As a curly hairstylist, I service clients all the way from the beginning stages to mid transitioners, to those who think they have this whole Curly Girl Method figured out.
However, that's not always the case. Here are the 3 most common questions I get asked as a stylist.
How long does it take to transition?
Okay, I must admit, I pride myself in being a pretty intelligent person. Nonetheless, for the millionth time, I am not God the Creator of Heaven and Earth and therefore, I do not know how long it will take you to grow out all the relaxed, heat damaged, or platinum blonde straight ends. I can, however, give you 2 helpful tips.
1. Trim your ends often.
You are in control of the process. If you want to see a quick turnaround time for growth, you have to give a lot to get a little. I know seeing your hair shorter than it has ever been before is a hard pill to swallow, but in the end, it will be well worth it.
2. Switch up your styling routine.
If all you schedule with your stylist is straight silky blowouts, you can pretty much count on your transition taking longer than necessary. One reason: you are training your hair to be straight. The more heat you apply you run the risk of damaging your hair. Trust me, it only takes one time with the wrong oil and high heat to melt your ends. Open your mind to alternative styling, change is good.
Does it matter what products I use?
Now if you have read any of my articles then you should already know that my answer is an emphatic 100% yes! If you don't use products with quality ingredients, you are setting yourself up for an epic fail. What tends to happen is most people start off on the right track and then they begin to experiment with the rest of the unlicensed professionals of YouTube University. While I am in no way bashing hair bloggers and vloggers that are putting out great product reviews -- in fact, there are quite a few that I thoroughly enjoy -- but please understand that if you have picked out a favorite social media icon to follow and her hair type and porosity is totally different from yours, chances are, her reviews do not apply to you. Consult with a professional Natural stylist that understands the science of hair and ingredients in products. Read and study products for yourself. Knowledge is power.
How do I get my style to last?
Being a curly girl and the somewhat frugal consumer that I am, I understand why you would want to make your $75 hairstyle to last. I have come to realize that some people are just not hair people (yay for me). But seriously speaking, some styles just don't last long. This includes softer updos, twist sets and braid-outs that haven't been set properly. Knowing what products set your hair best is important. Here are 2 quick tips.
1. Fine hair needs foams, light gels and custards tend to set best. Pay attention to the alcohol content in your products. There is a difference in good and bad alcohols. Bad alcohols will dry your hair out and potentially lead to popping and shedding.
2. Medium to coarse hair should start with a foam for hold. Then add a heavier butter for moisture, but please be sure not to go overboard with it to avoid an oily mess on your hands and scalp.
If my clients are comfortable I will allow them to leave with their hair set and instruct them on how to take it down.
I personally like the outcome of hair that has set for at least 8 or more hours but honestly, most sets require work at bed time if you want to keep a more defined look. When setting the hair at night, don't over saturate with water-based products. This has the potential of ruining your set. Normally if the right amount of product was used initially, you may only have to apply a light oil or cream. Again, please apply sparingly!
I believe that great stylist don't mind you asking a million questions.
At the end of the day, I take pleasure in educating my seasoned clients as much as my newbies. Jot down questions before your appointment and adhere to a maintenance schedule.
Do you have a question for a professional curly stylist?
I would love to answer them; please leave your comments below. Look for more curly tips on my salon's YouTube channel, DyeVerCity.
Read Why Co-Washing May Not Be Enough to Get the Job Done, and share your thoughts and questions with us in the comments below
This article was originally published in 2013 and has been updated.