She has a hefty client list that includes some of the curly hair influencers that our community looks up to. This is always rare, as many of us curly girls know the struggle when it comes to finding a great hairstylist who understands the specific needs of our hair texture and curl pattern.
I was referred to Mona Baltazar by popular Instagrammer and YouTuber, Curly Edgy. Although I was a little scared due to my past experiences, the results blew my mind away! Here's Mona's professional journey, in her own words.
Born and raised in the Philippines, I grew up in San Jose California. I moved to New York City attend Fashion design at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), where I have been for 10 years.Before moving to NYC, I was also a hairstylist in California for 5 years--which means I've been doing this since 2001. However, I don't have a fancy story about how I came to be a hairstylist.
In high school, we had Career Day and I wasn't sure of what I wanted to be.
My mom was not able to guide us with education because we were new to U.S. Not to mention, she was too busy holding down 3 jobs to make ends meet. Therefore, I had to figure out for myself what I would do after high school. I saw an information guide that read Cosmetology and was intrigued by it. I waited over a year, working as a receptionist to save money to go to school full time.
I came to realize that I really love doing hair--and I was very good at it.I was trained by an amazing haircutter name Jojo from Jojo Hair Studio taught me many things with my cutting. Jojo trained me well and was very supportive of me. He actually use to perm my hair to make it super curly and big. That is when my love for curls started.
Instagram helped [my business] a lot when I started to showcase my work through posting the results and before and after shots. I started to then get reposted by various different accounts and it was all curls from there.
I have always been attracted to and love the texture of curly hair but the shift started when Marissa Goldfirstname.lastname@example.org's colorist--introduced me to Edgy for a haircut. I started getting more requests after she referred me through her IG followers. From there, I have met and was able to cut some curly bloggers such as @Stylefeen and @Christinavega_ @oohthatsjustflash, among others. Instagram helped [my business] a lot when I started to showcase my work through posting the results and before and after shots. I started to then get reposted by various different accounts and it was all curls from there.
Educating [the client] is the key.
I've learn most of my tips through hearing about their experiences. I do a thorough consultation before picking up any tools because I want to get them acquainted with their hair texture. I give them options as far as what kind of haircut is best for their texture type. Some clients want more volume, but sometimes, their growth pattern and hair density do not allow them to get the volume they desire. In those cases, I find a way to shift their thought and refocus on other areas we can enhance, like creating a shape or going shorter.
I understand that every single curly girl owns their own curls. No two curly heads are the same.There are at least 2 or 3 different textures in each individual and sometimes that's what makes it interesting for me. So much patience and love has to go in to curly hair to keep them healthy and bouncy. I am grateful to be a part of this shift of people--specifically, women--embracing and allowing their natural curls to come out and finally wear it as it is meant to.
At Muze salon we carry and use Sebastian, Wella, Nioxin and Oribe.
- Sebastian: Potion 9 (leave-in conditioner) and Texturizer (gel).
- Wella: Element shampoo and conditioner (sulfate free)
- Nioxin: rejuvenating elixir and defining crème.
- Oribe: Intense Moisture (deep conditioner), Apres Beach (shine and texture finishing spray)
I also had the pleasure in testing out Mizani and I really like their products.I work at Muze Salon NYC in the Chelsea area. I'm usually there Wednesday, Thursday, Fridays (in the Fall) and Saturdays. My next goal Is working to be an educator. I want to teach others how to cut curls with my techniques so other curly girls who don't live near me will be able to find a stylist in their own area.
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