curly hair

Finally, no Frizz!

Finally, no Frizz!

I'm so excited to report that my hair has actually been looking good this time around in the Azores!

In the past few visits, my hair looked like it did when I was at my worst in 8th grade! Ahh!! Talk about a frizz halo! It was so discouraging.

The winter here in the Azores is their rainy season, and so being here my hair is basically in a constant state of that 'misty shower air' that I am always so careful to cover up with a shower cap in!

So, you can guess my cringe factor knowing I don't have control over my hair here - until now!

Just How Important is Your Shampoo, Curly Girls?

Just How Important is Your Shampoo, Curly Girls?

I get this question from clients all the time. That, and which product is the most important to purchase? While it varies from person to person, my answer usually is that the conditioner and styling product you use is of primary concern. That was before I tried Ouidad's Nourishing Oil Shampoo (see below)! 

Highlighting Hair the Healthy Way {For Curly Girls + Stylists}

Highlighting Hair the Healthy Way {For Curly Girls + Stylists}

I'm all about keeping clients looking natural. I think what we are born with is beautiful just the way it is, but highlighting the hair accentuates it that much more - much like what being at the beach will do for you! So, I'm a big fan of creating dimensional looks in the hair using foiling techniques. Yes, balayage + hairpainting is all the rage now because of it's natural looking results, but I'll tell you why I still hold true to the foiling...

Curly Cures: Why You Should Buy This for Your Curls

Curly Cures: Why You Should Buy This for Your Curls

Hi fellow curly girls!

So many of my curly clients are good about doing THE most important part of their curl care routine at home – the Deep Treatment, but many have all different kinds of excuses.

Some just forget, some don’t have time for it, some don’t have a blow dryer, some say they can’t be bothered with it.

I must reiterate the importance of why you can’t ignore this crucial step! Ouidad’s Deep Treatment is the foundation of her entire system! If your curls aren’t in proper condition, they won’t perform at their best..

Style Your Curls Quickly and Easily with this Approach {New Video!}

Hi Curly Girls!

I have a new video for you so you can embrace loving your curls! One of the most common concerns I hear from my clients in the salon is, "how am I ever going to be able to make my hair look like you do at home!" Do not fear my friends, you will become your own styling master in no time, and the best way is by scheduling a styling session with me!;)

The key is to have time and patience when you style your hair! If you don't put yourself first, what kind of outcome do you expect? You just have to carve out a little time, just like you do when you do any other self care routines, whether it's cooking for yourself, or meditating. Give yourself 15-30 minutes a couple times a week and you will be in good shape! You get whatever you put into it!

I created this version of the Ouidad Rake and Shake Styling technique for the client who just can't be bothered with trying to make her curls look as good as they can! Someone who may not be 'style savvy', or may be someone who runs every morning and sweats a lot, or someone who just can't be bothered with the steps it takes to make your curls look good.

Whatever the reason, there is a short cut, but short cuts aren't always the best way to go, even if they still get you there, right?!

This short cut will get you there, however. It will eliminate frizz, give your curls definition, and shine. The difference between this styling technique and the more thorough Rake and Shake is that it doesn't have lasting power, meaning it won't take you  3/4 days before you have to re wet and re style again. It will also give you a more expanded look because you aren't defining your curls right from the root, the way we do when we work off the 5 sections that shape the round of your head.

But, as long as you are thoroughly saturating your hair with product, you are still better off than not, and are one step away from the finesse of the real deal Rake and Shake. So maybe you adopt this style as your everyday run out the door look, and save the real deal for special occasions? Whatever it may be, this is a good tool for your tool box so you can embrace your curls quickly and easily!

I hope you enjoy the video and please feel free to share your comments or questions below!

You Go, Curl! ;)

Hair: Humid Hair Help for Curly Girls!

Holy Humid Hair Hideousness this past week! What was up with the moisture in the air on the Cape? It's May, not July, weather!

This humidity wasn't like the heavy blanket we get in the dead of summer, oh no, it was more like the 'marine layer' we used to get when I lived in L.A. ~ just severe moisture build up and fog, which is essentially like standing in a steam room just cringing, waiting and knowing that your hair is growing and unbelievably frizzy.

The reason why, is that the moisture breaks up the styling product in our hair leaving us without any control! EEk! Obviously, doing Deep Treatments helps combat this, and is the key and foundation to your curls performing at their best, but sometimes there's just no hope in these situations...

My hair looked like something I've never seen before (pictured above) ~ all of my baby hairs coiled up around my face and the long curls basically looked like dreads. I couldn't do a single thing with it! I wore it in a high pony but that just made me look like I did in my worst days of high school horror! So, when my boyfriend asked if I wanted to go out to dinner, I said, "I can't go anywhere looking like this!" (Which is obviously absurd behavior to anyone else who doesn't have curly hair.)

I sometimes refine my curls with a curling iron in situations like these (shhh, don't tell Ouidad) which I will show you in a future video someday soon, but this time I relied on my 'do I used while in the caribbean this past winter.

curly bun

It's super easy and can look quite polished, trendy, cool, or edgy depending on how you spin it. It's really just a bun, but a curly bun is always cooler! The key is the deep side part!

*Here's why: The only hope for our hair is the hair that hasn't been exposed on the outer most layer. We gotta dig into the interior of the hair and pull that over (much like a bad comb over on a bald man) the frizz, to let that come forward ;).*

How to (Please pardon the appearance;)

curly side part

Take your side part starting at the middle of one of your eyebrows and draw a line straight back. Now, part your hair. You've just created a new part with the underlying hair on top of the frizzy stuff.

Here is one of the only times you will comb your curls with your fingers, pulling and smoothing it into a low ponytail.

curly pony

You can rock it a little to the side at this point, and kind of pull on the crown area to give it a little bump and edge, and let the pony come over your shoulder. You could even braid it into a boho style, or you can make it look like a textured bun like I did.

curly bun

Just coil the pony around the hair elastic and pin with bobby pins to secure. You can finish it more so by smoothing some pomade or serum over the surface to lock down that halo of frizz! Ouidad's clear control pomade or frizz fighting spray work great!

The cool thing about curly hair is that all the texture that's in there looks like a set that a straight girl would have to work hours to achieve with a blow dryer and curling iron. This look literally takes about 1 minute.

Put on some bold earrings and doll up those eyes, and you're good to go. I'm sure I'll be relying on this one a lot this summer, and I hope this helps you too!

For more Curly Girl Cures, click here.

You go Curl!



Hair: Refresh Your Curls { 2 videos ~ including post yoga hair}

One of the biggest questions I get from my Curly girls, is how to get as many days out of your curly style. For me, I can get a good 5-7 days (just don't get too close to smelling my scalp towards the end;). I have lots of little 'preserving' tips for curls that I want to share with you when your days call for running, getting your yoga on, humid weather, etc., or basically anything that starts to get in the way of you and your styling armor!

First things first, you MUST master the Rake and Shake styling...that's what's going to get you the long lasting results that you desire! I also suggest diffusing the hair initially, because the heat locks in the set that much better!

Secondly, make sure you're sleeping and showering correctly.

To refresh, check out the top video, where I talk about 3 different ways you can spruce up your curls, whether you need to encourage the curl pattern and just reactivate your gel, or whether you need to add a little shine, or whether you need to modify your curl pattern set with a little water and gel action.

To reduce frizz / risk losing your curly style, make sure you control your sweat sesh in your yoga class, or when you run or work out, by checking out this crazy video of me post yoga class in the bathroom at my yoga studio ;). I reduce the sweat (which would wet my hair and break up my gel) by keeping my hair 'contained' in a bun with a wide headband around the hairline, and then I shake it out and apply the above tips if need be.

I hope you find these tips helpful! Please feel free to share your curly cures in the comments below!

Ciao Curlies!

Hair Help: Doing a Deep Treatment at Home

preserve your curls
preserve your curls

Hey Curly girls, I hope you're all doing your Ouidad Deep Treatments at home as recommended! You really should be doing them at least once a month, unless your hair needs extra help, and in that case, every other week is ideal!

I have clients who say they do the deep treatment, but when I ask them if they apply heat to it they say no. They either just sleep with it or leave it in for a long time and think that that does the trick...Sorry to tell you, but you're actually wasting product and money!

The Deep Treatment requires heat in order to work. The heat lifts the outer layer of the cuticle so that the wheat proteins, amino acids and moisturizing agents can go to work on the inner layer, where the hair can reconstruct itself. In order to have bouncy, lively, frizz free, non puffy hair, you need that inner layer to be strong, which means you have to constantly keep feeding curly hair protein! As mentioned before, the outer layer of curly hair is slightly lifted due to the nature of the curl pattern, so protein is seeping out naturally. It's fragile, high maintenance hair, girls!

So, don't waste that product, and take the extra 12 minutes to heat it up. Your hair will love you for it!

Creative ways to apply heat are:

~the traditional way: After shampooing, apply the deep treatment to your hair in sections, clip it up and put a shower cap around it. Then take your blow dryer and put it on high heat, low speed, (no need for a diffuser attachment here) and circle it around your head, on the outside of the shower cap for 7 minutes. Turn the dryer off and keep the shower cap on for the remaining 5 minutes to trap the heat and then let it cool and rinse.

~With a hot towel. After applying the deep treatment, you can either put a wet towel that's been soaked in boiling hot water and wrap it around your hair and let it cool before rinsing, or you can take a hot towel out of the dryer and wrap it around the outside of the shower cap so you trap the heat.

~at the gym: If you have a steam room or a sauna at your gym or in your home, take advantage! Apply your deep treatment after shampooing and put the shower cap on over it while you let it heat up in either room for 12 minutes. Rinse and style as ush!

~at the beach/in the sun: This is where you wouldn't use a shower cap, but it will still work...Shampoo and apply the deep treatment. Put your hair in a braid or a bun and go outside into the sun. When your hair is wrapped up like that, you trap the heat anyways and you'll at least get the heat you need from the warmth of the sun before it starts drying out, so you don't need to look silly with a shower cap on in public!

~in a hot yoga class! Same rules apply as above. No need to look silly in public, just apply the treatment and put your hair in a braid or bun to trap the heat of that heated room!

So, there you have it girls! No excuses to not do your deep treatments!! May your curls be healthy and happy!

Hair Help: Do you LOSE lots of HAIR in the shower?

Curly Kate (crazy picture of me, I know)

No need to stress my curly girls, (and those of you who don't wear it super smooth or don't brush it) it is natural for you to lose lots of hair in the shower!

Clients are always asking me if this should be a concern and my answer is always: "are you losing more than usual?" If the answer is yes, then you may in fact have some sort of imbalance going on, or are experiencing breakage, but that is usually not the case. The reason why you're losing globs of hair in the shower is solely because us curly girls don't brush our hair!

Think about it ~ We all shed some crazy amount of hairs per day because of the natural cycle of hair growth (same as our eyelashes, eyebrows, etc). So, when your hair is smooth, the natural cycle of shedding slips right out of the hair effortlessly, and gets caught on your clothes, found on the floor, or comes out onto the brush, or your fingers, right?!

Conversely, when your hair is curly, the strands from the natural shedding process have nowhere to go and it just gets tangled within itself and wraps around your curls. So, when you go to wash your hair, it is likely that you'll find lots of hair in your comb as you're detangling the proper way. This is totally normal! Especially if you're like most curlies, and you only shampoo every 2/3 days (or more for some of you), the more shedding you'll accumulate!

So, have no fear my friends unless you really are going through extra stress, or some sort of imbalance, and are noticing bald spots or excessive hair loss! If that's the case, best to check out this post, and talk to a doctor.


Hair Help: Stretch Out and Elongate Those Curls!

Hey there Curlies, I have another little tip for you!! In this video, I show you how to stretch out those tight, kinky curls that create unwanted volume!

Just a little FYI, most curly heads will have 2-3 different curl patterns on their head, so it is not uncommon to have to address one or more of those curl patterns in a different fashion.

For example, my hairline is super kinky (z pattern curl), the underneath of my hair is in a tight curl pattern (corkscrew), while the rest of it is more of a classic curl pattern that winds in about 1/2in. to 1in. spirals. I personally like the looser of the curls best! My underneath curls coil up too tightly and it's hard to see and achieve the look of length (unless I blow it out straight). The hairline expands so much because of it's kinkiness that it gives me unwanted puff and volume, especially when it's humid out! Can anyone else relate??

Lucky for me, I learned lots of tips while working for "The Queen of Curl" herself (Ouidad) that I could apply not only to my clients, but also to my own head of curls!

In this video, I show you the 'stretching of the curls' technique. You may also like to see other tips here.

Good luck practicing and keep those curls rockin out! You have no idea the kind of statement you make when you walk into a room with 'curl confidence' ;)!

"You Go Curl",

Hair Help: When to brush curls

If you know anything about caring for your curly hair, it's probably this rule: Never Ever brush your curls! You'd be surprised though just how many curly girls have still never learned that rule! So, if you're one of them, this will probably be the biggest a-ha moment of your life (seriously) and will probably be the answer to finally having the curls of your dreams...

Needless to say, once you learn the rules, you can break them, right? The general protocol for curls is to comb it using a wide tooth comb or a vent brush while you're in the shower and have conditioner in your hair, starting from the bottom and working your way up, to avoid any breakage and damage. That way, when you get out of the shower, all you have to do is towel blot it and go right in with your leave-in treatments and styling products. If you haven't watched my tutorial on styling, please check it out here, so you know what I'm talking about!

There is an exception to this rule, however. You may use a brush or a fine tooth comb to smooth the hair before styling it. Crazy, right?! I know...just watch how I do it in this video and practice at home for that salon finished look!

As always, if you have questions or comments please feel free to leave them here and I will do my best to answer!

Hair Help: Keeping Curls fresh for days!!

Ouidad Botanical Boost I probably shouldn't be announcing to people that I can go about a week without washing my hair, but hey, as a hair stylist, the last thing I want to do is my own hair! Just like mechanics fix everyone else's car but their own, or makeup artists are usually bare minimum, that's usually what happens with us hair stylists ~ the last to get a hair cut, the last to get our roots done, the last to wash our hair (at least in my case).

I'm telling you this because curly girls can get a few days out of their style the same way a good blow-out will last a Victoria Secret model! You just have to know how to 'preserve the curls'! Most curly girls say they have to wet/wash their hair everyday because they wake up with a frizzy, fuzzy, wild mess on top of their head!

I'm here to tell you that it's all about the initial styling approach as soon as you're out of the shower that will get you from day 1 to day 7! Keep practicing your Rake and Shake Curly style by watching my videos and follow these 'preserving your curls' tips from day to day:

preserve your curls

Rule #1:

DO NOT get your hair wet in the shower! Not even the hairline!! Put a headband around the hairline so you can keep humidity at bay!

preserving curls

See ~ headband and hair clipped up before shower cap goes on;)

curls while sleeping

Rule #2:

This is how I look before I go to bed (sans make-up, obvi). See how practical I am by using the headband I washed my face with and kept my hair dry under the shower cap?

Pull your hair up on top of your head so that you're not sleeping on it which would create friction, aka frizz! You can tie it up with a scrunchie (but who has that these days?) or you can double up your headband like I did! Basically you just want to avoid using an elastic because it will create a dent in your hair ~ the softer the better, and the looser the pony the better (if you tie it too tight, you'll stretch the curl out).

Rule #3:

In the morning when you wake up, spritz a little of Ouidad's Botanical Boost in the hair (just mist, don't saturate) to spring your curls back, or dab a little shine glaze or clear control  (finishing products) to smooth out frizz and add shine. You'll look as good as new! You may even find you like your hair best on day 3 or 4, like I do! (I like that lived in bo-ho look). I personally don't use any products throughout the week, but that's just me ~ you have options!



Bye Bye Crunchy Curls!

Hi Curlies!

Have you been practicing the Rake and Shake styling technique? Are you wondering why your hair feels crunchy or looks wet after it's dried? Well, in this video, you will learn how to take that stiffness out!

In order for your curls to stay defined and frizz-free, you need the hold! But, you don't want it to look like there's hold, right? If you've been diffusing your hair, then you probably aren't experiencing the 'crunch', but if you're an 'air-dryer', then you might not be so happy with this newly learned technique! Fear not my friends! Curly Kate to the rescue!!

In this video, I will show you how to 'finish' your look, now that you've 'styled' it;)!

"You go, Curl!"

Keep Your Curls Frizz Free while drying with the diffuser.

Hey Curly Girls!

By now, you've watched the previous videos on setting your curls up for defined, shiny, frizz free locks! In this next video, I show you how to avoid where the frizz can creep in! Remember I've said, "However you position your hair when it's wet, is how it's going to dry."? Well, the first rule of thumb for a curly girl is to NOT touch the hair, (as I'm sure you all know)--but it'sespecially crucial when it's drying! All the magic is happening when it dries!

Sealing the 'set' with heat is going to ensure that your hair will come out the way you intended! Just like blowing your hair out smooth, the heat seals the cuticle and allows for you to get a few days out of your look. Use time and patience during this part (10-15min) so that all the work you did with the Rake and Shake isn't wasted! Even if you just diffuse for the first 5 minutes and let it air dry the rest of the way, you'll be in better shape. (Unless of course, you're a pro at keeping your hands out of it, staying away from wind, avoiding changing your shirt or layering on scarfs, hats and coats--all of which set you up for frizz;)

I hope this Diffusing Your Curls Video helps you master your own curls at home!

Rock on with your Curly Self!

Curly Style
Curly Style

Curly Hair Styling

 Hi Curlies!

Now that you've been standing there with your hair in 5 sections, wet and ready to go the past few weeks, your second step in this styling tutorial series is ready!

In this video, I demonstrate Ouidad's Rake and Shake styling technique so that you can get defined, shiny, frizz free curls every time! It just takes a little patience and orderliness to let your natural curl pattern puzzle perfectly into place!

Ouidad Rake and Shake
Ouidad Rake and Shake

In the last video, you learned how to map out your curls by way of the round of your head. It's super important to keep those sections clean! Don't underestimate the simplicity of that last video--it's probably the most important part!

The second part showcases how you achieve separation, play and bounce within your curls. Even if you don't do it perfectly, your style will still be better than before, because by sectioning out your hair properly (video 1), you ensure even saturation of your styling product! (that's how important video 1 is).

In my experience, when I give a client a styling lesson, almost 100% of the time, their sections are sloppy and their gel application is too minimal, so please pay close attention to video 1 first, and practice, practice, practice!

I hope you enjoy the video and please feel free to post comments or questions below, I'd love to see them!

You go, Curls!;)

Much Love,


Release your 'Bad Hair Days' for good!

I know what it's like to have a bad hair day, believe me! There's nothing worse than feeling like your hair is wearing you, rather than you wearing it! From about age 9--28, I was fighting my hair and not winning! If you haven't read my traumatic curl story, read here: I always rolled my eyes when people would annoyingly tell me, "people would pay big bucks for that hair you have".  If only they knew what it was like dealing with it on their own ruled my life, to say the least. Work out schedules revolved around my hair washing days, I couldn't go out if I didn't have my gel, and I'd been known to blow a fuse or two when blow drying it straight. All in all, it was a time consuming, daunting task to try and fit into my schedule!

After many years spent exhausting myself trying to control my hair, rather than allowing it to be free, I've finally embraced the dreaded 'wet bun' occasionally, I don't get instantly stressed out anymore when I start sweating profusely in a hot yoga class, knowing my hair is ruined, and I go swimming now when I feel called to, rather than just going in neck deep to avoid having to do my hair. I've come a long way, baby!

It's amazing what happens when you LET GO! Who the heck cares if your hair doesn't look perfect! I mean, really! Control = Fear. Fear of what? Not being put together? Who is really ever 'put together' anyways, and if they are, are they any fun? And what does being 'put together' even mean?

Spiritually speaking, hair is the extension of your electromagnetic field. Bet you didn't know that, did ya? Everything about yourself is a perfect representation of your Divine Essence. I do believe we must make our temple shine, however! Looking good on the outside, should only represent the beauty that's within, but it shouldn't be a struggle--you are already perfect exactly the way you are.

Just like anything in life, finding a healthy balance is essential, including your beauty routine! I invite you to simplify your life, and embrace your hair's natural texture! To start a new routine or habit, give yourself 40 days.

I gave this 40 day challenge to my mom awhile back, and I kid you not, she is a new woman! She is the queen of beauty and loves to look her best (it doesn't take her much)! She's always enjoyed playing with makeup and perfecting the perfect blow out, until she got herself into a vicious cycle of frying her hair with hot tools. Her hair stopped being as shiny and bouncy as usual and so we tried a new experiment--letting her hair go natural! (Whoa! Such a scary thought for her!)

Who would have known she had beautiful curls in there!? Most people actually do! It's very rare that I see someone with naturally stick straight hair--most have some what of a bend to it. Needless to say, we decided to embrace her natural curl pattern, but boy was she resistant!

During those 40 days, wearing her hair curly made her not feel as pretty, made her feel like her hair was huge--that it walked into the room before she did, and it made her irritable and anxious! She was sensitive to comments people would make like, "whoa Mary, look at your hair!" Basically, she was completely out of her comfort zone and self conscious. The irony of it, is that everyone LOVED it! She looked absolutely gorgeous, as always!

curly hair

The 40 days offered an opportunity for her to let herself go, and to see what would come out on the other side. I think she'd agree that by not trying to be so perfect, she was able to lighten up about life in general. After 40 days, and with a little help from her 'Curly Hair Specialist Daughter', she now knows how to work with her own natural texture.;)

I have so much compassion for her, as I do with my many clients who struggle with their curls. I only want for them what I now have for myself--a new place of acceptance and appreciation for my hair! I always used to wonder about those people who would say, "it's just hair"...but now I get it!

If you're at the mercy of your day depending on whether or not you're having a good hair day, then I invite you to practice giving up the struggle for 40 days. The spiritual significance of doing the same thing every day, for 40 days, allows you to release a habit for good, to make space for a healthier, new habit to take it's place. Maybe it's not your hair, but another ever present struggle you deal with...

I always tell my clients that curly hair requires a comfort level. I personally know that when I wear my hair blown out straight for a few days, and then wear it curly again, it takes a little bit of getting used to--seeing myself in the mirror again and embracing the curly hair effects takes a little patience and softness.

By nature, curly hair is playful, expansive and fun! There's a reason God put it on your head! Why not embrace what you were given and give up the struggle!? You are unique just the way you are.

curly hair


In health and happiness,