The Story Behind GinaCurl

How and why did Gina Rivera, a white woman, create the next-generation treatment that makes healthy the new normal for clients with tightly curled coiled hair?

It started with an early admiration for curly hair.

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While attending a technical high school, Gina was leaning towards fashion design as a future career path but decided to incorporate some cosmetology courses. At first, hair styling was just okay. She found it rather boring! All the hands-on training was on type 1 hair - straight hair that tends to fall flat. It struggled to hold a style. But her attitude did a complete turnaround the day she was paired with a classmate with type 4C, tightly coiled hair. That was it - the beginning of Gina's love affair with curly and coily textures. She loved the versatility and the way hair with lots of texture could hold a shape to create beautiful styles. If not for 4C curly hair, Gina may have taken a different path.

Gina studied hard and set her sights on owning her own salon someday.

At that time, hair salons were segregated, so it was impossible for Gina to prove herself to salons that catered strictly to women of color. So after two years in the business working with hair that didn’t excite her, Gina stepped away from hairdressing and went to college to change her career path. After a year, Gina finally found a salon that would allow her to share her talent. There she was mentored and learned to perform chemical services for their tightly coiled clients. She attended Black Hair Shows even though she was the only Caucasian person attending, gaining invaluable experience. She was definitely on a mission to learn all she could. Her goal was to ultimately open her own shop, a non-segregated beauty salon. In 1985, she opened Hair's Talent in New Haven, Connecticut's first multi-ethnic hair salon with services for all hair textures, with a focus on naturally curly and tightly coiled hair types.

Queen of the Jheri Curl

Gina became known as the Hair Doctor in her community, not only for her knowledge and experience, but because she wasn't afraid to put her foot down if performing a treatment could cause breakage or damage. Gina did a lot of soft curly perms and developed a reputation as the Queen of the Jheri Curl in the 80s and 90s. Eventually Jheri Redding discontinued the original Jheri Curl perm. Unhappy with the newer curl reformer treatments that followed, Gina had to find an alternative. She didn't like the double-process perms that were on the market, or the new techniques, because they would ultimately damage the hair after a few retouches. She began experimenting, mixing and matching products and techniques to create her own blend of a curl reforming service to get the results of the Jheri Curl.

Natural hair came back in style.

By 2012, after a phase of over-treating hair followed by wigs and weaves, the natural hair movement began. Women of color were growing out their chemically processed hair and embracing their natural texture. Gina knew that women with tightly coiled hair needed a healthy hair care method that would spare their hair and save their length. This drove Gina to take her experience to the next level. She perfected her technique, now it was time to work with a chemist to formulate with her own product.

And so, GinaCurl was born.

Today, there are 2 different formulations of the GinaCurl:

GinaCurl Curl Reformer

Gina's Straight Variation

"Dear Gina, thanks for all that you do for our community. You are truly a rare beautiful diamond in the rough and if you haven't heard it enough we love and appreciate your time and dedication you have put into making this GinaCurl. It almost brings me to tears that you took the time to study our hair and mastered the art of giving us another option that makes it longer, beautiful and still with that touch of love that makes it still look natural!! You rock and honestly deserve an Oscar of the hair awards for all that you do!!! Simply Bellissimo! Thank you Gina, can't wait to meet you! From my heart directly to yours!!!"  -G. R.