Summer is in full swing and we are gearing up to head out to the beach, street festivals and even weddings. We remember to pack sunscreen and shades to care for our skin and eyes, but we sometimes overlook caring for one key thing — our hair. Dove Hair Curl Expert and Celebrity Hair Stylist Cynthia Alvarez, specializes in curl care on hair of all textures, she recently shared her expertise with us on how to take care of natural locks during the humid months, and offered tips on managing frizz and making your curls look picture perfect!
As a celebrity hair stylist and Dove Hair Care curl expert, tell us a little bit about how yourself and how you got started in the hair industry.
I have a huge family full of women who did hair, so I would kind of watch them. After high school I was going to join the Air Force because I didn’t know what else to do. Then someone introduced me to a wardrobe stylist who was working with G-Unit and he said, ‘you’re so talented, why don’t you try this?’ I was two weeks away from being sworn into the Air Force and ended up accompanying him to a video shoot where I was absolutely mesmerized. I ended up going to beauty school and about two years later one of the celebrity hairstylists I was assisting at the time gave me call. I immediately quit my salon job and have been freelancing ever since 2007.
What are some of the best parts about working with celebrities like Rita Ora, Keke Palmer, and Dascha Polanco?
Everyone is like ‘oh you have the best job’ and ‘you get to play dress up all the time.’ That’s quite true, but there is a lot of pressure. When you’re working with a celebrity your work is on a platform. It’s being critiqued and criticized everyday, and a lot of pressure is being put on you to get it right. But the celebrities are really fun to work with and you get to be super creative.
Speaking of celebrities, brides tend to draw inspiration from their red-carpet style. How do you recommend summer brides recreate their own version of celeb looks?
I think the biggest thing is focusing on nourishment and hydration for your hair. A lot of brides like to wear protective styles during the summer, especially if it’s a destination wedding in the humid outdoors. The key is to use the right products.
What are some must-have products and do’s for natural hair?
I think it’s great to have a really good shampoo and conditioner. You don’t want a shampoo that’s too drying, but one that’s really creamy, and a conditioner that’s moisturizing and not too heavy. When you have naturally curly hair you want it to be springy and bouncy, and not have a layer of residue. After thoroughly drying your hair with a microfiber towel to eliminate frizz, apply a leave-in treatment or leave-in serum to define the curls and make them a little more manageable.
What styles would you recommend for to brides getting married this summer?
When I think of a summer or destination weddings and the bride is natural, I think of pin curls pinned in some sort of romantic up-do, or a braided crown is really pretty. When you’re getting married it’s really about what you feel most comfortable in and what you think is most flattering.
What are some hair trends you are loving season?
I’m loving the pastel hair colors. They’re so appropriate for summer and if you don’t want to dye your hair you can invest in extensions, clip-ins or hair chalk, to embrace the trend safely. If you choose to dye your own curls it’s important to get a master colorist. Curly hair is more fragile and subject to breakage.
Are you a natural bride looking to experiment with your curls? Let us know what styles and trends you're planning to try this summer!
Interview conducted by Alexis Reliford, who is a recent graduate of Northwestern State University on the search for the world's best wedding cake. Follow her adventures interning at Black Bride this summer on Twitter here: @lexreliford.