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Curly Hair Explosion Photo Shoot - How To


Model Ginny with Gorgeous Botticelli Curls

Hair by Barbara Lhotan Photo by Jeffrey Lee Hines All Rights Reserved.

Recently Premiere Paul Mitchell Educator, Barbara Lhotan, breezed into the offices in Dallas, Texas to do the hair for a photo shoot.

Although Barbara will modestly tell you she is "an all around" hairdresser don't believe it for one minute. I have had the privilege of watching Barbara create everything from breathtaking updos to cutting and styling a wide range of textures.

Some years ago's Billy and I were literally practicing applying extensions and doing braids in Barbara's hotel room in downtown Dallas when she visited for a show.

I was thrilled at the prospect of watching Barbara style the hair for our models.

The photo shoot took place over a long weekend. A lot of the work went into the prep for the shoot. First there was the model call which involved screening a wide range of women with the type, texture and color of hair Barbara wanted to style.

After days of phone calls, emails and looking at a range of photos we narrowed it down to our hand picked models. After arranging for the models and the make-up artists we had to get prepared for the actual shoot.'s Jeffry Lee Hines who is part time professional photographer set up the actual photo site in the building. This mean moving furniture around and setting up camera equipment.

How To Copy Ginny's Curly Hairstyle

Model Ginny with Gorgeous Botticelli Curls

Hair by Barbara Lhotan Photo by Jeffrey Lee Hines All Rights Reserved.

Model Ginny arrived on the second day of the shoot with clean dried hair. Because her hair was naturally curly, she applied just a touch of product to keep it from frizzing. Basically her curls were nestled very close to her head when she first arrived. I have to admit that I was skeptical about transforming her curls for the camera but Barbara assured me it would be "a snap".

Indeed, with a water bottle, some gel and a long finger diffuser

One topic that is known in the textured hair world is referred to as Creating A Hair Pineapple or Creating A Pineapple. Sometimes its referred to simply as Pineappling.

Ponytail Plop

A good friend of mine has been performing this technique for many years, since she was a teen, but she called it the Ponytail Plop. In the natural curl communities it is also known as the Hair Pineapple.

What Is A Hair Pineapple?

Basically a pineapple, the hair kind, not the fruit kind is just a very high ponytail with a base positioned in the middle of the head.

The base of the pineapple ponytail is actually positioned between the hairline and the crown.

Why Is It Called A Pineapple?

Model Ginny with Gorgeous Botticelli Curls

Hair by Barbara Lhotan Photo by Jeffrey Lee Hines All Rights Reserved.

When the ponytail is secured in the middle of the head and then the long textured strands are allowed to cascade from the base, the back of the head looks like a pineapple. The curls cascading curls at the top look like leaves at the top of a pineapple. The hair resembles the leaves.

How To Make A Hair Pineapple?

To be successful with the Hair Pineapple, tresses must usually be below the shoulders or longer. Ideally the hair is Bra Strap Length (BSL) meaning it falls just to the top of where the bra strap is attached to the back of the bra.

If your hair is not long enough to be pulled into a ponytail near the crown or top of your head, it may not work in the Pineapple method.

1. Bend your head over at your waist, gather all of your hair, damp or dry, into your hands and pull a traditional scrunchie or scunchie around all the hair at the top of your head to form the base. Although other non-scrunchie ponytail holders will work, it may leave a dent in the hair. It's best, when possible, to use a soft scrunchie style ponytail holder.

2. Once all of the hair has been captured into a ponytail at the top of your head, bend forward, holding the ponytail hair in your hands to keep it in place. You don't want the curls or texture to flop back into a traditional style. The goal is to keep the curls flowing forward towards the face.

3. Using your fingers, gently separate your new pony into two equal sections and direct each one on either side of the scrunchie held base.

Model Ginny with Gorgeous Botticelli Curls

Hair by Barbara Lhotan Photo by Jeffrey Lee Hines All Rights Reserved.

4. Keeping all the hair in place apply a satin, silk or similar style sleep cap. You may wish to also sleep on a silk or satin pillowcase and if your hair misbehaves you can clip the ends to your head to hold in place. Keep in mind when using any type of clips or pins there can be potential next day wrinkles.

5. Allow the hair pineapple to set overnight.

6. Remove scrunchie by gently pulling over strands or if desired and the scrunchie is inexpensive you can always cut if off with a scissors.

7. Use fingers to arrange curls into desired pattern. Do not brush or comb. Use a water bottle filled with distilled water and your favorite leave-in conditioner. If desired you can add additional styling product.

8. Optionally you can touch up any rebellious ringlets with a curling iron or you can wrap around your fingers to reform.

Wet Or Dry Pineapple?

Most fans of the Pineapple technique have to find their own way to perfecting their method. Some naturally textured people swear by the technique when their hair is wet, others damp and yet others only pineapple with dry hair which has been spritzed with a water bottle to keep curls and texture moist.

A hair pineapple can be created to style newly cleansed hair and allow it to air dry in a plopped or plunked shape or it can be created on bone dry strands for 2nd or 3rd day overnight curl styling.


The key to hair pineapple is to experiment to customize it to your own naturally textured hair needs. It's important to remember that not all methods work for all naturally textured people because everyone's hair is unique and will respond in kind.

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- Revised Date: 04/23/11

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