Q: Hi! I am writing because I have naturally curly hair, which is shoulder length. I am 36 years old and prefer to wear my hair long. In the past 10 years, I have had only three good haircuts -- one in Montreal and two in Miami. When I go to a stylist -- I've been to many where I live in upstate New York -- I explain what I would like, and leave the salon looking halfway decent. But when I go home to style my hair, it looks like a rat's nest. Many times the stylist will straighten my hair (I never wear it that way), or make it very curly and big. Is naturally curly hair more difficult to cut? Is my problem the cut or my lack of styling ability? The hairdresser in Miami gave me such a great cut, I could literally roll out of bed and look great. But no one here can duplicate it. I literally fear my next haircut, but the one I got two weeks ago is very difficult to manage. (I've been told by people to let it grow out for several months and only get it cut when I can travel to a large metropolitan area.) Are there any important things I should mention before getting my hair cut to the stylist? Thank you for your advice.

Christo:Every hair texture has its challenges, but that does not mean you can’t have a good style. Successful styling depends 50 percent on you and 50 percent on the stylist. Here are three steps that can help:

Start with healthy hair. That means using a lot of Deep Therapy Masque at home – at least once a week.

Get the right hair cut for your texture and the facial structure. Before the cut, make sure you get a consultation and ask as many questions as you need to prevent mistakes.

Christo:Learn how to style from your stylist and know which products can work for your texture in order to get the best results. (You might also want to check out this article on choosing a stylist.)

Tips for Stylists

  • Never cut straight layers, but rather angles.
  • Never blow the hair out straight and cut.
  • Never thin, but texturize when cutting curls

  • Always choose the styling tools that fit your client's texture.

Q: I have a curly, medium-length bob and I am blond. I find blond curls show frizz more than dark curly hair. Please tell me if you know of a product that really tames frizz without a stiff or gluey feel to the hair. I like my hair touchably soft.

Christo: It’s true: blondes show more frizz. So make sure you use intensive treatments such as Curlisto’s Deep Therapy Masque. Never depend on a quick fix. But if you have to, use products like Finishing Pomade or Unruly Paste from Curlisto, which will add shine and smooth frizz, without silicone.

Q: I love my curls. They are shoulder length and naturally red, with the underneath dyed black. They are beautiful and thick. But I have to gel them and put hairspray on them everyday. I fear it is damaging my hair. I'm kind of bored with doing the gel routine. I'm sick of the stiffness. It's like a helmet. What else can I do?

Christo: It sounds like you have great hair. You are lucky. But it also sounds like you are using the wrong products for your hair type. The gel or lotion should not make you curls stiff. Try to use water-soluble products with less gum, and make sure they are alcohol-free. Check our Curlisto Systems on CurlMart.

Q: I'm a curly from Massachusetts, so my hair is always frizzy. Some days I love my hair. But most days I hate it. On the side of my head that I sleep on, my hair is soft and wavy, with some spiral curls underneath. But on the other side, it's much curlier. Also my hair is flat and wavy on top, but very curly underneath. Any suggestions on how to get it to look more uniform?

Christo: It looks like the problem is the hairstyle and your maintenance. To maintain healthy hair, you have to treat it with a deep conditioning mask on a regular basis. You also have to have the right tools for styling. So according to how curly your hair is, use a Structura Lotion and Control Gel mixture, and make sure to apply it in three to four sections, bottom to top. Let it air dry or blowdry with a diffuser. This will add consistency to the style. When you go to sleep, put the curls up in a twisted bun so they will not be frizzy. The next day, touch them up with a little Unruly Paste.

Q: Now that the weather is cooler, I like to wear my hair straight, but I'm not sure which causes less damage. Any thoughts?

Christo: You are absolutely right. This is the best time for a blow out. But keep in mind that any style that goes against the texture causes damage. First, ask yourself if you have been good to your curls with intensive treatments. If so, when you get a blowout. they will look great. But don't go overboard. Do it sparingly and make sure to use the Deep Therapy Masque when you shampoo after the blowout. Remember it is all about balance.

Q: I have a haircolor question. In the beginning of August, I had blonde highlights put into my medium brown hair. At the time, they looked great. But now, I feel like they have gotten that brassy, orange hue. How do I solve this problem?

Christo: Simply visit your salon and get a vegetable glaze to match your hair color. That will actually add a lot of shine to your hair and will tone down the brassiness. You can maintain your color with such treatments as Colorective Chocolate Creme to avoid becoming brassy again.

Q: I have naturally curly hair. But if I don't scrunch it with hairspray, and other products, it gets frizzy, and puffy. I want beautiful curls, and I don't want to spend hours doing my hair. I don't want to have to pull it back in a ponytail if I don't have hours to do it. Do you have any suggestions for my hair? Help!

Christo: The most important part is to start with healthy hair. Do your homework with intensive treatments, and then find out which products work best for your curls. Follow with the correct styling method and apply products in three to four sections, from bottom to top. It should not take you more than 10 minutes to style.

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