Vernon François, celebrity hairstylist, educator and founder of VERNON FRANÇOIS Haircare, joined the Sam Villa team to give tips on how to rethink texture.
"As hairdressers, it's important to understand the meaning of the word 'texture.' All hair has texture, so using it in a general sense is confusing," says François. "Redefining our communication to include descriptors such as 'coily texture,' 'kinky texture,' 'wavy texture,' 'straight texture' and 'curly texture,' can help identify all hair patterns more clearly and is much more inclusive."
Tips for Working with Afro Coily and Kinky Textures:
- Ask guests to be honest about what they want to actually achieve. Wigs and weaves are great for expressing personality, but oftentimes, there's nothing more beautiful than someone who honors the hair they were born with.
- Start by creating an interesting shape. Contour the neckline by pinning hair up to create a sexy silhouette; from that point, anything can be done with the top. Use smaller U-shaped pins, as they have more grip…wiggle them in, anchor in a braid (or other hair), and then lift up and push in.
- Don't go for perfection. Be free and really get in there with your hands, spreading your fingers, and don't be afraid to stretch and pull the texture out.
- An afro pick is a must-have tool—get one with longer teeth. When picking, don't pull the comb all the way through; instead, use it to plump the roots while preserving texture on the mids to ends.
- Don't be afraid of frizz–frizz is volume, and it's a major player in helping to give hair shape and personality. Learn to work with frizz, not against it.
- If texture is on point but the length needs to be shorter, finger tease. Hold a section of hair at the ends with one hand and gently push hair toward the head with your pointer and thumb to shrink the length and create really beautiful frizz.
- Sometimes the most beautiful texture is a mix of three to four textures, so if using wigs and weaves, get multiple versions. Most people have multiple natural textures, too–straighter around the front and looser on the sides.
- When drying kinky hair, use flexible hairspray and a blowdryer, rotating your wrist to create a circular stream of air that cultivates the texture pattern. This technique creates volume at the roots and fluffy, youthful-looking volume on the mids and ends.