When you're shopping around for a hairstylist, it's smart to look for one who specializes in your particular hair type. If you have naturally curly hair like Melina Coto, the star of this week's episode of Refinery29's YouTube series Hair Me Out, you're looking for a good curl specialist.
Luckily, thanks to Instagram, it's easier than ever before to scroll through a stylist's digital portfolio, stop at a photo, and say: "Okay, that's my curl pattern, and the kind of cut and style I'm looking for — I'm going to book an appointment." That's exactly how Coto met Sabrina Ahmed, the West Hollywood-based stylist who specializes in the "curly haircut."
What makes a curly haircut unique, and different from a traditional haircut, is that the goal is to enhance the curls, not to smooth, brush, or blow them flat. "We want to achieve your best hair possible, without having to change your natural texture," Ahmed explains during her consult with Coto.
The vision for Coto's custom curly cut: softly rounded layers and long, face-framing bangs. Ahmed takes her scissors and does a dry cut, which is super important when working with curls that lose their shape when wet. Then, the bulk of the appointment is about the curl-specific styling. Ahmed shampoos, conditions, applies a moisturizing cocktail of curl cream and gel, then diffuses Coto's freshly-trimmed curls, flipping her head upside-down to achieve maximum volume and bounce.
After the shaping and careful styling process, Coto looks like a totally different person. Gone are all the dead ends: Her curls now have renewed body and movement. "It's so pretty and like... defined," Coto notes, running her fingers through her glossy ringlets. "I feel like my hair defines me — it's curly and bouncy and makes me want to go out and have fun."