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Make YOUR leap of faith

Make YOUR leap of faith

Make YOUR Leap of Faith
October 2018

“Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do them. Doing what you’re afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that – that’s what life is” ~ Amy Poehler

There is never a perfect time to do anything. A wise woman I once met told me, “You’ll never regret going for it, but at the end of your life when you look back; will you regret never trying?”.  Years ago I used that sage advice to step over my fears and start building the life and career I wanted.  Heck, I currently use that advice in any big decisions that come my way (you may want to tuck that one away for your next big life decision).

It must have been divine intervention when I stumbled across ‘Curly Girl, The Handbook‘ by Lorraine Massey.  At the time, I was ready to start my own business,  I had just discovered DevaCurl products,  and I realized that all my frizzies were actually curls waiting to happen!  I had been a stylist for years and had no idea! I was on fire with my newfound knowledge and I had a bonafide license to show others.  So, sage advice in mind, I began my Curl Specialist journey. Now, several years down the road, I have a thriving Curl Specialist salon business and a kind of exhilarating life I never could have imagined for myself.

My family picture, by Amanda Lazarski from Inspired By the Tree

Finding balance between being a mother, a wife, and an entrepreneur has not been easy or clear. In fact, ‘Balance’ is a dirty word in my books and I’m still struggling to find it. That quote: “there is a very fine line between passion and obsession” is quite true, and I’m sure I’ve crossed it many times because I am obsessed with helping curly girls!

I have done many things for which I am incredibly proud of myself. Things that were scary or overwhelming but I felt so passionate about them that I dove in before I felt truly ready: Becoming a mother, several military relocations, starting a business and building a brand without any recent business training (whoa-what was I thinking!?)…

The summer of 2018 I took some time to reflect on my many blessings. I realized that perhaps, in an effort to support every curly person I could, I may have once again crossed over that line from passion to obsession. It is therefore with reluctance for my clients but love for family that I have decided to refocus, and I will soon be changing what I offer in my online store to host exclusively brands I can find in Canada. Life has taught me that there is no telling what the future may hold for bringing back my American brands that I love, but for now once I sell out of my current US stock I won’t be restocking it.  

Going forward, after my US stock is sold out you will be able to find your favourite US brands (Innersense, Jessicurl, Mop Top, Uncle Funky’s Daughter, and more!) available for shipping (as soon as they are stocked as new brands arriving to them in the coming weeks) within Canada through my colleagues online store at www.curlbar.ca

What product brands I will continue to carry (while actively searching out other Canadian made lines to add) are:

  • DevaCurl
  • Curly Hair Solutions
  • Earth Tones Naturals
  • AG Naturals

I love what I do. I love who I have become and what I have achieved because of the struggles and hardships I have proudly overcome. I hope you will think about stepping outside your comfort zone and take that leap of faith toward your dreams.  I did, and I am not afraid of anything anymore.  Well, maybe the things that go bump in the night…



**One of the things I have accomplished that I am most proud of is my online course. For  comprehensive videos, tutorials, documents, and journals on everything you could ever want or need to know about your hair, check out my phenomenal online course Style Your Curls With Confidence**


Online Course Coming in April 2018!

Exciting news for all curly girls looking to learn more about how to care for their hair!

This month, I’ll be launching my first online course.

I have a lot of information to share and I’m excited to have a new venue in which to do it. Now if you or your other curly friends can’t visit me in the salon, you can still receive proper instruction and high quality, up-close visuals to show you exactly what to do.

Each session will include:
• an e-book
• 6 videos (about 20 minutes each)
• access to a private Curl Club Facebook group

And you can even get a transcript of the video to read later.

The videos will focus on the following:
• Curl Basics
• Cleansing and Conditioning
• Product Application Part 1 and 2
• Diffusing, Clipping, and Volumizing Techniques
• Extra Tips, Refreshing Hair, and Kids Curls

More information to come soon so stay tuned!

Curly Girl Secret # 7 – Drying Wavy, Curly & Super Curly Hair

I have a lot of curly girls asking me which is the best dryer, best way to dry, etc. so I am going to break down these drying questions for you.  In this month’s blog, I’ll talk about the best brands of dryers, tools to use for the different curl patterns, and what happens when you dry your hair using the 3 different methods of drying…At the end if you keep scrolling down, I’ll share with you some valuable diffusing tips, so read on…

Curly Girl Friendly Ingredient Shopping List*

Curly Girl Friendly Ingredient Shopping List*


Print this list use it to take shopping with you, or sort the products you already have.  It’s time to keep only what is good for your curls…

Avoid sulfates in your shampoos. Sulfates are harsh foaming detergents that are found in many commercial shampoos and dish detergents. They can be extremely drying for curly hair, so choose sulfate free shampoos. Sulfates contain “sulfate” somewhere in the ingredient name (usually). Also keep in mind that there are some cleansers that are as harsh as sulfates but are not sulfates. If you decide to use a shampoo, avoiding sulfates is best. Sulfates are also difficult to remove off the scalp, so remember you need to scrub to clean your scalp, but also scrub while rinsing your hair to help remove them fully from the hair. Just rinsing out your shampoo isn’t enough.

Here is a list of sulfates to avoid:

Alkylbenzene sulfonates                                                     Alkyl Benzene Sulfonate

Ammonium laureth sulfate                                                 Ammonium lauryl sulfate

Ammonium Xylenesulfonate                                               Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate

Sodium cocoyl sarcosinate                                                 Sodium laureth sulfate

Sodium lauryl sulfate                                                         Sodium lauryl sulfoacetate

Sodium myreth sulfate                                                       Sodium Xylenesulfonate

TEA-dodecylbenzenesulfonate                                            Ethyl PEG-15 cocamine sulfate

Dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate

Here is a list of gentle cleansers to look for:

Cocamidopropyl betaine                                                     Coco betaine

Cocoamphoacetate                                                            Cocoamphodipropionate

Disodium cocoamphodiacetate                                            Disodium cocoamphodipropionate

Lauroamphoacetate                                                           Sodium cocoyl isethionate

behentrimonium methosulfate                                            disodium lautreth sulfosuccinate

babassuamidopropyl betaine

Avoid silicones, waxes, non-natural oils, or any other non-soluble ingredients in your conditioners and any styling products. This is key to making sure your products do not build up on your hair. Without shampoo, many of the following ingredients will build up in your hair over time. Remember that a silicone is any ingredient that ends with the suffixes -one, -conol, or -xane. Waxes are easily identified because they have “wax” in the ingredient name (usually).  They act as a barrier to water, or a repellent of sorts.  Water is our moisture, so if your hair is feeling dry then likely water is having a hard time getting into the hair and it could be due to some of these ingredients in your haircare product.

Here is a list of silicones to avoid:

Dimethicone                                                                        Bisaminopropyl dimethicone

Cetearyl methicone                                                              Cetyl Dimethicone

Cyclopentasiloxane                                                              Stearoxy Dimethicone

Stearyl Dimethicone                                                             Trimethylsilylamodimethicone

Amodimethicone Dimethicone

Dimethiconol Behenoxy                                                         Phenyl trimethicone

Here is a list of waxes and non-natural oils to avoid:

Castor oil                                                                            Mineral oil (parrifidium liquidium)

Petrolatum                                                                          Waxes: bees wax, candelia wax, etc.

Here’s a list of ingredients that look like silicones, or are water soluble silicones. These are exceptions that are OK:

Lauryl methicone copolyol (water soluble) Lauryl PEG/PPG-18/18 Methicone

Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein Hydroxypropyl Polysiloxane (water soluble)

Dimethicone Copolyol (water soluble)

PEG-Dimethicone, or any other ‘cone with “PEG-” suffix (water soluble)

Emulsifying Wax PEG-Hydrogenated Castor Oil

Natural oils: Avocado oil, Olive oil, Coconut oil, etc.

Benzophenone-2, ( or 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) – sunscreen

Methychloroisothiazolinone – preservative

Methylisothiazolinone – preservative

Avoid drying alcohols, if at all possible, in your conditioners and stylers. Drying alcohols are commonly found in conditioners, leave in conditioners, gels, mousses, and hairsprays as fillers. For products that you are going to rinse out, this is not as big of a deal, but for products that are going to sit in your hair all day, or for several days, they should not contain drying alcohols. There are also moisturizing or fatty alcohols however, that sound similar, so be sure not to confuse those with drying alcohols.

Here is a list of drying alcohols to avoid:

Denatured alcohol SD alcohol 40

Witch hazel Isopropanol

Ethanol SD alcohol

Propanol Propyl alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol

Here is a list of moisturizing alcohols to look for:

Behenyl alcohol                                                               Cetearyl alcohol

Cetyl alcohol                                                                   Isocetyl alcohol

Isostearyl alcohol                                                            Lauryl alcohol

Myristyl alcohol                                                               Stearyl alcohol

C30-50 Alcohols                                                              Lanolin alcohol

Consider the effect proteins in your hair products may have on your hair. Most hair needs some amount of protein in its diet, especially damaged hair. However, normal hair, or protein sensitive hair does not need large doses of protein all the time. If your hair feels stiff, frizzy, and dry, then your hair is getting to much protein.

Here is a list of proteins that you can avoid or look for, depending on your hair type:

Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed casein

Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed collagen

Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed hair keratin

Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed keratin

Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed rice protein

Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed silk

Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed soy protein

Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed wheat protein

Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl silk amino acids

Cocoyl hydrolyzed collagen Cocoyl hydrolyzed keratin

Hydrolyzed keratin Hydrolyzed oat flour

Hydrolyzed silk Hydrolyzed silk protein

Hydrolyzed soy protein Hydrolyzed wheat protein

Hydrolyzed wheat protein Keratin

Potassium cocoyl hydrolyzed collagen TEA-cocoyl hydrolyzed collagen

TEA-cocoyl hydrolyzed soy protein

Print off this list to help you find curly girl approved products and keep it with you when you go hair product shopping. Remember, sulfates are ingredients that contain “sulfate” or “sulfonate”; silicones end in -one, -conol, or -xane but PEG modified silicones are acceptable but still build up on the hair over time.  I suggest using a Clarifying Shampoo about once a month as a curl boost just incase!  Also, a reminder that waxes contain the word “wax”; and drying alcohols often contain propyl, prop, eth, or denatured in the name. Have fun shopping!  Remember, some shelters will take opened products so donate when you can!

*Credit for this detailed list goes to many. I have had this information stored on my computer for so long that I can’t remember exactly where I pulled all the details from.  If you know the original author(s), please let me know so I can credit them for their hard work.  I would rather share these details then sit on them any longer; I have also added to the text my two cents and will update this blog when I have more info.  I am in no way a scientist so I cannot answer any further on this information shared, but I do know how important ingredients in products can either help or harm your hair. My goal for you is healthy hair and this is a great place to start.

xo Krista

Curly Kids Hair Care Routine

A curly girl and her Mama


Two out of three of my kids are curly, and I often have parents/guardians ask me what to do with their curly kids hair.  I thought I’d share with you some tips to help you at home since curly hair can sometimes be a mystery, especially to straight haired parents of curly hair kids.  Let’s get right down to it!

Things you will need (feel free to support a small business and order any of the products or accesories I mention in this blog here if you live within Canada)

~Sulfate free Shampoo ( like DevaCurl No Poo, Jessicurl Hair Cleansing Cream, Fuzzy Duck Shampoo & Body Wash)

~Silicone Free Conditioner ( like DevaCurl One Condition, Jessicurl Too Shea Extra Moisturizing Conditioner, Fuzzy Duck Kids Conditioner)

~Silicone Free Detangler ( optional-like DevaCurls No Comb Detangler, Fuzzy Duck Leave in Conditioner & Detangler)

~REALLY Wide Toothed Comb ( or use your fingers)

~Fine Mist Spray Bottle

~Large Old long sleeved t-shirt

~Satin Pillowcase (a MUST!)

~Satin scrunchie, one-tie hair elastics, Buff or hair tube

~Gel or Styler ( Optional-like DevaCurl Ultra Defining Gel, Jessicurl Spiralicious, Fuzzy Duck Kids Gel) nice to use for special occasions and events, or for tweens who are starting to want to style their hair)

With young active curly kids, it’s best to get their hair fully wet and detangled about every two days.  This keeps the detangle-and-crying sessions to a minimum if you can keep on top of the rats nests that like to grow in their hair.   As they get older and can start maintaining their own curls (12 and up), they can add a few more days of spritzing before they need to wash again.  Until then, you are primary curl-giver and they need your guidance, so here’s what you do…

How to get multiple curly hair days out of one wash

How to get multiple curly hair days out of one wash



“Your tolerance for frizz and lack of definition determines how many days you can go before you wash and reset your hair. Everyone is different and it’s okay if you need to wash and reset each day, as long as you’re using sulfate and silicone free products to do it. ” ~ Krista Leavitt

 – Curl Specialist

Here are my thoughts on how you can go longer between shampooing:

Every day after your first initial wash day, your hair will get bigger and bigger (more voluminous and more frizz) and your curls will lose definition and flatten from sleeping. Your personal tolerance tell you when you need to wet-down/wash again.  Some curly girls who can go longer between washing either:

Healthy Hair IS a Curl Type

Healthy Hair IS a Curl Type



As curly girls, wear our hair in it’s natural state, whether it’s loose wave or tight coils.  Maybe we’ve been on the search for the perfect product, the perfect routine to make our curls pop over the time of our curly journey.   Here’s a tough question though…what if you’ve exhausted all your efforts and resources and you’re just not getting the results you hoped for?  Do you feel the pull to do something drastic because you’re so frustrated with your natural textures?   

Jessicurl Curly Hair Artist Feature


To learn more about Krista through her interview with Jessicurl, one of the leading curly hair product companies; click on this link below:


Curly Girl Secret #6

Curly Girl Secret #6


There are many ways to clip and there are also many different types of clips on the market you can use.  I prefer to use DevaClips on most hair types due to their heavy duty hold, but some baby fine haired clients may benefit from using the old fashioned smaller type pin curl clips as the Devaclips can sometimes be too heavy for their hair and fall over.  I’ll likely post some more video’s on You Tube in future with an in-depth description of many different ways to clip and the different clips you can use to do it.  There is no wrong way to clip, as long as YOU’RE happy with the results!

Clipping will release the hair of it’s own weight so curls can start up closer to the scalp, it helps the air to flow through the hair for faster drying time, and also gives volume to curly hair which usually lays quite flat.  It’s one of the most valuable styling methods to s’wavy, wavy and curly girls for helping the hair visually look curlier.  Tighter curl patterns don’t always see a ton of benefit from clipping as their curls start close to the root and give them lots of volume naturally, but ANYONE with texture in their hair can clip and see benefit of some sort.  Personally, I don’t feel like my hair is completely styled unless I’ve clipped it.  Here’s a quick experiment in the picture below about clipping (diffusing tips will come later) that will show you the difference between not clipping versus clipping… and why if you’re not currently doing it in your routine, you may want to start…


And without further ado…watch my video to learn some valuable tips on clipping at home…

Many thanks to my willing clients who helped me create the video.  Hair model Sandy and my camera person Lorelie!

How To Reduce Frizz in Curly Hair

How To Reduce Frizz in Curly Hair

Did the title catch your eye?  I was hoping so, because I’ve got some thoughts to share with you on frizz before I tell you how you can reduce it…

Did you know that having frizz is part of having curly hair? Did you know that you’ll never fully be able to get rid of it?  Did you know there’s no such thing as frizz free curls? Well, I take that back…you can have frizz free curls for about the first hour after freshly styling your hair…then the frizz starts to creep your day.  I want to let you in on a few things I’ve realized.  Frizz IS a curl waiting to happen.  Once you’ve figured out how to work with your curls and they’re looking pretty good, you may find you’re still obsessed with trying to get rid of your frizz.  Here’s a big secret I have to tell you… 

You will NEVER totally get rid of frizz and you don’t really want toA little bit of frizz makes your hair look touchable, lived in, shows you’re carefree, like you just ‘woke up like this’, and also could translate that you look like you just had a romp in the hay 😉 Frizz is functional; it allows you to have volume, plus it makes you look like an angel because you have a halo! Want to have more sensual hair? Embrace your frizz and just watch this video.

You can’t really have body or volume without some functional frizz helping you get it that way.  And honestly, you are the only one who notices the frizz.  No one else sees it!  Think back to how many compliments you still receive, even when you feel your hair is frizzy that particular day?  Everyone else sees your beautiful curls and wishes they were so lucky.  It’s time to give yourself a break, it’s time to ease off on perfecting your routine or adding to your product graveyard under your bathroom sink.  Maybe you don’t even realize you’ve already figured out the best curls you’re ever going to have…relax and enjoy your hair.  I know I have started to just enjoy the journey. There’s a confidence you exude when you’ve accepted every part of yourself (including your frizz) and that is what other people find attractive.

If you still want tips on reducing your frizz ( I totally know you do!) you can read below about troubleshooting your frizz.  I’ve included some tips that are standard for all curl types and textures that I have found work well in my daily practice.  Please share this with your curly friends who are struggling!

This is when you apply olive oil, coconut oil or another type of natural oil onto the hair (or you could try Devacurl No Poo) on dry hair either overnight before your wash day, or at least about an hour beforehand. It will soften the cuticle, especially on low porosity hair and allow your cleanser and conditioners to perform better for you.  When you hop into the shower, cleanse it out and continue with your conditioner stage.

Cleansing with a sulfate free cleanser:
Sulfates in shampoos are like detergent that you wash your dishes and laundry with. They are too harsh, dehydrate your hair, and strip the hair of its natural moisture which equals more frizz.  You can find sulfate free cleansers in a lot of places now, but PLEASE, read the labels. Just because it’s sulfate free, doesn’t mean its silicone free and that’s just as bad.

Conditioning with a silicone free conditioner:
When there is silicone in your conditioner it coats the hair in a layer of liquid plastic and prevents the water (which is our hydrator) from entering the hair shaft.  When the hair cannot get enough moisture inside, it will reach out into the atmosphere to get it…ergo, frizz!  Making sure you work your conditioner into the hair, versus just letting it sit on top forever in the shower, will reduce your frizz. The more water you can pump into the hair, the less frizz you’ll have when you’re done your styling. Be careful not to leave too much in the hair, as too much conditioner left in can attribute to more frizz.

Applying silicone free styling products:
This will allow the moisture in the environment to be able to enter and exit as necessary.  Also, water soluble styling products allow your hair to ‘breath’ and will result in being able to break your gel cast and still retain your curls.  If your products contain silicones, the crunch will still be there, even after you’ve scrunched it out so read your labels!  This book has a full listing of what ingredients are good and bad in your haircare products…It also has great tips for you so it’s worth the purchase if you want to educate yourself about your hair.

Applying your products when the hair is super wet:
I mean really wet.  Think about it…when is your hair the LEAST frizzy?  It’s when it’s wet! Capturing your curls when they are SUPER wet equals less frizz.  You can always remove lots of water once the products have been applied if you want more volume…The more water you remove, the more volume you’ll have but with less frizz if you’ve done it this way.  Remember, the more you touch your hair from the time you get out of the shower to the time it’s fully dry, the more frizz you’ll create.  Less touching=less frizz.

Brushing, combing or raking your hair AFTER you get out of the shower:  
Sometimes people inflict frizz on themselves and don’t even realize they are doing it.  If you rake through your curls with a brush, comb or fingers after getting out of the shower, you are in essense shattering the curl pattern that nature (aka water) just made for you.  For people who like the look of curls that are raked through with tons of separation, that’s great!  But if you are currently raking your products through the hair and not loving all the separation that happens, then try not separating all those big curl clumps the next time you wash.  Separation of curls to some people looks like frizz…having an ah-ha moment?

Applying your products:
Close your fingers together when applying your products so that your hand looks like a fish fin, or seal flipper…grab your styling products and then apply them in a gliding motion down over the hair while keeping your fingers together.  Once applied, (and keeping fingers still together!) scrunch your curls up towards your head.  This slight tweak in your routine of keeping your fingers together can keep your curls in bigger clumps, and when that magic happens, your curls will look less frizzy. Notice how many times I recommended ‘keeping your fingers together’…it’s super important!

Choosing the right products for your hair:
This is the tough one that I cannot answer unless seeing your hair, asking you a ton of questions about it and really delving deep into your routine to see if I can help.  You may just have not chosen the right products for your porosity, density, texture and curl pattern.  If you’re still getting a lot of frizz, maybe your hair doesn’t like that styling cream so much.  There’s not too many curly girl friendly gels that you can overuse, so my rule of thumb is that it’s better to use more, than not enough. You can always scrunch out your crunch. GooseFootPrints offers a scientific analysis of your hair and can recommend some helpful tips on the properties of your hair, so you may want to check that out.

Hair Treatments:
Deep moisture, protein, Olaplex.  These are three treatments I would highly recommend you all try, at least once.  Everyone can use a deep moisture treatment.  Some people’s hair will love protein, but not everyone’s hair likes it.  Olaplex is awesome and I think every curly girl’s hair could benefit from the treatment.  Call your local salon and ask if they offer it.  You can purchase some great deep moisture and protein treatments from lots of Curly Girl friendly companies such as: JessicurlDevaCurlOriginal MoxieBriogeoEarth Tones NaturalsMop Top, and Curly Hair Solutions.  Also, good old fashioned coconut oil works great seeing as it’s moisture and protein in one.  All deep moisture and protein treatments are best used when heat is included. Whether that is a hood dryer, or a plastic cap wrapped in a big thick towel…

Clarifying your hair:
When your curls are acting funky and when your frizz seems to be getting worse, you may just need to clarify your hair.  You can buy clarifying shampoos from companies such as Mop Top, Original Moxie, Malibu (Undo Goo); or you can use Apple Cider Vinegar.  The recipe ratio is 1 tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar inside of 1 cup of water.  You can make as much or as little as you want.  I recommend a clarifying treatment once a month, and if your curls are on the low porosity side, I may even recommend more often as products seem to just sit on the outside of the hair shaft in low porosity hair and built up over time.

There are more reasons you could still be experiencing frizz, and if you’ve tried all of the above tips and are still stumped, I can help you in more detail.  You can book an online Curl Class with me through my website here. I would love to help you love your curls!


Krista xxx

Love Your Curls: #KristaLeavittCurls #campaignforcurls