Studio City Patch: Curls Night Out
December 12, 2010

When word spread that the first muppet on Sesame Street to have curly hair was about to be introduced it sort've shocked me to realize that all these years there hadn't been one. But, apparently a muppet with long curls had long been overlooked... until now.

Why is it that long, straight hair is what so many strive for when the truth is, curls are absolutely fabulous?

My daughter has curls. Long, loose curls. When she was younger she always wanted her hair straight, but in the last year she fell in love with her curls and actually runs if a brush or hairdryer ever come near her head.

So, when I was asked by my editor to meet the man who is known for being one of the greatest hairdressers for curly locks, I took my almost 9-year-old with me to meet him.

Shai Amiel, owner of Capella Salon in Studio City, is a father of two, a long time resident of the valley, and, yes, an expert with hair—especially curls.

Since my hair is long and straight I decided to let my daughter enjoy the experience of having her hair professionally cut by this hair genius.

Soft spoken, kind, and with a wonderful smile, Shai treated us to a true one-of-a-kind hair cutting experience. To start with, when cutting curly hair Shai cuts the hair dry. Shampoo and conditioner come after the cut is completely done.

The technique Shai uses for cutting is much like the technique used in trimming a bonsai tree (which Shai does as a hobby as well). Shai literally takes the hair piece by piece and, finding where where the curl is, he snips, cutting the dead ends off and leaving the bouncy curl with new life.

The entire process requires patience and time. Watching Shai work was extremely relaxing and even my daughter had no problem sitting and enjoying the event.

Shai has been cutting hair for many years, but it was in the last eight years that he started to really study curly hair and form a style and art all his own. Many of the ideas he incorporates in his styling comes from Lorraine Massey, an east coast hair goddess and owner of Deva Concept.

Once Shai finished the cut he sent my girl to the yummy massage chair where she had her hair shampood and conditioned using Deva hair products specifically designed for curly hair.

Okay, I admit it, I was jealous. Why wasn't I doing this for me?! My daughter was in heaven.

No towels are used to dry the hair. In fact, Shai recommends using either paper towels or a light cotton T-shirt to pat dry curly hair. Towels are too harsh and leave hair frizzy.

Much to my daugher's delight no hairbrushes or hard blowdryers came near her head. After her hair is gently patted and squeezed of excess water, she sat under a dome dryer (almost like having your hair dry in the sunshine) while she did her math homework.

I did get a chance to see Shai style a woman with long straight hair and he was just as brilliant with that as he was with the curls. But, curls are his thing and he loves them.

I asked him what he thought the look for 2011 with hair might be, he said he hoped it continued to be natural. Natural is the best.

When my daughter finally got to look in the mirror to see her curls the beaming smile on her face said it all. "Look at my curls! I love it!"

And we loved Shai.

Capella salon is spacious and light and just recently underwent an incredible make-over. There are 18 stylists and 15 stations as well as a make-up artist and esthetician.

Needless to say, before we left I booked an appointment for myself for next week. I can't wait!

Honestly, as you do your holiday shopping, you might want to buy.


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