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Interview with Nancy Falaise: hairstylist and curly hair specialist

When we launched our line of shampoos and conditioners for curly hair, we thought it would be a good idea to speak with a hairdresser and stylist specializing in textured hair, because we wanted to get some tips and tricks for styling curls and taking good care of them.

We immediately thought of Nancy Falaise, hairstylist and owner of the eponymous salon in Montreal, who advocates for the education of hairdressers about curly and coily hair. We asked her a few questions to demystify curly hair and she was kind enough to share her secrets about caring for curls.

How to care for curly hair

What do you think are the biggest concerns of people with curly hair? What are your responses to these concerns? 

  • Hydration and disentangling

It is important to use moisturizing products and establish a good hair care routine in order to deal with this problem.

  • The need to get rid of frizz

To control frizz, we must first maintain our hair by trimming the ends on a regular basis, then, moisturize our hair every day.

  • The feeling that their hair is growing too slow or not at all

This is an optical illusion, as curly hair grows at the same rate as straight hair, averaging 1 cm per month. However, the curlier the hair, the stronger the shrinking effect, which is what makes it looks shorter.

  • Finding a hairdresser who knows how to take care of their hair

Unfortunately, education about curly and coily hair is not currently on the curriculum of standard hairdressing classes, something I am an active advocate for. However, there are a few hair salons offering specialized services, notably Salon Nancy Falaise in Montreal and soon on the South Shore (opening in March 2021).

  • Finding the right products

The best way to choose the proper products is to learn how to read the ingredients lists. I'll tell you more about that below!

ATTITUDE routine for textured hair
Picture: courtesy of Nancy Falaise /  @nancyfalaise_salon

What is a good maintenance and styling routine for curly hair? 

It is best to cut your hair every 3 or 4 months. In addition to that, depending on your haircut and hairstyle, it is important to choose the least aggressive styling products possible. For example, if you use gel, take it without alcohol, if you use a creamy formula, make sure that the product is not too heavy.

 Here are some oils to add to your routine:

First, you have to know the difference between a lack of hydration or a lack of protein in hair. Indeed, if the hair "is hungry" it needs protein, if it is “thirsty” it needs moisturizing oils instead. We know that humans survive longer without eating than without drinking and the same principle applies to hair, which is why when in doubt, we can prioritize hydration at all times.

  • Protein oils such as coconut oil and argan oil are good for thin hair or those that have been treated with chemicals (example: coloring).
  • Moisturizing oils such as avocado oil or sweet almond oil (if there are no allergies) are ideal for hair that is lacking in moisture.

 

Curly hair care routine suggested by Nancy Falaise 

Step 1: Apply moisturizing shampoo to wet hair and scalp. Massage to lather and cleanse. Rinse thoroughly. If your hair is washed once a week, shampoo twice and shampoo three times if washed once every two weeks. 

Step 2: Apply moisturizing conditioner to clean, wet hair, leave on for five minutes and rinse. For deep hydration, incorporate a few drops of oil into your conditioner. Leave on for a maximum of 45 minutes under a plastic cap and rinse thoroughly.

Step 3: Apply a nourishing leave-in cream to each section. Make sure it penetrates well to maximize its effectiveness.

 

Styling tips for curly and coily hair

Styling tips for curly coily hair
  • Twist-outs:

Twist-outs are suitable for tight curls and coily hair, but not for looser curls.

Increasingly popular, they are a very effective and quick way to style curly hair for about a week. This style is ideal for coily hair, to provide definition, suppleness and movement to curls, while hydrating hair. We start by sectioning the hair, then we hydrate and detangle it. We then twist it with our fingers, section by section, and we dry them as such. Finally, we undo the twists delicately. 

  • Curl definition:

Suitable for curly and wavy hair, but not for coily hair.

This technique should always be done on very wet and untangled hair. We apply our styling product (gel, mousse or curling cream) evenly to our hair. To do this, we divide our hair into very small sections, which we model with our fingers to create the curls that suit us.

What habits should you absolutely avoid when you have curly or coily hair? 

  • Co-wash, washing the hair with a conditioner, creates a deposit of styling products on the scalp and the hair, which suffocates the hair.
  • Intense heat directly on the hair, for example with a flat iron, burns the hair and can distort the curl pattern.
  • Frequent braids with extensions (2 or 3 times a year maximum) can cause traction alopecia.

 

Are there any ingredients that are harmful to textured hair? If so, how are they harmful? 

It is very important to read the ingredients list of the products you buy in order to avoid dehydrating ingredients such as alcohol, or those that coat the hair like wax and prevent it from breathing, such as silicone. In addition to these, avoid chemical relaxers as they may permanently damage the hair or cause chemical burns to the scalp.

 

We would like to give a warm thank you to Nancy Falaise from Salon Nancy Falaise for her answers to our questions and for her many tips and tricks for maintaining natural curly hair. We hope these helped you! And remember, healthy hair starts with the right care!

If you want to learn more about what ingredients to look for (and which ones to avoid!) in your hair care, you can read this blog post.