Rest & Relaxation = Radiance

In a fast paced world, we must take time to relax and take in the beauties that surround us. Before we know it, kids are grown, seasons have changed, relationships bloom or wilt away…

Do you take the time to reflect on the downfalls? Or, do you only enjoy the come ups? I enjoy analyzing the downfalls in hopes of learning a new lesson. When you hold a positive mindset, any disappointment turns into a blessing.

When is the last time you sat alone in silence? Walked down by the water listening to the waves flow and crash against the rocks? What do you do to relax? Go to the spa? Read a book? Go for a swim? Spend time with friends? Meditate? Dance?

There are so many ways to release toxins from the body and from the brain. You can start with releasing any insecurities and know that you are the creator to your own world! YOU! Yes, it’s you who holds all the power to unlocking what you want in this lifetime. Never limit your mind! Find a place to create. A space that is yours. Declare to the universe daily and use prayer as a tool to help spread love.

Learn to listen to your body. That gut feeling. Those butterflies. They all mean something! Are you willing to take the time to figure out what that energy means? Before you ask a friend, ask yourself! What do you really want to do? Who do you really want to be? Organize your thoughts into goals! You can achieve them if you want to! But hey, you need to believe that more than anyone else.

Perception is key and I wish you all the best through your journey!


How Hot is your Flat Iron?

Do you know how hot your flat iron is or did the thought of that disappear along with the box it came in? This is important to know because if your flat iron is too hot, it can actually melt the keratin that your hair is composed of.  And, this is how irreversible heat damage occurs.

Your hair’s keratin can begin to melt at approximately 421 degrees celsius. Although many flat irons are sold with temperatures upwards to 450 degrees, this does not mean you should use that temperature. In the salon, we typically start off at 360 (depending on the density of their) and go up to about 410 digressive needed. If that is the flattest we can get your hair, then so it must be! We can increase flatness by cornrowing or braiding it and removing those for some extra stretch, hold and texture.

Are you protecting your hair with a silicone based heat protectant? How about a proper moisturizing wash and deep condition before your blow dry? Do you moisturize with a water based product prior to heat? These are all important steps you should take before smoothing out naturally curly hair. Especially when you love your curl pattern and do not want to see it disrupted. The more moisture in the hair, the more ability it has to hold on to that moisture throughout the heat process which in turn removes moisture from the hair to allow longevity in your smooth style.

Be sure to use small sections (1/2 inch- 1 1/2 inch) as your flat iron. 1-3 Slow and steady strokes are better than 5-10 fast paced strokes in chunky sections.Take your time and be kind to your hair.

1 Clarifying Shampoo (Joico/Quantum)
1 Moisturizing Shampoo (Moisturizing and Conditioning Shampoo – Earthtones Naturals)
Deep Conditioning Treatment (Curl Replenishing Restorative Hair Mask -Earthtones Naturals)
Moisturize in sections with water based leave-in prior to blowdry (Moisture Milk – Earthtones Naturals)
Protect and Seal in Moisture with a heat Protectant prior to flat iron (Oligan Weightless Styling Oil )
Begin at 300 degrees celsius and raise heat to maximum of 410 degrees celsius if needed

Braid, stretching hair from the roots (cornrows or multiple plaits) and use a Satin/Silk Head cover at night for longer lasting style.

Do your best not to add heat during the week as dirtier hair is not the best palette for a flat iron.

Want to learn more? We can teach you how to become a blowdrying pro during a seminar with our stylists.

Book online at


What Creates Frizz and What Can Block It Out

Frizz happens when the hair is not receiving enough moisture from your regimen. On one hand, it is great that the hair is capturing moisture from the air, but on the other hand, that my not be what you had planned for that day.

The importance of giving the hair hydration (water) and moisture (water based product) DAILY is important for long term length retention and over all health of the hair.

Frizz = Dry Hair.  It’s just so thirsty that it is willing to grab on to whatever it can get! If you give your hair what it is looking for and seal it in with an oil, it is less likely to grab the moisture from other sources.

What types of oils can you use to help seal in moisture?

Sunflower oil, olive oil, jojoba oil and castor oil all help with moisture retention and I can use my hair as an example! When I go through my regimen and do not seal with an oil, I have to re-hydrate with water the same day! My hair simply cannot hold onto the moisture on its own.
During my last wash day, I sealed my hair with an oil blended by Karen’s Body Beautiful. On day 3, I am still able to feel the oils protecting the moisture from exiting my hair. I do a daily spritz of water just to be sure the hair gains the memory of catching hydration. Otherwise, I am not worried about dryness, which leads to breakage, which takes away from length retention.

Consistency is key ya’ll!

Are you still unsure of how to create the best hair care regimen for your lifestyle? Call us or book your appointment with us online and we will help you along your Hair Care Journey.


Protect Your Hair Against Chlorine & Salt Water

While taking on the persona of a fish this Summer, you must remember that it is important to block out as much of that water from entering your hair as well as the importance of cleansing directly after to remove any of the leftover chlorine or salt water.

How do you block water from entering the hair? Well, if we reference last week’s blog about why oil is not a hydrator, it will be a little more clear as to why oil is a great choice.

Oils such as olive, petroleum, mineral and castor oil will act as a protective barrier against the chemicals. Do you remember ever putting Vaseline on before a swim? The water balls ups and rolls right off! This is an indicator that your skin is protected and the same applies to your hair.

A swim cap is also a great option if you are an avid swimmer. The more exposure the hair has to the chlorine/salt water, the more your hair can become affected by it. You can also use oil to protect further or try the next option.

Wet your hair down prior to entering the pool and add a conditioner into your hair. The hair will not soak up as much of the pool water because it has already received moisture voluntarily.

Once you are done your swim, it is important to wash your hair directly after with a clarifying shampoo, followed by a moisturizing shampoo, deep condition and water based moisturizer before you go in to style.

Want to learn more about daily hair care maintenance? Book a Love Your Hair Party or a Private Curly Hair Care Seminar with us and we will help you create a regimen that best suits your lifestyle .


Our 5th Year Anniversary Party!

I cannot express my gratitude towards our 5th year anniversary party. On Saturday July 25th, we came together to eat, laugh, dance and enjoy the goodness that was the day. My parents out did themselves once again and anyone who got a plate or two of goodness (or snuck one home) knows what’s up lol. They love to see people enjoy a good time as much as I do.

Thank you for bringing your beautiful energy into the salon for the last 5 years. Since May 2010 when I opened the doors of Hair Designs by Paula, you have been following our journey to excellence. We appreciate your patience through all the transition. We appreciate your understanding through all of our growth.

Curly Hair Designs was born in the summer of 2014 and we couldn’t be happier with the results of the re-branding. There are so many people out there that want to know more about their hair. Thank you for letting us be the ones to teach you.

Thank you to everyone who came out and had a good time this year! Next year, we do it again! This day is to celebrate YOU! You allow the lifestyle that we live and for that we are forever grateful. Without you, we would not exist.


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Why Oil is not a Hydrator

Why Oil is not a Hydrator

Oil. It does not like Water. We already know that they do not mix well. But from childhood, our scalps and ends have been smothered with oils in an attempt to hydrate. This hydration is false!

All that DAX and Coconut Oil from that tub with petroleum or mineral oil as the first ingredient…  They didn’t know any better. But, now that we do, let me educate you a little bit.

There are two types of oils:

Penetrating oils such as coconut, sunflower, avocado, olive and argan oils penetrate deeply into the hair shaft in 30 minutes giving the hair increased softness and the ability to retain more moisture. You can add heat by covering your hair with a shower cap.

Sealing oils like jojoba, castor, mineral oil and silicones hold moisture into the hair that you infuse with your water based product. Dimethicone is a great defense against direct heat from your blow dryer and flat iron.

Why do I love the Pre-Poo so much? Because this is our opportunity to use our penetrating oils that allow the hair to retain more moisture, which results in less breakage equaling length retention.

It is okay to colour the hair, but are you getting the hydration back into it? Do you enjoy your hair being blown out and smoothed with a flat iron? That’s okay too.  But, everything in moderation and with the proper protection prior to and during the process. We do not need to be afraid of trying new things with our hair, but we do need to be afraid of what can happen when we do not consistently hydrate and moisturize our hair.

We host Curly Hair Care Seminars in salon and go through the process of hydrating from top to bottom. Creating a regimen plays an important role in your hair goals.

Hydration comes from water, moisture comes from a water based product and locking that in happens with the aid of sealing oils!


Have Healthier Hair By Having It Trimmed

Why you need to trim your hair curlyhairdesigns

We thought we’d talk about the importance of and how often to trim your hair. I could say trim your hair every eight weeks or so, which is the right answer, but then you wouldn’t do it because you don’t know why you should.

Why is it important to trim your hair that often?

There are a few reasons we tell our clients to trim their hair that often and the reasons you should will depend on how you want your hair to look.

Did you know that on average our hair grows half an inch to an inch every month? That might be hard to believe, but it’s true.

Why doesn’t your hair feel like it’s growing that much? It could be because when you don’t trim your hair regularly the ends of your hair start to split and when it splits the ends break off. Try as you might to have longer hair, it is really hard to get longer hair if the hair keeps breaking. Is your goal to have longer hair or grow out a style? Have your hair trimmed.

Often you don’t see it unless you look a bit closer, but you might also start to see the ends get little knots in them. Those knots make it harder to manage and control your hair. When your hair is hard to manage and control, you lose the style of your hair-cut as well. Your hair will also become prone to heat damage. If your goal is to keep that fabulous style, then trimming your hair will keep that style looking fresh.

When you have your hair colour treated, make sure to ask your hair stylist for a trim at the same time. We do this for all of our clients.

We’ve all seen products advertised that will repair split ends, but what you may not know is that there isn’t a product out there that will repair split ends. They can temporarily mask split ends so your hair doesn’t look so bad, but they will not repair your hair. It’s like when you hide a blemish on your face with make-up, is the blemish gone? Of course not, it’s hidden under the make-up and once the make-up is removed, the blemish is still there. The only way to get rid of split ends is with a trim.

We recommend you consult with your stylist on how often your hair should be trimmed in order to keep it healthy and the style you like.

Seeing a stylist regularly that you trust is the best option for that, they get to know your hair and will recommend what works for you.

To keep your hair at its healthiest also read our article on “How Many Times Should You Wash Your Hair”.


Look What Can Happen When You Donate Hair.

I have to share with you one of the events held here in Ottawa that I am very proud to be apart of for the second year! Hair Donations Ottawa held their 5th annual event where people with 6” or more donated their locks and raised funds in support of Cancer Research.

The support from the salon community was great! There were over 50 stylists who came out to support this event.

Although some donors had a hard time letting go of their length, everyone left happy knowing that their hair was going to a great cause!

This year the event was on April 26th and Hair Donation Ottawa was able to raise over $115,000 to date. Those donations surpassed what we were able to raise last year. Cancer unfortunately has touched so many people’s lives and it’s important to raise as much funds as we can in support of research.

Below is an image of one of my clients that came to participate and she donated 22″ of her fabulous locks. Her donation of hair will be going to Hair-360 where they will turn that into a wig for a child or young adult that can’t afford to buy one.  She was thrilled with being able to donate and just as thrilled with her new hair cut.

Hair Donation Ottawa-Curly Hair Designs

We would like to thank Hair Donation Ottawa for pulling this event together and all of the wonderful volunteers who gave their time to help out.

If you missed the event, you can still donate money directly and add to the funds that have already been raised by going to their website. You can also come in to the salon for a cut and we will send the hair in for you.



How Many Times Should You Wash Your Hair

Best Hair Washing TipsBefore I get into the answer, let me welcome you to your dedicated educational blog spot with a twist!
I’m here to keep it real with you and have some fun, as we are on lifelong hair journey !
Sometimes, the simplest of questions leads to a plethora of Aha moments! That is when I know I have done some good. After over a decade of being a beautician with plenty of OG clients that have stayed loyal, I am still teaching them new things to this day !  We are more than hairstylists that help you look your most amazing self, we are also consultants.  It is our duty to give you as much knowledge as we can to ensure we keep your hair healthy as we create
Our goal is to send you away with more information than when you came in !
The question I’ve been asking my clients all month has been ,” How many times do you wash your hair?” I’ve been super surprised with the answer and am so glad that I started asking it for a number of reasons.
1. Product Conservation;  When you purchase products in a salon, they tend to have a higher concentration. You should always start with less and add more only if needed. Have you tried adding more water rather than more shampoo ? It works! Start your first shampoo with a Toonie amount. Emulsified in your hands and spread even amounts on the crown, middle and back of your scalp. Then, start scrubbing away. Do not expect much lather the first shampoo. Why? Because its dirty ! Also, don’t use your nails to scrub because they can cause scalp abrasions !
2. The 1st Shampoo is lifting dirt, the 2nd shampoo is truly cleansing. Many people, my past self included, load a mountain size shampoo puddle in their hand and yes, the lather comes. But what we do not recognize is that the first shampoo is simply lifting the dirt from the hair and scalp while the second shampoo in removing that dirt and allowing you to start with a fresh palette.
Let’s answer the question to this blog post now that you have a few tips.
3. How often should you be washing you hair?
Everyone’s scalp is different. Some people produce more natural oils while others need to find ways and use products that create more hydration. Daily hair washing is too much in my opinion. I do have clients with finer hair that feel if they do not wash, it does not style the same. Try a dry shampoo (Joico makes a Dry Shampoo that I love, and we have it available in the salon). That way, you can get your hair on track to wash maybe every other day. People with kinkier textures tend to wash our hair less often so that it does not dry out. The scalp should generally be cleansed every 10-14 days maximum to remove build up and allow the scalp to breathe.
How often do you wash your hair? You may be having more bad hair days than you need to because you’re not washing your hair properly. Feel free to leave a comment or concern about your hair washing dilemma’s. You can also contact us to speak with a consultant.