Thank you for visiting Belle & Blackley. We are thrilled that you chose to go on this curl journey with us.
We are looking forward to seeing you for your next appointment and understand that there was a lot of information for you to take in today...so here's a wee reminder the methods and techniques we recommend.
With patience and persistence your confidence in your curls will grow.
This is how we recommend you plan your curl journey with our team following our Intro to BB Curls service.
2 MONTHS - Returning Client Follow Up
4-5 MONTHS - Returning Client with Cut
after you've been in for at least one of the above services, you should be familiar enough with our techniques and your curls to move onto a
BB CURLY CUT
Now you know how to plan your next visit...let's go over everything we covered with your first one!
There was a lot we went through but ultimately you just need to remember 1...2...3!
We recommend cleansing whenever you feel it is necessary (i.e. itchy scalp, oily scalp, etc. – average of 1-2 times a week) The science is simple, our goal is to have the cuticle open to allow the water inside of the hair. The pH of the shampoo should allow this to happen.
1. Emulsify cleanser in your hands first and apply directly to your scalp, working it throughout the hair while adding water to continue to allow the product to emulsify on your scalp. Rub your scalp vigorously using the pads of your fingers. Continue working your cleanser through to your ends and start to finger detangle your hair with a Tangle Teaser or your fingers. Depending on the length and thickness of hair, add more water as needed. Rinse fully while massaging out all cleanser. Do not “squeegee” or ring out all the water from your hair.
2. In the event you need a stronger cleanse, you may proceed with another cleansing step in the same fashion. The first cleanse will act as “mini cleanse” to break down the surface tension of any excess oils or product and to prepare your hair for the full cleanse. During the first cleanse, you may not feel much movement of lather in the hair. Your second cleanse will start the same as your mini cleanse and will be more thorough and you will notice more movement and lather sooner. Rub your scalp vigorously using the pads of your fingers. Continue working your cleanser through to your ends and start detangle as above. Depending on the length and thickness of hair, add more water as needed. Rinse fully while massaging out all cleanser. Do not “squeegee” or ring out all the water from your hair.
Now the hair is clean, the cuticle is open and the hydration of your hair has started.
OPTIONAL: Pre-Cleanse – For course hair that is prone to tangles, apply cleanser or conditioner to dry hair and then slowly add water to emulsify and proceed as listed above. (This is a helpful tip for when you do your first cleanse after the removal of any protective styles that have been worn for 2 weeks or more, etc.)
2/CONDITION with INTENTION
The magic of the conditioner does not happen by application alone or how long it is in the hair. Rather it happens by the intention you have while you are working the conditioner into the hair. Which is why we Condition with Intention at Belle & Blackley. Again thinking on the science, our goal now is to start to close the cuticle down and help to hold the moisture in the hair. The pH of the conditioner should help to do this.
Part of working products through your hair includes developing your instinct regarding how much moisture your hair needs. (Think of how your skin feels when you’re working in lotion and where it needs more moisture versus less moisture. You’re learning to read your hair the same way.) This varies from client to client depending on length, density, and texture. Some areas require more or less tension, product, detangling with a Tangle Teaser, finger combing and smoothing.
1. Distribute conditioner over your entire hands and emulsify. A 10p size on your hair should be enough. However, for tighter and denser curls may require more product to achieve the optimum results. Your curl specialist will have given you guidance on this already. Start with minimal product and add more product as needed, after you add water.
2. Start by applying it on the mid-lengths and ends and work conditioner throughout the rest of the hair. Continue working towards your scalp using a Tangle Teaser to encourage smoothness from roots to ends.
3. Add water as required.
4. Once you have detangled the strands and they are free of knots you can put the Tangle Teaser down and focus on working with your hands. Getting to know your hair is about getting familiar with how it should feel at each stage.
Begin with making a “C’ with your hands with open fingers. By making this shape, you are encouraging the curls to clump into fat ribbons or noodles. You are smoothing the strands against the webs of your fingers. If you find the curls are stringy or frizzy, add more water. Continue until you are satisfied with the ribbon definition and frizz-free visual. Your curls should begin to feel slippery.
NOTE: What you set is what you get, so be sure you are Conditioning with Intention. If your hair looks frizzy at this stage it will dry frizzy. You will not get defined curls unless you give them the definition.
5. Super Curly/highly textured/ Coily Hair - If your hair isn’t holding onto enough water, do not scrunch out any water and continue on to step 6.
6. If applicable, applying the “Squish to Condish Method” may be helpful. With the same “C” shape, cup your curls from ends to roots and gently scrunch to encourage curl. Do not ring out all the water. Only scrunch enough to ensure you are hearing the squishy wet squeak or “wet sneaker” noise.
7. Keep adding water and working on your definition techniques to remove the rest of the conditioner.
In Scotland the climate is humid. The conditioner is an anti-humectant which will draw moisture to your hair if it is not rinsed out. Also conditioner has no hold.
3/STYLING - GELS/LOTIONS/FOAMS
After conditioning, thanks to the pH in the conditioner, your cuticle is as closed as it can be. And because of the humidity of our Scottish climate we want to now seal down that cuticle - effectively trapping the moisture in the hair. We do this by adding a combination of either gel, lotion or foams - depending on what your curl specialist recommended.
You will need to develop your instinct regarding how much product your hair needs by paying attention to the “frizz factor” of your curls (i.e. prone to frizz), moisture content, and desired softness of your curls. Evaluate and decide if more product or water needs to be added.
Remember: “Wetter is Better. Stay in the shower to apply your products - it makes adding water easier and keeps the mess off of your bathroom floor.
1. Flip your head upside down, leaving all of the water in your hair. Your hair should be saturated but not dripping.
a. Most commonly used technique is “praying hands” or “sandwiching”. Spread your base product of choice (probably the gel) on your hands for an even distribution and then glaze products from roots to ends.
b. If you rake products through the strands with the Tangle Teaser or your fingers, you may risk opening up the “ribbons”. This method is helpful to create “more curl clumps” if that is what you want. To some clients, “more curl clumps” could translate to stringy or frizzy curls.
2. Depending on curl type/hair texture, you may flip over to apply products or you may lean side to side or a combination of the two.
4. You now have two choices: layering or topper. Layering is adding a second product on, in almost equal amounts as your base one. Topper is adding the smallest amount of your second product, literally over your base. Your curl specialist will have recommended an optimum order for you. For a firmer curl with a stronger gel cast, apply a second layer of gel to your curls or spray with a finishing spray. Your gel forms an exoskeleton of sorts for your curls - giving them definition whilst protecting the moisture inside.
With your head in its recommended position and hair soaking wet, apply your choice of either layer or topper using the recommended sectioning and distribute the product evenly throughout the hair. Evaluate and decide if more product or water needs to be added. Wetter is better – listen for the squish, squish.
5. Curl Set (Curl Placement) - the amount of time you spend on your curl placement will vary the appearance of the finished result i.e. a more natural look versus a more perfected finish. Each to their own!
Flip your head upright. Look up to the ceiling and lightly shake your curls into place. Using a chopstick or Scott's little monkey hand (aka the back scratcher!!!!!) can help lift curls off the scalp and head them into the direction you want them to go. Once your curls are set into the place where you would like them to dry, you can use a microfiber towel, or rice sack towel (for lower density hair) to scrunch extra water out of your curls to encourage curl pattern. If you would like more volume, insert clips at the root before drying.
NOTE: For the best 'Wash and Go": super curly/highly textured/coily clients, it’s best to shake to set the curls into place. Do not use a towel to remove any water. Begin the finishing and drying process with the chosen.
All drying options depend on your curl type and desired outcome. Some curls need to be left alone and others need manipulation for body or volume. Over time and with your curl specialist’s recommendations, you will develop your instinct and the best routine for your desired results.
Drying time varies tremendously depending on curl type, density, texture and drying methods. Not all curls need a drying product; your curl specialist will have recommended one of the following products to be used during the drying process.
Drying Product Options:
Innersense I Create Finish / Innersense Whipped Cream Texturizer / Innersense Hair Love Prep Spray
If time is of the essence, at least dry off the product in your hair to form that exoskeleton cast - which you can scrunch out at a later time.
Drying Method: Air drying / Plopping / Diffusing / Hood Drying
a. Air drying – Scrunch out water intermittently with towel of choice to encourage curl pattern and dry time.
b. Plopping – A technique where you use a micro fibre towel or rice sack towel to “accordion” your curls on top of your head to encourage curl retention, root lift, and moisture retention. (Can be used in conjunction with any other drying technique.)
c. Diffusing – encourages curl pattern and/or volume.
i. Can be used by encouraging curls up from ends to roots. This will promote volume and curl shrinkage.
ii. Can be “waved” over the length with minimal touching. This will help elongate curls and control volume.
iii. The diffuser prongs can be pushed into your root can be used to encourage root lift and “drying inside the curls”.
iv. Please note if you are diffusing your curls, you are dehydrating your curls at a rapid pace. If you are early in your curl journey, your curls are still trying to retain their moisture balance and may be more subjected to frizz and/ or puffiness or they just may not last as long (i.e. 2-3 day curls).
Everyone’s results are different, so it’s best to practice and learn what you and your curls thrive best on!
d. Hood Drying – Best for super curly wash and go’s for a long lasting style. This will encourage elongation and the curls to “set” in place.
Some curls develop a gel cast depending on the drying process/ method.
Once your curls are completely dry, you will need to Scrunch Out the Crunch (SOTC). Your curl specialist may recommend using a finishing product during the SOTC process.
Shake your head YES and NO a few times to set your curls. Fluff your curls as necessary. You may also flip upside down and gently massage your roots open for more lift. You may prefer hairspray to maintain volume throughout the day.