We all know Jonathan Torch as the curly hair expert, and the person who developed the product that we know and love but there is so much more about him that you may not be aware of. That’s why we decided to sit down with Jonathan to let you in on the story of how Jonathan got to be where he is today, and how he became the owner of the Curl Keeper and Curly Hair Solutions product lines, along with his own curly hair salon, The Curly Hair Institute.
For those who have had the pleasure of meeting Jonathan, you will agree that you are instantly enthused by his passion for curly hair! He has been working with curly hair for over 25 years and it definitely shows. He is a never-ending pool of curly hair knowledge and he holds nothing back in his consultations and teachings. His excitement and passion for curly hair truly shows in the care that he puts into producing his products, as well as in the results of his clients’ curls. Jonathan always strives to help each and every curly-haired person he meets to embrace their natural curls, and constantly offers tips and advice on how to combat the most unruly curl problems.
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Jonathan immigrated to Canada in his late teenage years. As a young teen living in a different country, he recalls that he has always enjoyed working with his hands, and creating something out of nothing. Upon moving to Toronto, Canada, he went on search to find a career that would allow him to express his creative self as well as give him the chance to work with and help people. Before he knew it, he was introduced to the field of hairstyling, apprenticing under one of the best stylist in Toronto at the time. It was the perfect opportunity for him to create styles, and cuts and products, and really help people boost their self-esteem and self-confidence. Not long after, his passion for curly hair quickly developed when he saw the wide range and diversity of curly hair in Toronto.
After several years he began noticing the dramatic difference between straight hair and curly hair. It was then that he decided to develop a new cutting technique for curly hair, called the Tunnel Cut, which removes excess and unnecessary bulk without destroying the curl formation. The results blew everyone away and lead him to begin teaching the Tunnel Cut, along with his other techniques to other hairdressers. Thus, Jonathan began his long career of teaching and developing the art of how to properly cut and style curly hair. The demand for the tunnel cut exploded and inspired Jonathan to open his very own curly hair salon, The Curly Hair Institute. More than a salon, the Institute is dedicated to teaching people how to style, maintain and manage their own hair so they too can become experts in their own hair.
When teaching how to cut and style curls, Jonathan realized that not everyone is need of a great cut but that most curlies just need to learn how to control their frizz. Jonathan recognized that this was a problem that all curlies face, and it needed an effective solution. So began his ten-year long journey of researching and experimenting with high-quality ingredients to find the best ways to control frizzy hair and to improve the condition of curls in every scenario, regardless of style and weather.
Jonathan’s approach to taking care of curls is best described in his own words: “I developed Curl Keeper Original based on the philosophy I had: that I wanted to create a clean product that would have the same effect and dynamic that water had on curls. Curls look perfect and frizz-free when they’re wet, and they never look dirty or grimy. I knew exactly what ingredients I didn’t want to work with. I’m not a chemist and have never claimed to be, but I’m fascinated by ingredients and had all the time and patience to play with hundreds of combinations of ingredients until I found formulations that started to perform the way I wanted a product to work. I would then find cosmetic chemists that helped me refine and perfect my homegrown formulas, creating a product that had the same manipulability as water – helping to create perfect, frizz-free curls. “
His discovery led him to create the popular frizz-fighting product, Curl Keeper Original, giving each individual curly a chance to have complete control of their curls, and of course, their frizz.
Working as a curly hair stylist full time, Jonathan continued to spend most of his personal time researching and studying thousands of ingredients, determining what worked and what didn’t work for curly hair – all based on the philosophy that water-based formulas are healthier for the hair than silicone-based ones. Jonathan determined that most products worked more like cosmetics: they created surface beauty without solving the underlying problem. To Jonathan, this wasn’t acceptable. He wanted to create products that would perform really well, in order to create true therapeutic products that would solve curl problems. Getting to the root of the issue, he recognized the significance that pH plays in curly hair. Creatively and scientifically Jonathan formulated products that responded to curls immediately and solved the problems that all curl types of curly-haired people face. This lead to the creation of what is now known as the Curl Keeper product line, along with the Curly Hair Solutions line. And what really makes these products work, is that they are based on the simple formula that oil and water don’t mix.
Jonathan Torch explains further, “Curly hair responds to moisture. And it is common sense that water is a better moisturizer than oil. Oils act as lubricators to hair: If the molecular weight and size of oils is larger than the size of the sebum that your own hair glands produce, the oils don’t penetrate the hair cuticles. Rather, they sit on top of the hair and coat the outer layer of the hair cuticles, which can cause a build-up of product that creates styling chaos, not to mention the issues of product build up on the scalp.”
Watch the video below and see for yourself what clients have to say about him. Behind this curly hair expert, is pure passion, and pure dedication to helping curlies embrace their curls, and embrace themselves.