April 2012

LeAnne Velona

Strictly for Students| by LeAnne Velona


Natural Curls vs. Straight Locks

Increase Your Income by Becoming Knowledgeable in Smoothing Treatment Options

Smoothing treatments have been all the rage recently. With so many curly-haired girls looking for sleek and straight locks, or more easily tamed curls, now is a perfect time to consider specializing in working with curly hair or becoming certified in using smoothing treatments.

Smoothing treatments have become an overnight sensation, and this newfound popularity has been great for business.

Keep in mind that in order to recommend the right smoothing treatment to your client, you must first understand the type of curl you are working with. There are several different types of curly hair – curls can be classified as wavy, curly, curly/ kinky or kinky.

Wavy hair forms throughout the hair in an "S" shape and tends to lie close to the head. Wavy hair can be thin and easily handled, medium-textured with a tendency to frizz, or thick and coarse and resistant to styling.

Hair with well-defined, bouncy curls in a definite "S" pattern is classified as curly hair. This type of curl can either be big and loose or medium curl, ranging from bouncy ringlets to tight corkscrews. Hair that is dense with tight curls in corkscrews is classified as curly/kinky hair. This hair type is more challenging to blow dry straight and tends to be drier and fragile. Lastly, kinky hair is very tightly coiled, wiry and extremely fragile.

Now that we have identified the different categories of curls, we can look at the various types of smoothing treatments available for each type.

Thermal Reconditioning

If your client is looking for something more permanent – to last until their hair grows out – then thermal reconditioning, or a Japanese straightening treatment, is the treatment you would want to recommend. This treatment breaks down the molecular arrangement in each hair follicle with the use of a chemical formula. The hair is then flattened with a ceramic iron and afterward a neutralizing serum is added to keep hair straight. Be sure to ask your client what they have done to their hair in recent months as thermal reconditioning is not recommended for hair that is bleached, highlighted or overly processed.

Keratin Straightening Treatments

Keratin straightening treatments use liquid keratin and an aldehyde solution, which is then sealed with a flat iron. After the product is applied, hair is then blow dried and flat ironed. The process eliminates frizz and helps cut down on drying time. A keratin straightening treatment is ideal for the client who is looking for straighter locks that last about two to four months and for clients who want hair that maintains volume and body and can still be worn curly or wavy. Unlike the Japanese straightening treatment, keratin treatments are typically safe on color-treated hair and all curly-hair types – from waves to tight curls.

Natural Smoothing Treatments

In response to the buzz of safety concerns of keratin straightening treatments, most focusing on the levels of formaldehyde released during the treatment, the "straightening" treatment is morphing into the "smoothing" treatment. Smoothing treatments work with the cuticle, not the cortex of the hair.

The newest smoothing treatments are using both completely natural and environmentally safe. With no harsh chemicals, these semi-permanent treatments sound like a promising solution to eliminating frizz and managing curls while being safe for your client and your surroundings. It is also safe for color-treated and bleached hair, and results can last about two to four months.

Salon Blowouts and Deep Conditioners

If your client is on the fence about committing to a smoothing treatment, consider suggesting a salon blowout or a deep conditioning treatment for starters. Both salon blowouts and deep conditioners will only last as long as the next shampoo. And, a deep conditioner will restore moisture to curly hair so there are no risks here for your client.

With all the controversy surrounding various types of straightening treatments, becoming knowledgeable, trained and accredited in these treatments will help increase your client base, your clients' trust in you and ultimately help boost your income. Show your clients and your boss that you are valuable.

Work hard at building your client relationships by giving them the best in customer service, showing them new products that work and demonstrating your knowledge of the latest treatments.

LeAnne Velona, director of esthetics and massage therapy education for Marinello Schools of Beauty, has been a certified licensed esthetician for over 18 years and is also a licensed holistic health practitioner. Marinello Schools of Beauty offer cosmetology and esthetics programs at campuses in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon and Utah. For more information, visit www.marinello.com.