Ecru New York Global Director of Education Amanda Jenkins is one of New York City’s most sought-after hairstylists. She has worked with Kings of Leon, Good Charlotte, and Audioslave as well as styling hair for music videos like 30 Seconds to Mars’ song Hurricane, Morningwood’s Best of Me, and Younglord’s Down So Long. She has also styled hair for Morningwood’s appearances on the Late Show with David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel Live. Amanda has art directed countless photo shoots and her collections are featured in countless magazines. She was also chosen as a “Must-See Stylist” in Allure Magazine’s Salon and Spa Guide.
In addition to her extensive background working on stage, on camera, and behind the chair, Amanda teaches a two-day workshop at the Ecru New York Academy called Texture Exposed, training licensed stylists on the art of taming, styling, and unraveling the true potential of textured hair.
We caught up with Amanda in between projects where she dishes on the latest tips and trends for textured hair. According to this tactile-inclined hair expert, we are seeing more heavy layers with today’s curly and wavy hairstyles. Lengths are either extremely long, down to the lower back, at the collarbone or really short and choppy. This layering takes the weight off of strands and helps to unlock natural texture. Layering also gives your style a better shape overall. If wearing your hair curly, Amanda advises going for expertly applied layers by a stylist that understands textured hair. In order to truly shine, curly hair needs someone who appreciates its unique structure and behavior.
The love for hair health should extend into daily care, and with curly hair, product ingredients matter. Amanda suggests that everyone with curly strands stay away from silicones, as they weigh hair down and are prone to build-up. She also advises avoiding harsh detergents, which can dry hair out, roughen up the cuticle, and strip color. Instead, this hair expert says to go for gentle cleansers and to moisturize regularly so hair has a natural luster.
To embrace your curls, Amanda offers the following suggestions. “Styling for curly hair starts in the shower by detangling with conditioner and then rinsing it out. When you’re out of the shower, the less you comb your hair the better. Styling products, like Ecru’s Curl Perfect Defining Styling Potion, should be lightly scrunched into the hair when it’s really wet and then hair should be air dried if possible. Don't mess with it until it's completely dry and then shake it out.”
So, what happens if you’re not blessed with texture and you long for curl, wave or body? Amanda quips, “Get a perm! Technology has changed so much from the old perm of the ‘80s. Today’s perms, even smoothing treatments, are much gentler on the hair. You can get different styles from soft beachy waves to defined curls. The choice of the rod will give variety with the type of texture desired.”
We asked Amanda if the curl craze, specifically perms, mainly involves women, to which she responded, “I’ve actually been perming a good amount of men lately. It's pretty cool that I'm even seeing younger guys getting wave treatments done.”
So, you hear that, guys? You can get in on the curl action too! Even if you don't have it naturally.