The Ultimate Guide to Curly Hair: Tips From a Professional

Meet our guest speaker, Amy Bush of Ambushed Salon. In this ultimate guide to curly hair, we will go over some of the topics discussed in our Instagram Live where Amy talks about how she assesses hair and the science behind it.

Amy explains that curlies and stylists both need to understand that no one has the same type of curl texture all over their head. Hair is unique to each individual so it’s important to understand what the combination of protein and moisture contents are in your hair. This will determine what products to use and essentially how your hair will look at the end of the day. Maybe your hair needs more protein. Maybe it needs more moisture.

First, we will discuss how to choose the right stylist.

Tips on how to find the right stylist

When looking for a salon or stylist in your area that specializes in curly hair, Amy says its a good idea to post on social media and ask “for everyone wearing their hair natural, where do you go and have you found anyone that works for you?”. Chances are you will get some good suggestions. You can also do a Google search for curly hair salons in your area. Once you’ve made a choice, go in and meet the stylist. Here are a few things to take into consideration:

Do you feel comfortable with them?

Did they answer all of your questions?

Will the product lines they carry support your texture?

What styling techniques will they recommend?

Do they charge a high price for a consultation?

When Amy meets with a client, every appointment begins with a personalized assessment. She’ll ask questions like “What is your daily routine?”, “Are you using shampoo?”, “Are you using a cleansing treatment?”. She allows her client to tell her everything about their hair. Now Amy can begin her assessment.

Amy’s “four-part system” guide to curly hair

Amy has broken down her work into a four-part system. It’s called the 4 pillars. This consists of:

1. Consultations: Communication is key to correctly analyze the hair to make a better choice.

2. Cutting: Stylists should be trained to understand that they can't determine how much curly hair to cut if it's wet. Addressing curls in its dry and natural state is when you can correctly determine what that hair texture will be, and cut it accordingly.

3. Coloring: Color is used to enhance your curls. It is important to find a salon that can provide product lines that have been carefully chosen for all curl types & textures. Choosing a high quality color that lasts is key. 

4. Products: Will the products your salon carries support your hair texture? Find out if there’s a return policy on their products.
When finding a salon, it’s very important that the stylist has a full understanding of curly hair and the different texture types. A stylist should be like your own personalized guide to curly hair.

Understanding your hair

Amy recommends getting to know your hair. You should first determine if your hair needs protein, moisture or hydration.

Fine hair
: Amy compares hair textures to fabric. For example, hair that is fine is more like silk and has a harder time getting body so it needs more protein to pop and create that extra spring and strength. Moisture won’t work well on this hair type because it holds on to the weight of moisture and that weighs it down. Protein binds into each other and creates extra strength.

Coarse hair: Coarse hair on the other hand has a lot more protein and can be compared to denim. It’s much stronger. Because of its texture, oftentimes people assume that it's dry when that may not be the case.

Porosity: It’s also important to find out your hair porosity. Non-porous or low porosity hair is hair that doesn’t absorb moisture. In fact, water bounces off it and hair dries quicker. People with non-porous hair usually want to create a softer texture so adding moisture will soften the hair.

Moisture vs Hydration: Now this is important....there is a difference when it comes to products that moisturize vs hydrate. The difference is as follows:

Moisturizing products are created with larger molecules that support hair moisturization and lay on the outside of the hair.
Hydration products internally penetrate the hair. They are made with water-loving molecules that put moisture inside the hair and hold it there. A lot of people, without realizing it actually need hydration, not full-on moisture. There are products on the market specific to hydration.

Keep this common misconception in mind, water alone is not moisturizing. The state of your hair will be the same before it’s wet and after it’s wet. This means the water doesn’t sufficiently stay in the hair. Certain products will consist of that specific molecule you want to receive either moisture or hydration.

Final words on our guide to curly hair

These factors are extremely important when learning how to maintain a gorgeous head of hair. To hear more about Amy’s ultimate guide to curly hair, check out our Instagram Live where she talks in-depth about these topics and discusses much more.

You can learn more about Amy from her website Ambushed Salon by clicking here. You can also follow her on Instagram by clicking here.