Search Results: Pekela Riley

8 Short Natural Haircuts Everyone Is Asking For

The minimalism mantra of today is “less is more,” and nothing showcases this more than the popular short, curly texture haircuts this year that are bold and beautiful. Just like that hot and short text from your man, a hot and short curly cut has an instantaneous “sizzle” effect. Scroll down to see the hottest short cuts of 2018 that give you all the motivation you need to go for the big chop.

Super Tapered Curl

African-American woman with short tapered curly cut looking down

This is a strong taper curly haircut showcasing the length and the texture on top. It’s perfect for 4C texture because it’s very manageable at this length.

Key Tip: For lasting definition twist it and then rod it. I do this specifically with 4C textures because it can be challenging to create definition. So in order to create a very defined look, twist it and then a rodding it for a double curly effect.

Wavy Flo-Hawk

African-American woman with pink and blonde short hair

Although, we love Beyonce’s new verse on “Top Off,” this style gives us flowy waves at the top with the “Sides Off.” This is a blowout with loose curls brushed out with a wave motion technique with a bristled brush. The shaved sides give a deliberate edge to the style. Women rock this look to show that bad girl side and express some sense of level up edgy about themselves. The lower you go on the sides, the more edginess you bring out.

Key Tip: Be sure to use a leave-in conditioner certain and a thermal protectant. Anytime you wear a blowout, heat protectant is essential.

Super Flowy Taper

African-American woman with red and blonde short curly hair

At Salon PK we debuted this look a year ago, and when celebrity singer Kelis recently lit up our timelines with this exact look, it was proof that it’s still a hit in 2018! This curly haircut is designed to be incredibly soft to allow for the fullness of the natural curls to blossom, with enough length to show the loop of the curls on the side. The top is done with multiple rod sizes, to get that organic look.

Key Tip: Sometimes you see rod sets with one uniformed rod arrangement, but if you want an editorialized look with individuality to the hair, you can use different size rods to create a nice natural look that doesn’t look like a rod set. The rose gold full progression is what I call a “dreamsickle” ;”>

Low Key Fade & Lunar Part

African-American woman with fade

This is for the free-spirited girl that is low maintenance but still wants to push the envelope. This style is a soft fading going inward like a subtle mohawk – with a dynamic lunar part design. It’s meant to bring out the edgy to the highest extent. This is for the lady that wants her hair to be the main focal point when she walks in the room. She doesn’t want her hair to just be done, she wants it to be “too lit!”

Key Tip: Use a curl defining product like curl pudding, along with a sponge which is a must to go around the curls on the top.

Curls Around the World

Woman with short curly hair

Who runs the world? Curls! This is a cute, soft and dainty look ideal for Type 3 hair. It’s not overly defined and has the same length of curls all around. The desired effect is a soft frame for texture flow without the rigidness. Hairstylists often talk about what to do, but it’s also just as important to know “what not to do.” When the curls are poppin’, you don’t want to take away from them. To fade it out or cut it would be to take away from the “natural” beauty of this look.

Key Tip: This look requires lots of hydration and moisture because the focus is all about the curl definition. It’s a wet & go for those with higher curl definition.

Twist Sauce

African-American woman with curly hair and pink bobby pins

These twists are achieved by adding texture on texture with detail for Type 4 hair, creating a beautiful spiral and light spring array. This look is single twisted and then rodded, creating a dimension of definition and a swell. It’s perfect for the person who wants to play with the shaping, but doesn’t want to commit to the maintenance. You can place bobby pins on the side in different colors, to accessorize and sauce it up it in a cute unique way.

Key Tip: Make certain you have an edge control product that has staying power and isn’t too greasy.

Classic Spiral

Woman with blonde curly hair

Our Salon PK stylist Lauren @hautehairbylauren created these spirals on tiny rods to give the effect of natural curls because they’re so tight and small. They’re well defined and will last a long time. Bright colors like this blonde are celebratory of being natural – unapologetically.

Key Tip: Keep essential oils on the hair and use a satin bonnet at night to help the curls stay.

Press & Curl Remix

Woman with short curly brown hair

This is the style I came into this spring season with. It’s a distinctly, ambiguous hybrid of a press and curls. I love to create this style when I have a blowout that has ran its course. During this time the texture of the hair is coming back, but it’s not overly frizzy, so it can be utilized to resurrect a new look. You can allow the newly formed texture to serve as a pre-stretch for twists or bantu knots. Believe it or not, there’s new life at the end of a blowout.

Key Tip: After you’ve worn out your slay with your hair pressed, twist the hair that’s reverted to your natural curl pattern that night, and then take it out in the morning.

You’ll be seeing more of these cutting-edge short cuts served up for what will surely be one of the hottest naturalista curl fest seasons yet!

Are you going short this season? Tag us in your big chop pics @naturallcurly so we can see your transformation and be featured on our page.

What’s Trending in South Africa’s Natural Hair Movement Right Now

The same weekend the epic Black Panther movie was released, guess where lucky me was scheduled to go? AFRICA!!! Johannesburg, South Africa to be specific. I was on set with a team I assembled for a prestigious hair care company as the Creative Director for a global brand image campaign. So, you know I was ready to give hella “Wakanda” vibes with extra motherland sauce!

As an African-American woman and a creative hairstylist, I was beyond excited to come to South Africa and connect to the culture on so many levels! Primarily because I see Africa as the birthplace of beauty, and often times it’s omitted in the beauty conversation. So this campaign uniquely incorporated Africa and it’s beautiful imagery. The campaign shoot was so special and dope because it wasn’t just about black beauty, but African beauty, which brought about a genuine and unfiltered approach.

Pekela Salon

Pekela Style

South Africa: The Surreal vs The Real

If you think you’ve heard the sweet sounds of birds chirping in the morning, wait until you wake-up for the first time in South Africa. The birds sound like they’re from a symphonic safari projected through the highest quality Beats By Dre headphones! The food was also the absolute best, so seasoned and highly flavored!

But to my surprise, the effects of globalization has developed Johannesburg into a very urban-influenced and westernized metropolitan city beyond what I would’ve thought. I saw more polos worn than dashikis. It reminded me of a South Beach Miami vibe. So being from Florida myself, it felt like it could be a second home away from home.

Hairstyle Trends

Before the trip, I shopped around for fashionable tribal prints, and even contemplated getting braids to fully immerse in the African culture I was expecting to be engulfed in. But none of the women in Johannesburg that I saw were wearing braids. With the exception of one lady wearing gray braids at the airport, reminding me of the classic Angela Bassett in Black Panther, I would’ve appeared out of place if I were to have gotten braids exclusively to fit in for the trip.

Natural vs Texture

What was most common to see were naturals. Type 4 hair mostly, worn in low, well-kept styles that us naturalistas stateside call “teeny weeny afros.” This was so interesting to me because in the U.S. we celebrate texture, but not a whole lot of pure natural. In South Africa, I noticed that they didn’t get into the obsession with texture management and manipulation, or the uber-texture message of a natural style alone not being “enough” until the curls are way poppin’!

Thus, I found myself having to adjust my perception of “natural,” because there weren’t as many curl defining styles and twists. There was a beauty appreciation for simplicity, and not being overly-done. It wasn’t about altering the hair to get juicy curls and twist outs. The natural TWA alone seemed to be enough for the women, to be at work or in public, simply as they were. Extensions were also not as common to see. When I did see them worn, they weren’t nearly as advanced as what we’re accustomed to.

Who’s The Driver of Natural Hair Trends: Africans or Black Americans?


Pekela Styling

Definitely Black America. South Africa, as I can see based on my week-long trip to Johannesburg, is maybe 3-5 years behind our current natural hair texture movement. There’s definitely an aspiration I recognized amongst many women in South Africa for the #BlackGirlMagic hair and beauty images they identify African-America women with.

Only fifty percent of South Africans currently have internet access, but it’s growing. Social media is used as an aspirational outlet for them to see our styles and trends. I remember the look on an influencer’s face when I finished her natural texture extensions’ styling as she said: “OMG, I have an American weave now!” She had seen it previously and loved it but never had a stylist that could capture that look on her until I styled her.

Stylist Takeaways

Pekela in South Africa

I am so thankful for this opportunity I had to do what I love, on the continent where my ancestors are from and where mankind began. It was such a connection in resource sharing. By working on a great campaign with a great company, as well as a team native to South Africa, I now feel a sense of community to Africa at large, that I want to grow.

I was able to work with models from different African Regions – from West, North, Central, and East Africa – in creating a global image of natural African beauty. I was able to use my expertise to advance the style while appreciating the culture and its organic feel for beauty, which I embraced by not executing any style that could be considered over-processed.

My role was not only to showcase Africa but progress it. I was the African-American influential piece to an African project of beauty. That in and of itself is a new chapter, to a great book about our collective culture, that I can’t wait to style and write about again in the near future!

For more on my journey to Africa, check me out on ig @pekelariley!

3 Transformational Hairstyles To Bring Out Your Alter Ego This Year

Right around this time, a couple of weeks after wearing that sizzling hot sequin dress at the NYE party to bring in the new year, gravity seems to set in, and my ego is shot. The current challenges at the beginning of this year seem like the same ones I tussled with last year. The nostalgia of my new gym membership and commitment to a six pack begin to fade like a Lil Boosie haircut. And I seem to lose momentum on all of the new goals that were to catapult a new me. This is the time where I pull out my go-to bright orange book by Mark Manson titled “The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*@!”

For some reason, giving Zero F’s is the edge I need to continue attacking my goals for the new year. It’s a great way to boldly renew the excitement, and it requires establishing a new renegade alter ego to level up. I call mine “Mizz Bad & Boujee Gucci Clark.” You have one too! Give her a name and let her run wild because this fearless persona is your ultimate plug to pursuing all your dreams. She is the epitome of living out your best self. She showcases your rawest and purest expressions. She can be called on to show up and show out on-site, and her ultimate form of expressing uninhibited beauty and confidence is a transformational new hair slay!

Alter Ego Hair Transitions

We should never feel guilty about pushing the reset button on our approach to whatever we want in life. To pursue more, we have to care less and give zero Fs about a lot more. And there’s nothing like a bold introduction to your new alter ego than a fierce new transformational hair look near the beginning of the year to put everyone on notice. Most importantly, you go at it with your ultimate rival whose beauty you compete with every day… in the mirror.

So my primary recommendation to transform your look to renew a new you is “DO THE REVERSE!” I’m talking reverse like Diddy driving getaway with Biggie in the Hypnotize video. Go with a new look that is all the way left if you’re far right and vice versa. As Will Smith said, “The best things in life are on the other side of fear.” Thus, the best alter ego in life is on the other side of our current hairstyle we’ve been complacent with.

Classy vs. Sassy

Pekela Riley

If you have a classic style, go sassy. A great way to do this is by adding a new exotic color like blorange or anything cute and flirty that works for you. Semis and demis are great ways to try it out without a permanent commitment. Then turn that bob into a fro-hawk as your alter ego yells #YOLO. On the flip side, if you’ve been going hard with hot colors and edgy curly styles, give them that classic bob or a straight, elegant updo to let them know you’re still the ultimate lady.

Long vs Short


Long hair don’t care, short hair don’t stare. Neither one is boring if you change it upon them. There are very few things as sexy and bold as when a woman with long hair shows up with a hot vintage Halle Berry/Nia Long pixie. And what’s just as shocking? When Halle or Nia walks across the red carpet with long hair all the way down their back.

So if you’re wearing your hair long, try a fierce cut with some millennial flair! I know women over fifty that looked so good when they cut their hair, shaved their sides, and laced it with a bad girl part. And if you’re wearing your hair short, it’s so much fun playing in the world of extensions. Whether it’s Brazilian wavy or the Salon PK True & Pure Texture Layla Curl…you can play with all the Rapunzel volume and length that you want.

Texture vs Straight

Pekela Riley

For my naturalistas that have been going strong pledging sole allegiance to the natural hair movement flag for a year, or even over five years – you’ve already proved to the world that your texture is beautiful. There is no shame in trying out a straight look and allowing your pre-big chop alter ego to make a cameo appearance in 2018. Try going from Kinky-Curly to Blow Out.

And if you’ve been keeping your hair straight, but you’ve been watching Issa Rae blow up while embracing her texture along with so many other sistas, seek out your own natural hair journey to curl out and win back your own Lawrence…or make him super jealous!

The New Hair Industry in 2018

Last year was another amazing year for natural hair. Everywhere you looked, from mainstream commercials to NY Fashion Week, natural texture was front and center. This will continue…for some. But whereas 2017 was a year for discovering ourselves through our hair, in 2018 we are owning our truth. Which means many of us have realized the popular natural hairstyles we’ve seen on our favorite bloggers, may not be the best looks or maintenance regimens for some of us. And we’re ok with that.

So we’ll begin seeing a lot more straight hair and an array of style diversity. The most recent industry sets I’ve worked on have been a beauty royal rumble mix of natural and straight hair. In 2018 no one hairstyle will monopolize the market. Bobs, extensions, kinky-curly, tex-lax, braids, wet & gos, and even full straight relaxers will all have at it.

The main question will be which one will your very own Alter Ego choose to slay? Whatever style it is, don’t fight it….own it! Let your very own “Mizz Bad & Boujee Gucci Clark” command a new hair look for a new year you! #2018DoYou

So what are you rocking for 2018?

Let us know on Facebook!

What a Stylist Wants You to Know Before You Get a Curly Pixie Haircut

Have you ever knew or dated a guy with a Napoleon complex? You know, the “under 5’7” type that walks around like he’s the “Biggest Boss That You’ve Seen Thus Far.” Petite yet powerful, such a man is quite a paradox. Now the female “Napoleona complex” is constructed by styling a fierce short curly hair cut that has a similar effect. Although you’re taking inches off the hair, you’re adding a grand allure of power in so many ways. But there are rules to joining this branch of the hair slay royal court. Here are the top tips to know before getting a curly pixie haircut:

Burgundy Haircut

Set Realistic Expectations

Whereas long hair means more styling time on your own in the morning, and less frequent salon visits – short hairstyles require less styling time in the morning, but more frequent salon visits to keep the style on point. Short hairstyles are phenomenal because they give you a defined hair look when you wake up. Your curls and texture easily fall into place, but it will require more salon appointments to maintain the trim and shape. Keep in mind your haircut has no permanency because it’s continuously growing, so it will definitely have to be maintained to sustain the slay factor. You choose the cut for the daily convenience, but the trade-off is you will have a lot more salon visits.

Blonde Tapered Cut

Customize The Oval Shape

Many women fell in love with the short cut after seeing Halle Berry beautifully trademark her pixie cut for years. The magic to her cut is that it was customized to her face shape, which is an oval. One of the hidden goals in short haircuts is determining how to create a variation of the oval face shape in regards to you. Some of us have more of a heart, square, round, or rectangular face shape – and yet we all represent various arrays of beauty. Nevertheless, the goal when I work on pixie cuts is to create the effect of an oval face shape with a short cut. Sometimes cuts on a non-oval face shape that are shaved, cut too hard, or too defined don’t equate to the softness, fullness, and body of a banging short cut.

Style to Your Texture & Fullness

Today’s short cut styles are now really free form and not so fixated, so one’s texture and degree of fullness can be styled to give the cut “hella edge!” The short pixie is a great style for women with full hair because when you put a curl or a bump to the hair, it sticks and does not fall out. Being able wake up with an already-chic style to add a little wax on with sheen before heading right out the door, is a luxury benefit for women with thick hair. However, the downside to really thick hair is that it tends to grow out faster, requiring more trims.

Tapered Cut Back Shot

The Short Cut Quick Weave Trick

Many celebrities we see with really dope curly short cuts make use of textured hair extensions. At Salon PK we use our own extensions on short cut styles quite often. For some women who aren’t really ready to take that dive with a full-fledge cut, this is an option to try out the look for a short period. I don’t recommend short cut quick weaves for more than 2-3 weeks, and I think any cut with your natural hair is going to look better. However, the short cut quick weave gives you an idea of how you might look and feel with a new short cut – that may be the solution you need for a busy lifestyle and desire for change.

Short Haircut

Take A Risk

Going with a short curly cut reflects that you’re willing to take a risk, which has its own power of seduction. The carefree flow and “tousle-ness” of a textured short cut gives off the energy waves of sophistication and youthfulness.

Napoleon is best known for being a fearless emperor and military general that conquered most of Europe during the early 19th century. With the right determinations for your hair, you too can tap into your own “Napoleona” empress qualities, through a fearless short curly cut that allows you to conquer new hair slay dimensions!

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These are the 4 Best Tools for Detangling Hair, According to a Celebrity Stylist

It takes a specific mindset and a regimen with the right tools to overcome the funk of detangling. Just like good hygiene, detangling is one of those things you must commit to for achieving a smooth and manageable set of hair. Plus you need the right tools! I’ve seen an un-managed tangle knot, even on a Wash & Go, become so tight that it tangled into an unruly state where the person had to consider growing a loc, forced by default to incorporate a style like “The Weeknd.”

Detangling is essential to the outcome of any style and for properly managing the hair. Just like “hitting the spots” with a rag won’t cut it for bathing, you’re not just going to pick up anything and go right through some hair when detangling. However, there are some wonderful tools you can use for detangling natural hair from the root to the tip. As a stylist, these are the 4 tools I recommend everyone have in their detangling tool kit.

Cream & Leave In

#1: Conditioners & leave-ins

Always condition and apply a leave-in before any instrument is used to detangle to prime your hair and prepare it to be moved. Conditioners have a low pH, and lower pH builds the cuticles and provides slip. Also, conditioners provide much needed hydration in addition to achieving elasticity for manageability. Conditioning is so important because even strong hair will snap when it’s dehydrated. Hydration creates flexibility and elasticity, which is the ability to stretch without breaking.

For example, a child can fall down some steps and hop right back up in many cases without being too hurt, because the child’s body and bones are resilient and flexible. However, let an older adult miss those same steps, and they could be in a full body cast.

Wet Brush

#2: Friction-free brush

I feel like I’m giving away a trade secret with this one! I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE the Wet Brush! I lose my mind if it’s not in my case.

A lot of naturals will come into my salon and panic because of detangling issues, but this Wet Brush does the trick. Other brushes work ok if your hair is wet, but this brush is designed for wet hair. The spacing of the bristles are absolutely perfect – they’re not too close to pull the hair, but close enough to get smoothing. The bristles are friction free and have little balls that are mini detanglers on the end as well. They’re really gentle and smoothing, giving zero friction on the hair.

A rake comb and the Denman brush don’t even make my list. They became cool to say in the natural hair community – but in my opinion the Friction Free Wet Brush is the top detangling tool that trumps them all. My shed test is my wet brush, which allows me to clearly see the shedding and be able to address certain issues with the client.

There’s not a head of hair I do from 1A-4C , relaxed to natural, that I don’t use my Wet Brush  on. I love it!

Silicone Clips

#3: Sectioning clips

A very important step in the detangling process is sorting. If you have hair like a big fro or jumbo curls, you have to clip some of that up to organize a path to detangle. It’s just like a room that needs to be thoroughly cleaned. You have to section off the areas you’re cleaning and attack them in sections. Clips keep you on task and help organize the hair, which adds to a better detangling experience. Clips will also help you keep a clear distinction between the sections you’ve detangled and the ones haven’t so you don’t wind up doing twice the work.


#4: Shears

If you run into an issue where you are experiencing “fairy knots” (also known as single strand knots“> or split ends, a great tool to pull out is the shears. With the shears you can do a light dusting (the most minimal of a trim”> just to get rid of the little ends of the hair. Those split ends are like the bad apples in the bunch at school your parents told you not to hang around. The warning was “if you hang around them, you can become just like them.” Split ends are these bad apples. Split ends lead to more split ends, and go straight up the strands because you didn’t nip them in the bud from the jump. This makes the hair knot up, causing it to break. Check out this full tutorial on how to dust your own hair at home.

Just like showering and bathing, detangling is a step you can’t skip. If you do, it will put your hair in a state of funk that will only compound and cost you in the end.

Depending on your hair type, detangling can be more challenging. On a scale of 1-10, coarse hair is a 20 in detangle challenge. But all hair of all textures, and the healthiest of hair, requires detangling. It will never end, you always have to detangle. Just like showering and bathing, detangling is a step you can’t skip. If you do, it will put your hair in a state of funk that will only compound and cost you in the end.

What’s been your worst detangling nightmare, and what tools did you use to tame it?

Comment below with your detangling experiences and best practices.

The Pros (and Cons) of Olaplex, According to a Stylist

What’s being talked about in the chair, just as much as the current season of Power? That would be Olaplex, an in-salon service receiving a lot of buzz in the salon world. It’s still a relatively new treatment for many, so here’s the scoop on what stylists at Salon PK think about “The Big O.”

What is Olaplex?

Olaplex is an additive to your bleach or color that prevents your hair from breaking, giving it more lift or lighting.

Why is it receiving so much hype?

One of the biggest concerns with color treatment is compromising the curl pattern. This is because usually when you bleach and color the hair, bonds are altered and broken, creating unavoidable breakage to the hair. However, with Olaplex you can leave bleach on the hair longer, and instead of breaking and damaging the hair, you’re actually keeping it in a better condition to achieve even healthier hair.

Photo Courtesy of @SalonPK

The Good

When I have used this product, all of my thoughts of Olaplex are ALL GOOD… and for textured hair it’s only a plus! I typically apply it with color or a Brazilian Bond treatment. It intermixes with colors well and achieves great lighting. The better looking hair color is always the healthier one. So Olaplex can be the difference between a stunning color, like a sharp blonde that makes heads turn – versus a dull blonde that goes unnoticed.

The Bad/Ugly

There’s nothing bad or ugly about healthier hair, but the biggest complaint amongst stylists is the longer processing time. However, this is just something to discuss before an appointment with the client. Multi-lift color with Olaplex on average takes about an hour longer. Plus with color in general, there are so many variables to getting the color done right. So ladies, don’t try to schedule this during a lunch break or right before picking the kids up from school. But I do believe there should never be a trade-off to exchange time for hair health. Of course it’s an added charge, but it’s worth it. In addition, I wouldn’t use it on extensions. Nor would I use it on a relaxer, just the post treatment.

Photo Courtesy of @SalonPK

What natural textures is it best for?

It’s equally beneficial for all types of hair. I highly recommend it if you have more coarse Type 4 hair, because this hair type is more prone to breakage without a treatment to keep the bonds intact.

Is it the next big revolution in hair care?

I wouldn’t go that far. Until there’s indestructible or water proof hair, we have not discovered the perfect hair care miracle yet. However, Olaplex is definitely an added value. It gives the stylist another tool in the #HairSlay belt to create a healthier color.

Have you had a negative or positive Olaplex experience? Let us know below or on Facebook!

Is Soft Hair An Indication of Healthy Hair?

Soft hair can represent healthy hair in all textures, including both curly and coarse.  As a hairstylist, I hear connotations from all of the time amongst women associating soft hair with weak hair.  That’s not true.  If one is elderly or ill with an appearance of soft hair, it’s not unhealthy because of its softness alone, it’s due to the hair’s lack of elasticity, durability and correlating strength – which of course can be a reflection of other internal health factors.

Photo Courtesy of @CreateHer/ElsaArauz


Healthy hair is soft, when in combination with being strong and shiny.  Just like how a high performing person, or superhero in the case of Wonder Woman, can have a personality mix of being nice and soft with a magnetic glow while exuding power, and never being a pushover that breaks easily – the same applies to our hair.  We want it to be soft and shiny with a lot of pop while being strong without any signs of breakage.  Softness is an indicator of moisturized hair and elasticity, which are key factors to achieving healthy hair maintenance.  Also keep in mind, soft and weak hair rarely ever shines.


In healthy hair, softness reflects a strength property due to its elasticity – which is the measure of how much a hair will stretch without breaking.  Just like a rubber band, stronger and higher performing rubber bands can vary in size and thickness, as long as they have the proper elasticity in relation to its size to stretch without breaking.  However, when that rubber band is crumbly and dry, at any size it loses its ability to stretch without breaking.  This is the same with various textures and degrees of fullness, which all can achieve softness, shine, and strength, with proper conditioning. Coarser textures of hair often require more of a conditioning regimen to achieve its optimal level of softness, shine, and strength.  This is because although appearing fuller due to more hairs on the head than other textures, it has a smaller diameter of the individual hairs, which can make it more susceptible to breakage.   

Knotting at the end of the hair, and breakage occurs when the hair is not properly conditioned or not properly trimmed.  Many are afraid to trim the hair, but keep in mind the best conditioner is sometimes a cut!  If that part of the hair is done, it’s best to cut it and move on to a healthier hair state.

PH Balance

Healthy hair is PH balanced.  Products that moisturize and condition the hair have a low PH, creating balance.  Low PH counters out the effects of the environment that naturally want to raise the PH of the hair.  Moisturizers are so important because they also lower the PH by closing the cuticle, which creates a higher shine by reflecting more light.  That’s why soft, shiny and strong goes hand in hand with healthy hair.

So keep your hair healthy…by keeping it soft, shiny and strong!

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Is Your Short Hair Having An Affair On You?

Do you feel like your natural hair can’t be trusted?  Have you been giving it your all, while getting nothing back in return?  You’re thinking you’ve done your job right for the night, giving it all your love and care to prepare it for that desired look and outcome, only to find the next morning it’s on something totally different and disrespectful!  If so, your hair may be having an affair on you!  But luckily…we can fix that!

That short haircut you want to grow into a bob can seriously try your patience.  It’s like the 2 year old that wants to have its way, that you always have to talk to and get right before you go into the department store (or that adult partner acting like a 2 year old lol”>.  It’s a weird grow out if you don’t put swag on it.  That awkward middle phase of hair growth can feel like the “sunken place” in which your only desire is to “Get Out!”  So here’s how:

Photo Courtesy of @SalonPK

TIP #1: Patience

Keep in mind it takes around 6 months to grow out, because hair just grows a half an inch a month.  So be patient and trust the natural process.

TIP #2:  Clip ins

Clip ins are great for being able to create instant fullness and length, to camouflage the grow out.

Photo Courtesy of @SalonPK

TIP #3:  Hair Accessories

Accessorize and fancy it up!  An example could be a headband, or decorative bobby pins, to pull the hair up on the side, or hold it up with a cute clip to give it some shape and swag.

TIP #4: Roller & Rod Sets

Create those coils and curls that give a natural style to hide the grow-out variables, like variation in length.  A style can be an ambiguous length with curls.

TIP #5: Skip the trim, not the treatment

This phase is when conditioning is most important to grow and retain all the length that you have, so you don’t want to sleep on the professional maintenance from a great stylist.  This is not the time to skip the salon.  Make sure you go in for your treatments on a consistent regimen, because if your hair is breaking at the ends – you’re at a standstill.

Photo Courtesy of @SalonPK

Comment below and tell us how you keep your short hair from having an affair!

Check out these 3 hot hairstyles for short hair

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3 Types of Wigs & How To Slay Them!

Traditionally, the go-to protective styles for protecting our delicate ends and retaining length have been our treasured twist-outs and extensions. However, recently in the natural hair scene we’ve noticed a newfound craving for wigs!

When our Mommas and Big Mommas rocked a wig back in the day, it was blatantly obvious to all that there was something very peculiar going on above their scalp.  Wigs were the antithesis of a “natural” look.  Today however, wigs are more popular than ever before.  Women are really enjoying them because wigs are looking more natural, with way more customization – and there is no longer such a critical taboo associated with them. 

The YouTube era has allowed us to evolve to a point of desiring transparency in how we achieve various styles of beauty transformation.  The more information and visual tutorials being shared, the more accepting we’ve become of wigs as a very common and popular protective styling option.  Women really enjoy the transparency of seeing a good custom wig created and put on.  Plus the sophisticated enhancements to such seamless customizations, achieved by the most cutting edge tweezing techniques, are simply amazing.

Here are the top 3 protective wig options that are becoming more and more popular thanks to our fave natural hair bloggers creating a new styling league of our own.

Photo Courtesy of @SalonPK

Level 1: U Part

U parts are for the wig beginner, looking to venture into a new protective styling wig without diving headfirst into wig territory.  With the U part all of the hair is braided down, except a little leave out that creates a U part.  It allows for a woman to incorporate some of her real hair to feel comfortable because she’s using her own natural hairline and scalp.  U part tutorials have become very popular amongst many natural hair bloggers as well.

Photo Courtesy of @SalonPK

Level 2: Lace Frontal

Lace frontals make use of hair tied into a very thin and fine lace, and does a great job of mimicking a natural hairline.  Lace frontals can customize the hairline through a “tweezing” process, to create natural variations.  This is the go-to option for the woman who wants to add volume, length, or wants to try a different color – while protecting all of her hair and not leaving any of it out.

Photo Courtesy of @SalonPK

Level 3: Full Lace

With full lace wigs, lace from the front is the base for the entire wig, so there is more customization throughout the wig in terms of density.  The full lace is for that “Protective Diva” who wants to show up and show out with a protective style.  She plans on doing a lot with her wig – wearing it half up, half down, ponytails, plus more – and the full lace gives her the most versatile options for all of her aesthetic purposes.

As always when rocking a protective style, we have to remember to practice good hair care habits underneath our styles, so we can still slay even when the extensions come out!

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Should Curly Hair Be Cut Into Layers?

Yes! Layering is simply the technique of cutting the hair elevated off the scalp.  The desired effect is to create an illusion of fullness and thickness.  When curly hair and texture is cut into layers it can create a stunning illusion of body and movement. A woman’s adventures through her own hairstyling and beauty is so fascinating because she can creatively explore and project her desired look through the labyrinths of illusion.  The magician David Copperfield relied on designing layers of illusion and altered angles to make it appear that the Statue of Liberty had disappeared.  From behind the salon chair, we can pull off our own magic as well, through layering….or what we refer to at Salon PK as #Slayering!

The key factors in determining whether to cut hair in layers or not is:

  1. The weight & density of the hair

  2. The desired effect

Light and airy hair doesn’t require layering as much, because it tends to already mimic a layered look without the layering because of the shrinkage, which leads us to:

Major Key #1: Layer Hair That Tends To Be Heavy

In the case where the hair is heavy, the length of the hair can drag it down due to its heavier weight, causing a loss in volume.  If a person has heavy hair and it drops downward, the layering allows the hair to support itself, so it stands up and creates more volume – because you take the weight away from the end of the hair strand.

Major Key #2: Where You Want The Volume Is Where You Layer The Most!

When it comes to layering on curly hair, it’s very important to minimize or barely layer the sides and the back of the hair.  Layering is best suited for the top and the crown.  The sides and back should be blended to the top and crown of the head.  If there’s a case to layer on the side, just remember long layers, because curly hair has a volume-like effect itself, and if you layer short you can create and undesired effect.

The Calling to The Natural Hair Movement

The desired effect with layering is to create an illusion of fullness and thickness.  This was the initial calling and reason why black women went natural in the first place.  Relaxers had our hair thin, and consequently less desired and satisfying.  So many of us transitioned to natural to achieve a textured look with more voluptuous body.  Having natural texture that coils and curls creates natural volume because it takes up space.  Texture is the built-in “thickener.”


Once again, layering the hair is the illusionary technique achieved when cutting the hair elevated away from the scalp, most beneficial to heavier more dense hair.  This can be done in many creative and edgy ways.  It’s all in the way you position and hold it, and it can come in an array of different angles and styles.  When this is done, you’ve become one with #Slayering!

The Most Poppin’ Hair Colors of 2017

When a woman gets a new hair color, it’s really on and poppin!

When a woman gets a new hair color, it’s really on and poppin! A new color can be compared with the way we feel when see Serena Williams in a gorgeous dress and stilettos. We know she embodies our super sexy #bodygoals when she dominates on the tennis court, but when she hits us with that red carpet – Serena “Sasha Fierce” ensemble, we can’t keep our eyes off her.  A woman rocking a new hair color that’s poppin’ can have us feeling the same way! Color allows her to exude a different kind of sauce; a new twist of sexy, power, and pizazz!  So here’s some hot color crush options for natural hair. Let the salon be your oyster for 2017! 

Hot Copper

You got your big chop, you’ve done a few twists, but now you’re BORED!  If you’re that woman who has a lot more inner sassiness to you than what meets the eye, this could be your color crush move.  Hot Copper is a great shade for women who are stagnant with their current styling regimen.  It’s a very forgiving tone that can range from warmer to cooler complexions.  Despite the fiery connotation and resistance, we’re taught to have with hot colors, it works well as a hair color for most “sistas”.  It’s actually a safer color that can be very complimentary with lots of styling options.

Photo Courtesy of: @AskProy

Bombshell Blonde

If you want to explore standing out everywhere you go, this is your color!  Bombshell blonde in any of its variations gives you that showstopper look (just ask Beyoncé and Amber Rose”>. When you walk in a room with blonde hair, you will get attention. This works well for the woman who may have an introverted personality – but has a desire to stand out and make a social splash.  Blonde accentuates detail and definition within the hair strands.  If you have a very tight curl and can’t see the loop/coil, a high lift color like blond can elongate those curls.

Jet Black

The most elegant of affairs are called “Black Tie” for a reason.  Classic never goes out of style!  Black is your ace in the hole.  If your hair seems too dry, doesn’t shine, or doesn’t look full – Jet Black will give you an illustrious finish to your hair.  Black is every color so it reflects light and creates a prism, which gives the ultimate illusion of instant fullness.  This is why Black is used a lot in photography and hair campaigns. Black will always be bold and beautiful!

Color Pop Takeaway

Keep in mind, Rome was not built in a day – and neither is poppin’ color!    Set realistic expectations and commit to the color process.  When it comes to color, there is no one shade fits all.  The level of lightness will vary based on how dark or light your hair is.  Don’t expect to have a semi black color for a long time, and then switch to a light color like red or blonde on the first go – it takes a process.

If you have been getting semi or demi black for a long time, and you want a blonde or hot copper, set that as a goal for the summer and stop the semi/demi color in the winter to achieve that lighter color lift.  Let those pigments naturally fade from the hair so it can be a much gentler process to achieve the color desired.

Are any of these colors speaking to you?

Let us know in the comments!

For more of Pekela Riley, follow her on Instagram and Twitter @pekelariley