Free-Flowing Natural Styling with Lindsey Olson
As our calendars start filling up with special events and nights out, now is the perfect time to learn how to create beautiful finishes for our curly and wavy guests!
While there’s nothing wrong with flat-ironing textured hair for a sleek, straight look, today’s trending styles focus on embracing that gorgeous texture! Textured hair is an asset for hairstyling, according to Sam Villa Ambassador, Redken Artist, and global educator Lindsey Marie Olson.
Lindsey specializes in color and finishes for all hair textures, with a special focus on waves and curls. She loves bringing out the beauty in all hair types and teaching stylists how to work with the hair’s natural texture, not against it!
When scheduling a guest for a finishing service at the salon, Lindsey suggests they come in with a light leave-in conditioner in clean, dry hair. Read on to master Lindsey’s techniques for organic, free-flowing styles in textured tresses:
Creating an Elegant Half-Updo in High-Texture Hair
Your curly guests will love this soft half-upstyle for special events, weddings and even nights out on the town! The key is to set yourself up for success with proper preparation and the right styling products.
Prepping Curly Hair
Start by prepping damp hair with Redken Acidic Perfecting Concentrate Leave In Conditioner. Next, apply Redken Curvaceous Ringlet and diffuse the hair with the Vision Blow Dryer to enhance the natural texture.
Use the tail of your comb to expand the base by gently lifting and pushing out horizontal sections. For extra volume, lift sections of hair and apply Redken Triple Dry 15 to the base of the hair shaft. Finish by working Redken All Soft Argan-6 Oil through the hair to expand the curls and create a softer style.
PRO TIP: Are you worried that working with your hands will cause curly hair to frizz up? Lindsey teaches that it’s okay to touch curly hair as long as the hair is dry and you keep your fingers closed, allowing the hair to slip between your hands. Avoid combing through the curls or raking your fingers through the hair, which could disrupt the curl pattern.
Continue lifting sections of hair with your tail comb and applying Redken Triple Dry 15 until you achieve the volume you want. It also helps to ask your guest to flip their head upside down and shake out their curls.
After prepping the hair, apply more Redken All Soft Argan-6 Oil to your hands and work it gently through the curls. For more softness, use your hands to massage and shake out the hair at the base.
Sweep the hair straight back (away from your guest’s face) and use your fingers to shape and define the face-framing ringlets. You should be able to visualize the shape before you start pinning the hair into place.
If you’re working with hair that is heat-damaged or lacks a strong, consistent curl pattern, use the 1” Artist Series 2-in-1 Marcel Iron and Wand to enhance the curls. Put the tool on the “wand” setting and prep a small section of hair with Redken Iron Shape 11. Point the barrel away from the guest’s head and wrap the strand down the barrel in one direction with very light tension. Unravel the hair and wrap it around the barrel in the opposite direction.
This creates an imperfect, diffuse curl that blends seamlessly with the natural texture but still adds that extra POP! Repeat with several more small sections, focusing on the surface layer of hair.
Styling Curly Hair
Step 1: Apply Redken All Soft Argan-6 Oil to your hands. Starting at the parietal ridge on each side, pick up the face-framing pieces and bring them back behind the head. Leave the hair on the crown loose to create more volume and texture.
Step 2: Cross one section over the other and tie a basic single knot. Secure the hair with a small elastic just underneath the knot.
Step 3: Pick up a face-framing piece on each side, just below the sections that you knotted. Bring these two pieces back behind the head, cross one section over the other and tie another simple knot. Secure the hair with a small elastic just underneath the knot.
Step 4: “Pancake” the hair by pinching and pulling out small sections. This hides the elastics and helps to loosen up the shape.
Step 5: Connect the two knots by placing a U-shaped hairpin at a 90° angle at the base of the lower knot and rotating the hairpin while pushing it up against the scalp.
Step 6: Secure the hair on the crown with more U-shaped hairpins. Weave the pin through the hair in an “up-and-down” wave motion, then place it at a 90° angle to the scalp and push it into the hair in the opposite direction. Repeat with more sections as needed.
(This helps to preserve the soft, organic finish while ensuring the style holds up through a long night of dancing!)
Step 7 [Optional]: For a special-occasion look, use braid clips to add detail and visual interest. If your guest has darker hair with no color work, these accessories create beautiful dimension. Simply attach the clips to different parts of the hair to enhance the style.
Step 8: Use the tail comb and your fingers to shape and adjust the style. There’s no need for hairspray, since you set the hair before styling!
Creating a Soft Half-Updo in Long Wavy Hair
Perfect for your boho brides, fall festival-goers and more, this relaxed style is secretly ultra-secure thanks to a hidden braid foundation! It’s ideal for guests with natural wavy texture, but you could also create this look on straight hair by adding waves with your iron.
Prepping Wavy Hair
Wavy hair may lack strength and consistency in the curl pattern, so Lindsey recommends using a curling wand to enhance the natural texture. Prep the hair with Redken Iron Shape 11, pick up a small section, and “prime” the hair shaft by running the barrel of the Artist Series 2-in-1 Marcel Iron and Wand along the base.
Point the barrel away from the guest’s head and wrap the strand down the barrel in one direction with light tension. Unravel the hair and wrap the ends around the barrel in the opposite direction. Repeat with the remaining sections, working from top to bottom. This delivers beautifully soft, effortless waves with a natural curl pattern! Make sure to wait until the curls are fully cooled before you touch them with your hands.
Styling Wavy Hair
Step 1: Separate the hair above ear-level and secure this hair out of the way with Dry Sectioning Clips. Take a 1-inch section of hair next to the ear and create a basic 3-strand braid. Fold the braid across the back of the head and secure it to the scalp with hairpins.
Step 2: Prep the hair in the nape area with Redken Triple Dry 15. Release the clips on top and spray Redken Triple Dry 15 underneath each section.
Step 3: Apply Redken All Soft Argan-6 Oil to your hands and rake through the waves to break up the curl pattern and create a chill boho vibe.
Step 4: Use a wide comb to direct the top section of hair back. If desired, use the comb to further disrupt the waves. Gently backcomb together any areas where a split was created by the curling iron.
Step 5: Pick up a small section of hair from the back of the head (on top of the braid). Slide a U-shaped hairpin into the hair and the braid. Place the hairpin at a 90° angle to the scalp, then push it into the braid in the opposite direction. Repeat with the remaining sections, leaving some face-framing pieces loose for an effortless finish.
Step 6: Finish the style by spraying Redken Wax Blast 10 all over, focusing on the crown area. Use your fingers to pinch and pull out small pieces for added definition and volume.
Gaining Confidence with Textured Hair
Special occasion styling can be nerve wracking for hairdressers, but it doesn’t have to be! Practice makes perfect… or rather, perfectly imperfect. Today’s effortless, laid-back styles don’t require ultra-polished finishes.
Natural texture and soft movement are where it’s at-- and that’s perfect for our wavy, curly and coily guests! It’s all about enhancing the natural texture and working with the curl pattern to create elegant yet fuss-free shapes.
Lindsey’s best advice for stylists who want to create better finishes? Mess them up! She recommends loosening up the shape for a relaxed, unstyled vibe. Use your guest’s inspiration photos as a jumping-off point, but then find ways to work with the hair rather than fighting it.
As Lindsey says, “You will get much better results if you kind of let go and just embrace what the natural texture wants to do, what’s working on their face shape, with their density.”