How-To: Styling Natural Locks

Garnering both industry specific and editorial attention, longtime Hairbrained member, Mona Baltazar, is a master of her craft. She specializes in shaping both natural and texturized locks – and she’s known for her confidence inspiring looks, which harness both the freedom and movement of her client’s curls.

Read on to get her straightforward tips and tricks for styling natural hair – and take the fuss out of helping your clients to embrace their textured locks. 

Step 1: Lock in moisture at the bowl. When it comes to styling natural hair, moisture is paramount to success. Set yourself up for success by shampooing and conditioning locks with the ultra-nourishing formula of your choice. Assess the situation: If your client’s hair is damaged, opt for a deep conditioning treatment, and allow it to penetrate strands for up to five minutes. 


Enjoying this story? Subscribe to the American Salon Newsletter

Get inspirational trends, techniques, tips, education and the latest beauty news delivered right to your inbox! To read on the go, sign up today to get weekly beauty news and updates.

Step 2: No-fuss detangling. Using a wide-toothed comb, detangle in small sections, working your way from the bottom up. 

Step 3: Towel-dry with care. When strands are wet, they’re weaker and more susceptible to damage. Because of this, towel drying can lead to rough cuticles – and a frizzy finish. Avoid the pitfalls of improperly dried locks, by opting for a soft, cotton t-shirt or microfiber towel, and gently squeeze (never rub) excess water out. If neither of these is available to you, make use of a traditional towel (using the above method) and take extra care to avoid ruffling strands.    

Step 4: Apply product sparingly. Product application techniques vary when it comes to natural hair – but if you want to style hair ‘The Mona Way,’ just two products will do the trick. Start with an ultra-moisturizing leave-in conditioner, and distribute it evenly into the existing curl pattern, working from the bottom up. Next, assess the texture and weight of the hair, and follow with either a cream or gel-based product, working it evenly into the hair. 

Quick tip: Avoid drenching tresses with product; leave them close to their natural state, which will allow for freedom of movement and amplified volume.  

Step 5: Look for rogue locks. The hairline – or bang area – is prone to unruliness. To tame disobedient strands, finger coil curls, which will encourage them to stick together. 

Step 6: Place your client under the dryer for 20-25 minutes, which will render locks mostly dry. Use a diffuser to finish removing moisture.

Remember – when styling natural hair – keep it simple. Use the no-fuss techniques included here – and you’ll be sure to get the freedom, fullness and lift you’re after. 

Images feature: Instagram and YouTube personality curly.edgy – who’s a curl expert in her own right.

 Are you a member of If not, you could be missing out on a career-shaping opportunity. Join our community, and become a part of a radically different kind of social media network, created by hairdressers for hairdressers. Connect online with a community of like-minded peers from around the globe.