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E38 - Messy is Sexy

Curl Next Door Episode 38 - "Messy is Sexy" with Jonathan Torch from

the Curly Hair Institute.

Hosts: Stephanie Podolak and Tamara Robbins Griffith.




[intro music]


Stephanie and Tamara: Curl Next Door!


[sound of doorbell]


Tamara: Welcome to Curl Next Door Podcast


Stephanie: welcome to Curl Next Door Podcast with Tamara Robbins Griffith, me.


Tamara: Stephanie Podolak. That's not me. That's you. 


Stephanie: We have a really exciting episode for you today. We have one of my favourite hair stylists and curly hair product creators. Jonathan Torch from the Curly Hair Institute.


Tamara: Woo. Jonathan has just been around. If you're from Toronto or you know, maybe Canadian listeners in general who read Canadian publications will know, like he was a big curl guy on the scene when curls weren't as on trend back then. You know, there weren't as many curly-haired salons to choose from.


So he was an expert in this big, bustling metropolitan Canadian city. He was definitely, making waves.


Stephanie: Yeah, and uh, certainly his product was a huge hit. You'll hear all about it. It definitely had a huge impact on my life and my mother's life. She also has curls and it was especially important in a time when there wasn't a lot to choose from, so he really was revolutionary.


Tamara: Like, It's hard to think of a product that's been around as well for, you know, 20 years. This product may be 25 or 30 years old. That hasn't really changed the formulation, right.


As far as I know.


Stephanie: That's a great point. I mean, I've been using it for at least 15 years, and it's the same. 


Tamara: Yeah, it's interesting, like there wouldn't be that many products of its kind that have been around and had that staying power. So it's a testament to how many fans there are that keep buying it.


Stephanie: I hear you. So what's going on with your hair? Tell me you've, been trying some new things. Do you wanna


Tamara: Well, you know, I was wondering if I was doing too many things right? Like, as we do , this can happen. It's a, uh, a hazard of the trade. I was wondering if I'm using too many brushes and too many techniques and too many products. So I thought, okay, maybe my curl clumps are getting like maybe this, it's too separated.


And so I decided to stop using the brush for a while. Like I'm, I'm off the Denman brush for a little while, trying to separate my curl clumps with my fingers again, of in the shower when it's wet. Still needing a brush, I think, to get it to flow properly in my bangs. So a little bit of brush styling, but not the whole head.


And then, you know, really still experimenting with. the protein moisture balance. And I don't know. I mean, in, on that front, I think I have a ways to go and a lot to learn. And, uh, I mostly just really want to tell you that you told me about this traveling bin of curly-haired product in your neighborhood.


And started it. I did it. It's happening


Stephanie: Tell me about it. What are you doing


Tamara: Okay. So I put out a post in the local mostly moms Facebook group, but big. It's, I don't know, there's like 7,000 people in it. And a lot of people were interested. I was trying to like, temperature check, and so then I started a separate Facebook group for this.


It's called the wavy, curly, coily something, something like Curly East Toronto, curly community, something like that. and so I, I tried, I was adding the people who were interested into the group and then I went out and I bought this like little bin from the dollar store with handles and kind of big enough to probably put in, I don't know.


Like 12 bottles of shampoo and it's kind of deepish, so you could stack some of those jars. And I started it off with a bunch of stuff at at my place. And then one lady who didn't need more things just dropped a few things at my place. And then I, someone picked it up from me and someone else took it from her.


And now I have to get into the task of helping to administer the group a little bit because I think it's stalled. And I think people just get busy with their lives. So in order to kind of keep this going, you need to, um, moderate it a little bit or it a little bit. So I'm so glad that you totally inspired me.


I want our listeners to know that if they live somewhere where there's lots of people, chances are. People will be into this idea. I mean, harder in a rural setting. Of course, you know, I'm in a dense urban area, so there's, it's easy to kind of circulate something like this and then I have a bit of a mentor too, because there's a woman who started a no waste textile group and she's, I, I've been able to ask her some questions, but what she does is she puts all these people who are sharing the, the bag of textiles into a chat so that it's a lot easier for everybody to just kind of tag who's next and then you don't. You don't kind of sit on this bag for days and days and weeks because everyone's in the chat together.


So if you're being a slow poke, people are gonna know. So you just, you make your choices, you take what you want, you add some stuff, and then you say that you're ready to pass it on to the next person. So it's, it's interesting. It's, you know, In some ways, like a little small make work project, but I think it's super cool.


And I've been wanting to try the Innersense line for a while, and I did take a conditioning mask or deep conditioner, something from their line that was dropped at my house, uh, before I sent everything off on its merry way. And it, it created a little breathing room in my curl shelf, you know.


I'm tr trying to figure out how to prioritize, how to get through all these products and, and definitely there's that feeling, which I think we talked about already of like, oh, you know, I may not be right for my hair type, but I feel like I should use it up cuz I don't want it to be a waste. So hopefully good solution for that.


Stephanie: So I have questions. So did you set it up such that if there's an item in the box that you really love or like your neighbor really loves, can they keep it or is it meant that they try it and then pass it along? Although, guess one would ever know if they kept it.


Tamara: No, no. They can. They can keep it, I think the 


Stephanie: something they love, they keep it and then they put their own stuff in it that they didn't like and that goes to the next person who may like the stuff they didn't.


Tamara: I think the idea is when the bin comes to you, well, this is in my head how I think it should be, and I can further explain things in, in the group, but I think that it, it's like the bin comes to you and you can do what you want, you can try everything then keep it going. Or you can take a few things.


If, if you want the bin to keep traveling, but you feel like you need, you know, a couple months to try a product properly, like that's fine too. So long as you're kind of taking some and giving some,


Stephanie: Yeah. Take one. Leave one. I, yeah, it's, uh, it's such a cool idea and I have to give credit to my friend Amanda, who lives in, um, Kind of like Yonge and Lawrence area of Toronto. Her neighborhood did it and she noticed it and shared it with me. So thanks Amanda the suggestion. It's so cool. And Tamara, I hadn't thought of the no waste angle.


I never thought about the sustainability angle, cuz how many these have just ended up in the garbage? I never considered that. I thought about it more as curl girls need to stay together or you know, the curl community.


Tamara: There's a lot of angles. So the textile waste one, they circulate like, so there's chats for like a size extra small, small bag of clothes. There's a chat for like a medium, large bag of clothes. The bag circulates around. It can do one or two rounds through whatever, 15, 20, 30 people. Then it goes to someone at the end who's actually gonna recycle the rest of the textiles too, cuz that's the other thing.


And then, and that's in, those are in the chats and then in her textile group too, you. Just post an I.S.O. or say that you have some, Linen sheets that you don't want anymore. I think I posted something in that group. I had beautiful high-end Belgian linen sheets, but they, they had a rip and I just didn't feel like sewing it up.


And, you know, part of it was a little stained, but there was so much beautiful linen. I was like, if you're a handy dandy person and you have the time and, and wherewithal, 


Stephanie: There's million things


Tamara: super. Like linen napkins. You little cafe curtains like there was, so anyway, someone took it, right? Because you don't want like the last thing you want, even if you're cool with the for for profit model of Value Village, the last thing you want is to donate something to Value Village and then have them throw it out just cuz they see like a small deficiency.


Stephanie: Well, and I don't think they do. I always understood that they ship them off in bulk to overseas for other kinds of,


Tamara: I mean possibly, but it's just, it's really hard to know, I guess, what that end use is and that it's got a second life and that it's not going to waste and it's


Stephanie: And 


Tamara: up in a 


Stephanie: right. And the mileage that you're saving of it just staying in your neighborhood versus it being dropped off at a for-profit model and then potentially shipped across the ocean. Yeah.


Tamara: Yeah. And then and lastly, cuz this is a you know, good on so many levels. It's what you said about building community, right? So when you're sharing these things in your neighborhood, you get to know people a little bit, whether it's about hair or textiles or, I know there are some traveling kind of, I think beauty.


Beauty products and makeup that are in my neighborhood maybe that are doing this, but I think the cur that I didn't know about at that time, now I know about it, but I still thought it was beneficial to separate out the curly hair product. Anyway, thank you, Amanda, and thank you 


Stephanie: Yeah, no worries. Very cool. Very cool. I also have removed a step from my routine and I am much happier for it. I removed a moisturizing step and I'm just doing gels,


Tamara: Hmm.


Stephanie: two layers of gel. One is the Curl Keeper and one is another gel, and I got a million compliments.


desperate for haircuts, so the curls are just curls gone wild.


Tamara: Well, interesting. Like What to you?


Stephanie: so obviously there's a time saving aspect to it, which I am into, and the curls, I didn't really notice the difference. Other people noticed the difference. I didn't really notice the difference of having the moisturizer in or not in.


Tamara: mm.


Stephanie: So I guess if it's not doing anything, why do it,


Tamara: Well, yeah, because you're, if you're spending money on things that you don't need, but also, you know, I think there's something to be said with all of these different product products and application techniques. It's like, see how it goes after like a few weeks or a month of doing it, because sometimes the results are cumulative,


Stephanie: Great point,


Tamara: right?


Stephanie: great point. So maybe that's a good segue. Are we ready to let Jonathan in?


Tamara: let's let him in.


Stephanie: And before we do, we need to warn our listeners. 


Tamara: We're having a slight audio issue connecting with him, but hopefully it sounds okay. 


Stephanie: Stick around. He's worth it. 



Stephanie: May I just start by saying that this is a fan girl moment for me? Because you, if you listen to our back catalog, you will hear me talking about Curl Keeper, probably in every single episode.


That product changed my life 


Jonathan Torch: You know what, I'm so thrilled because it's a special product. It has such a special moment in my soul, and you know, the fact that it's evolved on its own, competing with the giants out there, it's it's just been the most rewarding thing.


Stephanie: It's incredible. It's such a great product. I've been using it forever for a couple decades and my mother, like back in the day, I'm totally starting with a tangent. Back in the day, the only brands you could get for curls were drugstore brands. There were kind of two major drugstore brands, not to be named here.


They both didn't work. And then my mother found this product and the rest is history. And like even though with this podcast we get a lot of samples 


and I always use Curl Keeper as a layer. I'm so scared not to use it.


Tamara: Stephanie gets sent hundreds of dollars worth of hair product from these other fancy brands and she's like, but I kind of just wanna use it in conjunction with the Curl Keeper. Don't you could like have to pry this, pry this Curl Keeper. They're not hopefully listening to this episode but pry this Curl Keeper out of her like cold dead 


Stephanie: hands!


Yeah, I know, and I think I have about, I have like four litres of it just in case... anyway.


Jonathan Torch: You know what? That, that warms me. It's really, it's wonderful. So that's, for me, that's what it's all about. Always has been. It has such a cool story and I never changed it from day one. 


Tamara: We can't wait to hear the details. So why don't we start, start at the beginning, like tell us a little bit about yourself, where you're from, and kind of how you got into just styling hair and, and hair as an industry.


Jonathan Torch: Okay. Okay. Originally I'm from South Africa and I came to Canada when I was 19. So I've been here for a very, very long time. I always wanted to be an artist. That was my, my goal is to be an artist. I'm very, very creative and I look at everything. Little obscurely. That's just my nature. And uh, when I went to high school, I actually met my wife in high school and, uh, she really pushed me to be, continued to be an artist, which is quite a, a very depressing thing when you're not making a living. And it was actually her idea to try hairdressing, which was the last thing in the world I probably ever would've thought of, but has have an open mind.


And what I loved about hairdressing is the creativity is huge. The project ends. Whenever I do a painting, it never ends. So you look at the wall and there's like 15, 16 unfinished paintings, hair dressing was like, wow. It has a start and a finish. And the same thing, which is huge for me. I also love people.


I just love people. And when you're an artist, it's a very solitude thing. Most, most artists are in the basement or an attic by themselves, and that's just, I would be very depressed. So all of a sudden being in an environment where you are with people and in an era where punk rock was coming to town.


So to be an artist watching this, these freaks come in and they want checkerboards and they want all these, these obscure avangard hair was the most amazing time in hairdressing. And it just, a switch went off where I feel, you know what? I can do this. It's not hairdressing like I thought. 


Tamara: Mm-hmm.


Jonathan Torch: You know, hairdressing from what I thought was to what I found was just unbelievable and I totally embraced it.


I went to work for such a great salon cause at the time, on a cutting edge, they were in all the magazines and we did all these shows and I was at the best place at the right time.


Tamara: That's amazing.


Jonathan Torch: And it was luck. It was really luck. Cuz I could have ended up in a, an old, boring place. And then unfortunately I know myself, I would've quit and tried something else.


So I was in the right environment to learn that hairdressing is creative. So all depends on how far you can push it.


Tamara: Mm-hmm.


Jonathan Torch: The thing that I, I really grasped right away is that you're dealing with people's emotions. You know, you have the power to package people hairdressing. So you have to take into account that type of power.


A lot of hairdress can abuse this privilege and you're dealing with people's self-esteem. You know this, people have to walk around and live with what you create and you the ego of a personal hairdresser and you gotta put aside and you gotta take into account that these people have to live with what you create.


And, uh, in a very avantgarde salon, you don't really take that into account . And uh, when I left that salon, I went to work in my own salon, which was in the corporate buildings of the TD Centre, the office towers. And that is a very different environment to the avant guard Salon that I was 


Tamara: like ni night and day.


Jonathan Torch: Oh my goodness.


I had a bit of a culture shock, like a really culture shock. But I learned that you know, you have to problem solve, you have to enhance people, you gotta make them look better, you gotta make them look prettier, you gotta take whatever hair they have and make it look better. So in my head, for hair dressing was all about problem solving.


I got more excited when somebody had a cow lick in the wrong place, or double crown, or that had like something excitement that this is a problem that I need to solve. And if I can do that, I'm going to give this person a sense of freedom, style freedom, where they're gonna look good despite this , you know?


And that's where I kind of positioned myself as a hairdresser. Even with doing hair colour, you know, you want colour to match the tone, the skin tone, very much how to make people look better. I, I love the beauty industry, which has changed a lot, but at was how to make people look better.


Tamara: Mm-hmm.


Jonathan Torch: That's what really gets me going, you know, and then all of a sudden outta nowhere, I had customer that had extremely curly hair, like crazy curly hair, and she was very terrified to be in the salon. Like her, her salon, salon experiences were like, shocking.


So, I could feel her energy that this person is terrified. And I looked at all the options and all the training that I took and learned and everything that I knew, I knew deep down that that was not gonna work on her head. And I, I was almost like stumped. Like, well, you know, what do I do if I layer it?


I'm gonna get this. If I cut it too short, she won't be able to put in a ponytail. And a ponytail for her is like her plan A, you know, that's how she survived every day, was squeezing her head into a tiny ponytail. If I had to take that option away, her life would be just, So I, I barely did anything and it, it upset me a lot for a long time.


And I kept saying to myself, okay, if she had to walk back into the salon, what would I do differently? Cause everything that I learned train for didn't apply such curly. And, uh, again, problem solving, I had a lot of time to think about it cuz I didn't do too many curly hair. But I actually had an idea how I would approach curly hair differently. And the more I thought about it, the more sense it made. And it just made so much sense that, uh, this lady actually came back into the salon about a year later, which I was very surprised. And I was so excited to see her and my enthusiasm. I wasn't actually scared the hell outta her cause no, she's never been excited by a hairdresser and I knew exactly what, how, what I would do to her here.


I had a plan in my head. She came in and I did it and it was completely different to anything I've ever done. And it worked. It worked right away. So I was so excited to deal with this different type of hair time that was so different and so unique and I had to almost customize a cutting technique just for her because her hair was that different.


Then I realized that, oh, curly hair is different. So the next curly hair person that comes in, I can't do the same technique as her. I have to customize it, which. Make me very excited that, that, you know, when they teach you hairdressing or something, this step one, step two, step three, and everybody knows the steps and you get the end result.


But with curly hair, no, this was a different surface that you have to almost clear your mind and start from scratch. Like, what does this particular hair mean? And I was, I love that idea. I love that curly hair was so different that it gave me, excitement with to take hairdressing, 


Tamara: Right. 


Jonathan Torch: and that's how I kind of got into curly hair, being able to come up with a unique cutting system for curly hair, 


Tamara: Really. Would you say that's, so much of that excitement comes because every curl pattern is different, so it's, it's sort of just


like So many sizes, so many shapes of swirls and spirals and coils.


Jonathan Torch: I mean, how somebody's hair is in the winter is so different in the summer and the left side is so different to the right side. And, and it just, there's so much to it. And so understood that I actually, I really dove in deep, you know, I decided this is what I really wanna do.


And it was quite a challenge cause our salon wasn't geared up for curly hair. The stylists hated curly hair and they didn't want anything to do with that. Like, they really think. So I, I invented this cutting system and on this lady, And lo and behold, she was so blown away by how I changed her life, that she took it upon herself to go to, Toronto Life Magazine, she went there and next thing you know, some, writer walks into the salon with a massive hair like, oh my God. And she wants to talk to me, you know? So I said, you know, she wants to meet the curly hair expert. I said, look, say I'm a curly hair expert, but I just wanna explain to you what I do, and then you decide.


So when it comes to cutting curly hair, the thing that I do is I control the bulk. That's what it's all about with curly hair, where the bulk is and where you want it to be. So I came up with a cutting system that I can manipulate the bulk, put it in areas where you want it eliminated, where areas where you don't.


And this lady was flawed. She couldn't believe it. She had never had such a great haircut, and she went on and on and on, and she wrote a little paragraphs, tiny little paragraph in Toronto Life, which just exploded. In my salon, they didn't like curly hair, they didn't do curly hair. So I had to start training my next batch of trainees in the systems on curly hair, how to do curly hair before I taught them colour, before I taught them anything else.


I started training just on curly hair, so downtown in those office towers to specialize, it's not always a good thing. You know, you're paying massive amounts of rent. You're downstairs from hundreds of thousands of people. You don't specialize. So the salon was kind of split in two.. You got the curly hair stylists and the non curly hair stylists.


And, and that's how the, the cutting things started to evolve. with the, the, the write-ups that I got early days in Toronto life, and then Flare picked up on it and then The Star picked up on it. People were coming into the salon, but they didn't have like bulk that they think they. They just needed to learn how to manage the frizz, manage the curls.


And at the time, you know, I was looking for products that controlled frizz and, and everything was just so leafy and wet. And I mean, Michael Jackson used to put paraffin on his hair, which caught on fire. And Eddie Murphy made such a funny movie Coming to America with,


with people got off off the, the couch.


There were three grease patches. But truthfully, that was the options. That was the options. So to me, when I was doing somebody's hair and we had come from the sink and we wash the hair and we come back to the chair that look at the hair dripping wet, and we say, oh my God, if my hair looked like that, I'd be very happy.


And then it just dawned on me that when hair is wet, it's never frizzy, regardless on how frizzy somebody's hair can be, it's never frizzy when it's wet. Cause the simple concept is that the open cuticles are filled with water. So it's almost like a common sense thing that in order to have a hundred percent fresh, free hair, keep it wet.


Tamara: Mm-hmm.


Jonathan Torch: That's when it dawned on me to make a product that duplicates water. Simple. Make it clean. Get rid of all the stuff, all the oils, all the waxs, all the silicons, every single thing. Make it as clean, as simple as water, which sounds easy, but that's another eight years.


Tamara: Oh, wow.


Jonathan Torch: But, you know, at, at the time it was, it was a hobby.


You know, I was watching TV and, and I saw, uh, Mac cosmetics came out and there was a, a makeup artist that wanted to make a lipstick. They didn't reflect lights. When they take pictures. They needed a stack so they don't make that, it doesn't exist. So he went to the library and he learned how to make lipstick.


And I thought, okay, let's try. And sure enough, I went to the library and there's, there's recipes, how I make everything. It's unbelievable. At the library you can make every single type of colour you can make and lipstick you can make. And it's amazing. So I thought, all I got nothing to lose, I'll try make my own. And it took forever. Really did. And it was painstaking then, 


Tamara: home. You did this at home, like in your kitchen?


Jonathan Torch: in the kitchen. Stir it up, stir it up, and of course unsuccessful. Cause I have no idea what I'm doing. And I didn't know what to put into the formula, but I definitely knew what not to use. 


And what, what? I went backwards. I went to, it's a process of elimination.


Getting rid of silicone, getting rid of anything oily, anything greasy, anything that repels water. Everything that meets the barrier. But the whole industry is going into these oils and these waxes, and these sounds like, what am I missing? What am I missing? You 


know? But over time, and I really had no pressure how long this has to be, and even if it just pan out in the meantime, I was using tons of mousse and tons of gels and all these other sticky, greasy products like everyone else.


And then slowly, the product started to work, I was able to duplicate the same control that water has and I would go home and make up a whole batch and go to work and take it and It was so exciting. I was using all my clients, uh, hair as, as testers and 


Stephanie: That's awesome.


Jonathan Torch: it was so cool.


It was so fun. I had no idea what called the stuff, you know, we called it


Stephanie: The stuff. 


Tamara: Did you tell them? Did they Did they know? Uh, I just mixed this up in my kitchen, but I'm really excited about it. I


think it's gonna work.


Jonathan Torch: Clients were very, very, very excited. Which is a problem because when a form, when you make a formula, you really need truthful feedback. And when people know you, they really like you. They want this to work. So you might have 10 people to say it's fantastic. It's great. And then you get 10 strangers and they go, that sucks.


It's terrible. That's awful. So, so you gotta be a little bit careful on, uh, feedback from, from your clients. Even though I, I really develop product on my clients and, uh, they terrific. And some tell me the honest truth and otherwise I actually find complete strangers that aren't afraid to hurt my feelings,


Tamara: Mm-hmm.


Stephanie: that you have real time feedback from your salon. It's so smart. 


Is that what you do with your whole line?


Jonathan Torch: that's exactly what I do with every product, with every ingredient. I'm very organized. I know who I give this to. I know what their test is. And I play and I play and I play with the formula until it's perfect. People were loving it. Uh, we started to sell it without even having a label on the bottle, you know? And how much can I make? I can only make, uh, six at a time.


Stephanie: As much as fits in your pasta pot,


Jonathan Torch: You really, it, it's, uh, it's, it was very difficult. And then I had to find models and pour it. And


Stephanie: Yeah.


Jonathan Torch: it's part of the process, you know, part of the growing pains. And then one day it was perfect. It was actually perfect. Curl Keeper was exactly what I wanted us to do. Learning how to put it on is, is the challenge which we still face.


And I think every manufacturer out there faces the same issue is how do you use the product? You know, when I first saw it and I make the products and the instructions are about this long, but the bottle only allows you to use this much space. You only allow two lines to explain a really technical, difficult process.


And I know that every manufacturer has a problem, you know, so for curly hair, you have massive amounts of hair. You gotta take advantage of the water that's in the hair. You gotta don't towel dry your hair too much. Use the water in the hair to help spread the product evenly roots to end. It is designed that you can use a lot.


Now, most people don't use a lot, most people use a little bit cuz they're so used to things being sticky and greasy. So that was something that we've had to learn. How do you, how do you use it? How much do you do? So that, that's a big learning curve that we are continuously having. 


Tamara: But I think people in the, at least now, there's so many kind of communities where people are sharing their experiences more so than in the past. So when we're trying, you know, trying


new things, you can hear from other,




Jonathan Torch: yeah. When I first began, I stumbled on this website, And they had a forum. And I must tell you, I spent every night on this forum learning. That's where I probably learned how to use a computer and I would tap and talk to people, curly hair and everything from them.


Really honestly, these are genuine, honest curlies that have struggled their whole life and their stories are just unbelievable. And I don't think there's ever been a forum of straight hair people, but the curly community is amazing. And eventually, that's why I found a lot of strangers test my product because they were honest. They gave honest feedback and I learned a lot about curly hair from that group. 


And then of course, the, television show Friends came in, which introduced flat. So that just does not make curly hair popular. So I had to work even harder trying to, uh, work with curly hair during that era. And, uh, then of course, like all things, you know, uh, the Friends show came to and end and there was Sarah Jessica Parker 


Tamara: Yay. Yes.


Jonathan Torch: finally curly hair gonna come and


Tamara: Yes.


I feel like you just summed up sort of being in my late teens and early twenties, because I definitely was flatter and flatter and flatter, and then a bit with Sex in the City. I think that was pivotal


for me to like, let's try it and let's try some, my texture's not too different from Sarah Jessica Parker in that, and let's try some of her hairstyles and let's 


Jonathan Torch: That's right. Even if it doesn't work, you still keep trying, you know? It's like it didn't work, but you keep trying. That's the thing with curly hair,, it's not gonna work the first time. It's kind of like learning a new instrument, you


Stephanie: Every time, though, every single time, every time you wash your hair, it's like relearning the instrument.


Tamara: Totally.


Jonathan Torch: You, you know what I always say? Curly hair people cannot be control freak. Impossible.


Stephanie: totally.


Jonathan Torch: Straight


Tamara: can try


Jonathan Torch: in the same curly. You cannot be a control freak. 


Stephanie: Oh, it's so true. It's so true. So Curl Keeper was a huge hit. And


you have a massive 


Jonathan Torch: It, it was a huge hit for me. Like getting, getting a product to market, competing with the Giants is another whole story. But what I felt is when people tried, they loved it. They spoke about it. There was this energy building that kept me going, you know, the difference is that it worked. Now with the curly hair world, in the straight hair world, it's very interesting because success or failure for straight hair is all about your ability to style it. How good are you with the round brush? But for curly hair, success or failure totally depends on the performance of a product.


You know, you can, you put it on, you do deal prep, you squish ish, squish, put it on the clips, whatever, and then you wait. You wait. If the product works, you have success. If it doesn't, uh, it's gonna be this, then you might have to jump back in the shower and redo it because you're relying on a product. So the performance of a product, clearly here is a tool. There's not, maybe it'll work, maybe it won't, you know, it has to work. The challenge is how we, how we put it on or you putting enough on or you putting it right or you touching it too much. You gotta learn when to touch it, when you leave it, all these tiny details. But a great hair day is when the products are working and that's where I think Curl Keeper kind of connected because it was my first product and it dealt with frizz control and that is the key with curly hair is all about frizz, know, whether it's a, a slight wave or a tight kinky.


Here it's all about controlling frizz. So that's the story.


Stephanie: Love it.

Stephanie: So speaking of which, can you tell us a bit more about the rest of your product line? What came next, and how do you decide what product to develop?


Jonathan Torch: Well, because, uh, I'm not a chemist, I'm just almost a hobbyist. I can't wake up one day and say, okay, I'm gonna make, uh, a gel. You know, what happens with me is I stumble on an ingredient. Well, my latest product that you know is, is this, uh, the rapid therapy. This, this was a really fascinating product because I completely, uh, didn't think I needed a treatment.


Cause I already had the pure protein, you know, the, the Silk Conditioner, which is packed full of moisture and, you know, but I was told that we need a treatment, a mask, that's the next trend. When you begin, if you're not a chemist, you can't just like go to a thing. So I just started to research some ingredients that have been around for centuries and India and what they do, and they play with a lot of herbs. So I will stumble on an ingredient. And kind of learn about this ingredient and trying to figure out where it would best go. Is this got a shampoo or a conditioner or a styling product? And, and does it really work? That's, that's the most important thing is like, you might come up and read about an ingredient that's popular, but does it really work?


Or is it just a label claim? And if it does, how much do you need? So it's a long drawn out process that could take years and years and years. And sometimes it hits a certain point where it's, it's good, it's okay, but it's not a wow. And I've got the luxury of having the salon where people are using it all the time.


So you can tell if something's not bad. Okay. But when it's a wow, that's the point where, You take it and you, and you run with it and say, okay, what else can I put in there? So the rapid hair repair, the first ingredient that that got me going is one called fenugreek. Now you see it in all the grocery stores.


It is absolutely incredible. It's been used for centuries on hair in India. 


Tamara: Really? It's like a, people take it for, um, breastfeeding.


Jonathan Torch: right. It, It, brings out the, the milk, the, the milk has starts there and it's, it's been used forever and it has such an amazing effect on the scalp and the hair. And honestly, there's so much information on YouTube about, fenugreek and was, I was blown away by it.


And I was surprised that nobody has used it. Why hasn't anybody else used fenugreek? Which I found out later. It really has a strong odor. So the thought of putting something in your head that smells like curry is quite a challenge. So , we had to learn many, many ways of how do you mask the fenugreek smell and how do you take it and ferment it?


You gotta bring up the essence of these herbs, and I enjoyed it. Then I found a slippery elm, which is used a lot, and I put slippery elm in there, and I started to build a collection of herbs. Now, of course, you're not gonna eat it. This is for hair. So you can put it all together and, and stir it and cook it and brew it, and, you know, because truthfully, we're not eating it.


So I don't digest any of this, but I've definitely felt that I came up with that. What's the word? What? Goo . Like a, a blob or a mucusy concoction. That when you put it on the hair, it was absolutely unbelievable. Couldn't believe this. It was such a, an immediate, effect on making the hair strong. So that's how I kind of grew that.


I mean, I had ups and downs and all problems with the, the details. That's why it took so long to, to come to market. But that's how an ingredient product brew, you know? So, uh,


Stephanie: Are there any flavors of home in there? Anything from South Africa?


Jonathan Torch: no, no. I tried roibos tea once.


Stephanie: you, I was gonna ask. Yeah.


Jonathan Torch: I tried roibos, but it made the hair red. 


Tamara: Okay. Yep.


Jonathan Torch: If you're blonde, you probably still hate me.


Stephanie: oh,


Tamara: It's so funny what you say about fenugreek because I totally remember taking it as a supplement and then you, your body, you smell, start to smell. 


like Greek 


Jonathan Torch: Oh my God. It was, it is such a challenge to, but I did it. 


Tamara: I'm sure I 


wanna smell this now.


Jonathan Torch: a critical step. And if you ever try the rapid hair repair, it's life changing. I'm telling you, it's hair changing. It's gonna change your hair, especially for you, because you got fine hair. You stay away from heavy product.


This is not a moisturizer, it's a 


strengthener, so it makes hair stronger, it keeps a bouncy, but it won't flatten your hair. It's quite amazing. A lot of people are afraid of treatments, but it's gonna be heavy and you weigh it down,


Tamara: Well, I re actually saw you have like blog posts on your website and, and in some, I clicked on something that was five things curly haired people shouldn't do. And one of them was to don't over moisturize, which I think is very interesting because you're talking about other ingredients and kind of staying away from some of these oils and butters and heavy, heavy products.


And I think a lot of people go to that first cuz they think they should, and it's gonna get rid of frizz or be moisturizing, but sometimes it's too


Jonathan Torch: I, I only go by performance, but they are a lot of ingredients that I have issues with because they act as a barrier, not because they're dangerous or anything.


It's purely style management.


Tamara: Mm-hmm. 


Jonathan Torch: Uh, there was an ingredient that motivated me to make products. Is when I first started hairdressing, it was the introduction of silicones in products and it was very disturbing because everybody uses them. They, uh, they're cheap. They make the hair very silky, soft and shiny, which everybody wants, but it builds up, especially when the silicone is to, comes in through a shampoo, you know, the birth of two in one shampoos.


And as a hairdresser, I was having so much trouble with customers that they couldn't style their hair, but they love the way and the silkiness and there's no tangles. And it's like all these positive effects had, uh, such a negative impact on what we were trying to do. Even hair colour has a hard time penetrating the barrier of a silicone, and everybody was using it.


So for me it was important. Let's see if I can make a proper product without silicone. So all the ingredients that I really stay away from is silicones because I don't think they're necessary.


Tamara: Yeah. Do you tell, do you have clients who, um, do you recommend clarifying for them, clarifying shampoos if they need it or.


Jonathan Torch: Clarifying shampoos of very, very strong. They remove build up, they remove everything. And I'm not a big fan of just stripping the hair. You know, I'd rather say let shampoo stay on longer because, uh, you need, you need to get rid of this builder. But if you use a strong stripper, you're gonna have dry scalp.


It's gonna have the own issues, and humanity has a bad habit of overdoing. You know,


Tamara: yes.


Jonathan Torch: so, uh, on the other side, if somebody walks into our salon and they've got this buildup of stuff on their hair, that we can't even get the hair wet. We have a bottle of something in the back underneath the shelf without anybody looking.


We try to remove as much buildup as we possibly can but I'm a hairdresser and I have to deal with this person. And this person cannot get the hair to group together to form a ringlet.


And a ringlet is composed of several hairs grouping together to form a curl. And when you have a buildup, no two hairs are able to group. 


Tamara: Mm-hmm. 


Jonathan Torch: this person that's like desperate, they can't manage their hair, I can't manage their hair. I recognize what their problem is, and it's coming from a shampoo.


Tamara: Mm-hmm.


Jonathan Torch: So it's, it's a delicate thing. I've always been under pressure to come up with the clarifying shampoo, but truthfully, I, because it's gonna do damage if you use it more than two times. 


Tamara: I mean, if someone can avoid needing it, then that's probably the best thing.


It's just about where does the education, where does the education come from, you know?


Jonathan Torch: That's, that's, that's the best. But if you are feeling that you have a buildup because ingredients build up, then just, uh, let the shampoo sit on longer and just allow the detergents to, slowly do their thing. Uh, make, making a shampoo for curly hair is very, very different.


Very, very different because, curly hair doesn't get greasy. Somebody with curly hair can go several weeks, and the hair is not greasy. So somebody with straight hair washes it in the morning and by noon, that's greasy. So the strength of a shampoo is very, very different. So I have, I have three shampoos, right.


And all three have a very delicate pH of 4.5 to 5.5, meaning that the pH allows for the gentle cleansing. That's not going to strip your hair out. But if somebody has very greasy hair, that's not gonna remove all the oils and, and that, but curly hair, naturally, the cuticles are open.


That's the function of curly hair. So it doesn't need a strong shampoo, but shampoos are very, very, very important.


Stephanie: Yep.


Tamara: Jonathan, we could talk all day. I 




Jonathan Torch: I know, 


I know, I know. 


Tamara: we'll be here midnight. 


Stephanie: I was, uh, I was curious about your perspective on protein. , 


Jonathan Torch: Oh, okay. No, it's very, very very good. Good point. Okay. I spent years finding the right protein. Now, protein is one of those ingredients that do build up, and when protein builds up here, becomes very brittle, and I was very anti protein. There are some products, I'm not gonna mention the brand that uses keratin protein, which is fantastic when you first try it, but it doesn't take much before the buildup comes and the 


damage comes.


I stumbled on Silk Amino acids. That means silk protein that comes from the silkworm, well, not the worm, but the cocoon. It is the strongest natural fiber on the planet. It has a tiny molecule, so it penetrates into the hair. It doesn't sit on the outside, but it never, ever builds up, ever, never. You can use it every single day forever, but silk does not build up. 


So I do use it and I'm proud to use it. And as a protein, silk is harmless, but it makes hair stronger and it's the best moisturizer. But, you know, that's my protein 


Tamara: Yeah, that's his. So, um, what's your protein product called that has that ingredient?


Jonathan Torch: you know, truthfully, I think I put silk in almost every 


Tamara: it in 


Jonathan Torch: because it's a little bit, the one that has the most is the actual silk conditioner that has up to 4% silk amino acids. But I have it in a lot of products, and I can guarantee you that it never, ever builds up and it doesn't do what proteins do.


So, uh, I'm challenged because I can see the chats about protein. But, uh, honestly, not all protein is the same.


And, uh, I've done a lot of research on it.


Tamara: Yeah.


Stephanie: Does curly girl need protein? 


How do you know? 


Jonathan Torch: protein I use for moisture,


Stephanie: Yeah.


Jonathan Torch: okay? So moisture is something that all hair needs. Now, you don't want to drown the hair with too much, but remember, a damp sponge absorbs and a wet sponge can't get any wetter.


Some hair needs moisture and everybody assumes that their hair needs moisture. They see frizz and they assume it's dry. They see frizz and they assume that it's damaged, but it's not. That's the nature of curly hair. Open cuticles give you the illusion of, that's why when the hair is wet, those open cuticles are filled with water.


You know, the question is that if your hair takes eight hours to dry, don't keep adding more moisture. 


Stephanie: Okay.


Tamara: Now, uh, let's zoom out a little bit, Jonathan, um, to kind of the bigger trends and the bigger picture. So you've been, you've been like a player in this sort of niche, part of the world of hair for a long time. And we sort of feel like as consumers, as Steph and I as consumers and people who bought shop for products and get her curly haircuts and all these things, you know, we've seen a major shift in the last five or so years.


Natural hair becoming more mainstream, more, more product like. How do you, how do you see this, how do you


Jonathan Torch: Okay, well, you know what? It didn't just happen overnight. It happened slowly. Even Oprah had something to do with that. And the change so significant has affected the so many lives. People have embraced something that's uniquely theirs. It's what they have that's different. And we live in a society right now where uniqueness is key.


Everybody is starving for uniqueness. There's no rockstar or movie star that everybody's trying to look like. There hasn't been one for quite a while, which is quite strange in the beauty industry. So we live in an era of uniqueness and individualism, and curly hair is the ultimate individualism out there, and people are slowly embracing it and loving it and enjoying being different. Our society has never been like that. We've done everything to look like Jennifer Anniston or Farrah Fawcett everybody. There's, as long as I've being the hairdresser, there's always one person that everybody wants to look like. Except now. Right now they don't exist. 


And, uh, they're breaking away from culture that has been forced down their throat through generations. You know, and it's like, it's slowly still evolving.


Now there's more and more hairdressers that enjoy curly hair. When I first started this project, hairdressers didn't wanna talk to me, seasoned hairdressers. But the next generation of hairdressers, they wanna know, how do you cut How, how do you do it? They, they don't teach it in the schools.


It's not part of any curriculum or any syllabus.


Stephanie: Still now. Still.


Jonathan Torch: yeah. Their responsibility is to teach them how to follow a guard, how to open the scissors, close the scissors, do basic things. Now it's up to the hairdressers that go on YouTube.


And they learn this. And what they're learning about curly hair is before you're gonna learn how to cut it. You've gotta learn how to style it.


Stephanie: Mm-hmm.


Jonathan Torch: You know, it's not about the cut, the cut is secondary. You've gotta learn how to be a master of the styling, which is opposite to our hairdressing has ever been hairdressing.


It's always been about the cuts, the cut, the cut, the cut. But you can do the best cut in the world. But if you dunno how to style it, if you dunno how to manage it and control it, you're not gonna be successful. And now it's like people are, I feel people are embracing it. We, I'm getting so many emails from people that, well, how do you cut it? How do you cut it?


And it's like, okay, if you know how to style it, you might not need it cut. You don't have to cut your hair to keep it healthy. 


These are opposite things that the hair industry has always


Stephanie: Yeah.


Jonathan Torch: you know? So we are going against what the industry was. The older hairdressers are not happy, but the young hairdressers love it.


They, they love it. I get emails from them all the time from all over the world. They love our approach. They're learning how to use our brushing techniques. You know, all these things are very new, but they're here for a long, long, long time. 


Stephanie: Yeah.


Jonathan Torch: But things have changed. Yeah. Things have changed and I see it and I still think it's the beginning.


I don't think we even near that, that point.


Stephanie: I wanted to loop back to training staff. So you mentioned that you have stylists who contact you from around the world. Do you offer training on how to cut curls and how, like what is the expectation when you have new staff joining your, your 


Jonathan Torch: Yeah. Well that, that's my personal challenge, I am a perfectionist. And I surround myself with unbelievable hairdressers and they have been with me for 35 years. When I do train hairdressers, I teach them how to be curly hair styling experts. Cause you've got to know how to style the hair before cutting before colour. You could gotta be able to see where people's issues are, learn how to manipulate them, different styling techniques, and that's my advice to strangers all over the world.


You know, before I teach you to cut hair, you gotta. How to fix that flat spot. You're not gonna cut the hair to fix that flat spot. How are you gonna get the bangs to sweep over? These are styling techniques and we got unbelievable tools. We have these brushes that are just so critical. 


Tamara: Oh, your brush is famous. That's, yeah.


Jonathan Torch: it's such a great brush. It took me forever to make, but it is a game changer. It's, I don't know what I would do without that brush, because I use that brush to get the results. If people say, no, I'm gonna don't, I don't need the brush , I know they're not gonna get the results because the brush is a fundamental tool.


Those clips or fundamental clips. If you want volume, you leave the clips.


Stephanie: can you describe the brush to our listeners?


Jonathan Torch: Okay, so I have two brushes. The first brush I designed was actually supposed to be for the scalp and for the shower. And it's, uh, it's called the flexi brush, and there's three different levels of bristle. One is for the scalp and the other two is for the styling and detangling. But people have taken this brush and have learned how to make clumps with their hair, how to get curl formations with their hair.


It's incredible people who were battling trying to group their hair together. Suddenly this brush comes along and it just does the job. It's a fantastic brush that makes hair in incredible curls. It's great for the shower. It was very important for me that we don't have a rubber, uh, backing because water gets in there and bacteria grows.


So it's a very, uh, easy brush to keep clean. You keep it in the shower, you can exfoliate your scalp. I can go on and on and on about that flexi brush because it truly is a remarkable brush. Designed the styling brush using the same technology without the rubber in the back so that you know, it's easy to clean.


There's no and bacteria, but the styling brush allows you to manipulate the direction that your hair grows. So for example, if somebody has hair, it just shoots forward into their face. Every time they push the hair back, it just automatically comes. This brush will manipulate the direction that the hair grows so that it's coming off your face.


That if you have a flat spot or a crown or a cow lick. This brush is unbelievable for redirecting the growth pattern, for allowing the little baby hairs to go in the direction that you need. It's a lot harder to talk about it, much easier to show, but this brush is a game changer. 


It's got an lon bristles, so they very flexible. I'm not a big fan of natural bristle brushes because they grip the hair, and I don't want to grip the hair. I want the hair to glide. I want to be able to have no tangles, no knots, that has to be able to have no resistance when you put this through your hair.


Now, a few years ago, the whole theory was nobody should ever brush the hair, and there are people that threw away their brushes. Well, I don't say go brush your hair when it's dry, but when you have wet hair and you wanna have style management, these brushes are fundamental tools and so are the clips. If you want volume and you've learned how to scrunch and group or clump your curl, then you allow your hair to dry on its own.


The weight of the wet hair is gonna make the top go flat. That's just the way it is, so what hairdressers were doing the way you were layering hair, and that's the biggest mistake you can make with hair. Cause now you're cutting out these gorgeous curl. So these clips allow you to have the volume without having to cut the all those curls off the top


Tamara: I need to try this. That's one thing I have not tried is clipping and I, I don't, my hair's not that heavy or long, but it, I do want more volume on top.


Jonathan Torch: that's right. The thing is with your hair, When your hair is wet, these clips won't grip well. So you gotta learn when to use them.


Tamara: The right 


time of 


Jonathan Torch: you know that's right. These clips are designed for rollers. They wide, they, the teeth come in, I wish I had one right here. And they grip the hair at the root. But what you needed to do is you need to pinch it.


So you are lifting it at the root and you're getting the volume from the root. Okay? So I would wait till your hair starts to dry and then just start pinching it. And you know, as it gets drier and dry, you'll notice that you'll be able to pinch more hair at a time because your hair doesn't grip. It's too fine.


Tamara: Right.


Jonathan Torch: Thicker hair will grip, but you know, so you gotta learn when to clip, when not to, you know, when touch your, when's the nature curl you.


Tamara: Well, this is you, you brought up a good point about our podcast too. It's, it's talking about hair, like curly hair and styling. It's very visual, and we're always using words to try and describe these things. However, in in the curly haired world, there's definitely a language that we all kind of speak, right?


Jonathan Torch: It keeps changing. I keep calling it grouping and now it's clumping,so myself by the wrong.


Stephanie: I know there's a whole, glossary. It's a 




Jonathan Torch: Exactly. It's like,


Tamara: Cur.


Jonathan Torch: you know, I hate the word crunchy. It's got such a negative sound, but it's 


Tamara: Yeah. Yeah. So, so, Jonathan? Yeah. 


Stephanie: Surface. Yeah.


Tamara: Same thing. We'll, we'll make a, we'll gather, we'll gather that whole lexicon and published dictionary . Will you be first to do


Stephanie: the Curl Next Door Dictionary.


Tamara: So that you know what the heck everybody's talking about.


Jonathan Torch: And it'll only be in date for a year, and then you have to 


Tamara: and then we'll add to it. But you know what, they do that for the Oxford dictionary




Like every, the major, major dictionaries are always adding new terms and


Stephanie: they have a word of the year.


Tamara: Yes.


Jonathan Torch: That's,


Tamara: This is a thing, Steph. Write it


Stephanie: I know. Write it down.


Tamara: So Jonathan, uh, and soon we're gonna move on to kind of a little way that we like to wrap up. But I wanna ask you, just cuz you've been doing this for a long time, like, you know, how, how has your POV changed or your method changed over the years?


Like what,


what's different now? Some things you said have stayed the same, but what's different


Jonathan Torch: No, no. Very different. Very different. When I first started doing curly hair, people hated bulk, and over the years, I see that bulk is okay. You know, people don't mind bulky. 


So again, the curly hair trend in the beginning was keeping everything flat. They'll deal with the curls, but they can't deal with the bulk, you know? So I noticed today some of the techniques that I used to do, I barely do it today unless they really, really need it. Because people don't mind big hair.


They, you know, as long as it's not frizzy, they, they can live with big hair, which I think is also a freedom because when I first started turning hair, it was all about, Reduce the bulk, reduce the bulk. Uh, the other thing that things have changed is, the colour, the way hair is coloured for curly hair, it's different.


You know, the colours have to be milder gently. They have to be more shiny, uh, because you know, more and more people are colouring the hair in the curly hair world and bleaching doesn't really work, So, uh, good colourists will have to know how to lighten hair without bleach or just, just use mildest strength.


And also, the products are better today.


Other than that, I would say it's all about, just people are embracing curly hairs. Just go with it. And sexy is messy, you know.


Tamara: Yes. 


Stephanie: I love 


Jonathan Torch: Sexy is messy. let's 


Stephanie: to be our episode title.


Tamara: Yes, it is.


Jonathan Torch: That's sexy is messy. 


Stephanie: Yeah. Yeah. That's great.


Tamara: Love that.


Stephanie: So we're gonna move on to a little something we like to do to wrap up, which is kind of a lightning round or a curl next door curl quiz. We haven't quite come up with the moniker yet, but we're gonna ask you, we'd like to ask you five questions. Just say the first thing that comes to mind and keep it fast.


Tamara: Try 


Jonathan Torch: That's a trouble, it's a trouble that I have.


Tamara: Okay, here we go. Who is your favorite curly-haired, celebrity or person of influence?


Jonathan Torch: Well, you know, Sarah Jessica Parker had the best curls. I 


Stephanie: Yeah,


Jonathan Torch: you know? But, uh, that's my quick


Tamara: Okay.


Stephanie: good one. Okay, so related. Who famous or otherwise would be your dream client? Whose hair would you love to do?


Tamara: Just say it's TIFF season, everyone's coming up from L.A. And the phone rings like, whose agent or assistant do you want it to be? Saying? Can they come in and sit in your chair? 


Jonathan Torch: Love get my hands on Rihanna or something like that. You know, I'd love to show them what their hair could do. That's my dream is cause everybody hides behind their wigs and they, they're so afraid to show, expose their own hair. I know she's got amazing hair underneath those wigs. 


Tamara: Yeah, I totally get that. And I think Rihanna's a great, a great answer


Jonathan Torch: Yeah.


Tamara: So Jonathan, if someone with curly hair was going to be stuck on a desert island, what's the one hair product that you would hope they had with them? One 


Jonathan Torch: you gotta, you gotta have Curl Keeper, you have to have Curl Keeper, you have Curl Keeper, you don't need anything else. Everything that I have is all about cocktailing it with the Curl Keeper.


Tamara: Mm-hmm.


Jonathan Torch: the's the heart, and then you can add other things to it. But the works every time, all the time on every scenario. 


Stephanie: Yep. 


Tamara: Fair. Fair.


Jonathan Torch: that.


Stephanie: I love it. No, I love it. I love it. Okay. Philosophically curly bangs. Yes. No. Or maybe


Jonathan Torch: You know what? Bangs are very sexy. They're great. But now we are calling them face framing and we are calling them curtain bangs, but they are sexy.


They always have been, but they are high maintenance and they're gonna work and then one day they're not. And if you cut them yourself, you're gonna be very upset. So, uh,


Tamara: Live through that during the


Stephanie: Yeah.


Jonathan Torch: That's, that's right. That's right. That's like, oh my God, what was I thinking? You know, 




Tamara: up here.


Stephanie: or like, yeah, it was more 


like off. 


Tamara: the other half.


Jonathan Torch: you know what, when do I cut it? And then sometimes I look at the client and go, were you in a temper when you cut them ? 


Stephanie: I think that was Tamara like month 20 of the pandemic 


Jonathan Torch: That's right. You know, you were pissed off when you cut them.


Tamara: Well, I agree with you. I agree with you that there's a specific learning curve. You can learn your whole life to how to style your curly hair, but then you have to learn how to deal with bangs and how 


to, if you're trimming them 


I'll watch your tutorial as well, because I'm, it's a learning curve. I'm still learning, but also like, I don't, I try and do it myself in between haircuts. 


Okay, last one, your top advice for when a curly-haired person is having a bad hair day, what should they do?


Jonathan Torch: Okay, well, you know what, if you use Curl Keeper, then it's all about refreshing how to refresh, how to get day two or day three hair great. And it was all about do you need the roots? Because sometimes it's about the volume at the roots. Sometimes it's about the frizz from roots to end. So bad head days, palm might go, especially right now that indoor heating is, is happening and just the moisture is being stuck down.


But learn how to reactivate your Curl Keeper. Learn how to refresh your style because what you can learn is that day two is better than day one. Day three is better than day two. 


Tamara: Everybody says like day one, it looks the best, but you're saying it can be


better on day 


Jonathan Torch: Day, day, day one is almost too perfect. You need it to move. You need some movement to separate, to get the tools to find the groove. Then day two is like, okay, now you gotta work the roots. Get a little bit more volume, control some of the frizz, maybe add a little more, maybe spread some refresh, maybe play with it a little bit.


But at the end of the day, you're gonna realize you had a great hair day. Day three, your hair looking even better. Might look like the feeling, but you like the look. Day four, you hate the feeling, but you love the look. Day five, you wear it in the ponytail. Day six, you can wash it again.


Stephanie: Oh my goodness.


Tamara: I love this


Stephanie: I love


Jonathan Torch: It's, It's, learning how to refresh your hair, learning how to reactivate it. 


Tamara: Wow. You've given us so much to think about and so many good, so many good nuggets of wisdom, Jonathan. And so nice to meet you


Jonathan Torch: it's so lovely 


meeting you girls, and I would love to do this again and again and again. Just 


Tamara: Yes. I think we could, I think you could. I think we could talk with you for hours and


Stephanie: I agree so much to say.


Jonathan Torch: it is fun. 


Stephanie: Thanks again.


This has been 


Jonathan Torch: It's such a 


Stephanie: So lovely 


Jonathan Torch: you 


Stephanie: Wow. Jonathan Torch, that was such a great interview. I hope you learned some great tips and techniques and also got a little bit of hair history through this conversation.


Tamara: I'm pretty sure now thinking about it, that when he had that blurb written up in Toronto Life, I'm pretty sure I was like, 16 years old or 17 years old, and I went to that salon and he cut my hair.


Stephanie: Yeah, you, you may have.


You may have, 


Tamara: because I pour, I, I poured over Toronto life for whatever reason then.


Stephanie: Yeah. As did my mother, even though we were living in Ottawa, she used to have a subscription. I wouldn't be surprised if that's how she heard about the product.


All of a sudden the Curl Keeper product was in our life. So somehow she found it, found a source for it. I don't, I'll have to ask 


Tamara: Yeah, ask her. But love chatting with him. What a fun guy. And so interesting his take that, when he started out, people really wanted to reduce the bulk of their, like the bulkiness and the, the width and the size of their hair. And now I think people are embracing this whole like big and volume.


They just, they want defined curls most of the time. So people are trying to eliminate frizz where they can. But big is beautiful.


Stephanie: Yeah, and I should have asked him. You still want shape, but I guess there's less fear about trying to control the animal, as my husband calls it, let the animal do its thing, and you still want some sort of shape and structure, but it's okay if it's big, is kind of his point. You're not trying to hide the curl, whereas in the past you try to hide the curl




Tamara: Yeah. Or just have it be like, I think in the time of, as he said, in the time of Friends, it was like we didn't wanna be so puffy.


Stephanie: Yeah. Oh yeah, totally. 


It's such a great reference.


Tamara: great. You know, I love, you know, talking to experts on the podcast and it, brings a whole n you know, lens to just what we experience and, and then the CND's and the stories we look at and the stories we tell. So


Stephanie: Absolutely.


Tamara: Hope you enjoyed it. We'll see you next time.

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