Carlos Flores

Mario Diab Salon

62 Crosby St.

New York, NY 10012


Curly hair is a passion for Carlos Flores. He's been cutting curly hair for 11 years, and he currently travels between the Mario Diab Salon in New York and Rush Salon outside London to cut the world's curls. He took a few minutes out of his busy day to answer a few questions for NaturallyCurly.

NC: What is your philosophy about curly hair?

Carlos: Well, I am a true believer that curls should be embraced for what they are – a gift you were born with and not a curse. Curly hair is just misunderstood. Yes, curly hair can be a bit unruly, just like a 2 year old or a 16 year old without rules or guidance. So, creating a routine that works for your curl type is the first step.

NC: How often should curly hair be cut?

Carlos: Since curly is generally a slow grower, you should be able to go anywhere from four to six months. Hairstyles play a factor. Shorter styles need more upkeep, while longer styles can go longer between cuts. If you are trying to grow it out, you can even go up to a year between cuts, but only if the hair is kept in a healthy condition.

NC: What are some easy tips to reduce frizz?

Carlos: The best tip I have is to never rinse out all your daily conditioner. You should always leave some in – anywhere from silk to seaweed. This a full-proof gauge you can use to help deal with humidity. You want to lean toward seaweed when it’s very humid.

NC: Why do you cut curly hair dry?

Carlos: I cut curly hair dry because I get a better read on the hair. When the hair is wet, it is no longer curly. It is straight hair. I feel a lot of times that stylists lose sight of a thing called the spring factor. When curly hair is cut wet, it is one length. When it dries, you may end up with something entirely different. I feel when you’re giving a dry cut, there are no hidden surprises. What you see is what you get.

NC: How often should one deep condition curly hair?

Carlos: As often as humanly possible. I think you can deep condition while doing other things, such as watching TV, working out and, best of all, sleeping. A great tip is to work the conditioner through the hair until it feels like seaweed. Then, put it up in a bun and put a shower cap on past the hairline. Tie a scarf or bandana around it and go right to sleep. It’s not the prettiest look, but it works. Keeping curly hair well moisturized is part of the healing process, and can only promote growth.

NC: How do you feel when curly hair is said to be “in style”?

Carlos: I feel that curly is a lifestyle, not just a style. Straight hair that is set to be curly… now that’s a style! On the other hand, if it being called “in style," and it can bring on curl pride, I am all for it. I feel that curly is the new norm. I think that at least 80 percent of us have a curl pattern.

NC: Do you think anyone has bad curls?

Carlos: No, I don’t think there is anybody with bad curls – just really bad habits. We were all taught to treat our hair as if it were straight. We were told to brush it 100 times a day to keep it healthy, which for curls is just torture. I love to teach the next generation of curlies good habits so they don’t have to hate their hair, which sadly is how most of us grew up.

NC: What tips and advice can you give moms with curly kids?

Carlos: Start them early in breaking the cycle of bad habits. An important tip is to use a satin or silk pillowcase so the next morning those curls are less disheveled. Then, all you will have to do is clean and refine the curls with a little spray bottle of water and conditioner. It also helps to give them that daily affirmation of how special they are to have curly hair.