Our hair is more than a mere accessory. Many would say it’s an extension of ourselves. Which is why we say it’s best to work with what you’ve got.
photography by Rob Crosby / models: Aquera Vaughn, Anna Reed, Rowan Kelley – BMG Models
It’s often the case that most of us want what we don’t have. The grass is always greener on the other side … even if our side is perfectly green. Sometimes it’s just hard to make the most of what we have. Sometimes we just can’t see what we have — even with something as simple as our hair. We may in fact await our next visit to the salon to transform our look, put a new pep in our step. We may even have a Pinterest board for this; stop strangers at Starbucks to ask for their secret; or text friends, family, and even hair stylists multiple looks to vote on before we step into a salon.
Of course, it’s natural to make drastic changes after major life transitions: a breakup, a new job, or just for a little self-confidence boost. For most of us, going to the salon means a transformation from the norm, a new “you,” if you will. This is perfectly natural. But rarely do we seek to work with what is perfectly natural.
Few hair textures are impossible to work with — most of us just don’t know the tricks of the trade to create an I-just-left-the-salon-worthy do. That’s why we went to some of our local experts to work with three common hair types, create three natural and glamorous looks, and tame three common textures.
AQUERA’S NATURAL LOOK // NATURAL TEXTURE
Hair styling by Angelice Smith and Nahla McCullough / Relax It’s Natural Hair Salon
Makeup by Kaitlin Laing / Cherished Beauty Salon
The texture of hair that works best for this look is medium to very curly, though common difficulties encountered may be tangles, kinks, and knots.
HOW TO TAME
In order to tame these difficulties, divide hair into four or five sections to detangle properly. Add natural essential oils to a bottle of water and moisten the section to better assist with the removal of kinks. Start with a slotted brush or shower comb, and work from the end of the strand up to the new growth area, making very short strokes to get the knots out.
The secret to create this look is to apply Influence Hair Care Moisture Lock while the hair is wet, and form finger curls.
Here’s a hint: if you can’t braid the hair, you can pull the small section back and apply a generous amount of styling gel to smooth the hair down. Pull the hair in to the back of the section, the area closest to the loose area, and place it in a rubber band. Add a pretty flower or hair clip to give it some flare.
AQUERA’S GLAM LOOK // DESIRED TEXTURE
Aquera wanted an edgy glam look with subtle details around the hairline.
HOW TO GET IT
Pull your hair up into a loose ponytail while leaving the fringe area out. Hair can be preset or left in its natural pattern; it depends on what you are able to achieve with your original texture. Hairline contouring is achieved by applying product to the invisible line before your edges actually start. Add a generous amount of the edge-control product and sleek to design the hairline with a rat-tail comb or an old toothbrush. Begin to pull preset curls loose with your finger. Use the pick-and-pat method to get the desired shape of this style.
To achieve this look, use Twist & Lock Gel. Be sure to turn in the mirror to make sure the shape is great throughout the entire hairstyle.
ANNA’S NATURAL LOOK // NATURAL TEXTURE
Hair & Makeup by Kaitlin Laing / Cherished Beauty Salon
Medium texture with some coarse hairs throughout
Frizzy, straight in some areas, and curly in others. Smooth texture in some places and frizzy in others. Has to have heat to be tamed. Tends to require more time to style.
HOW TO TAME
Give yourself a great foundation; product is the name of the game. If you like to let your hair air dry, find a product that will tame the frizz but dry soft and smooth, not crunchy, such as Paul Mitchell’s Rare Marula Oil 3-in-1 Styling Cream. If you want to blow it out, reach for a smoothing serum or a weightless balm. We love Fast Form by Paul Mitchell.
Anna’s hair was air dried with no product, so I prepped the hair with Hot Off The Press Thermal Protection Spray and took large, vertical sections with a 2-inch-barrel iron and curled away from the face. In order to let her natural texture speak, I curled only strategic pieces around her face (five to six sections) to help them appear smoother. Once the curls cooled, I used one pump of a styling treatment oil and ran my hands through her hair to smooth the remaining hair and elongate the curls. This air-dried look took about three minutes to style! Easy for an everyday routine.
ANNA’S GLAM LOOK // DESIRED TEXTURE
Anna wanted her hair to have lots of volume but not look teased, with hair pulled off of her face and lots of soft texture.
HOW TO GET IT
Again, products make or break this look. Prep the hair with the same thermal protectant used in the first look and a 1-inch straight-barrel wand to curl hair. Start at the nape and take small sections of hair. Hold the wand vertically with the end pointed to the ground. (Holding the iron vertically helps to elongate the curl.) After working your way to the middle of the head begin curling with the iron horizontally. To give more volume, wrap the entire strand of hair around the barrel, getting as close to the scalp as possible. At the hairline, curl up and away from the face for maximum lift.
Once her curls cooled, I used Puff Me Texturizing Powder. (This product is a TOTAL game changer!) Instead of teasing her hair, I picked up curls in her crown, top of head, and sides of head, and puffed the powder at the base and gently rubbed it in. Voila! Perfect volume! Polish off ends with a bit of the Styling Treatment Oil (be careful not to rake your fingers through if you want to keep that soft, glam kind of style; cup your hands around the curls with a small amount of oil on them). I tousled the curls around Anna’s face with my fingers and a boar-bristle brush until they laid back softly. Then I hair sprayed those curls! I opted for a working spray, Kendra Platinum Flexible Hold Hair Spray.
The back of Anna’s hair was left down because it was so gorgeous, but it could easily be punched up by softly braiding the ends and letting it fall down her back or pulling it over her shoulder. If your hair is shorter, this technique would be perfect to use. Tuck the ends up in a loose bun at the nape.
Hot tools matter! If you aren’t having great results, or it takes you forever to curl your hair, consider investing in professional tools. They make a world of difference because they heat evenly, retain their heat while you work, and are intended to help smooth as well. Not to mention the temperature settings allow you to adjust for your hair’s needs.
ROWAN’S NATURAL LOOK
Hair & Makeup by Jenna Lister / Cherished Beauty Salon
Fine and thin hair is a common winning combo for being super hard to work with. This texture usually tends to be hard to comb through because it tangles easily, doesn’t like to hold curl, and is more fragile than other hair types.
HOW TO TAME
Add in texture to make hair much more manageable. If your hair is wet, use a salt spray like Paul Mitchell’s Texturizing Sea Spray. If it’s dry, try a working hair spray or thermal protectant. Fine hair also loves highlights that brighten up the entire look. Sometimes just a few simple highlights throughout will fatten up the cuticle just a little bit and give it some texture and grip, making it easier to work with.
I used Hot Off The Press Thermal Protection Spray to help add some grip and protect Rowan’s naturally fragile hair, then used a 1.5-inch curling iron to add volume to the hair. Flip hair upside down to brush.
ROWAN’S GLAM LOOK
Rowan wanted her hair to have volume and look full while being swept up into an easy bun.
HOW TO GET IT
Start this look on dry hair (best for that second-day texture). Use a sea spray on dry hair at roots to get lots of texture. Once the sea spray is dry, curl hair all over with a 1-inch curling iron to give texture to make hair more manageable. After curling, use a bit of light tension to tease just behind the hairline, all over. This gives a lift. Sweep hair up into a ponytail, and wrap it loosely around the base into a top knot, teasing as you go. Secure with pins until the top knot is balanced from side to side. Use a gentle pinch on the hair to pull some areas of the top knot out just a little to make it look fuller. Set the look with Paul Mitchell Stay Strong Hair Spray.
The prep work is what makes this look so easy to achieve. If you give your hair some texture first, and it isn’t board straight, it is much more pliable.
Special Thank You To:
Cherished Beauty Salon
4644 Cleveland Heights Boulevard
Lakeland, FL 33813
Relax It’s Natural Hair Salon
807 N. Florida Avenue
Lakeland, FL 33801