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Everyone knows that straight hair never goes out of style. But many stylists around town are declaring “super pin-straight hair” passé and urging their clients to create some waves this summer.
“Curls are back in, and I’m happy to see it,” says Emily Shinn, stylist at Salon Grace in Cockeysville. “The hippie, beach-messy, natural Bohemian wave is going to be the new trend, which will help people avoid all that damage they’ve been doing to their hair throughout the years.”
Danielle Munoz, stylist at Studio 921 Salon and Day Spa, agrees. “We’ll see a lot of natural, beautiful waves this season, and not just on the beach,” she says. “Less fighting against the natural means less money spent and more time enjoying life.”
But when they say curls, these stylists aren’t talking about corkscrew-tight ringlets. “Now they’re softer waves, so you can just wash and wear. Instead of getting perms and using curling irons, etc., we’re layering hair with product, then letting the hair dry naturally,” says Melanie Fahey-Nielsen of Mt. Washington Skincare and Hair Salon. “We want it to be a mess, but a structured mess.”
But with wavy and curly hair come frizz— and that’s what makes those of us living in high-humidity Baltimore nervous. Perhaps the No. 1 frizz fighter, and the newest in-salon rage, is the Brazilian Treatment, which is loaded with keratin that soaks into the hair shaft, pumping up the shaft and keeping the cuticles down. Says Lindsey Nelson, stylist at La Clinica Salon and Day Spa, “In the case of the Brazilian Treatment, the more damage your hair has, the better this is for you. You can have bleached hair to the max, and because bleach opens the cuticles in the hair more, more keratin gets in. You get twice as much body than you’d get with a Japanese Straightening Treatment.”
The Brazilian Treatment lasts three to four months, half the time as the Japanese— but it takes half the time to be processed, and the cost is half (roughly $400). Often, salons call the treatment a Brazilian Straightener, but that’s a misnomer because it doesn’t really straighten the hair; if you have really curly hair, it will be wavy, and if you have wavy hair, it will be straighter. “The point is that it removes the frizz,” says Nelson. “And it’s very easy to get it straight with a blow dryer if you want that.” When Brazilian Treatments first hit the scene last year, a lot of people were intimidated by the fact that they required putting formaldehyde on their hair. Tery Hwang, of Kobi day spa and salon, says, “We were probably the first to use it. At first, we didn’t want it. We were skeptical. But we finally decided to get on the bandwagon and we did a lot of research before we used it. The fact is, it only has 0.02 percent formaldehyde— plus, we also carry the non-formaldehyde kind. When we tell our clients the difference, the majority of them go for the treatment with formaldehyde, because it just lasts longer.”
Connie Jones, stylist at Spa on the Avenue, says their salon has just begun to offer Brazilian Treatments, but has already seen around two to three people a week requesting it,” she says. “The people I’ve done it on are very happy with it. It’s straight protein put onto the hair, so it gets rid of the frizzy, unmanageable hair look.”
For those with bone-straight hair who want to cash in on the new, deconstructed, wavy look, Corbin, of Corbin Salon, says an option would be the Textured Wave— a new take on the perm process. “It’s an over-directed perm, so you get more waves at the top of the hair, and the wave lessens as the hair drops down,” he says. You don’t have to try to keep that curl at the roots, which means you don’t have to keep going back for touch-ups. “It’s about having movement now, not curls.”
Munoz suggests leaving the bangs out of any textured wave, “so that the rest of the hair is wavy, but the frizz caused by chemicals is kept away from the part of the hair that’s framing the face. You don’t want to have curly bangs!” Both Corbin and Munoz say they only see a few people each week asking for a Textured Wave. “Perms just aren’t popular,” says Corbin.
Not interested in spending a few hours (or a hundred bucks) in the salon? Almost all the hairstylists we interviewed agreed on the need to use products to combat humidity— and they say products have come a long way, even since last year.
“Humidity really only affects you if you have some sort of natural wave or curl in your hair, and all I have to say about that is product, product, product,” says Shinn. “That doesn’t mean your hair has to be hard or crunchy or sprayed down. It means you have to find the right product specifically for your hair type. If you’re at the beach, sweating, and you notice your hair frizz is coming back, Curl Force 17 by Redken is great. Spray some on, scrunch it up and bingo bango, your curl looks good again!”
Fahey-Nielsen says they can’t keep Joico Design Collection Humidity Blocker in the shop. “It encapsulates the hair shaft and keeps the shaft from exploding, which causes that frizzy look,” she says. “Flat irons are fantastic with getting the humidity out of the hair, too, but you still have to layer your hair with product to protect the hair from its heat. You can get a couple of good, straight hair days out of a flat iron. But you might not want straight hair now, so Joico helps those who have curly hair keep the wave and ditch the frizz.”
Marion Lambropoulos, from M Salon, swears by Moroccan Oil Treatment made by MoroccanOil. “It’s frickin’ amazing. It has aragon oil in it, and that fills the cuticles and adds shine.” Another product that has clients flocking to their salons is Paul Mitchell’s Heat Seal Humidity Resistant Styling Spray, because, says Jennifer Dozier Horter, of Bombshell Salon, “it gives the hair memory. It’s designed to work with the curling iron or the flat iron. It creates a kind of barrier around the hair shaft. The polymers form like a cast around every strand of hair to give a forcefield effect so the humidity will bounce off of it, and I swear it works!”
Jones swears by Aveda Brilliant Anti-Humectant Pomade because, “on rainy or muggy days, it’s not heavy. You don’t want that waxy feeling. Plus, it has about 98 percent natural products in there, so you get to fight nature with nature!”
So take that, humidity!
For more hair information and product recommendations, visit Style’s Beauty Section.
- Bombshell Salon, 10030 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City, 410-418-8222, bombshellhairsalon.com
- Colours Salon & Day Spa, 2346 York Road, 410-252-0933, colourssalon.com
- Corbin Salon, 4 W. University Parkway, 410-662-8700
- DK Salon, 5701 Newbury St., 410-377-4300
- Kobi Salon, 6322 Falls Road, 410-828-7800, kobisalon.com
- La Clinica Salon and Day Spa, 1624 York Road, Lutherville, 410-828-7464, laclinicadayspa.com
- M Salon, 1131 S. Charles St., 410-685-0089; msalonfederalhill.com
- Mason & Friends Salon and Spa, 6770 Oak Hall Lane, Suite 123, Columbia, 410-381-2440, masonhair.com
- Mt. Washington Skincare and Hair Salon, 1600 Kelly Ave., 410-664-4610, mwspa.com
- Salon Grace, 10884 York Road, Cockeysville, 410-683-0606
- Spa in the Valley, 118 Shawan Road, Cockeysville, 410-771-0200, spainthevalley.com
- Spa on the Avenue, 8165 Honeygo Blvd., White Marsh, 410-931-1130
- Studio 921 Salon and Day Spa, 921 E. Fort Ave., 410-783-7727, studio921spa.com
- Corbin Salon: Tendril styles are in— for a natural easy-to-do method, take a section of hair, add gel, twist section and run blow dryer up and down twisted section. Then finger through. If hair is dry or frizzy and you want the tendril look, use a leave-in conditioner and a softer gel. Hair will fall into natural looking sexy tendrils for an updated modern look.
- Salon Grace: At some point in your life, you have to accept what you can and cannot have. Talk to your stylist and see what works and compliments your hair and face.
- Mason & Friends Salon & Spa: Using baking soda in your shampoo takes the buildup off your hair from hair sprays, mousse and any kind of styling aids. Mix a half-teaspoon in your hand with the shampoo.
- DK Salon: Don’t shampoo every day. The natural oils in your hair are the best treatments you can give your hair.
- Mt. Washington Skincare and Hair Salon: When you finish blow-drying your hair, and you have those flyaways, spray a little bit of hair spray over on the palm of your hand and lightly smooth it on your hair right before you walk out the door.
- Kobi Salon: If your hair is really curly, but you just want it to be wavy, you’re probably better off blow-drying it nice and smooth, but stop before the curl goes out completely— or just leave it curly. If you try too hard, it looks awful.
- Colours Salon & Day Spa: A trim every six weeks doesn’t grow hair any faster. But your ends split and you lose density on the ends of your hair, so keep it trimmed!
- M Salon: Blow-dry your roots opposite from the way they lay. That gives your hair a lot of volume. If you part your hair on the right, blow-dry it on the left. Most people are looking for root lift.