Growing up mixed-ethnicity with a White mom made figuring out how to style our hair more difficult than the average girl. When we were little girls my sister’s hair was kinky-curly and frizzy, so my mom would try to brush it into submission. Anyone with curls or frizz knows that the brush is your enemy! My hair was wavy and fine, yet still frizzy, so my problem was always trying to find how to keep my curls in their natural shape. I learned tips over the years (always leave some conditioner on your ends after you shower; mousse is better for holding waves, and gel is better for creating curls from frizz), but my most recent obsession is a custom cut by a curl expert. Erik Emblem at Michta Salon in Cherry Creek has spent years studying the art of cutting and styling curls. I used to think that any stylist should be able to cut anyone’s hair, so there should not be a need for a “curl expert.” But once you sit in Erik’s chair and watch him work, you see that there are very specific cutting and styling techniques that are only for us curly girls.
Here are my BEFORE pics:
My hair does this strange thing when it gets too long – it separates and creates a shelf because I have different textures of curls in different places on my head. When I start seeing the shelf appear, I know its time to visit Erik.
The first thing Erik does at your appointment is determine what type of curly girl you are (i.e., what type of curls do you have), which determines how he cuts it and which products he uses. My sister has corkscrew curls and I have Botticelli curls/waves.
Erik cuts your hair when it is dry (another curly girl secret!) so that he can see how it curls in its natural state. Erik is truly an artist. He spends a very long time looking at nearly every curl, adjusting the cut to fit you perfectly.
Erik also does color, but I didn’t get any color during this past appointment. His color technique is great as well. He literally paints on the color to the individual curls so that it looks natural (I will never do foils again!)
After cut and color, Erik styles your hair. He uses the DevaCurl product line. The products are great, and he tells you exactly which ones work for your type of curl. When styling your hair, he explains everything he is doing along the way. The focus is on keeping your curls in their natural state, and preventing straightening them at any time. So even when you are showering, he shows you how to cup your wet hair in your hands; when drying your hair, you are supposed to use an old t-shirt or a special towel that is micro-fiber because regular towels can damage the natural curl state; when applying gel, you throw your hair upside down and scrunch it from the ends up. Next, Erik uses clips to at the roots to add volume and then puts you under a dryer. He also uses a blowdryer with a diffuser. After your hair is styled, Erik does one more study of your curls and cuts any pieces that do not lay perfectly.
Here are the AFTER pics:
I got married last summer and had grown my hair out and wanted something totally new. I picked a long bob (aka “lob”). This is the shortest my hair has been since I was 5 years old. I am loving it.