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An Interview With Hair Stylist Mark Kuzma

Mark is known as a 'Mad Scientist' at Labratory Hair Studios.

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Mark is known as a 'Mad Scientist' at Labratory Hair Studios. Most recently, he has styled for the Oribe team for NYC Spring and Fall Fashion Weeks for designers Rad Hourani, Tim Hamilton and Matthew Ames. Fueled by a passion for innovative hair design, Mark opened Laboratory Hair Studio in 2005. Mark is a certified curly hair consultant, which is rare among stylists today.

A few questions put to our expert:

What are the best hair cuts for curly hair?

Curly hair should be cut dry and in its naturally curly state. This will help avoid the shrinkage of the hair and the dreaded ‘triangle look’.

How to wear curls with bangs?

Bangs should be worn curly. Dual texture looks do not flow at all!

What styles to avoid and what to be aware of when telling a hairdresser what you want?

Avoid styles that do not complement your natural features. For example, if you have a round face, you should not request a round shape cut. Texture also plays a key role in what you should ask for. If you have curly hair and you do not blow dry sufficiently, a precision cut on straight model hair is probably not the best idea…

From a technical stand point, how is curly hair cut?

You will achieve the best results with curly hair with very little to no tension on the cut. This will help avoid ‘bounce back’. Your eye is your best guide for cutting curly hair. Look at the overall shape and the hair will ‘tell you’ what needs to be tweaked.

How to take care of curly hair that is also worn straight now and again?

A great cut will look great curly or straight if you: use professional styling products that keep your curls moist, don’t create breakage (or frizz) by roughly drying the hair with a towel, or blow drying or flat ironing the hair without using a professional product that provides protection from the heat.

Freshening up or restyling curls that go flat on day 2?

You can use a curl revitalizer to reactivate product already in the hair. Then simply scrunch the curls and use small pin curl clips at roots to get volume as the hair air-dries.

View and opinion on treatments such as Japanese or Keratin?

From my perspective, I think smoothing treatments can be very effective and, in some cases, a thrilling, life-changing service for a client! The challenge is to understand what the client’s needs are and set expectations by thoroughly communicating what treatment is best, and why.

Japanese straightening treatments are a lifetime commitment. Once the hair is treated, the hair stays straight forever. Retouching twice per year is required as regrowth occurs, or the client will go through a very slow grow out with half of the hair pin straight and the other half curly/wavy.

Keratin treatments are a semi-permanent way to defrizz your hair, soften curl, and condense the overall bulk of your hair. Hair that is treated with Keratin will not get as pin-straight as the Japanese straightening treatment, nor will it allow you to get pin-straight results by air drying. But, Keratin smoothing treatments require less commitment (the results will gradually wash out in about twelve to sixteen weeks) and allow you to blowout your hair more easily.

How to get this right?

There are many different techniques available to help clients achieve the look that they desire. There is no substitute for a thorough professional consultation to help a client achieve the best possible result.

Favorite curly hair icon?

Lorraine Massey, founder of DevaCurl

Best curly hair product?

I am a huge fan of combining curl crèmes with a light hold gel. Bumble and bumble Defining Crème with Bumble Gel is excellent! This combo creates definition with structure, without the crunch.

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