Curl Power: Tips, Tricks and Techniques for Curly Clientele

photo by @phoebephotograpghy; haircut and style by @themonacut

It's no secret—women are embracing their natural curls and waves now more than ever before, and with that comes a new set of challenges for hairstylists. With a new slew of products and a strict set of dos and donts, stylists are being challenged to switch up everything they've ever known about hair and quickly learning that all curls are not created equal. We sat down with Davide Marinelli, founder and creative director at Davide Hair Studio in New York City, to learn more about his go-to techniques, his holy grail products, and what he loves most about curls. 

What ingredients are absolutely essential for curls and waves?  One of my favorite curl products is Oribe Curl Gloss. It’s great for giving shape, shine and light hold for curls with ultra-hydrating control. It has the Oribe Signature Complex (watermelon, lychee and edelweiss flower extracts), passion flower extract and cupuacu, Brazilian jicama, Brazil nut extract, conditioning polymers, specialty styling resin, protein complex and pro-vitamin B5, and aloe vera. Why do those product ingredients “feed” curls and waves perfectly? They hydrate; they’re lightweight and they bring back elasticity.

What specific curl/wave techniques do you use for curl definition? It starts with the shampoo we use and by analyzing the hair, then combing out the hair with conditioner, doing a cool rinse and adding the right product in small sections. The key is using the right product in different sections or curl patterns. Something to remember is on the whole head, you might have two to four different curl patterns. After sectioning and applying product, set under a hooded dryer, dry about 70 percent and then hand diffuse until 90 percent dry.  How about curl elongation? Same steps, but instead of using a product that it is going to enhance the curl, you can go in with something heavier. Potion 9 from Sebastian or MOMO by Davines are great too. Apply product, comb it with a tight comb, create a medium-size curl in your hand and set it with a pin. How about wave enhancement? You can use the same process as above but create a figure 8 shape in your hand and set it.

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What innovations are you excited about in the curl category? I’m most excited about how the curly-haired community is embracing their natural curls and product lines are creating hair products for all types of curl and texture, rather than treating curls as a “one size fits all” category. 

Why do you love working with curls and waves? We at Davide Hair studio love working with curls and waves because it’s about designing shapes, enhancing waves and styling it naturally—not taking a blow drier to it.