Meet the Stylist Behind the Red Carpet's Best Curls

tiffany daugherty

"In the past it was sort of taboo to wear your curls natural," says Tiffany Daugherty. Lucky for the Los Angeles—based celebrity hairstylist, times have changed—and her work, which can be seen in the pages of Essence and InStyle and on curly girls like Jerrika Hinton, Kelly McCreary, and Dascha Polanco—has been a big part of the shift. Now, she says, "Curls are being embraced, and I've been inspired."

As a member of our own Curl Advisory Board, Daugherty is making it her mission to celebrate natural texture in all its forms. From editorial looks where curls are a high—fashion accessory, to full, fabulous styles that make a statement on the red carpet, her work is redefining what curly hair can be in 2016. We chatted with Daugherty to find out what she loves about working with curls more than any other hair type.

What do you enjoy most about creating looks for curls?

The volume that you have with natural curly hair, you don't get with straight hair. You have to tease straight hair; you have to do so much more to create a style. But curly hair gives you such a great base.

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Where do you get your inspiration when considering looks for your curly clients?

Curly hair is so popular now. Everywhere I go I see people wearing natural styles, and looking at the everyday girl and seeing how creative she gets with her own hair inspires me. I’ve taken photos of people I’ve seen and said, “I want to try that!”

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What’s your must-have product for styling curls?

Ouidad’s Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel is my absolute favorite because it can be used on every curl texture, and it actually does protect against humidity and the climate. I like to use it on wet, clean, freshly shampooed and conditioned hair.

There are times when I’m on set working with clients in a small space, and they can’t shampoo their hair right then and there. In that case, I mist the hair with water and work Climate Control into the more problematic spots. If I see frizz in one area, I’ll work it in with my fingers almost curl by curl to smooth it out.

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How do you like to wear your own curls?

I’m in transition myself, so I’m wearing a lot of protective styles, like braids. Each month I’m taking out the protective style and trimming an inch or two. For other curly girls that are in transition, my tip would be do a lot of protective styles, get trims as often as possible, and don’t put any heat on your hair until you reach the stage where you have no more straight, heat-damaged ends.


Stay tuned for part two of our interview with Tiffany Daugherty, including her best tips for keeping curls healthy.