Every woman needs their hair to be touched by the hands of a great hair stylist. Under their care, you’ll experience body, growth and a glow like no other. If you’re playing with new styles, experimenting with colors or entertaining different lengths, sitting in the chair of a skilled stylist will completely enhance your mane. For some, going to a salon is a luxury that survives with self-maintenance between monthly appointments. For others, a weekly visit is a necessity. Either way, it’s important to know key strategies to maintaining your hair. We sought out professional stylist Gregory Gilmore for the low down on the hottest spring trends, tips for maintaining curly hair, and strategies to preventing breakage. If you’re in need for some expert advice on how to maneuver your curls, here’s your chance to learn from one of the best!

Image source: @greg_gilmore

Gregory is skilled in styling all hair types and is particularly experienced in managing natural curls. His gift for highlighting a woman’s hair potential in their natural state is uncanny. Because of this, he is booked and busy! When it comes to natural hair, Gregory thinks it’s all about authenticity. “Natural to me means your true self and your true texture. You can still be natural and wear your hair straight. Being natural means that you embrace your real hair and you allow your own hair to define who you are by allowing it the shine for everyone to see.”

Shining is a must when it comes to loving and embracing your hair. For Gregory, he has a few go-to items to help him achieve healthy, gorgeous hair. “Products I keep in my kit are Design Essentials Almond and Avocado edge tamer, Design Essentials Silk Essentials Serum (which contains 17 simple amino acids to help build the hair up) Design Essentials Bamboo and Silk Leave-In Blow Dry Spray, and Almond and Avocado Curl Enhancing Mousse (which can be used for wet setting as well as wash and go curly styles).”

Image source: @greg_gilmore

With warmer weather on the horizon, it’s important to jump ahead of the upcoming trends. Seasonal shifts usually mark the time where women seek to change their appearance. According to Gregory, expect to see short, bold haircuts. “This spring you will see lots of round or blunt bobs. We have started to experiment with stronger shapes and also naturally curly girls have been really embracing their natural texture so you will also see these strong naturally curly bob shapes. Also I feel you’ll start to see more layered cuts. Layered cuts are really nice for curly girls because that look very good worn straight and the layers allow the hair to give lots of movement. Layer cuts worn naturally curly will have lots of volume and are ideal for those looking to see bigger and fuller shapes when wearing their hair curly,” he advises.

Image source: @greg_gilmore 

As naturals, there are key things that we have to do in order to nourish our hair and keep it healthy. We want our curls to thrive! Unfortunately, what works for some hair types doesn’t work for all. Still, you will find that there are some universal rules to the game. “A solid tip that will never change is moisture, moisture, moisture,” he exclaims. “To infuse more moisture in your hair, it comes from deep conditioning the hair, which provides moisture retention in the hair. Longer sessions with conditioning masques will be required to have more moisturized hair. This would consist of applying the conditioner onto the hair and allowing the conditioner to sit under a hooded dryer for up to 15 minutes or without a hooded dryer for up to 30 minutes” He continues, “A tip that most people sleep on is using a leave in conditioner after the conditioner which will help protect the hair from the outside elements such as changing weather patterns, uvb and uva rays, and heat styling. Also to maintain healthy hair its important to use lower heat settings when thermal styling and opting to do more wet set styling when possible. Protecting the hair ends is important when attempting to accumulate length on the hair and one way that can be done is by covering the hair at night with satin or silk or sleeping with a satin or silk pillowcase.”

Image source: @greg_gilmore

These tips help to give your hair the desired strength and body it needs to execute your favorite styles. But how can you combat everyday issues like breakage? “Breakage is a big dilemma but can be addressed by periodically doing protein treatments about once every 6 weeks. Other ways to prevent breakage is with proper detangling methods. Try to detangle the hair with conditioner (which creates slip in the hair) before you start your shampoo process. This will help prevent the tangling and matting that water and rigorous manipulation can cause to the hair during the shampoo process. Take your time when combing the hair out and always start this process after you have shampooed the hair and applied the conditioner. Start from the ends and work your way up moving around the head in small subsections. Organization of your detangling steps is key. Hair is weakest when wet and therefore can a lot of breakage happens from the mishandling of the hair. Also be sure to have regular salon visits with a licensed professional who may be more knowledgeable about the needs of your specific hair type.”

Image source: @greg_gilmore

During the spring, there is an influx of women who experiment with color. It’s the perfect time to switch things up and add a lil extra swag to your look. Maintaining color treated hair requires lots of attention. Once you alter your hair’s development with color, it is important to restore the moisture that the chemicals have striped from it. “Color treated hair can be very sensitive because it has been chemically compromised. It must be said that this hair has to have regular salon visits to maintain its integrity. These lists would include deep conditioning of the hair and the occasional protein treatment to help strengthen the hair periodically. It's important to note that this hair should not be overworked or manipulated so wrapping it at night, lower heat settings when thermal styling, and heat protectant sprays as well as leave in conditioners are all very necessary when caring for color treated hair.” Gregory suggests, “sulfate-free and paraben-free shampoos and also opting for a cleansing conditioner such as a co wash sometimes versus a regular shampoo. Every bit of care is important to maintain the longevity of health in color treated hair. After the hair has been styled, using a light-weight and botanical oil to protect the strands is also important. Sweet almond oil, avocado oil, and or jojoba oil (are good options).”

Image source: @greg_gilmore

If you’re ever in LA and need a trusted stylist to work some magic on your hair, be sure to look Gregory Gilmore up! I know I will. I’ve also taken note on some new products to add to my regimen because when a stylist offers you their advice, you take it! Keep up with Gregory via his Instagram page.