Pam and Carlos Garcia opened the doors to Salon San Carlos in Pensacola, Florida in 2009, and it has gained a reputation as one of the nation’s top curl salons. Now Garcia, who is a Ouidad brand specialist and educator, has clients who travel from as far away as Switzerland. Learn more about her journey to becoming a curly hair expert and the top tips for caring for your curls in even the most humid environments.
NaturallyCurly: How did you get started in the beauty industry?
Pam Garcia: I started cutting hair unprofessionally at 16 years old, coincidentally on curly hair. After going through college for three years and being miserable, I decided to pursue my dream of doing hair.
NaturallyCurly: What made you want to be a curly hair expert?
Pam Garica: I have always loved working with curly hair and the different curl types. Because the hair industry was not focused on letting curls be curly, I had the passion to step outside the box and Ten years ago, I started my journey of mastering curly hair .
NaturallyCurly: How would you describe your cutting technique?
Pam Garcia: I offer customized wet and/or dry free-form cutting. Free-form cutting is is done on dry hair, which allows you to see more easily how the hair falls.
NaturallyCurly: How have you honed for your skills?
Pam Garcia: Practice, practice, practice. I love to discover new ways of perfecting my skills, so I never stop LEARNING! In addition to be a Ouidad brand ambassador, I have received certification from Rëzo, Vivienne Mackinder, Aquage and L’ANZA.
NaturallyCurly: Who is your curl crush?
Pam Garcia: Diana Ross
NaturallyCurly: Your salon is in Pensacola, Fla., which gets really hot and muggy. What tips do you have to help curly girls cope with humidity?
Pam Garcia: Surrounded by beautiful beaches on the Gulf of Mexico, humidity can be up to 90 percent or more. Hands down the Ouidad Advanced Climate Control linegives the best protection with advanced technology that allows the product to absorb internally, creating a protective barrier against the environment, yet still giving soft defined frizz free curls.
NaturallyCurly: You do a lot of special occasion 'dos at your salon. What are some of the fun ways people can dress up their curls and coils?
Pam Garica: One of my favorite looks is to create organic bun by pulling hair up or back in a loose pony tail and rolling the hair up. Decorative hair accessories like bobby-pins and barrettes add some bling.
NaturallyCurly: What are some of the tips you give clients how to care for their curls at home?
- For someone with an active outdoor lifestyle, you can protect and shield the hair the elements by putting your hair up and always using a protective leave-in conditioner, serum or oil on from the mid shaft to the ends of hair. Tuck your ends into the hair.
- When you’re going to the beach or pool, dampen the hair and apply conditioner and braid. (The hair is like a sponge, and damp hair doesn’t absorb as much water) Shampoo and condition as soon as possible t remove the chlorine and salt.
- When using a water bottle to refresh curls, use distilled water, which is free from chemicals.
- Use a water filter on your shower
- Use products(Water soluble and alcohol free)that do not build up, dry or dull the hair. If you are not seeing an improvement in how your curls look and feel, it’s probably not the right product.
NaturallyCurly: Can you share some of your favorite styling tips?
- To control baby hairs and unruly curls around your hair line, apply leave-in conditioner first when hair is wet and then apply gel.Using the flat edge of the comb, press hair to head or press gel into hair with fingers and twist unruly curls into longer curls and allow to dry.
- To soften and volumize curls from scalp to ends without disrupting or frizzing, use a serum or oil. Apply 1 to 2 pumps in your hands, spreading a light sheen on both hands and between fingers. Start by gathering the hair from mid shaft to ends and pressing the oil or serum into the curls.
- To volumize at the scalp, massage at the roots. To separate and define individual curls, take small sections and twirl with your fingers.