The Inside Scoop On Kára McCullough‘s Curls On The Night She Was Crowned Miss USA 2017

Kara McCullough

The 2017 Miss USA Pageant was on Sunday and Kara McCullough, a chemist working for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission from the District of Columbia was the big winner.

Along with talking about how she answered her political questions a lot of the conversation about Kara’s win had to do with her hair. Yesterday we received the inside scoop on just how Kara styled her hair and what products she used.

With CHI as the official haircare sponsor for the 2017 Miss USA Pageant, Farouk Systems Global Artist Albert Luiz was responsible for creating Kára McCullough‘s crowning look. Highlighting and amplifying her natural hair texture, Albert shares his step by steps tips and the key CHI products used on her hair.

Kara McCullough

Products used:

Step by Step:
According to Farouk Systems Global Artist, Albert Luiz, “The new Miss USA came to Las Vegas with a plan!

She wanted to win under her terms by staying true to herself and her natural hair texture! Before the pageant, we introduced her to the CHI Deep Brilliance Olive & Monoi Oil Optimum Moisture Line to help enhance her natural curl.

Kára soon realized it was the perfect type of protection and moisture for her natural curls.”

Kara McCullough

Kára washed and conditioned her hair with CHI Deep Brilliance Olive & Monoi Oil Optimum Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner allowing her hair to air dry naturally.

According to Albert Luiz:

Step 1 – First, I backcombed her parietal area with a rattail comb and sprayed the area with CHI Magnified Volume Finishing Spray to help hold the backcombing in place. This helped to add volume while allowing her natural texture to bounce freely as she walked.

Step 2 – To enhance her natural texture, I took 1/2″ sections on the surface of the hairstyle and hairline spraying CHI Magnified Volume Finishing Spray at the base of each section.

Then laying the hair over the iron at the root area to quickly dry the spray while the hair was being held up, this created immediate volume at root area. Next, I pointed the iron in the direction I wanted the hair to go and wrapping each section around the small end of the CHI Air® Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Wand.

I then alternated the direction of each section wrapping and pointing the iron to create curls that did not look or feel “done”. This technique ensures a random curl pattern and direction as not to completely change her hair’s curl pattern and not curling every strand of hair.

It is important to note that I left most her own texture as the foundation for her finished look and only curled the surface of her hair and the hair around her front hairline.

Step 3 – After curling enough strands, I finger separated the curls and blended them with her own natural texture. To maintain the new curls’ direction and volume, additional CHI Magnified Volume Finishing Spray was used.

Step 4 – To finish her crowning look, I sprayed the CHI Miss Universe Style Illuminate Spotlight Shine Spray throughout her finished hairstyle to not only enhance her curls and texture but to add additional shine and glisten from every angle on stage.

Kara McCullough on Embracing Her Curls

Kara McCullough

Kara was interviewed by Refinery29 and shared some of the reasons she decided to embrace her natural texture.

R29: What made you decide to go against the pageant trend of smooth blowouts and embrace your natural texture?

Kára McCullough: “You answered it right there! With the paradigm shift of the competition, formerly a pageant, now a competition, we are highlighting aspects of a modern woman.

“When I choose to wear my hair natural I had a lot of support from many people, essentially, I decided to embrace what made me feel comfortable, embrace what makes me feel the best and brightest on stage. But also embrace what other people can relate to, so that typical, traditional sleek hair, big tease, not to say it’s gone out the window, but it’s transitioning a lot.”

Have you always wore your hair naturally when competing?

Kára McCullough: “Not at all, it’s a new thing — and that’s because no one looked like me on television, no one looked like me in commercials, no one looked like me on stage.

The inspiration came from hairdresser Albert Luiz and his salon in Sugarland, Texas. When I choose to wear my hair curly I was afraid. I didn’t know how people were going to accept it. If anyone was going to be receptive to it at all, but I felt like a Grecian goddess on stage!


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