Professional Smoothing – A Brief History

Professional Smoothing – A Brief History

THE EVOLUTION OF PROFESSIONAL SMOOTHING: A BRIEF HISTORY

In the pursuit of healthy, manageable, frizz-free hair, professional smoothing treatments have become a cornerstone of haircare routines globally. This journey towards healthier locks has evolved significantly over the decades, adapting to advancements in technology, changing safety regulations, shifting trends, and evolving beauty standards. Today, we celebrate natural beauty, but this wasn’t always the case.

Early Beginnings: The Birth of Hair Relaxers

The concept of hair smoothing dates back to the early 20th century, marked by the invention of hair relaxers. These treatments, initially utilised by those with Afro-Caribbean hair, involved the application of lye, specifically sodium hydroxide or calcium hydroxide, which when applied broke down the protein bonds within the hair shaft. While effective, these early relaxers were known for their harshness and potential to cause significant damage if improperly administered.

The 1990s: The Rise of Japanese Hair Straightening

In the 1990s, Japanese hair straightening, also known as thermal reconditioning, revolutionised the hair industry. This method combined chemical treatments with flat ironing to permanently alter the structure of the hair. Despite its popularity for producing ultra-straight, shiny hair, the process was time-consuming and came with lots of risk as it could be damaging if not performed by skilled professionals, and even then clients were left with constant regrowth, making it impractical and very expensive. 

The 2000s: The Brazilian Blow-dry and Keratin Treatments

The early 2000s saw the introduction of the Brazilian Blow-dry and keratin treatments, which quickly gained worldwide popularity. These treatments claimed to use keratin, a protein naturally found in hair, to smooth and strengthen hair fibres. Brands promised frizz-free, out-of-the-shower straight hair with incredible shine. 

However, these treatments came under real scrutiny for the use of illegal levels of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, leading to health concerns for both clients and stylists alike, followed by global bans and lawsuits. 

Out of the ashes: The foundation of Professional Smoothing 

A significant milestone in the evolution of professional haircare occurred in 2010 when advances in biotechnology enabled Kebelo to launch the first professional smoothing treatment using carbocysteine, designed to strengthen damaged bonds on a foundational level. This pioneering treatment, now known as Nice and Smooth and operated by The Hair Movement, set a new standard for both safety and versatility, encouraging clients to embrace their natural hair texture, establishing the foundation of professional in-salon smoothing. Subsequently, others followed suit, solidifying the birth of this staple category.

Today, smoothing is a foundational treatment aimed at creating healthy hair, thereby improving manageability, reducing frizz, and improving texture. This contrasts sharply with its predecessors, which were primarily styling products that often caused damage while only giving the appearance of healthy hair. This breakthrough has not only transformed professional salon services but also paved the way for a new category of retail smoothing treatments, emphasising the enduring need for products that promote hair health. As a result, the professional smoothing market has experienced significant growth, driven by the demand for treatments that deliver performance, peace of mind, and versatility.

 “The future of professional smoothing treatments appears promising… it is a must have service on any salon menu.”

The Future of Professional Hair Smoothing

Jonathan Shipman, co-founder of The Hair Movement, states, “The future of professional smoothing treatments appears promising, albeit unlikely to match the scale of colour services, it is a must have service on any salon menu.” Smoothing treatments have in-fact become essential offerings in most professional salons. Shipman believes that in the future, professional smoothing will no longer be a niche service; as the application process becomes easier and more affordable, smoothing will remain a growing mainstream salon service. Research indicates that salons offering smoothing treatments not only enhance the hair health of their clients but also, on average, increase client visits by four times a year, fostering greater loyalty and engagement with the salon.

Today, salons are challenged with thinking outside the box to increase the frequency of client visits. With clients desiring healthy hair styled in a relaxed, natural manner, smoothing has become one of the most relevant services available. 

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5 Hair Trends Heading Into Spring

5 Hair Trends Heading Into Spring

5 HAIR TRENDS HEADING INTO SPRING

Attention all hairdressers! Whether your clients are seeking a bold transformation or just subtle tweaks to their style, we’ve got you covered. We’ve consulted with Kasho loyalists to ask them what the trendiest springtime haircuts you should keep an eye out for.

STRAIGHT AND LOOSE

“Tania Betsy, Creative Salon Director at The Hair Movement salon notes a prevailing trend toward smoother hair styles, clarifying that it’s not about the perfectly flat-ironed look, but rather a blow-dried appearance with a straightened yet relaxed vibe. This style incorporates some texture and fluidity, avoiding overly sharp lines. Describing it as a ‘palate cleanser’ from previous seasons, the aesthetic revolves around clean, minimalist hair reminiscent of the late ’90s and early 2000s, drawing inspiration from icons like Jennifer Lopez during that era.”

MIXIE CUT

The latest buzz in hair trends is the mixie cut, blending elements of the pixie and mullet styles. Google searches for this edgy look have surged by 1,000 percent in the past month alone. Kristen Stewart has recently embraced this trend, rocking it with textured layers, a tousled finish, and heaps of attitude—a perfect embodiment of how this style should be flaunted.

MIDI-BOB

In 2024, clean and uncomplicated silhouettes are set to dominate the hair scene, with one standout style being the midi-bob. This sleek and polished look exudes sophistication and maturity, making it a popular choice for those looking to transition from a shorter bob. Celebrities like Penélope Cruz and Selena Gomez have recently embraced the midi-bob with slightly more movement, adding to its allure and cementing its status as a must-have haircut.

FRINGES AND BANGS

Bangs and fringes are making a triumphant return to the forefront of hair fashion, adding a fresh and youthful vibe to any hairstyle. From blunt-cut bangs to soft, wispy fringes, there’s a style to suit every face shape and personality. Celebrities and influencers alike are embracing this trend, showcasing versatile looks that range from classic and sophisticated to edgy and bold. Whether you’re aiming for a chic curtain fringe or a retro-inspired micro bang, bangs and fringes are sure to inject an instant dose of style and personality into your look this year.

60s ARE BACK SWINGING

The iconic hairstyles of the 1960s are experiencing a resurgence in popularity, proving that classic never goes out of style. From voluminous beehives to sleek, mod-inspired cuts, the timeless elegance of 60s hair trends continues to captivate fashion enthusiasts around the world. Influenced by cultural icons such as Brigitte Bardot and Twiggy, modern interpretations of these retro looks are popping up on red carpets, runways, and social media feeds alike. Whether it’s the return of the bouffant or the revival of the flipped-out ends, there’s a nostalgic charm to 60s hairstyles that effortlessly complements contemporary fashion sensibilities. With their playful yet polished aesthetic, these vintage-inspired looks serve as a reminder that the allure of the 60s is as relevant and captivating as ever in 2024.

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Miley Cyrus goes big

Miley Cyrus goes big

MILEY CYRUS GOES BIG, REAL BIG!

The Grammy Awards have consistently provided a platform for artists to showcase their talent, creativity, and unique styles. This year was no exception, and one artist who truly stole the spotlight with her bold and striking look was none other than Miley Cyrus.

As Dolly Parton once said, “Life is short, keep your dreams big and your hair bigger.” Well, at this year’s Grammy Awards, Miley Cyrus took her godmother’s words very literally. Not only did she take home an award, but thanks to her heaven-reaching mane of curls, she’s also sweeping through social media and has forever become synonymous with ‘volume.’

The visionary or culprit (depending on who you ask) behind the hairstyle that reaches for the stars is her long-time stylist and friend, Bob Recine. “Last year, I featured Miley’s wet look for hair,” Recine said in a statement. “For the Grammys, we decided we wanted something dry and bigger, more full hair, but sexy, tousled, and touchable,” and boy did he hit the mark he set out to hit.

As Miley Cyrus graced the red carpet, all eyes were on her. For the past decade, she’s been known for her fearless fashion choices, and Miley’s hair was no exception. However, it’s divided the internet. Some claim that she’s reintroduced an old-school style that will reverberate through the industry, while others have less flattering things to say, including comments involving electrical sockets. Either way, no matter which side of the creative take you are standing on, we can all agree on one thing: her fearless drive to push creative boundaries and norms helps us all in what we do, push boundries. Confidence to stand out, to try new things, to be different. Miley left everyone in awe, and my take is that we should all take a page out of her book.

#daretobecreative

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Deposits, it’s a No-Brainer

Fine tuned tools for fine tuned precision

The Art of Texturizing

The Art of Texturizing

THE ART OF TEXTURIZING

 

Alright, my fellow hair enthusiasts, let’s talk about one of the handiest tricks up our sleeves as professional hairstylists — thinning, also known as texturizing scissors. Sure, we’re all trained, know and work with the classic scissor-over-comb technique to create texture and reduce volume, which of course, as professionals should be mastered. The downside when using the scissor-over-comb technique is that it’s substantially more time consuming than using the evolved tools created for this specific task at hand. And let’s face it, why wouldn’t we use the right tools for the job, it’s simple professional evolution. Yet, this is a tool that’s so often been misused, slightly misunderstood, and sadly not given the recognition as the superhero tool that it is. So let’s go about changing that…

Have you ever actually wondered about the real artistry behind texturizing scissors? Well, today we’re casually diving into the oh-so-brilliant world of cutting hair with these handy tools. My tool-box is fortunate to hold some of the best texturing scissors available on the market, the Kasho Green Series, which are simply incredible. Further down you can scroll through a wide range of options to help you find your next tool, but for now, let’s delve in.  

WHY USE TEXTURIZERS TO CREATE TEXTURE?

First thing’s first, why go for texturizing scissors when you’ve got trusty regular ones? Well, texturising scissors aren’t just your run-of-the-mill scissors. They’re designed to selectively remove bulk without sacrificing length. I like to think of them as the artist’s brush for creating texture, volume, and that effortlessly chic look, and they do so without compromising on time or technique. 

CHOOSE YOUR WEAPON WISELY

Not all thinning scissors are created equal. There are different types with varying tooth counts, and yes, it does matter. Texturizing scissors with 15-teeth are great for short-medium hair that requires a chunkier effect. The fewer teeth, the less hair is being texturised. 30-teeth is a versatile, midway texturising scissor great for medium to thick hair, creating moderate texture and moderate layers. Then there’s the 38-teeth, best for thick or coarse hair, designed to create a bold, more transformative texture with a significant volume reduction. You need to pick your texturising scissors based on the result you’re aiming for, but ideally, throughout your career, you can add more to your toolbox, giving you a complete set. 

15 Teeth
HEAVY CHUNKING
30 Teeth
MODERATE TEXTURE
38 Teeth
BOLD TRANSFORMATIVE TEXTURE

A-TYPE OR B-TYPE – TOP OR BOTTOM BLADE

The entire purpose of this article is to eliminate confusion, so I hope that this next part doesn’t completely mess that up. Because in addition to the amount of teeth, there’re also texturizer variants withTop Teeth Blades and Bottom Teeth Blades. So to keep things non-confusing, let’s briefly break down why. 

The Top Blade texturizing scissor, which within Kasho is also known as the ‘A-Type’, is mainly used when working on a classic men’s cut and for short hair and transitions. The final result is a harsher texture with duller lines, creating harder contours. Type A is more limited than the ‘B-type’, or Bottom Blade. A bottom teeth blade is often favoured when working with Asian and Middle Eastern hair. Hair that’s straighter and much thicker. Type B is primarily for longer and thicker hair because of the way that long hair falls into the teeth better, but this is absolutely not exclusive. Of the two variants, the Bottom Blade is a more versatile tool for today’s clientele. More of a guaranteed all-rounder. 

In fact, if you were to only ever invest in one texturising scissor, I would urge you to invest in the Green Texturising Scissor – KGRS-60 OS WT38B, it’s an offset, Bottom Blade Hybrid texturizer with 38 tapered (slightly curved) teeth and a ballbearing screw system. It’s simply an incredible all-rounder for your tool box. 

A-Type
TOP BLADE
B-Type
BOTTOM BLADE
Hybrid
B-TYPE WITH A TWIST

THE TEXTURIZING TECHNIQUE

SECTION, SECTION, SECTION

Just like any great painting starts with a blank canvas, a fabulous haircut starts with well-sectioned hair. Divide the hair into manageable sections and clip away what you’re not working on. This ensures you have control and can see exactly where those texturizing scissors are doing their magic. One of the biggest errors when using this type of scissor is repeating a section and over texturising. Just like everything we do, there is a controlled technique to follow, so section that hair and work methodically. 

FIRSTLY GO VERTICAL

Unlike the horizontal action of scissor-over-comb, thinning scissors work best in a vertical motion. Take a small section of hair, hold it vertically, then gently open and close the texturising scissors along the length of the hair. This technique gives you a more naturally textured finish.

SECONDLY BE SELECTIVE

Don’t go thinning-happy on the whole head. Be selective about where you want to reduce bulk or add texture. Common areas include adding volume around the crown, and when creating a feathered look through the ends. This can’t be stressed enough. Don’t go all Edward Scissorhands on your client. This’ll only result in fluff. 

FINALLY TEST & ADJUST

Remember, less is more. Start with a few snips and assess the result. You can always take more off, but gluing hair back on is somewhat trickier. Adjust the pressure and the amount of hair you’re working with based on the effect you’re aiming for.

THIS IS WHY IT’S SUCH A GREAT TOOL!

VERSATILITY IN TEXTURE

Texturizing (or thinning) scissors give you the power to create an endless range of textures, from soft and subtle to bold and edgy. It’s all about customisation and creative expression!

EFFORTLESS BLENDING

Say goodbye to harsh lines. The right texturising scissors blend layers seamlessly, ensuring a natural flow in your haircut. That is unless you choose to create a super-choppy texture!

HAPPY BOUNCY HAIR

The lightness achieved with texturising scissors means hair bounces and moves beautifully. Your clients will thank you for the extra oomph!

 

So, there you have it—the lowdown on mastering the art of texturizing scissors. It’s all about being selective, going vertical, and customising for that perfect texture. Now, armed with this knowledge, go forth and unleash your inner hairstyling connoisseur with some new texturizers. Your clients’ hair will thank you for the magical touch of a Kasho texturing scissors! Happy snipping! 

CHECKOUT MORE ARTICLES

  • All
  • BUSINESS TIPS
  • CREATIVE INSIGHTS
  • HEALTH & WELLBEING
  • INDUSTRY NEWS
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  • TUTORIALS

Boosting Success

The Changes We Face

Why Invest in Your Scissors?

Caring for your Body

The Artistry of Japanese Steel Blades

The Rachel is Back

Stay Relevant with Digital Marketing

Deposits, it’s a No-Brainer

Fine tuned tools for fine tuned precision

Embrace the Chic

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