Hair's Talent is a premier multi-ethnic hair salon specializing in excellent customer service and healthy hair care for all hair textures.We welcome you to visit this Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube for new videos, "Tips of the Day", and other great content!

Gina Phographed with our GINACURL Client Sabrina 

Photo credit: Charnika Webster (another GINACURL client)

Vance Allan Smith

Photo by: Charnika Webster 

            Salon Owner ~ GINA RIVERA          

Hair’s Talent is a  multi-ethnic hair salon,  was founded in 1985 by Gina Rivera, an accomplished stylist since 1976

Hair’s Talent has always been known as a multi-ethnic hair salon that specializes in healthy hair care for all hair textures- drawing a diverse clientele from all over the world. For years Gina was known as the Hair Doctor in her community. Refusing to do some styles and chemical treatments that she knew would cause damage and breakage to the hair. She lost a lot of money along the way deciding it was worth more to her to keep her reputation. Healthy Hair is What Matters.

In 1976 Gina graduated from Eli Whitney Regional Technical High School.  Her first intention was to attend the  Fashion Designing Department because at the time she had no interest in the Beauty Culture Department. She thought it would be boring, her hair and her friends hair were straight and lifeless, or the style of choice was roller setting... So old looking. It wasn’t until she attended her 6 week program in the department that she fell in love with hair. At the time blow dryers were not popular in the hair industry. Gina can even remembers her teacher Mr. Kenneth Volcano saying "I won’t be teaching how to use blow dryers because they are only a fad and will eventually go out of style." She then took an interest in textured hair, because it was so vastly different then her own. She loved that she could give their hair a new look and their hair would love her back! It was a passion right from the start. 

When Gina graduated she found jobs a shampoo set shops. Where white women would go to get their hair roller set ,teased, up do's and lots of perming. Working in these salons she found it was simply not her thing. She landed a job with Peter Luis, just when Dorothy Hamill's Famous “Wedge Haircut” was the new style.  Blow dryers  became popular and soon the Farrah Fawcett’s feathered waves revolutionized the way women styled their hair.  This is when Gina got her grove back! In 1979 Disco was hot, afros were bouncing and layer were flowing. Gina was loving life out in clubs passing out her cards, networking and building up her clientele. In 1979 she worked at Headmaster in the heart of Yale. Back when there was only 2-3 salon in a huge city.  Headmasters was a diverse salon and Gina was back to her textured hair passion . Dug Roe a David Bowie’s look-alike became her mentor. Dug’s clientele consisted of African American woman and Gina learned all she could form him. As time went on Gina became the Jerri Curl queen and built up an amazing following.  Back in the late 70’s early 80’s the hair shows were still segregated but Gina was on a mission to learn all she could and found herself being the only white female attending the Black Hair Shows. “If you want something in life you have to go for it, even if it is out of the ordinary”  

That was it, once Gina opened Hair’s Talent her business grew overnight. Known for a unique diverse hair salon catering to all ethnicity's. She had a team of stylist that had the same passion for ethnic hair and they soared. Gina has been blessed with excellent hairdressers though out the years that she had the privilege to mentor and pass on the Hair’s Talent techniques to. 



Japanese Straightening/Thermal Reconditioning

GINA's Straight Variationsm

In 1998 The Japanese Thermal Reconditioning (“TR”) became popular in the US and Gina was determined to perfect it because she knew this product and process would be a healthy alternative to the Traditional Sodium Hydroxide Relaxer. There was one problem, 80% of  Gina clientele base were woman of color and Tight Coiled Hair “TCH” and the Japanese made it very clear it was not recommend on “TCH” texture. Gina was determined that they were wrong. “Hair Is Hair “ she found the way and successfully became well known through Social Media to be the Master of  the “TR” on “TCH”.


Since 2001, Gina is one of very few stylists around the world who has

been able to master the Thermal Reconditioning technique and perform it on all hair textures, especially African American hair. Clients traveled to Hair’s Talent from as far as Greece, France, St. Croix and from around the States.  When Gina found out about the Japanese Straightening she decided if she was going to invest in this system she was going to perfect it and come up with technique so that she can perform this on her Textured hair clients even though it was not recommended. She did her research and kept running into a Japanese Straightening specialist Jason Chung and decide she had to meet him . When she met him they immediately  bonded and shared hair care knowledge. Jason drove in from NJ once a week for 6 months and worked and trained Gina. Gina was then the first in Connecticut to offer the Japanese Straightening servicing clients from around the globe. Gina also trained many stylists and which has build her reputation as a Japanese Straightening specialist servicing all hair textures. 

At the time the Japanese Straightening was only serviced in Asian salons. As time went on American companies got wind of this amazing technique and came up with their own Japanese Straightening. The problem was that these companies did not train their educators properly, so intern they did not train their stylists properly and the Japanese Straightening did not move on as successful technique like it could have. Keratin soon became a hit in the market because it was much easier to learn and service. 


When Jerri Redding discontinued the original  Jerri Curl and Wave Nouveau and the Carefree became popular. Gina opted to not service these new curls techniques because she knew they would eventually damage her client's hair.  So she formulated the GINACURL, unlike the others, her's was only one chemical process, adding  different additives from different companies to make it similar to the original Jerri Curl. This special curl was similar in a way to the others  in only one similarity, the chemical is applied to the perm rod not allowing to protect the ends. So clients will not be able to retain their length. The ends get permed over and over and eventually the hair will become over processed.


With the recent release of Chris Rocks film, 'Good Hair', and Rocks appearance on Oprah, a great deal of attention is being given to the topic of African-American hair and the natural movement.  Gina feels it's a perfect time to make the African-American public know that's a healthier alternative to all the other expensive, damaging treatments blacks are accustomed to.  Gina Had to explain to clients that were coming in for the Original GINACURL that after the third process you may lose your length. Gina again decided the health of the clients hair was to important to make a quick dollar on the client so she refused to service it to her long hair clients. That’s when Gina put her thoughts together and came up with The New and Improved GINACURL.

In 2012, Gina had three clients that had total faith in her and allowed her to try her new curl on them. It wasn’t until they came in for their  third GINACURL when there was no breakage or weakness to their hair. Gina began to advertise and spread the word. This  is like no other curl.


The makers of the Japanese Thermal products told Gina that their products were not designed for textured hair such as that of African-Americans and may not be as effective. Gina was determined to prove them wrong and she went about customizing her own technique and testing it out on her African-American clients. Most woman of color uses sodium hydroxide on their hair to get it straight.  Unfortunately this makes hair appear lifeless and it weakens the hair - giving it a tendency to break and appear damaged. 


In contrast, the Japanese Straightening/Thermal Reconditioning has successfully been proven to give clients healthy, silky hair. It takes at least 2-3 treatments before the Japanese Straightening/ Thermal Reconditioning is at its successful peak when used to grow out a relaxer that caused damaged and breakage to African-American hair. The Japanese Straightening/ Thermal Reconditioning does not cause breakage, but leaves clients with healthy and shiny hair. Clients who are not growing out a relaxer will see results immediately with the first treatment. Every African-American client who has received the the Japanese Straightening/ Thermal Reconditioning is 100% satisfied with the results, especially the non-breakage of hair and the speed at which the healthy hair grows. Gina has also had success with a separate procedure for growing out relaxed hair called the Straight Variation. This technique gives clients a more natural look for incorporating new hair growth with their treated hair. Keep in mind that there are only a handful of salons in New York and Connecticut that are dedicated to offering this treatment. The Japanese Thermal Treatment system has been widely marketed to non-African American clientele primarily for two reasons: Because the makers of the formula haven't experimented with African American hair and don't want to bother with investing marketing to this audience. And many Caucasian stylists have never touched a relaxer nor have the experience with this texture. Gina believes hair is hair, but you have to work differently with this texture, more time and attention, that's all.

The largest population that spends millions on having their hair treated with Relaxers, reverse perms, getting weaves and hair extensions/wigs. And now Gina has developed techniques to give clients, not a hairstyle, but a lifestyle change. 

"A positive energy surrounds us as stylists as well as our clients.We love what we do, and it shows in our performance." - Gina.

How-To Wash Textured Hair

Client Review: Hey Gina! Its Cecelia, I came in last month to get a GINACURL. Just wanted to say, I am SO HAPPY with the results. I wanted to give it some time to play with it, see if I experienced shedding breakage etc, I literally have nothing but good things to say about it. 

Thanks again and I'll definitely be seeing you again for my touch-up!

Ceclia (Atlanta, GA)

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30 Main St East Haven CT United States 06512 Second Floor

(203) 466-1246

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