When she first started working with Jonathan Torch at the Curly Hair Institute 16 years ago, Hiwot had (gasp!) straight hair! Of course now she rocks her lovely Ethiopian curls that reflect her creative open-mindedness. I had the chance to sit and exchange some gossip with this quiet, easy going curl expert, who loves to dabble in hair color whenever she gets the chance! Here is what she had to say during our time together!
When did you realize being a stylist was what you wanted and why curls?
When I came to Canada from Ethiopia, I had the opportunity to work as an assistant alongside Jonathan Torch at the Curly Hair Institute. He was still in the final stages of developing Curl Keeper! His love for curly hair product development and curls sort of unleashed an interest in curly hair I didn’t realize I had, so I went for it!
What are a few important things that you’ve learnt about curly hair over the years?
Certainly. Firstly, there are many cutting techniques that can be used on curly hair and I feel I have really mastered them. Curly hair should never be cut the same way that naturally straight hair is cut and or layered at all! If a stylist tells you that is what they are going to do, politely run! Secondly I have learned that it IS possible to achieve volume in curly hair and prevent frizzy hair.
What are some things you really reinforce to all of your clients?
I always beg my clients to not play with, touch or mess about with their hair while it is wet! Having wet hair during the styling process is essential for style success. So yes, curls can be manipulated much easier when they are wet and with the right products. However, once you have styled the hair to your liking, don’t touch it until it is completely dry!
What is your most memorable moment during your career as a stylist?
That’s easy and I am sure most hair dressers feel the same way. When I have a client with curly hair see, and they see the end results of good product use, water and styling techniques that work for their face shape, curl pattern and style, they are over the moon. It’s a priceless experience.
Name 3 of your Holy Grail products:
100% Curl Keeper, Extenzz and Gel.
If you could change one thing about your curls, what would it be?
I love my curls now that I wear them! I don’t think I would change anything; it’s all about embracing what you were born with!
Feel free to post any questions you may have for Hiwot here on the Gossip Curls blog! If you’d like to book an appointment at the Curly Hair Institute in Toronto, Canada or for more information view here.