Photo of Raquel Reigns

I had the pleasure of helping singer Raquel Reigns prepare for her Curl photoshoot at my studio Beyond Texture in Brooklyn, New York. She arrived with radiant positivity and a smile that lit up the room. But as we got started, I quickly realized no one had ever walked her through just how magical her curls could be. She had experienced curly cuts before, but this would be her first time learning a technique I refer to as “Condition With Intention.”

Everyone’s curls hold potential, and it was time for Raquel to see hers. She explained to me that she was only a couple years into her healthy curl journey. Even though her curl pattern was showing, she still had some transitioning ends that were holding her back. She didn’t want to lose much length, so we decided to dust her ends (trim off split ends) and create balance in her shape for a healthy grow-out. With the shape on point, we proceeded to the sink.

Photo of Jessica Fitzpatrick
Jessica Fitzpatrick / Photo by Geovanna Rivera

The sink (aka the hydration station) is where the real magic happens — where my guests get to see their hair transform from frizz to hydrated, defined curls right before their eyes. I explained to Raquel the importance of water and told her to think about treating her hair like a sponge. The more water that can move through the hair, the better the hair will define, shine, and flourish.

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To cleanse, I reached for a clarifying shampoo by Malibu C called Un-Do-Goo, which helps remove product buildup and opens hair cuticles, allowing moisture to truly penetrate each strand. We cleansed thoroughly from roots to ends, then rinsed. Any time I clarify, I also do a second moisturizing cleanse to provide supplemental nutrients to the hair shaft. We finished with Innersense Organic Beauty Color Awakening Hairbath.

Jessica uses a pick to fluff Raquel’s curls and create volume.

After the second cleanse, I chose to condition with Innersense Organic Beauty Color Radiance Daily Conditioner. This combination was based on Raquel’s “Hydration Formulation,” which takes into account the hair’s texture and hydration needs, as well as the guest’s goals.

During the conditioning session, I instruct my guest to slow down so that we are able to feel the hair becoming hydrated. This means continuing until the curls “slip.” That’s when you know you’ve reached maximum hydration for your curls. Everyone is different — and the newer you are to your healthy hair journey, the more elbow grease this step will need.

For styling, we wanted to maximize volume while maintaining curl definition. On saturated hair, I started with a bit of Uncle Funky’s Daughter Curly Magic (mainly through her ends to help them clump together). This product also helps to pull water to the very end of the hair, which was important for Raquel’s drier curls. As an added bonus, this creates shine. Then I applied Innersense Hair Love Prep Spray all over. This priming spray helps to create lift at the root, adds additional shine, creates texture for volume, and refines curl definition. It’s truly a staple for any curl pattern.

For the finishing touch, I reached for AG Hair Mousse Gel. It has a stronger hold than the average mousse and offers that Day 2 or Day 3 volume that some curls crave on Day 1. It accentuated the shape perfectly. To dry, we alternated between the hooded dryer and the Dyson diffuser to create that balance of volume and curl definition.

At the very end, once the style was completely dry, I reached for a hair pick to help release the curl cast and fill in the shape. And voilà: Raquel was ready to rock her crown for Curl!