International Curl Expert Shares Tips
For those with naturally wavy, curly hair of all coils and textures it may seem like an endless battle to find ways to tame the mane. Some may turn to relaxers, weekly blowouts or extensions. Others just want to master their natural hair in whatever mood it seems to be in. To help girls get a handle on their curls we connected with Maya Smith, founder of The Doux salon and product line of the same name both specializing in making the absolute most of the natural hair you’re born with. When it comes to healthy sculptured, cool looking curls of all types, Maya’s two decades of experience with curls worldwide makes her a true expert. Here she offers tips on how to calm crazy waves and unruly curls.
#1: My naturally wavy hair is flat at the top and then waves start in the middle with tighter curls at the back. HELP!
Genetics determine curl pattern and density. It’s totally normal, in fact, quite common for several different textures to exist on the same head of hair. These inconsistencies can cause the hair to look uneven, and are most apparent once the hair has dried. I created The Doux’s Mousse Def, to help define waves and curls in the less curly areas, and to combat frizz in the areas that are tightly coiled. To balance the look of curly and wavy hair, we recommend using a combo of a mousse on the straighter areas, and then a balm like The Doux’s Bonita Afro Balm Texture Cream for added stretch and control in the tighter areas. The goal here is to keep hair shiny, touchable, and soft. If shrinkage or frizzing remains an issue, don’t underestimate the power of a great haircut. Awesome products combined with a professionally-shaped set of layers is my signature Rx for accentuating curls that vary in texture.
#2: I have curly hair and let it dry naturally. The second it rains, I get frizzy at the roots. I find myself revolving my hairstyle around the weather report. HELP!
Thirsty hair will try to “drink up” moisture in the air if it’s not adequately hydrated.
The key to eliminating frizz due to humidity exposure is to make sure that the hair is thoroughly conditioned before styling products are applied. This exact problem is what inspired me to create a solution in the form of a Fresh Rinse Moisturizing Conditioner, followed by The Light Shine Mist helps to hydrate and stabilize the cuticle, making it less prone to reversion. For added control at the roots, we apply a small amount of Bonita Afro Balm, which is our secret weapon for keeping curly hair from swelling in harsh weather conditions. These products can be found at select Target stores nationwide and at TheDoux.com.
#3: I often wear my curly hair slicked back into a tight low bun or ponytail. Will this damage my hair?
Style in moderation. Traction alopecia is a major epidemic among women with textured hair. This is typically the result of too much tension being applied to scalp for an extended period of time, and usually occurs due to hair styling such as braids, extensions, and tight ponytails. To avoid irreversible thinning of the hair, it’s important to avoid hairstyles that place constant pressure on hair, particularly in the temple and nape areas. Ponytails and “slicked” styles should be taken down at night, and tight accessories, such as headbands or scrunchies should be worn less frequently.
#4: I wear my naturally kinky hair twisted and braided. How long could I leave this style in and how best to shampoo my hair while in this style?
I recommend shampooing once per week for hair with fine-to-medium density. I urge clients with high-density or extremely long hair, not to exceed more than 10 days without cleansing the hair and scalp. This helps eliminate bacterial growth that causes itching, flaking, and dandruff on the scalp. We use The Doux’s Sucka Free Moisturizing Shampoo to remove product build-up and dead skill cells, and Fresh Rinse Moisturizing Conditioner to soften, hydrate, and balance the hair’s pH. We’ve incorporated Shea Butter and Sea Silk to smooth the hair shaft and aid in moisture retention.
#5: What are some ingredients to avoid that many products for curly hair contain? Why is this damaging?
Petroleum-based “grease,” as well as products that contain mineral oil may be old-school favorites, but are often the cause of dry hair. Heavy products that aren’t water soluble can coat the hair shaft, disrupting the hair’s natural ability to retain moisture. This dryness may go nearly undetected, because the hair is covered in product, however, the underlying dehydration causes hair to be brittle and stubborn. We recommend cream-based products that shampoo out easily, and allow the hair to “breathe.”
About Maya Smith:
Maya Smith is an International Master Stylist and Founder of The Doux Salon and haircare line now available in Target. With over two decades of styling experience Maya dedicated two decades to cracking the code on curl care, maintenance and expert styling. When it comes to caring for one’s natural hair and styling it, according to NaturallyCurly, Maya is among the best there is.
While still in high school, Maya got her hair cutting license and graduated from beauty school. Soon after graduating high school, Maya began following her passion and worked as an assistant for celebrity stylist Tracy Johnson. She learned from Johnson and progressed as a hair stylist for celebrities and entertainers. Years later the military wife would relocate to Germany, where Maya opened up her first salon The HoneyComb, a mecca for textured hair care for women from all over Europe, The UK, and as far as Africa. Maya's unique system of textured hair styling sparked the development of The DOUX® haircare products, first launched overseas, and distributed throughout Germany, France, Italy, and the Netherlands.
Currently, Maya leads a carefully selected team of stylists at The DOUX® Salon in Macon, Georgia and celebrated the arrival of The DOUX® in select Target stores nationwide. Maya Smith, wife, mom of 5 and savvy business woman is an example not just for women of color but for all women who believe their gifts can impact the world, striving for entrepreneurial endeavors with grace, ease and hustle.