Ask the Expert: Cutting Your Curly Hair and Frizzy Hair Issues

With Frizz Off Founder and Curl Guru for Over 20 years, Jonathan Torch

Q. When cutting curly hair, should I cut the hair when it is dry or when it’s wet? I have heard conflicting opinions for some time now.

A. I only ever cut curly hair when it’s wet. The technique that I developed allows stylists to manipulate the way in which the individual curls fall. Cutting and styling curls gives the stylist full control. These methods are very, very easy to learn. When the hair is wet, stylists can manipulate the direction that the curls fall when they shrink or loosen. When your hair is wet, the curls will show you where they are weakest. It is essential never to fight your hair or try to make your hair go where it won’t naturally fall. The wetter your hair is, the more your hair and the stylist will co-operate. When your hair is wet, the curls will show you where they are weakest, and where the spring and bounce will fall naturally.
At my salon, before we wet the hair, we study very carefully how your curls fall when they are dry. The shape of your head, your flat spots, and the density of your hair all affect the type of style we develop that will work best for your curls. Our cutting plans are determined before the hair is washed and conditioned. Also, we only cut your hair once it is thoroughly detangled and treated, so there is as little resistance as possible before running a comb through your wet curls. Cutting curly hair with products like Curl Keeper Slip Detangler and Curl Keeper Leave-in Conditioner allows for ease in combing the hair perfectly. For tighter curl patterns, I add Curl Keeper Styling Cream into the mix.

Q. Dear Jonathan, can you please explain what is frizz exactly?

A. Frizz is what you see when your hair has open hair cuticles. Most people assume that frizzy hair is dry and damaged, but that is not the case. With curly hair, the hair cuticles naturally stay open. The curlier the hair, the more open the cuticles are. Some cuticles absorb moisture, and some repel moisture. Shiny hair happens when cuticles lay flat against the hair, which is why in many cases straight hair seems shinier than curly hair.

Q. What’s the difference between good frizz and bad frizz? What are the causes?

A. Good frizz is when it is easy to absorb moisture from the air. Bad frizz is when it is a challenge to deposit moisture into the hair. The leading cause of frizz is when you don’t have control of closing the cuticles.
There are several ways of closing the cuticles. You can stick them down using strong sticky-holding products. Hairsprays and curly hair gel tend to be very popular for this. You can also weigh down the cuticle using silicones, oils, waxes, and greasy products. To control cuticles even more intensely you can also flatten the cuticles with irons, hot rollers, hair diffusers and high-heat appliances. I prefer to control frizz by imitating and duplicating the effect that water has on the hair. When hair is wet, it isn’t frizzy, because water fills the open hair cuticles. Curl Keeper Original duplicates the effect that water has by working the same way, filling the hair cuticle and closing it. This leaves you with gorgeous frizz-free curls.

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