Jonathan Torch applies Tweek to a model.

Jonathan Torch didn't set out to create a revolutionary new hairspray.

"A need arose," says Torch of Toronto's Curly Hair Institute and creator of the Curly Hair Solutions line of products.

"I found that most hairsprays didn't work with curly hairstyles. They stick on the outside, and curly hair needs hold on the inside. With traditional hairspray, curly hair becomes totally untouchable and suddenly you have a helmet."

To get the effect he wanted, Torch was spraying hairspray into his hands and running it through the hair as quickly as possible before it dried. But it wasn't really creating the effect he wanted or needed. His challenge became to create a product that could be used on curly hair once you finish a style.

"What if I could come up with a hairspray that goes on the hands and can be manipulated around the root area without ruining the hair." Torch says.

So began Torch's quest to create a product that could do exactly what he wanted — a process that took several years, numerous formulations and a lot of hard work. This month, Curly Hair Solutions launches Tweek, a hairspray in a cream form. It is the company's first new product since Slip, which it introduced four years ago.

The product can be used in a variety of ways. It can be used to lock curls into place once the hair is styled or to fix a style mid-day. It can be used to create volume at the crown or to get curls off the face.

"We're learning ways to use it that we didn't know were imaginable," Torch says.

In developing Tweek, Torch says one of his biggest struggles was to come up with a formula that worked with different curl types — from wavy to super kinky. He also needed to find an ingredient that would provide shine without making the hair greasy.



"I needed something with enough hold that wasn't sticky; something with the right amount of shine that wasn't greasy," Torch says.

He began working with different ingredients that produce shine, but he didn't want to use silicones. While lecithin works well in some products, it wasn't right for Tweek. Finally, he discovered jojoba oil. It had the perfect weight and provided a nice sheen. He is so excited about the properties of jojoba oil that he plans to replace the mineral oil in his Conditioner and his Pure Silk Protein in the near future.

Torch says he knew he had hit upon the perfect formula when his clients began begging to buy Tweek.

Torch stresses that using Tweek is different from using other styling products. It should be emulsified with the fingers and worked from the roots to the ends rather than then the ends to the roots. That helps provide support from the inside.

The product should be used strategically. For example, if your goal is to get rid of flyaways — hairs that have broken away from a ringlet group — the product should be worked into individual groupings. If your focus is to get rid of a flat crown, it must be worked through the roots. Torch has created a training video to help people learn how to use Tweek.

"Nothing like it has existed before so you have to learn how to use it," Torch says. "We've reinvented the wheel."