Interview: Curly Hair Stylist Mahine Tchiakpe

This month Blossom met up with hairstylist and curl whisperer, Mahine Tchiakpe at salon Chez Tina, located in Vetroz. Mahine is based in Lausanne, but occassionally works in Vetroz to service her customers in Valais. I had the pleasure of getting my hair trimmed by her and took the opportunity to chat with her about her career and hair.

She describes herself as sensitive, funny and ambitious. After hearing about her pathway, I think she could definitely add courageous to her list.

Why did you choose a career as a hair stylist?

I’ve always been interested in becoming a stylist, I just had to find the courage to do it. I needed my life to be complete, by doing something I love, which I wasn’t doing before. So, I saved money for 5 years, dropped everything and went to New York to attend beauty school and Deva Curl Academy.

What inspired you to become a curly hair specialist?
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Curly Hair Care: Why I Love Backwards Conditioning

All hair, whether straight or curly is made up of of the same components. However, the shape of hair follicle, which is largely a result of genetics, determines whether hair is straight, wavy or curly. The straighter the hair, the rounder the shape of the follicle. Curly hair has elliptical shaped follicles that bend and turn.  The more elliptical the shape of the hair shaft, the curlier the hair. Most follicles contain sebaceous glands, which are responsible for releasing an oily substance called sebum that lubricates the hair.

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Low Porosity Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know

In a previous post , I discussed hair porosity. This post will go into detail about what you can do if your hair is low porosity. To recap, it can be defined as hair with compact and overlapping cuticle layers. The physical characteristics of this type of hair causes it to repel water, making it difficult to hydrate and even permanently color/dye.

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