We get competition advice from Carlos Cintron, NAHA winner and judge and Vice President of Education for Keratage Age-Defying Hair Care.
By Erin Gignac
We sat down with Carlos Cintron, NAHA winner and judge, to talk about next year’s competition (a competition he will be re-entering next year) and the new Keratage Enhancing Collection.
What inspired you to enter NAHA?
I felt it was important for my career. When I applied to NAHA, I hadn’t competed as a finalist since I won 2002-2003 Hairdresser of the Year at Toni&Guy. So, it had been a while since I had entered a photographic competition and I wanted to challenge myself.
Do you feel like winning the Texture Category at NAHA in 2011 was a turning point in your career?
Absolutely. That opened up a lot of doors for me, I’ll tell you that. It was the right time for me. I had a lot of opportunities with magazines—Nylon, Spanish Vogue and Numéro—and trade magazines as well, including American Salon and Beauty Launchpad.
From my experience and credentials, I was also asked by Milady to be a contributing author of the 2016 edition. I wrote the hair cutting, styling and creative development chapters and also developed advanced education and step-by-steps. When students go to school now, they’re learning haircuts that I created.
What was it like coming back as a judge for four years (2012-2015)?
It’s given me an opportunity to add quality to the actual winners. I’ve enjoyed judging. NAHA is looked upon as the Oscars of hairdressing for North America. It’s been exciting. In fact, I’m entering the competition again next year.
Very exciting! What are you most excited about or looking forward to?
I am looking forward to the excitement of collaborating with a team, make-up artist, stylist, assistants, photographer and models. Creating a concept and researching all go along with the excitement of entering NAHA.
Do you have any advice for stylists entering NAHA?
Be modest. Everyone has an equal opportunity when they enter.
Where do you see the Keratage brand going?
There are a lot of exciting things down the pipeline. We launch something new every six months. As a company—our main focus is our series of styling treatments. We’re really focusing on the regimen and getting clients to understand that using the whole series, not cherry picking, will give them favorable end results that heal their hair.
Consumers want products that are designed to solve the problem they have with their hair—they want to pick up a product knowing it’s for damaged hair or thermal protection. We offer a blow-dry treatment menu that contains a cocktail of products to repair and restore the hair.
Keratage is known for Age-Defying Hair Care. How does hair change as it ages?
Many people think hair only ages as you get older but hair ages for other reasons too—misuse of styling tools, color, bleach and hair straightener. Our main message is that hair ages for many reasons. We have a gauge on our website of what hair looks at 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 years old.
Hair is an appendage of the skin. If the skin is dry, the hair is dry. If the skin is oily, the hair is oily. If the skin is damaged, the hair may be damaged as well. Hair requires the same amount of treatment and maybe even more treatment than the skin. The sooner you start using anti-aging products for the hair, the better.
What is the new Keratage Enhancing Collection?
Our new Enhancing styling treatment is the first line and series of products designed for hair extensions and straightened hair from Brazilian and Japanese treatments. It hydrates the human hair extensions and strengthens the bonds of attachments. A lot of people with extensions are afraid that shampoos and conditioners will weaken the bonds so they slip and detach. Our treatment line actually strengthens the bonds.
What is your favorite Keratage product?
My new favorite is the Soft and Smooth Blow Dry Balm. It’s something that I’ve been working on with Research and Development. This particular product works on all hair types—from very fine to coarse, ethnic hair. It will smooth you out, give you body and shine and add a lot of natural movement to the hair.
Erin Gignac covers stories for Paramount Beauty. Follow her on Twitter and view more of her work here.