The Cut Life Podcast
The Cut Life Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

Ep. 14 Shai Amiel

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Shai Amiel aka The Curl Doctor is a highly sought-after hairstylist based in LA specializing in curly hair. Shai's cut by curl technique is legendary, and his love for Bonsai is unmatched. Listen as Shai shares his story and shock's us with amazing advice not often shared by hairstylists.

Hey stunners, welcome to season three of the cut life podcast. Happy New Year all. I'm so excited to be back with everyone. Honestly, it's crazy that we have been on the air this long. I met our producer, Aka Big Med he he told me that we're three seasons in and it's unbelievable, you know. So we're glad that you guys are continuing to listen and to rock with us, and we promised to bring you the best hair stylust in the business, and this being our first episode of the New Year, it's no different. I'm so excited, absolutely thrilled to have guess who. I have a mad doesn't know he's looking at a sponge. I have the incredible shy a meal on the phone, Aka the curl doctor. Hishy, hello, how are you? Thank you so much for having me. This is very exciting. Now I'm excited to have you. I obsessively stock you on Instagram. That's so cool and I am just amazed by the work that you do. Anyone that follows your work, I'm sure, is amazed and I would assume that it's really difficult to get an appointment with you. Yeah, yeah, you know, just a little work along hours. Yes, I'm going twelve hours every day. Wow, wow, and we're going to get into probably why you're there so long, because you are extremely meticulous about your work and we have to get into that and I can tell just by watching online the before and after and the information that you provide everyone. So we will definitely get into that. But we always start the podcast with the back story because every hair stylist journey is different and we're sure that you're...

...going to tell us some jewels and gems that we may have not heard from another hair stylist. So tell me, shy emeal, about your journey into hair and how you got into the industry. I start doing hair after high school because nothing really was enough for me when I was going to school, College, nothing where the grab my attention. I'm not a very audio person, I'm a very visual person and I went into a friend one day that told me she just got her license to do hair and I said, you can study to do hair? She said Yeah, you can go to beauty school. Seriously, I've never heard of that. This is you know, I'm a twenty one year old man. Never even thought of something that I could do and she said, you just go to be the school and sign up and you can learn how to do hair. The next day I went in something to be the school and ever ever thought of it of my life that would be my career, but it just sounded like a really fun thing to do. I've always enjoyed going to get my hair cut as I got older, not as a kid, but when I got older, when I found the right people, I would always go in earlier than my appointment because I would enjoy being in that environment. So when I learned that it's news that you can actually study and and learn how to do I was fascinated. So I went to be the school the next day and signed up and I haven't stopped since. Wow, that's awesome. Yeah, it just kind of happened. So as you were in beauty school and just, you know, getting becoming educated, what was the experience like after actually getting your first job in a salon? Well, you know, starting on beauty school, they don't teach you you know what goes on in a salon. You learn how to do the basics like roller sets, perms, blowout relocksers, you know,...

...very basics, but they don't teach you that Chans technique. So I was bored in beauty school and nothing really was exciting to me. You know, doing Rolla sets was nothing that I enjoyed doing and I would hide whenever clients to come in because I didn't want to do and my teacher told me you're never going to make it if you don't know how to do roll of sets. You never going to make it this industry. And I said, okay, well, you know, let me see what I can figure out of this, you know, career and I was drawn to color. So color made sense to me because I'm kind of a nerd and it's science and and science something that I've always really appreciated. So I was drawn to the chemistry and the science of hair color. So I focused my entire career early on as a colorist. But when I was doing color on curly clients, I would notice that they had look different than straight hair people. If you are really aggressive with your color techniques, and I would also observe after you do color and you do use the Bluefriar and you stretch out the curls and you and you get a really straight and really silky the color would fade out and it would look really uneven and it would look not the same way looked when it was air dried. So I was trying to find ways how to protect my color and my curly clients. It's all part of my OCD. It was just me trying to figure out how can I maximize the color that I worked so hard on for this person that it would last more than a couple washes, because you know, they spend a lot of money right on their hair and I want their color to last. I've always been a fan of low maintenance hair, so me too, right. Nobody wants to spend...

...days and so long. You know, you go in every few months, it's a really fun experience and that's it. You don't go back for a few months later. So I would try to find ways how to preserve the color and I realize that if you let the hair air dry, it wouldn't fade the color of sauce. And I was watching how my curly clients hair air dries. It wasn't Frizzy, it didn't look like he was mad at it didn't look dull, it didn't look fake. It look just like how kids hair looks right, beautiful, shiny and natural. The way it was given to us from, you know, birth. So I would try to find ways how to get the curls to look natural without curling the hair. So I wouldn't use any tools. I would, you know, air dried or diffuses the hair. So, you know, you do somebody's hair for the first time and you diffuse it for them and they look in the mirror and they realize, oh my God, that's my hair, my hair is curling. I didn't know my curls could do that or does this, and that's the first reaction. They just said, is every single person that experiences at the first time. So naturally, if you do somebody's hair a little different and they leave it with the curly and they go home or they see a friend and it's the friend says, wow, you have so cool it's so different, it's so shiny, looks so healthy, so curly. What did you do? I went to this guy, you know, my hair dresser. He just really weird because he doesn't blow drive straight afterwards. He's OCD and he wants to preserve my color. So I live with it wet or we diffuse it and they would say, Oh, I want to see if you can do my hair curly also, so I will start getting clients to come into me to show them how to diffuse their hair. But this whole time I'm a colorist, I am a color specialist. I will give you whatever color you want it. But I'm getting all these people coming in...

...asking about their curls, how to get the curls to look healthier. So part of the nerd in me, I am always trying to find ways how to make the hair better, how to make it healthier. When I mean better, I mean how to keep it healthier condition so the color will last long. How to maintain the health of the hair that grows out of your head. Yeah, I mean grows out of our head. That's what it does. It grows and is weird spirally patterns. Why do we have to fight it? You know, if we're born with certain characteristics, that makes the hair unique, why not learn how to make it look as good as possible? And that's pretty much how my career shifted. And the whole time I'm just still like with with with, with the Blue Horn. I'm a color is, I'm a color is. Right, you do curry are you do curly hair? What would you say was the time span between being a color or is and then transitioning into what we see today as the curl doctor, and I know you say that it is. You know, over time people started coming and it created a snowball effect of clients that and there was his need, obviously that needed to be filled. And so when did you kind of have that Aha moment like hey, I have something here? Well, you know, I've always done the same like I do now, but obviously with experience and with learn working with different hair textures, you learn new things. But honestly, I don't think I have it all yet. I still I'm still learning. I'm still asking my clients questions, I'm still asking my assistance their input, I'm still asking my stylus in my salon what they do. If you stop learning, then you start going backwards. So I think social media kind of helped putting me on the map kind of way, because I've always saw them this, you know, normal guy from the valley.

I don't work in a fantasy slowly beverly hills. I'm not, you know, one of those super expensive hairdressers. I'm just a regular guy that just loves to do hair. But I think with social media and people posting about it. That really sorry. That really puts you with are you wouldn't be otherwise without the Internet, you know. So things starts changing once the Internet became more user friendly with, you know, blogs and and and you know, Tumbler and websites and you know, people writing reviews and you know, that really helped. And I think once I started using instagram to show what I do for work, because when I join instagram for me was any I have another social media APP that can share pictures of my sandwiches and my my trees that I work on. I can share pictures of you know, you know, just normal day to day activities, right. But one day had a girl that came in and she had the worst text I ever seen in my life. Oh my God, it was somebody gave an undercut and she had really sick curly hair. Oh yes, and then grow out from the undercut was horrible. Huh, poor things. I post the picture of the before and I wrote something like you would never believe what I'm working with right now, and I start getting all these comments of people friends and people were showing interest. So I kept sharing the process of the before and after and I really and I saw that people real liked it. So as now it's cool. People like what might work, and then I started sharing more and more, and then I realize, okay, this is this is something that I have to share with people. I have understanding of this texture that...

...a lot of people don't have access to, and I have to share whatever I can share with them. Besides, go by the Shamboo, go by this conditioner. I would never do that because I don't use my platform as a sales pitch. Right, it's more about, let me explain to you what your hair does, let me explain to you what your hair needs. Education. Yeah, let me explain to you what you need to do to make you here healthier, and you have to understand what you need to do on your own, and that will make you have the tools to take care of your own hair without just going to buy stuff. Well, the transformations on your ig page are exactly what got me hooked. Oh, thank you, because you po and you would think, okay, how many times can you look at posts of curls? But you could look at posts of curls all day, every day, because I do. I definitely do, and I love the fact that you showcase a variety of textures and that curly hair isn't just one isolated texture. Their variety of textures, and not just on individual people, but one person could have a variety of textures on one head of hair and I love that you show that and I would love to get into without giving away too many secrets. I've seen you talk about your technique and you just mentioned that your typical day in the salon might be twelve hours. Can you walk us through an experience that a client may have when they come into your salon? Yeah, so the way that I do here, my method of cutting is I use the the curl by crow hair cutting method, so I literally go through the entire head and I cut one curl a time. And Wow, if you have that's intense. Three hundred curls, four hundred curls, whatever amount of curls you have, I cut each one...

...separately and each curls like its own unique human. That's what makes are unique. You know that that we each have on our head all these textures. So not every curl will have the same shrink factor as the curl next to it. I'm glad you said something about shrink factor because Oh my goodness, my black sisters out there, they will talk about shrinkage all day online. They oh my God, the shrinkage is such an issue for so many women, especially black women, that want to wear their hair natural. They complain about shrinkage all day, every day. Yeah, I mean there's two types of shrinkage that I've noticed. One shrinkage is if you take a ringlet and it's like a phone cord, you know, it coils around and if you pull on it, it springs back up. The more spring factor you have, the healthier the curl is. The other type of shrink kids that most people don't love is when the hair gets bunched up into one big solid mass, and that's because the hair is not hydrated. So, if you noticed, I have a few pictures that I've shared. And the thing is also a lot of my clients don't want to be they don't want to be on social media with their hair. Most people don't want to share their hair. So I can take pictures of everybody. So I try to give variety and when somebody comes in and I say to them, it'd be cool to if you can document the process, lot of times. Okay, I sure them. There's please don't post my hair. I'm moll embarrass IOS before. And the ones that do want to share and they see all the positive comments end up thanking me for encourage them to share their story because there's so many people that are in the same boat as them. Just lack of understanding. It...

...just it's all big mystery. And you know, to me, I was never raised with a black sister that told me what to do with her hair right. I had to learn it. So I tell all my clients, if I learned how to work on your hair, there is no reason why you can't learn how to work on your own hair. Amen breas in a yes, yes, because you have this hair on your head every day. I get to see it for one hour or two or three hours every few months and that's it. You can actually experiment on your own with different methods and teach me when you come back, and that's how I become that's when I get my superpowers, when my clients come back and they give me feedback of what they've learned, and that's why I can share with the next person. And it just a big community that we're all you know, we're all trying to inspire each other how to love our own hair. That's all it is. You know, I love your humility and that you're constantly learning, but you're not the curl doctor for nothing. Less I'm probably girl doctor and with the curl by curl technique. So how long once they come in, how long would one client typically sit in your chair from start to finish? So we also clients come in with the hair prepped, meaning the hair has to be clean, freshly washed, has to be tangle free and has to be styled the way you want to wear your hair. I want to see your hair the way you think would look the best on you. So I always have my clients come with the hair prepped so I can see what the hair looks like. So the hairs to come, when they come in, the hair has to be dry. Can't even be wet, okay, because the hair cut has to be done, and wet hair. So when they come in, we start off with the hair cut right away. You know, obviously we'll talk a little bit, will chat about what style they want, what they're trying to achieve, what their frustrations are or what they want...

...to learn. You know, we go through all those but the actual haircutting process, meaning the actual cutting. I can do a haircut in thirty minutes on somebody that has fine hair. Hmm, you know what I mean fine, I mean it's not very dense, so they have less ringlets and I can take me about an hour. If somebody has a lot of ringlets and if the hair is dense, it could take a little longer if somebody's hair is not the tangled properly and that, you know, delays the process. But I book myself an hour and usually end up having about five or ten minutes to spare at the end because you know, it takes about forty five minutes to do the actual haircut. I did a mass with my system the other day. Should how many times you think he's on this method, the crow by Co Haircut, and we're doing the math and we passed fifteenzero times. Wow, the Times I've done this method. We I love that it's a collaborative effort, the way you explain the process. Yeah, and having women and men learn about their own hair and how to maintain it, because I think for some it can be a very daunting process, especially when you get into curly, Kinky, multitech extra hair. It can be a daunting process, but I like that you approach it with love and give people the tools that they need to take care of it on their own when they're not with you. And also, I see that you are very well versed in the art of bonds. I and Oh yeah, that is seems so similar to me to the Cup curl by curl cutting process. So did you develop a love for bonds I before or after? After? Okay, it happened in ninety nine when I bought my first house and look at all different types...

...of gardens and then I opened the Japanese garden and right away I was drawn to it and it felt like it was something that I I've always done kind of thing. You just felt right. So I started studying the you know, how to do a Japanese garden in your own home on your own, and the one of the books that I bought had a picture of a boney in it and I said, oh, that's so cool, maybe I can have a little tree for myself. So I don't do anything a little bit. Once I getting something, it's all in, you know. Say, I started doing research and found a couple nurseries in the area that have classes and start taking classes and, you know, start doing them on my own and and you know, I still have the same few trees that I bought back in ninety nine and as I have an area with covered and I repotted my first two trees that I bought back in ninety nine into new pots. It was very exciting. Oh Wow, that is amazing. It's really exciting. That is amazing. I love it. No, and I love watching when you post the bond's eye as much as the curls, and it goes hand in hand. It's like you're working on your are even when you're not working on it. So I love that little different because the trees have no opinion. Besides, true, they can't tell you how they want to look. So back to that. You're asking me how long the whole process takes. Yes, so the hair could takes an hour. That's what I do. Okay, okay, and perfect. We go to the washing area and that's where my team handles the cleansing, hydration, detangling, styling, a lot of the education. We assigned one assistant per client to the whole process. That is amazing. To have three assistants and there with me. Usually to the three years the whole process takes and a lot of times they're ready...

...to go on their own before that. But I think they really enjoy the comarderie that we have as a group, two four of us, and they're really enjoy the whole vibe of team as opposed to being on your own. So they never rush to go and do hair on their own. Plastic to learn and be around so many fun people. So they handle the cleansing. So it takes a good hour, sometimes more, just to wash and entangle the hair right, right, because some girls don't have the patience or some girls don't know how to entangle the hair properly. And when we entangle the hair, we separate each strand of hair from the other. Oh, I love it. It's an experience. It is. It's such an experience. Is and our shampoo bles recline to a bed and they have a massage or built in H so you're laying down flat, you get your your back massage with them with the shampoo bow plus the assistance the tangles your hair or move all the loose hair. gave a nice scout massage. We have our signature Capella ized t that's an amazing drink that everybody gets hooked on. So we make it really fun for the girls because we and the boys and the kids, we teach them about their own hair. We don't talk about we don't talk about we do in the salon. To the client. We talked about their hair, you know. So every person that's that gets this process gets their own customized, you know, guideline how to do their own hair. We don't have like standard system. That's some people say what shause on my hair? I said, I'm sorry, I can't help you. I don't know what going to hear. You have. What you have feels like. I can't touch it over social media. Like I have to touch the hair. have to see how much water retains, how much it how much elasticity you have, how much breakid you have. Every hair is unique. So...

...they spend an hour on the whole cleansing, Betangling, then we do a condition treatment to hydrate the hair and then we spend a good half hour with teaching the client how to style their own hair. That is amazing. You don't. You don't hear that? You Do, you just don't. You don't hear that people are not getting that full experience where they're being educated. A lot of times within the beauty industry, when we talk about education we're talking about stylists that are going to educate themselves on a certain technique but they're not sharing that information with the clients. So I love your perspective and approach to it to actually empower the client to have great hair all of the time and not just, you know, as soon as they leave the salon and then it's like, okay, well, what do I do now? We all the thing is, if you know how to do own hair and you hair is always looking good, it kind of makes me look good too. Absolutely, and it brings more clients and I think some stylists have this fear that they won't, that they'll lose clients and won't get more clients, but you have proven that it's a snowball effects because if they have amazing hair, they are walking advertisement, so someone's going to see them and say hey, like, why is your hair looking so amazing, and then that knowledge is passed on and your forever in business. Yeah, well, you know, when somebody owns it, everybody feels it. Right, if you know you you look the bomb and you feeling it, everybody can sense that. So when you know your hair looks really good and you feel really good about your own hair, then you can share what you've learned with your friends and you can inspire your friends to love what's on their head. Whether it's straight or curly doesn't matter, as long as you understand what's on your head, you learn how to work with it, you get that sense of confidence that is just, you know, it's private less. Yeah, priceless. And so before we leave, so there are a lot of stylists that I'll run into...

...that feel that they have to specialize in multiple things that they really honestly don't specialize in because they feel that they want to gain clientele by offering services that they're just not that well versed in, versus kind of honing in on a scale or a niche. So what advice would you give to stylist about honing in on a niche, whether you're amazing at cutting hair or coloring hair or extensions or natural hair, and not having that fear of feeling like they have to do everything because some stylist can, but I run into more often than not, stylist that say that they can but they're not necessarily well versed across the board. or You have to see what you love doing, because if you just go to work every day and it's a job and I have six hours to go to I go home, when is this day going to end? It's really hard to enjoy your craft. But if you find something that you do and your job they actually enjoy, then focus on that. You know, spend time learning what brings you joy. If you know if cutting hair gives you joy, then learn how to cut hair really well. If you love coloring, then specialize in color or understanding color. Or my thing is healthy hair. I'm not, you know, a cutter or color as this that. My thing is healthy hair. I want you to have the healthiest possible hair you can have, just like it is when it grew out of your head originally, because hair grows really healthy. You know, we're the ones that screw it over. You're the one doesn't miss it up. Very true. The hair doesn't grow damage, Hair doesn't grow burnt, the hair doesn't grow with issues. I have some stories to tell in that area. WHO's some bad bleach job right, bad haircuts, right, chemicals and...

...our ends stuff. Yeah, but if you look at kids, they have the best pairs because we don't do anything to them. So that's the mentality of to think, is like, how do we just leave it alone? Let it look good and what it looks good, it's going to get better on its own, even without trying so hard. So definitely try to find I always say, Chase your passion, not success. I love it. I love it. Well, on that note, Chase Your Passion, not success. I'm going to take that with me. Thank you so much, shy, for joining our podcast. I'm so happy that you are our first interview of the year. Thank you. Yeah, I definitely slid in your DM's like hey, would you like to be on here? So I'm so glad that you answered. I know your time is valuable and precious and I look for to seeing even more transformations and I know our audience is excited. If you're not already following shy a meal, you can follow him on instagram at Shai Amiel and, of course we will have this all over the cut life social media so everyone can have a listen. But thank you so much. Thank you for thank you so much. That was very good, awesome. We did this. Yes, I'm glad too, and we shall talk soon. Thank you. Take care. By Bye, bye. Well, that was shy Emil, the curl doctor. I had to get him on here with his curl by curl cut technique. He is amazing. If you are in the La area, he's in Studio City, California, if you're able to get an appointment, because it takes about six months to even get in his chair. But if you are able to and you are a curly girl looking for someone to rescue you and teach you how to maintain your curls and to have amazing hair, please definitely contact him. And and we can't go without talking about some cool things that have been going on with the cut life. One of our really exciting moments we had our two thousand and eighteen best of digital awards. This is our first annual online award show to celebrate...

...the Stylus, because that's what we're all about. We've had best Pixie, best bob color is salon stylus of the year, celebrity Stylus of the year. We even honored our short hair vloggers, our short hair stunners. It was a really, really amazing we had over seven thousand people voted online in each category, so that was awesome and our ig live we had over five thousand views. Celebrity hair stylist Kim Kimball called in and she won celebrity stylust of the year and we also had friend of the cut life, Miss Lawrence, who now is a retired hair stylus because he is fully focused on his acting career playing bruce on the hit Fox show star, and it was just a great time. We're definitely going to continue to do that annually, so look out for the best of two thousand and nineteen. Maybe a live award show one day. We're looking into it. So we shall see. But with just so many exciting things going on with the cut life, there's some things that I can't really talk about at the moment. But in the meantime we definitely want all of the stylist to sign up for the cut life directory. We are giving you one free year for you a listing. So all of two thousand and nineteen, if you're a hair stylist and you purchase an IG advertisement with the cut life and your approved to advertise with us, we will give you one free listing on the cut life Directorycom. That is completely, you know, invaluable I can't tell you how valuable it is. Really every person that reaches out to US sometimes still think that we're stylist and that we book appointments and we don't, but we refer them to the directory. So these people are looking for you there in every city across the country and they need hair styles that specialize in short hair. So we want you,...

...guys, to make sure you sign up the cut life directorycom email info at live the cut lifecom to get your ad and then, once you're approved to advertise, because we do have to approve you to advertise, make sure your work is up to par. Make sure you know that our audience is going to actually want to book an appointment with you. And then, once you're approved through that process, you get one year free. One year. Okay, so stay tuned for to live the cut lifecom. Make sure you're following us at the cut life on instagram. You can follow me at to hear a joy and you can follow Big Med b Id Med, and we'll see you next time.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (24)