Thursday, December 9, 2010

A new update! Deva 3-Day Advanced Curl Training!

Greetings, my lovely curly folk!

At the end of September 2010, I traveled to New York to attend Devachan's first ever 3-day Advanced Curl Training. Myself and 14 others from around the country participated in a FANTASTIC certification program that built upon the original 1-day Curlaboration course that I attended back in April of 2007.

Our instructors were Denis Da Silva, Devachan's co-owner and Shari Harbinger, Devachan's partner. You really cannot get much better than these two educators, and I was truly blessed to learn from their many years of expertise and craft.

So now, I am newly certified as a "Curl Architect", which I think is a rather clever title. In February, another stylist from the salon will be completing the same 3-day training, and in May, the owner of the salon will do her 3-day as well.

Three Curl Architects in one salon! I'm SO proud!

The greatest single thing the training gave to me was an invigoration of my vocation. I returned re-inspired and reassured in my skills, able to build upon what I had previously known with an entirely new set of techniques and knowledge. My clientele is the greatest benefactor, as all of this is to support the person sitting in my chair. The better I get at being able to help her or his hair be a true reflection of who she or he is, the better I am at my job.

I am grateful to the people and the institution of Devachan for creating a cutting and coloring system that is all about supporting the beauty that already is, as opposed to tacking on something that isn't genuine and authentic. I love that they share their knowledge with everyone, not holding tight to it as if it were a trade secret. They know- as do I- that our bosses are NOT our salon owners, but the client. If she isn't in my chair, I'm not standing behind it.

I look forward to a new year of great hair and great fun, and I hope to see all of you in the salon soon!

Peaceful holidays, hair peace, and namaste!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Yes, another blog!

So, I have started a yoga teacher training program!

Well, I start tonight in about three hours, but I wanted to chronicle my experiences so I put together a little space to do just that. I have been practicing for over a year and a half, and this has been nagging at me for a few months, so I decided to bite the bullet and dive into the whole of this 2,500 year-old tradition.

My new blog is called FierceFemmeSadhana, and I welcome ALL of you to read it and pass it along to friends.

Here's the link:

I also have it conveniently listed in my links column as well. :)

In CURLY news ;), Monday marks the start of another round of my C-Curve curly hair training at the salon. I will be training in my new assistant, which is very exciting, as well as having a few other new and old(er) faces in the group.

I am also starting a continuing education program for those who have done the class but want to do a little "special topics" work-- I think this will be a great addition.

More to come! Namaste! Curl peace!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hair Evolution

In April of this year, I celebrated three years since traveling to New York City to train at Devachan Salon. I can't estimate how many curly heads I've worked on since then, but I can say that every one has been unique and a gift.

As I've grown as a stylist I've also worked to keep rooted in what inspires me to do hair, beyond the creative outlet. Helping my clients to feel like and BE their authentic selves is absolutely paramount to my work. When I talk to clients about my background in feminism and social justice and how it plays into hair, they all get it. This is not some abstract concept that you have to deconstruct piece by piece to understand. Our hair is part of who we are, and- like it or not- it is a signifier of many things about us. Most of us desire to have our outside be a reflection of our inner self in the day-to-day, even if it's an ever-evolving and revolving self.

This leads into why I also LOVE working on clients who identify as genderqueer, trans, butch, femme, andro, or anything above and beyond a dualistic gender code. It's a feeling that a lot of curly clients can relate to-- walking into a salon and having the stylist judge you, judging your hair, your appearance, your voice, your clothing. I pledge every day to make my chair a safe and welcoming space. Every client is entitled the full realization of her/his authentic self, no exceptions.

I'm writing this particular post partly because it is Pride month (and I'm further inspired) and partly because it simply needs to be said: Your hair is your right. Whether curly, straight, wavy, mixed, textured, short, long, avant-garde, classic, professional, casual, butch, femme, genderqueer, whatnot-- your hair is YOUR RIGHT.

Enjoy it and celebrate it. :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

CurLab- New adventures in cutting...

As I teach curly cutting to the stylist's at East 42nd Street Salon, I am always looking for ways to expand upon the basic method of dry cutting.

I developed CurLab as a service to help develop the curriculum, offered to regular curly clients as a "lab" environment on cutting.

I recently cut a head of curls in CurLab for the first time using a wet technique that I call "ribboning." It was daunting cutting a head of curls wet-- but I am a FIRM believer in expanding beyond one's comfort from time to time, and I now know enough about how to read a head of curls to accurately predict bounce-back on a wet head. This is a technique I would NOT use on every client-- but for certain effects, it could be quite useful.

Essentially the hair is well-prepped beforehand. The hair is thoroughly detangled and the curls are allowed to bounce into their natural coils. The curls MUST be intact to do a proper wet cut-- this is crucial. One goes through the head, curl by curl, and makes a very clean cut at a precise angle at the bottom of the ribbon.

The advantage of this method is that it works extremely well on hair that tends to coil into itself easily (strong ringlets or loose ropes, etc). It also allows for a very, very clean and defined shape.

I am a believer in the magic and simplicity of the dry cut, and I don't expect to change my thinking on this. But it was good for the brain to meander around a bit and try something new.
And the client was happy at the end, which is what is ultimately important.

I'm curious to see the grow-out in two months time...

Til next time... hair peace. :)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Long time, no post...

First of all, my humblest of apologies for leaving my blog dormant for so long. Many, many things have happened in the six months since I last posted, foremost among them being...

1) Our first round of C-Curve: Curly Curriculum was completed, and two of our salon's stylists are building their own curly clientele! I learned a GREAT deal my first time out, and was even more prepared for...

2) The beginning of our 2nd C-Curve: Curly Curriculum class! We are right in the middle of our next round of the 10-week class, and it's going wonderfully well. We have three new stylists on board, and they are eagerly absorbing all the curly ins and outs.

3) I am now pretty much in charge of our salon's twitter, facebook, and website blog. I'm constantly looking for new things to add every day-- so much to talk about! If you are interested in staying in touch with East 42nd Street Salon via these networks, here's the info:

4) I have set up my LinkedIn profile at If you have a LinkedIn account, feel free to add me to your network.

I hope to stay much more current with this blog, as I always have a LOT to say. :) So stay tuned and thanks for reading!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Slooooooow Down

Whenever I get a new client, one of my main focuses is teaching her or him how to wash, condition, and style her hair independently. My thinking is that I see her maybe 4-6 times a year, and she is on her own for the remaining 360-odd days.

The hardest lesson to impart is to SLOW DOWN in terms of how we treat our hair. Most of us are much too aggressive in the shower, agitating our scalp and hair much too much and furthering problems such as frizz. What we do in the shower does effect how our hair will look once it dries.

A slow, deliberate, circular massaging motion on the scalp is all it takes to cleanse the scalp. A cleanser needs only be scrunched into the hair itself in order to break up product; there is no need to "scrub" the lengths.

Conditioning is much the same. Once conditioner is applied, work through slowly with your fingers or a wide-tooth comb. Once hair has been detangled and the hair feels slick and "noodly," gently scrunch the conditioner into the lengths to cultivate your curl. You are essentially re-setting your hair when you wet it down; this is the time to help reshape your curls. It helps to either lean from side to side to let the hair fall freely from the scalp, or to bend forward at the waist while detangling and scrunching. Rinse with COOL water.

When you scrunch-blot your hair, again--SLOW IT DOWN. One should do this without a sense of rush. Don't over-blot and make sure to leave a bit of water in the hair to better aid in application of a styler.

When applying your styler (gel, leave-in moisturizer, hair dressing) work from the ends up, in a similar fashion as you would your conditioner, scrunching slowing from ends to scalp. You should hear a definite "squish" sound as the styler is integrated into your curls. When the product has left your hands, you're done. Don't overwork your curls.

It is crucial to bear in mind that slowing things down takes practice, as we are used to (often) feeling rushed when getting ready. It may not feel completely natural at first to be this gentle with your hair, but give it time and a bit of patience. It may seem like you're spending longer on your hair because you're moving more slowly. In actuality, it takes less time utilizing a gentler, more methodical approach, as your motions are simplified and you spend less time futzing with your hair. Eliminate your wasted motion.

Each day you will become more and more familiar with how your hair feels at certain points along the process of cleansing, conditioning, towel-blotting, and styling. You are basically getting to know your hair all over again. :)

Friday, July 31, 2009

The News!!

Ok, the news is coming a bit early. :)

As of tomorrow, August 1st, I will be the new Curly Education Director at East 42nd Street Salon.

What does this mean?

I will be developing a curriculum to teach the junior stylists on how to cut, color, and care for curly hair. I also will be in charge of product research, trends, and will have many more opportunities to improve my own education.

I will still be working behind the chair as a stylist on the same days as I have been previously.

Although my training at Devachan Salon will be part of the developing curriculum, it will be but one piece of a much larger focus on how to truly understand and appreciate curly hair and the clients who have it. :)

What does this mean to YOU??

I need your input!

I have learned just as much (if not more) working with each and every one of my clients than in all of my formal training in curly hair. Below is a very short questionnaire, asking you your basic impressions of stylists who have worked on your hair, past and present. I feel I would be highly remiss to not consult the heart of the matter -- the curly client -- when writing this curriculum.

Please send your responses to, and thank you in advance!

I am very, VERY excited about this opportunity and greatly appreciate the chance to take what I love to the next level. :)

Peace and love.


Curly Client Questionnaire

  1. What do you think is the first mistake a stylist makes when cutting your hair?

  1. How would you rate the average stylist’s product knowledge when it comes to daily curly hair care?

  1. What is your biggest fear when it comes to seeing a new stylist, in terms of how your hair will look at the end of the service?

  1. Has a stylist ever told you to wear your hair straight? If so, why do you think she/he suggested this?

  1. Give me three words that describe how you wish your hair to be treated by a stylist as a curly client.

If there is any additional input you would like to share, please do!!