wide range clientele – from barista’s to college professors. When she’s not transforming curly girls, Raduenzel is performing with Cally and The Snag, her R&B, rock and soul band.
NaturallyCurly: What made you decide to become a stylist?
Cally: My whole life, I was obsessed with three things: music, books and hair. When you are a curly person, it was always either an issue or your "crown.” And growing up in the ‘80s there were lots of perms, but nothing really great out there for naturally curly girls. So, when I became a hairstylist and discovered the The Curly Girll Handbook by Lorraine Massey, it changed my life and career. I knew I wanted to focus on curls to give curly people what they always wanted - great curls and options. My motto is "low-maintenance, high-impact" curls!
NaturallyCurly: What made you decide to specialize in texture?
Cally: I wanted to give my clients natural-looking styles that were beautiful, grew out well, that were easy to maintain and not stiff, frizzy or awkward looking. All my life, I wanted a softer, flowing, less bulky curl, with movement, and that's what I strive for. Things have changed in the 19 years I’ve been doing curls, and now curly people embrace their texture and are not so obsessed with control and making their hair lay "flatter,like a mermaid.” Most curly people now are much more volume loving. They also don't mind if it looks more natural and not shellacked or so perfect it almost looks fake. My bottom line is I'm overjoyed with all the options.
NaturallyCurly: How would you describe your technique?
Cally: I definitely love the DevaCurl cutting technique that Lorriane Massey taught me back when she was a lone voice in the world of curls. The technique has changed as DevaCurl has evolved. But I stay with the curl-by-curl dry cutting technique because of its logic. It helps keep the hair healthy without cutting too much length off. You can watch the transformation and the style takes a long time to grow out and maintains the shape from the inside out. This technique gives styles that are soft, flattering, one-of-a-kind beautiful. This kind of cutting considers that you can have more than one type of curl pattern on your head and brings continuity to the curls.
I find the natural way a dry curl-by-curl cutting technique transforms the hair is the best outcome for someone who is wearing their curl natural all or most of the time. I can do a hybrid cut for people wearing their hair straight and curly, but I truly prefer to do the dry curl-by-curl cutting technique, and I try to get them to embrace what they were born with rather than straightening it. It’s an act of self-love to embrace your texture instead of trying to be someone you’re not. Where you cut is more important than how much you cut when it comes to curls. Keep watching your client as the cut is evolving. It’s a sculpture, not just a haircut when it comes to curls.
NaturallyCurly: How should a client wear their hair when they come in for a cut?
Cally: We are cutting the hair dry so we need the curl canvas. It can’t be up in clips or ponytails when you come in for a cut. We also need it to be detangled. If someone’s hair is eally tangled it can take 45 minutes to detangle the curls before we can even cut it, and now the hair is in shock.
NaturallyCurly: Who is your curl crush?
NaturallyCurly: What is your philosophy about hair products?
Cally: I find Curly World by Lorraine Massey and DevaCurl to be the best. If there is too much oil, wax, and goop in the products, it's hard to get a less frizzy curl outcome in the cut. If there are layers and layers of product on the hair, it will not move, shine, and have that show-stopping definition the client usually desires. So even the best haircut needs a clean, responsible product that won't just shellac the hair. Steer clear of overly buttery/oily stuff unless you love the more "clumpy,” less-defined curl styles, which some folks do.
Spray gels, slippery lotions (Innersense I Create Volume Lotion) light gels are best for wavy air. If you use a cream, add water to it and make it milky before you apply so it’s not too heavy.Curly World Leave-In Lover Conditioning Gel is great and DevaCurl The Curl Maker Curl Boosting Spray Gel awesome for wavy girls. For tighter curls and coils, cleansing the scalp is so important. It will get itchy and uncomfortable the longer it’s not being treated. I suggest using Sham-Free Hair and Scalp Cleanseror Innersense Hydrating Cream Hairbath or DevaCurl Low-Poo or DevaCurl No-Poo at least two times a week.
NaturallyCurly: Who are the stylists that inspire you?
NaturallyCurly: What are some of the hottest curl trends?
Cally: I'm not a huge fan of trends. Beautiful, touchable, curls will always be in style. I like stronger shapes with playfulness and pop - styles that look like they have form, shape, luscious texture and are easy to recreate at home. We have a stylist who is loving the Mona Cut and RezoCut. Boho bangs are very stylish. Just make sure you have the patience to play with them and find the right look for you.
NaturallyCurly: What are the biggest mistakes that curly girls make when working with their hair?
Cally: Mixing too many products that may not play well together. Using too many creams and butters may make the hair feel softer, but they may be creating frizz and if you over-detox and strip your curls to get rid of buildup. Find cleaner products that nourish the curls so you don't have to detox.
NaturallyCurly: Can you share a few of your favorite curl tips?
- Detangle with your soft, pliable fingers whenever possible so as not to break or "snap" fragile areas of the curls that can become abraded with a brush. Your hair is the most fragile when its wet so being too aggressive with only cause you problems down the line.
- Cleansing should be part of the detangling process. By the time you are conditioning, your job should be easier. Also, don’t use excessive heat. Wavy hair is like a soufflé. if you don't give them enough heat they won't rise and if you give it too much heat they will stay flat and won’t rise.
- When rewetting second- or third-day hair, don't be afraid to get it wet, and make sure you are adding enough product.
- If your curls tend to get flat, use a little diffusing at the root when you start drying.
- For volume at the crown, I love my clips. Just remember take them out the same way you put them in and open the clip wide so it doesn't pull the hair. if you need volume at the root but are not great with the clips, headbands can work. They should be wide. Push them back a little then push it forward to create bend around the hair line (don't use headbands that are too thin or metal headbands because they can break hair).
- A cool shot at the end of a diffuse will help the frizz to lay down.