Tips and Tricks from a Master Hair Stylist ft. Pawel Jan of Architeqt Salon

I had the opportunity to meet and get styled by Pawel Jan of Architeqt Salon (North and South) today. He’s the owner and master stylist of the Philly-based salon that’s known for their balayage and dry cuts (among many other things such as Keratin treatments and extensions).

Finding a hair stylist that listens to what you want, pays attention to the details and does so in a way that’s honest while being realistic about the results is hard – but, Pawel is all of those things. He’s founded Architeqt with one main principle in mind: giving you the results that you want while keeping the integrity of your hair. A lot of stylists will promise to deliver you bleach blonde hair when you have naturally dark, coarse and hard-to-lift hair. While they may achieve the results in one session, your hair may be left dry, brittle and damaged.

Architeqt’s belief in giving you the results that you want in a way that’s safe and practical for your hair comes to life in so many ways. The experience of getting your hair done at Architeqt is all in the details. For example – while processing your hair… instead of using an overhead dryer that blasts your foils with heat (and causes unwanted damage to sections of your hair)… Pawel and his team use an infrared lamp that can precisely target sections of your hair while not over-processing the rest of your head. Instead of cutting your hair with a wet head, all of the stylists at Architeqt do a dry cut. I mean, duh – when he told me this it was as if a light bulb went off and then I started thinking, “Why does anyone ever cut hair wet?!” You wear your hair styled DRY not WET – so why not cut it how it’s going really to look.

So… It’s safe to say that this is the best cut, color and styling that I have ever had in my entire life. We went for a shorter length cut and a light blonde with a rooted shadow. This was the first time that I had ever glazed the top of my highlights a different color than the rest of my head and I absolutely love how it came out. When my hair grows out, the natural color of my roots will blend seamlessly with the rooted shadow. I think that it gives it such a beautiful, natural look.

So… I wanted to share a few of the tips and tricks that I learned while sitting in Pawel’s chair!

Tip #1: Dry Cutting

More so like… OMG-cutting – how have I never had my hair dry cut before?! When Pawel explained to me that he and all of the stylists at Architeqt only dry cut their clients it was almost a no-brainer to me.

Think about it, you wear your hair DRY not WET, so why wouldn’t your stylist cut your hair dry?! Pawel said that one of his favorite parts about doing hair is the cutting process – he’s truly an artist when it comes to giving your hair life and shape. By dry cutting he’s able to see exactly what needs to be done in order to achieve the look that you’re going for.

Another technique that he uses is that he takes his cutting shears up the length of your hair and carefully snips away any of the fly aways / split ends that may be farther up the shaft of the hair and would typically never get cut. Do you see what I mean, it’s seriously all in the details – these are things that most stylists never do!

Tip #2: Curling Techniques For The Perfect Wavy Hair

Pawel’s technique for achieving that perfect tussled look with your waves was incredible. I was seriously jaw dropped at all of the little nuances he shared with me – the guy is insanely talented.

He uses a 1 1/4 inch curling iron and doesn’t use the clamp, just wraps the hair around the wand. BUT, he starts the curls at about half way down and leaves out the last half inch or so. Depending on your hair length, this may mean that you only wrap the hair around two to three times. But, it gives you a more beachy look as opposed to a tight, ringlet style curl.

He carefully sections off the hair front to back and layer by layer. This process allows him to get super precise and choose exactly which pieces will be curled towards the face, and which pieces will be curled away from the face. He used all different directions for the curls because it gives it a more full look, and the curls don’t clump together.

Another AMAZING tip that he gave me is that you really want to TUSSLE the curls. Most people think that they shouldn’t touch their hair at all because they fear that their curls will fall out, but ACTUALLY you want to do the complete opposite. You want to fluff with your curls, mess them all around so that they intertwine with each other and support one another. That way, your hair is almost “locked” together and the curls last way longer. GENIUS.

Tip #3: Fool Proof Blowouts

You want to rough dry your hair to about 50% before you go in with a brush. This means you just want to dry your hair as you normally would with just a hair dryer. Once your hair is about half way damp you can begin working with a round brush and blowing it out.

The trick for blowouts is starting in the front – Pawel said that (just like anything else) you usually do your best work in the beginning. SO, if you’re at home and trying to give yourself a blowout… Start by blowing out the front section of your hair – if you at least have that down pat, then the rest of your hair doesn’t matter as much. It’s really the front section that gives the overall look of a blowout. He uses a round brush made out of bristles instead of those “plastic” teeth – it grabs the hair better.

Pawel said that a lot of women want to achieve that “side swept” look that’s really fluffy and flowy in the front. You can achieve this taking the front section of your hair, bringing it in-front of your face and aiming the hair dryer down while applying light pressure. If you dry all of the hair down and in the front, it lifts the root of your hair which gives you that whispy, fluffy look!

Tip #4: Wanna Go Brunette to Blonde? Have Patience!

I’ve been highlighting my hair for over 5+ years – I didn’t achieve this light of blonde overnight by any means. That’s not to say that it takes five years but I wanted to give you a little context for how long my hair journey has been.

Pawel and I talked about how both clients and stylists need to have realistic expectations for what can be achieved in one session. It’s not to say that you can’t have your dream hair. But it’s more about protecting your hairs integrity so you can enjoy those luscious bright, blonde locks for years to come (if you so choose).

All of Pawel and Architeqt’s new clients get consultations before the hair transformation begins. This is so that your stylist gets a chance to see your hair in person, and can use their judgement to give you realistic expectations for what can be achieved in one session and what may take another one or two appointments. BUT, this is the absolute best way to go about transitioning to blonde. You want to go slow and keep your hair healthy on the road to going blonde!

For all of my Philly babes – check out Pawel and Architeqt Salon. He has locations in Fairmount and Washington Square West. You can book an appointment online here or call the salon at 215-567-5005!

If you have any other questions for him or have a specific styling / coloring / cutting related questions you can message him on Instagram (@paweljanhair) or ask me and I will ask 🙂

Hope that you all have a great start to your week!


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