My name is Erik Emblen. I am a hairstylist and the owner of Curl Culture in Denver, Colorado, and I have been doing hair for twelve years, specializing in naturally curly hair for eleven years. I have received training at the DevaCurl Academy in New York and am certified in the Ouidad Cutting Technique. Additionally, I have studied at the Vidal Sassoon Cutting Academies in London and San Francisco and have learned balayage hair coloring from the L’Oreal Soho Academy.
I have been in Denver for 26 years and recently. Throughout the nation, I've noticed an increase in the number of salons that offer curly hair services, but as far as I know, I'm the only hair stylist here who works exclusively with naturally curly hair.
I think that continuous education is great, and is most beneficial when it is followed by a lot of practice. I currently have about 300 curly haired clients and it seems that I have worked with every curl type there is.
Even so, I still have more to learn, and I am sure that I always will.
I am constantly trying to find new ways to simplify and enhance the ways that I cut, color and style curly hair. My goal is to help more curly girls love their hair, and I can only accomplish this by continually improving at my craft.
The mistake I see most curlies makingOne of the biggest mistakes that some of my clients make before coming to see me is in how they apply styling products to their hair. New clients often tell me that they dry their hair with a towel before applying a styling product. Then they wonder why their hair is frizzy. My recommendation is to apply a curl defining product to curly hair when it is wet, then use a microfiber towel to blot out the moisture from their hair after they have applied the curl defining product. This simple step helps them have beautifully defined, frizz-free curls.
How to work with a dry, cold climate
I find that women with thick corkscrew curls often like the dry climate because the dry air prevents their hair from absorbing moisture and getting too big and frizzy. It is still important, however, for them to deep condition their hair often. This keeps it from becoming too dry.Women with fine wavy hair don’t like the dry Colorado climate because the dry air can make their hair waves appear limp. These women usually prefer a more humid environment where their hair absorbs the moisture and becomes more full and bouncy. No matter what their curl type is, I like to teach each client to use the best products for their unique hair so that their hair will look great.
What makes this challenge so rewarding
The best part of my day is when I have finished cutting, coloring and styling a new client’s hair and she looks in the mirror and says “I love it!” It feels great to see the excitement and surprise in her face when she sees her hair looking better than ever.