Priming Your Curls to Perfection

Priming Your Curls to Perfection

I am loving working with primers when I style my clients curls! I used to go straight for the styling products because I felt that the hold was diluted if I put a primer in first, but after attending the Art of Curl Class by Ouidad last month, I was re-inspired by styling and working with all the different products Ouidad has to offer.

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)! 

Where to find a good Hair Stylist

Where to find a good Hair Stylist

She was telling me about how difficult it is to find a hair stylist when you move or when your stylist leaves, and it got me thinking. Finding a hair stylist is part of your 'team' of self care, along with your dentist, your doctor, your yoga teachers, massage therapist, chiropractor, acupuncturist, what have you, and it can be a daunting task.

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! ;)

Refine Your Curls with this Tip {Video How-To}

Hi there Curlies! I have a tip for you in today's video. It's a naughty no-no for our delicate curls, but it helps me feel polished and a little more 'done' in times of a special occasion / event (just in time for the Fourth anyone!?), or, in this instance, when nothing I do looks good in this humidity!! Can you say it's time for a deep treatment maybe!!??

Here are my selfies from the final look:


Good luck and let me know how you do and whether you like it! Stay tuned for more styling videos. Til then, you can check out my previous ones on my youtube channel.

Happy Fourth of July!!

Ciao Curlies!

Hair: Salon Styling Inspiration

curls by kate At Salon 700, we like to have a "Hair Party"!! My main intention for my clients is for them to feel confident and beautiful, by helping them figure out a look that's right for them! Do you have a cut and style that's right for YOU? Or do you play it trendy, or tried and true? In this post, I offer up some of my latest work so you can feel inspired to express your most authentic self  by embracing your natural curl pattern and texture, and finding a color that suits your lifestyle and looks best!

~Val, pictured above, was a first time Ouidad client, and was in awe of what her curls could do! Doesn't she have just the best curls?!

Below are some more fun transformations from my chair :)

~Took this Formerly Foiled Highlighted head of streaky blonde, to a deep, 'sombre' (soft ombre) looking blonde babe with deep roots and bright ends!

~Donna always wore her hair straight! Look what curls we got out of her when we styled it the Ouidad way! She was so happy and hasn't looked back! When you're aligned with your true beauty, you light up like she does!

~My cute client, Brianna says that her hair has never looked so good, and we owe it all to the Ouidad Cut and Style! Her curls are amazing!

~We had lots of fun with this one! Hair painted very soft, subtle highlights and glazed her with a light red brown for a very natural warm, seamless, but dimensional brunette!

~This curly girl got her true to form 'surfer style' with hair painted highlights so you can't tell where they start and end, and a curly cut and style to leave her looking au natural!

Curls by Kate

What is your true hair style essence? Stay tuned for more Salon Inspiration!

Til next time, you are beautiful!


Hair: Product Picks!

Pureology Anti Split Blow Dry Cream Styler As a stylist, I sample many products for styling on my clients, but I tend to mainly lean towards my faves on the regular...until lately!

I've discovered a couple new products that I'm loving right now and can be purchased where I work, at Salon 700, or you could find it online. They are:

Ouidad's  Play Curl Amplifying FoamOuidad is a constant in my repertoire with my curly girls, but I've recently been playing more with this one on any finer hair textures that have a classic curl pattern. Check out my video to learn more about different curl patterns.

Usually I would lean towards Tress Fx gel on these locks, but the foam gives so much softness that I can't resist! A little tip ~ It's best to use it while diffusing the curls, and spraying with the finishing mist for a little extra control, since the foam is a light hold, primarily designed to plump up the cuticle and add body.

The other girls in the salon are using it for their straight girl blowouts as well and the results are amazing! It truly is a foam, not a thick creamy mousse which gives it such a lightweight effect! LOVE!

Pureology anti-split blowdry styling cream is my other recent go-to for blow drying thick, somewhat textured hair that requires a little smoothness for the finished look. I focus on using it mainly on the ends of the hair and it gives a lightweight cream styling effect for those hard to manage blow drys, while also protecting it against heat styling damage. For blow drying tips, click here.

While I'm not an advocate of being a 'product junkie', and think you need a 'hair prescription' for your hair, it is always good to switch things up depending on the season, your haircut, your styling approach, etc. Always keep it fresh girls, but just use up what you have before you make the switch please...no need to have your own retail salon in your bathroom!

Have fun!




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: Understanding your Curl Patterns

Hey Curlies,

I wanted to share with you my little project I did last week. Usually I have my friend, mentor, Creative Director and Lead Stylist of the Ouidad Flagship Salon in Los Angeles do this for me, but what's a girl to do when the humidity gets crazy in Beantown and Morgan is on the other coast? The service is exclusive to the Ouidad Flagships, so I guess I could've gone to the NYC location, but I specialized in the Ouidad Softening treatment myself when I worked at Ouidad Salon in L.A., so might as well take matters into my own hands, right?

In this video, I chat with you about curl patterns, and why the Ouidad Softening treatment can be a useful tool for targeting unwanted frizz and excess curl. It turned out to be very easy to do on myself, but maybe just a little awkward to try and film for you, as I was standing in my bathroom with just a towel on to avoid any staining of my clothes (sorry for the bare shoulders, and a few sloppy filming angles).

As a Curl Expert of the Ouidad education team, I have 'trained the trainer's at Sephora and have certified Salons educating them about the differences in curl patterns.

What many people don't realize, is that while there are different curl patterns out there, all of those patterns can easily show up on one head!

Different types of Curl patterns are:

tight curls
tight curls
tight curls
tight curls

(the underneath section is my tight area)

Tight Curls: tightly wound, cork screw curls

classic curls
classic curls

(the top horseshoe area of my hair is considered 'classic')

Classic Curls: curls that start forming about 1/2in to 1in away from scalp.

kinky curls
kinky curls
kinky curls
kinky curls

(my hairline is kinky)

Kinky Curls: z-pattern

Wavy Curls: a soft s-shape that bends down the hair shaft. (not found on my head)

Loose Curls: curls that start forming about 2-3inch away from scalp (not found on my head)

By 'softening' my unwanted/unmanageable curly spots, I am gently stretching the curl pattern so I achieve a smoother, softer look. The Ouidad Softening service is a gentle form of a relaxer, keeping the integrity of the hair in tact, while restructuring the curl pattern. I first started doing this treatment when I started working for the company, and I finally fell in love with my curls! (there were just a couple spots that gave me a really hard time). By stretching out the underneath layer, I was able to achieve that length that I'd always dreamed of, and by smoothing out the hairline, I have been able to tame that frizz that always gave me a hard time. I really only need to soften once, maybe twice, a year.

There is so much to learn about how to target and treat your curl patterns, so go to Ouidad.com and take the curl profiler quiz, or if you're in the MASS area, come see me for a little curly hair care!

Hope you enjoy the video and now have a better understanding of curl patterns and how you can have the curl of your dreams!

Hair Help: Transitioning from Straight to Curly

straight hair (this is me wearing the hair straight after a blowout last year)

I have this conversation often with first timer's in my chair! The curly clients are always the most guarded, most sensitive, most skeptical. They either finally come in after hearing about me or my curly services months or even years ago, or they come in on a whim after seeing a fellow curly on the street looking fab, raving about how it is a 'life changing experience' and ohmygosh they book straight away!

Either way, they don't know what they're in for, but there is lots of work to be done psychologically between us. The consultation is the most important part of what I do and so it is SO important for me to really listen to my client's frustrations, wants, needs, likes and dislikes. I know, because I was once a curly client myself, so I try to really come down to their level, knowing that in my own past experiences, the stylist had their best interests at heart, not mine.

So it begins...we consult, I pull and push and try to drag out everything I can. They have huge walls up! But when we're finished, they truly are over joyed. I can't over promise that this will always be the case (some people are just not happy on the inside, so anything done on the outside will just be temporary) but more often than not, they are officially part of the 'curly club'.

Many clients have been getting keratin treatments or blow drying and flat ironing before they come to me trying to embrace their curls. This is happening a lot right now because of the humidity we're having on Cape Cod. They feel it's time to let their curls come out, but they don't know what that really entails ~ It really involves getting comfortable with seeing yourself with curly hair!!!

Most people feel they look bigger (face is fuller, head is wider, overall body is bigger) when they wear their hair curly. Can I just tell you, it's a law of proportion that you actually probably look smaller when you wear your hair fuller because the contrast of fullness around your face, frames it to make your face appear slimmer....meditate on that for a second!

The other problem is that most curlies are used to running their fingers through their straightened hair, so when they start handling their curls, they are playing with it too much creating frizz and flyaways. Keep the hands out of the hair ladies!

The big problem ~ they don't realize that you actually have to take the time to STYLE it. I always tell my clients that we do not wash and go like we'd all love to...you have to take at least 5 minutes to position your hair by doing the ouidad rake and shake styling, or some version thereof.

If you were to wear your hair straight, you would take the time to use a blow dryer and a brush and possibly a hot tool afterwards, right? Well what if you thought you could get the same results by just flipping your hair upside down and drying it with your hands? Obviously, it wouldn't come out the same...That's essentially the same result you would get if you didn't take the time to position your curls by raking and shaking...invest a little time initially, and you will get a few days out of it. Watch the videos here.

I always tell my clients, transitioning from straight to curly requires an acquired comfort level of seeing yourself as a new version of you in the mirror. I personally have about a week's worth of adjustment time when I wear my hair straight for an impromptu blow out and then go back to curly...but I always prefer being curly once I'm back! *Note: always do a deep treatment after wearing it straight and attempting to style it curly*

You just don't get the same compliments and attention being straight! Curly is cool! Curly is fun! Curly is youthful! So own it! It's what you were born with, so embrace your true essence and realize that your little curly soul is sensitive and you just need somebody to hold your hand through the process...watch my videos or come see me for a little TLC or a styling lesson.

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: 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: HairRx

Editorial hairI like to give my clients 'Hair Prescriptions'! All too often, I have clients who want their hair to grow really long, but yet they trim it every 4-6 weeks! Why?! I know they're following 'The rules', but the reality is that your hair grows 1/2inch per month, so unless your stylist is super careful about literally 'dusting' the ends (less than 1/4inch) then you're safe, but unfortunately most stylists are known for being 'scissor happy'. What I usually look for is whether the ends are splitting or breaking. Lots of times, especially if your hair is fine, it grows to a fine point as it gets longer and you lose that strong visual length line. Basically what's happening is the hair is just getting weaker the older it gets. Think about it ~ about 6 inches from the root of your hair strand is about one year old hair. So, you can guestimate just how old your hair is if it's well past your shoulders...That being said, it's been exposed to lots of outdoor elements ~ wind, sun, chemical processes, brushes, combs, clips, you get the picture...

blonde hairYou need to keep the hair strong! The only way to feed (nourish/strengthen) your hair is to put life back in it with protein bonds ~ they reconstruct the inner part of the cuticle, plumping it up and giving it elasticity, shine and body. You don't have to keep cutting the ends if you're feeding it with proteins! (Something a stylist should never say if they ever want to keep a client!;). In all honesty though, your hair will lose it's shape after about 10-12 weeks (depending on how long it is) and then you will need to reshape it, but that doesn't necessarily mean you have to sacrifice length! Shaping just addresses the internal body of the hair. You can't live without us, sorry!;). We need to see you at least 4 times a year!

So, you can relax in keeping your locks long! But make it a priority to do bi-weekly protein treatments and use the proper Hair Prescription provided by your stylist! We are like a doctor/therapist, ya know;)

curly hairThere are so many products out there on the market, but my favorite protein builders are :

*Ouidad's Deep Treatment along with her Nourishing Shampoo and Melt Down Mask. She's also recently packaged her in salon treatments for at home use ~ the salon series is amazing!! Ouidad's products can be used on all types of curl patterns, even straight! (Most people have some what of a bend to their hair anyways...) I especially like the omega 3 and mediterranean bay leaf treatments!

I also like Pureology's Essential Repair Line ,

and Kerastase Resistance Force Architecte line.

Don't forget, we have in salon treatments that are always worth taking advantage of as well!

There's always the good ole fashioned home remedies to turn to for all you hippie dippy types!;):

My amazing "Life Coach", Sivan blogged about her Ayurvedic approach to healthy, strong hair in this article.

And if you missed my GLOW workshop last year, here's what I shared with the group from a yogic approach to healthy hair:

Use a warm oil treatment to enhance hair growth: use jojoba, olive or coconut oil as the base oil – warm the oil. Add 25 drops of pure essential oil - peppermint or rosemary for dry hair or basil oil for oily hair. Wash your hair slightly and then add the oils and massage your scalp to increase circulation and stimulate hair growth.

Rinse using a tonic of sage tea mixed with 1 Tbsp. of apple cider vinegar to support hair growth.

Supplements to take: gotu kola to stimulate hair growth, or silica, and biotin, B vitamins, zinc along with plenty of legumes, nuts, grains, eggs and fish. Daily tea of rosemary, nettle and horsetail.

There you have it ~ your Hair Rx. For a more customized program, see your stylist and do what she says:)


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!