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written by Pekela Riley
Natural texture is gaining well-deserved recognition in the beauty industry and Pekela Riley is at the forefront of the movement. As a celebrity hairstylist, educator, influencer and entrepreneur, Riley is celebrated for her aesthetics in both texture and haircutting. Most recently, she was was named Ulta Beauty’s newest Pro Team member; serving as one of the brand’s artistic directors, responsible for projecting trends, creating visuals and directing education for all Ulta Beauty stores.
American Salon sat down with Riley to talk through some texture misconceptions and get her five tips for working with waves, curls and coils.
- Detangle. On highly-textured hair, it’s important to detangle the hair as much as possible prior to the shampoo. If the hair is tangled, it can lock when wet. We often think about detangling after a shampoo, but you can create a big tangled mess if you don’t manage those curls prior to the shampoo. This detangling can be done simply with your fingers or a wide tooth rake comb.
- Volumize from the root. f you volumize from the root, you’ll get the volume and shape that you want without disturbing the definition of the ends. It’s crucial to concentrate your holding spray, volumizing products and volumizing manipulation by hand or tool at the root…only!
- Approach from a methodical standpoint. When it comes to texture, it’s all about control. Styling textured looks is reliant on the amount of control you have from the onset. Many stylists are intimidated with natural hair texture because they don’t feel like they can control it. To gain full control, you have to walk the texture down and be methodical with your approach.
- Sectioning=Control. So how does a master stylist gain control of texture with a methodical approach? First, start with very defined, small sections. The rule of thumb is: the tighter texture, the more sectioning you’ll need.Twist and detangle to control the sections. [PRO TIP: To achieve greater control, work with vertical partings and apply product in the sections that you want to control for maximum performance and holding ability. Edge control and curl enhancers work so much better when you take the time to do strategic parting and methodical distribution.]
- Textured hair needs strengthening. A common misconception is that textured hair with volume is strong, when in reality it can be the most fragile hair. This is especially true with highly-textured hair. It’s crucial to alternate moisturizing products with strengthening products to achieve the proper balance.