The world of curly hair is full of experts. Some are self-proclaimed and others have earned their reputations from the media. Others have won their expert titles from years in the business and long lines of faithful clients who spread the world.
How does a mere hair consumer shift through the hype, the self proclamations, the buzz and the endless advertising to drill down to find the hard core experts?
After thirty years of writing and eleven years of writing about hair for HairBoutique.com, MultiMedia Publications (MMI), Harris Publications and several other fashion and hair magazines, I've bumped into lots of the experts.
During that time I have formed my own opinions of whom the true experts really are.
Although my hair is naturally wavy for the most part, I do have a patch of natural curls.
Even curly hair expert Lorraine Massey spotted my natural curls across the room at a seminar some years back although they were hidden in waves at the time.
However, I do not deal with natural curl challenges as severe as some. Therefore take my list of Curly Hair Experts with a grain of salt but consider it a good starting point.
The Manhattan based celebrity hairdresser is noted for his work on naturally curly tresses and has the talent to inspire new hair trends.
One of his more famous celebrity clients has been Ryan Phillippe who is famous for his perfectly coiffed curls. He has also done an amazing job cutting and styling the naturally curly tresses of Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Lopez.
Oscar designed his own scissors and cutting tools so that he could achieve perfect cuts on naturally curly and related textures.
To visit the Oscar Blandi Salon check out:
Oscar Blandi Salon 746 Madison Avenue (at 65th Street) New York, New York 10021 Tel: 212.988.9404 http://oscarblandi.com/salon.html
Ouidad - Queen Of Curls
There is no doubt that Ouidad is truly The Queen of Curly Hair. Ouidad was one of the first if not the first, to stake her claim as a curly hair expert. She has also been crowned the queen by the media as well as by other experts in the hair and beauty industry. She
Indeed, I have had a few chats with this lovely woman over the past eleven years and she never fails to blow me away with her knowledge and passion for helping people with curly hair.
For more on Ouidad visit Ouidad's Interview from 1998.
Of course Ouidad has naturally curly hair and has dedicated her life to developing her expertise.
Ouidad Salon 37 W. 57th St 4th Fl (Btwn 5th & 6th Ave) New York, NY 10019 212-888-3288 http://www.ouidad.com/
Ouidad published a book about curls and has a complete line of products for curly hair.
Lorraine Massey - Curly Girl
Lorraine Massey, who I also had the great pleasure of meeting in Dallas at a seminar right after her best selling Curly Girl book was release, has also staked a claim as a curly hair expert.
The media agrees as does legions of clients who rave about her book, her DevaCurl product line and her two Devachan salons in New York.
Lorraine Massey Devachan Salon 560 Broadway New York, NY 212-274-8686 http://www.devachansalon.com/
Devachan Hair and Spa 425 Broome Street (at Crosby) New York, NY 10013 Although Lorraine and Ouidad agree on several curly hair facts, their methods do differ and but ultimately both are focused on helping men, women and children learn to love their curls. They also both share New York headquarters.
Christo - Creator of Curlisto®
Ouidad is known as the Queen of Curls and Christo, creator of the Curlisto® line is known as the King of Curls. He is a media darling who has devoted his career to working with natural curly hair.
I have never talked to Christo although I have many times strolled past his famous curly hair salon during my regular visits to New York.
Ouidad is known as the Queen of Curls and Christo has been dubbed the King of Curls.
Like Ouidad and Lorraine, Christo has his own techniques for dealing with curly hair. Christo's Salon 574 5th Avenue 5th Floor (between 46th & 47th Street New York, New York 10036 212-997-8800 http://www.curlisto.com/
Elie Noufal Gerdek
Elie Noufal Gerdak is a curly hair maestro who is the Proprietor and Creative Director of the Elie.Elie Salon in Tysons Corner (703-893-2711) as well as the Elie.Elie salon in Winchester, Virginia where curl expert Barbara Lhotan can be found full time.
Elie and Barbara have devoted a major part of their training to working with natural curls.
Elie is so famous for his natural curl cuts and styles that clients at his salon can be found standing around watching him create his magnificent curl magic.
To read more about Elie check out: Elie Elie Salon - Bringing Out The Celebrity In Your
Elie Noufal Gerdak Elie.Elie SalonOpequon Center 3050 Valley Avenue, Suite 111 Winchester, VA. 22601 540-678-0050 http://www.elielie.com/index.htm
Barbara Lhotan is considered to be one of the top educators for Paul Mitchell.
She's worked on several major fashion runways with Internationally known models. She has also done time on a wide range of hair platforms as an esteemed artist.
She is the co-author and stylist of the best selling 5 Minute Updo books.
Until recently Barbara was the manager at the Elie Elie Salon in Winchester, Virginia where she kept the parade of naturally curly clients and their ringlets very happy.
During the past year Barbara has been in demand in New York doing freelance hair work and teaching classes for Paul Mitchell.
I have known Barbara for many years and have witnessed firsthand her expertise with creating fabulous curls. She follows a system of studying the natural curl pattern first before she even begins to trim or shape the curls. She is also a master at coloring and styling natural curls.
Batia & Aleeza
Batia Elkayam and Aleeza Callner are sisters devoted to natural curls.
The sisters moved to Los Angeles in 1978 and eventually opened their own hair salon in 1980 in West Hollywood. Just six years ago, they moved their business location to Beverly Hills and hung up their shingle under their own names which is simply Batia and Aleeza.
They are know for their work with celebrity clients with natural curls including Alicia Silverstone, Steven Spielberg, and Michael Bay, to name just a few.
They have also been lauded in the media for their dedication to natural curly cuts and styles.
Although I have never chatted with either sister, they did send me samples many years ago when their new product line was released.
I have also received many emails from happy clients who rave about their fabulous talents with natural curls.
Batia & Aleeza Salon 415 N Camden Dr Beverly Hills, CA 90210-4403 Phone: (310) 657-4512 http://www.batiaandaleeza.com/index.html
Antonio Soddu has been working with curly hair for years. This naturally curly headed hair mastro created a hair care line to help people with curly hair deal with their hair and enjoy it.
Although Antonio is not against people straightening their curls if that makes them happy, he is more focused on helping people really have fund with the curls that they were born with.
Antonio Soddu Studio 522 526 West 26th Street Suite 522 New York, New York (212) 929-1981
Solving individual curl problems is the spark that started the evolution for Jonathan Torch of Curly Hair Solutions™. Jonathan was determined to create a series of treatments that would perform 100% of the time, on every curly head, in all weather conditions, without the use of silicones.
This Canadian curly hair experts spent years of research, had the help of thousands of curly haired volunteers' honest input and the partnership of dedicated chemists. Jonathan's salon, The Curly Hair Institute, boasts a huge clientele of curly headed individuals each one with different curly headed personalities.
Jonathan believes that perfect hair should have a pH of 4.5 to 5.5. Curly Hair Solutions™ products all have been acid balanced to maintain the perfect pH of healthy hair. This results in healthier, shinier and more controllable hair every time.
Jonathan Torch Curly Hair Solutions 85 Sheppard Ave. W., Toronto, Ontario, M2N 1M4, Canada 1-800-783-8971 or 416-362-1060 http://www.frizzoff.com/Contact.aspx
Besides the curly hair experts included in this article their are many hairdressers who are skilled in the art of cutting and styling curly hair.
The key to finding them is to do your homework and get referral from other naturally curly haired consumers.
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