Search Results: Ayeshah Plummer

Protective Styles for Essence Fest 2024: 30 Hairstyles to Beat the Louisiana Heat

It’s time to shine at Essence Fest, and NaturallyCurly has got you covered to be a flawless gem. No need to look elsewhere—protect and nourish your strands from the sweltering Louisiana heat with these 30 hairstyles. From bantu knots to abstract cornrows, we’ve crafted each look unique to your experience during culture’s biggest weekend.

1.

Image Source: @jordynlucas_

Boho baddie! Boho knotless braids are the perfect, timeless, natural protective style to encapsulate the audience at Essence Fest. The wavy human hair strands look like an effortless beachy vibe. 

2.

Protective Styles for Essence Fest 2024: 30 Hairstyles to Beat the Louisiana Heat
Image Source: @holyhippy

The satin scarf and box braids combo is a game-changer for those with a busy schedule. This easy-to-achieve look showcases your DIY styling skills and ensures your hair is protected all day and night, keeping you confidently in the fashion-forward lane. 

3.

Protective Styles for Essence Fest 2024: 30 Hairstyles to Beat the Louisiana Heat
Image Source: @subanbrn

A classic bun and curly bang hairdo work perfectly with the right accessories. For an elegant look, style this simple do with stud earrings. 

4.

Video Source: @tookiedidit

Let’s hear it for the bald-braided gang!! The bald-braided trend is a testament to the limitless creativity in the world of hair. This vibrant and innovative style, with its crocheted colored braided hair pieces, is a fun and adventurous choice for Essence Fest, inspiring you to embrace your wild side.

5.

Image Source: @morgane_moerens

Look like a queen in Fulani braids. The half-up design cornrows and half-down box braids compliment any occasion. Add beads and human hair pieces for a tousled hair vibe. 

6.

Video Source: @ceasstyling

These Jumbo 90-esque Fulani braids are simplistic yet stylish. The linear designs and oversized plaits are perfect for maintaining your tresses for Essence Fest. Throw some gold bamboo earrings to cosplay Janet Jackson during her well-awaited performance.

7.

Video Source: @aminamarie

Save money on your hairstyle with the beauty hack! Natural hair creator Amina Marie perfected these criss-cross cornrows. The artistic zig-zag design gives the style life while saving your coins. Use lightweight products to avoid product buildup and a suffocated scalp during the humidity in NOLA. 

8.

Image Source: @mariadudaaaa0

Blond baddies unite! Spice up your do with these waterfall icy blonde braids. These braids are perfect for girlies who want to switch up their hair while negating bleach. Wear this look in a bun for a flirty, fun moment. 

9.

Protective Styles for Essence Fest 2024: 30 Hairstyles to Beat the Louisiana Heat
Image Source: @shanayawilliamss

Caramel jumbo knotless braids bring out your complexion during the heat. This simple hairstyle is a great timesaving protective style, and the chocolate undertones are inclusive for all braid wearers.

10.

Video Source: @mk.lille

Straight-back braids and beads—a classic, jaw-dropping style. These shoulder-length, beaded plaits frame the face and eliminate being overheated during the festival. Give your best Alicia Keys impersonation with this cultural style.

11.

Video Source: @neyhairs_

Take over the ’99s and ’00s with this nostalgic do! This twisted bun style gives the appearance of a Y2K goddess mixed with Afrofuturistic vibes with its thematic coiled two-strand twists. Eat the festival-goers up with this hair moment.

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Protective Styles for Essence Fest 2024: 30 Hairstyles to Beat the Louisiana Heat
Image Source: @jordanamy.jpg 

Abstract braids are winning. The technique behind these sculpted braids should be captured in an exhibit. Pose in the Superdome with these artistic braids.

13.

Protective Styles for Essence Fest 2024: 30 Hairstyles to Beat the Louisiana Heat
Image Source: @keeahwah

Mini waterfall braids are an ode to the mid-aughts. The middle part, half-up, half-down, gives a pretty, girl-next-door look. Wear this look with a simple mini dress and kitten heels.

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Image Source: @_.hairbytinelle

Textured, faux locs are never going out of style. The tail-length protective style drives versatility and spunk to any ensemble. Put this do in a high bun for the hotter festival days.

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Protective Styles for Essence Fest 2024: 30 Hairstyles to Beat the Louisiana Heat
Image Source: @feistybadazz

Look like an alien superstar with these hazel brown space bun locs. Natural hair creator Tatyana Vazquez captioned this look as “Princess Slei-a” channeling her inner intergalactic hair moment with this innovative style.

16.

Protective Styles for Essence Fest 2024: 30 Hairstyles to Beat the Louisiana Heat
Image Source: @bonitarebel

Look loc’d and loaded with these faux waterfall locs. Bring out your inner goddess with these voluminous locs. Pair with a lightweight day dress for a fresh look.

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Image Source: @stinastyledit

Barrel locs are the new wave for faux loc lovers. This effortless and delicate style is efficient during the humid New Orleans weather.

18.

Video Source: @michixo__

Curly girls unite! Rock this coquette hairdo to showcase your inner divine energy. The posh and feminine style is versatile during the day and night. Pack a few bows to fuel your modest vibe.

19.

Protective Styles for Essence Fest 2024: 30 Hairstyles to Beat the Louisiana Heat
Image Source: @aureefabienne

Be confidently chic with this sleek braided do. This simple style is budget-friendly and manageable. Apply a light gel or edge control to slick your strands while feeding in human hair extensions. Accessorize this look with some dainty earrings to accentuate this look.

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Image Source: @teerachelle_

Treat your hair with some TLC with these mini twists. This protective style is tension-free and cost-effective, perfect for exploring the city. After a few days, take the style down for a juicy twist-out.

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Protective Styles for Essence Fest 2024: 30 Hairstyles to Beat the Louisiana Heat
Image Source: @adannamadueke

Easy, breezy, beautiful, coily girl. With its relaxed but secured design, this soft, two-part stitch cornrow style is perfect for coiler textures. Use whimsical adornments to decorate this look. 

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Image Source: @curlybeviie

It’s giving Goldy locs realness. Be the star at Essence Festival with these bleach-blonde boho twists. 

23.

Protective Styles for Essence Fest 2024: 30 Hairstyles to Beat the Louisiana Heat
Image Source: @kolapostudios

Bantu knots are classic and never out of style. The cultural twists hairdo complete any look. For finer hair types, add extensions for a fuller look.

24.

Protective Styles for Essence Fest 2024: 30 Hairstyles to Beat the Louisiana Heat
Image Source: @himenatural

This hairstyle is giving royalty. Add braided pieces around each knot to give your bantu knots more uniqueness. 

25.

Image Source: @gezellerenee

To complete this look, you only need five items: your beautiful mane, a fine toothcomb, a pick, and two hair ties. Rock your afro puffs for a regal look.

26.

Image Source: @africanjawn

For the loc girls, wrap your medium-length tresses in a high pony with gold decorations. Channel your inner goddess with this low-maintenance style.

27.

Protective Styles for Essence Fest 2024: 30 Hairstyles to Beat the Louisiana Heat
Image Source: @deeds.studio

The bigger the hair, the more they stare! Tems wore this half-plaited and half-down curly hairstyle during her album release party. This look is perfect for celebrating any occasion, especially our R&B divas at Essence Fest.

28.

Protective Styles for Essence Fest 2024: 30 Hairstyles to Beat the Louisiana Heat
Image Source: @anima.agyeman

No faking the volume with the faux-hawk! Turn heads with this nostalgic and effective do. Secure your coils with several bobby pins on each side. Then, pick your hair for a fuller look. 

29.

Protective Styles for Essence Fest 2024: 30 Hairstyles to Beat the Louisiana Heat
Image Source: @youxvanese

These zig-zag cornrows give video vixen vibes. This is the era of Y2K, and these braids seal the deal. Style this look with silver hoop earrings and frameless shades to spark your inner glam. 

Protective Styles for Essence Fest 2024: 30 Hairstyles to Beat the Louisiana Heat
Image Source: @theestallion

Foxy vibes all summer. To rock a curly do while preserving your curls, opt for a curly wig or clip-ins like Megan Thee Stallion. 

Collaborate with your girls while searching for your following Essence Festival style. Be sure each hair moment ignites your alter ego during culture’s biggest night. 

The ESSENCE Festival of Culture™ presented by Coca-Cola® will take place July 4-7. For more information and updates on the festival, visit our website and follow us on social media @ESSENCEFest on XFacebook, and Instagram.
2024 Essence Festival Performer Janet Jackson Continues to Revolutionize Pop Culture With These Head-Turning Hair Styles

Janet Jackson solidified her stance in superstardom at a young age. Now, the mega-mogul, mother, and one of our generation’s most talented pop stars will hit the Essence Festival stage for its 30th anniversary. The Jackson family royalty and award-winning songstress started her career as “Penny” from Good Times, then shifted her focus to making chart-topping hits, touring the world, and perfecting her craft on the big screen. Jackson also entered the fashion and beauty world by unofficially trademarking trendy hairstyles like box braids and feathered extensions.

NaturallyCurly crafted 26 hair styles that made Janet Jackson shift pop culture.

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2024 Essence Festival Performer Janet Jackson Continues to Revolutionize Pop Culture With These Head-Turning Hair Styles
Janet Jackson poses during a publicity photo shoot at brother Jackie Jackson’s home on August 17, 1978 in Westlake Village, California. (Photo by Gregg Cobarr/WireImage)
Image Source: @gettyimages

Janet’s radiant smile is a testament to her timeless charm, accentuated by her iconic slick-back, middle-part ponytail, a trendsetting style that emerged in the 1970s. Her meticulous attention to detail is evident in the delicate swoop of her baby hair. This unique touch added a distinct flair to her look, reflecting the era’s fashion trends.

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2024 Essence Festival Performer Janet Jackson Continues to Revolutionize Pop Culture With These Head-Turning Hair Styles
Janet Jackson “Control” Tour in New York City, New York (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
Image Source: @gettyimages

Janet’s chameleon-like ability to transform her look is a key element of her “Control Tour.” She mesmerizes the audience with her performance and crimped half-up, half-down style, a look as iconic as her music. Side bangs added a touch of femininity, making it a memorable moment that showcased the intersection of her music and fashion.

3.

2024 Essence Festival Performer Janet Jackson Continues to Revolutionize Pop Culture With These Head-Turning Hair Styles
Janet Jackson rehearsal at nsg event (Photo by Mychal Watts/WireImage)
Image Source: @gettyimages

Jackson looks so fresh and feminine in her medium-length pressed do. The style is completed with choppy bangs secured by a butterfly clip—giving 90s realness.

4.

2024 Essence Festival Performer Janet Jackson Continues to Revolutionize Pop Culture With These Head-Turning Hair Styles
Janet Jackson at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
Image Source: @gettyimages

Call Kendrick because Miss Poetic Justice just came through in this angelic ensemble. This look at the 35th Annual GRAMMY Awards solidified her crown as the box braid queen.

5.

2024 Essence Festival Performer Janet Jackson Continues to Revolutionize Pop Culture With These Head-Turning Hair Styles
Janet Jackson during The 12th Annual MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
Image Source: @gettyimages

Janet’s appearance at the 12th Annual MTV Video Music Awards was a true showstopper. Her featured pixie cut turned heads and inspired stars like Teyana Taylor to pay homage by replicating this simplistic yet impactful look. This look was a clear testament to the influence of her fashion choices, sparking trends and setting the stage for future styles in the industry.

6.

2024 Essence Festival Performer Janet Jackson Continues to Revolutionize Pop Culture With These Head-Turning Hair Styles
Janet Jackson during 51st Annual Golden Globe Awards at Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, United States. (Photo by Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
Image Source: @gettyimages

Goldilocks at the Golden Globes! Janet gleams in her golden brown wavy hair. The singer’s look was taken during her self-titled album, which gives a huge nod to her neo-soul era.

7.

2024 Essence Festival Performer Janet Jackson Continues to Revolutionize Pop Culture With These Head-Turning Hair Styles
Janet Jackson and MC Lyte (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
Image Source: @gettyimages

Janet struts in her golden brown, half-up, half-down do while celebrating her sold-out tour and selling 10 million copies of her album. Though she made history, the mega-star keeps it down to earth.

8.

2024 Essence Festival Performer Janet Jackson Continues to Revolutionize Pop Culture With These Head-Turning Hair Styles
Janet Jackson during 66th Annual Academy Awards at Dorothy Chandler Pavillion in Los Angeles, CA, United States. (Photo by Barry King/WireImage)
Image Source: @gettyimages

We’re blown away with this blowout. The songstress looks striking at the 66th annual Academy Awards.

9.

2024 Essence Festival Performer Janet Jackson Continues to Revolutionize Pop Culture With These Head-Turning Hair Styles
(NO TABLOIDS) Janet Jackson during “Velvet Rope” signing at Virgin Megastore at the Virgin Megastore in New York City, New York. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
Image Source: @gettyimages

A top ten favorite from Ms. Janet! Janet rocked this abstract red protective style—giving afro-futuristic vibes.

10.

2024 Essence Festival Performer Janet Jackson Continues to Revolutionize Pop Culture With These Head-Turning Hair Styles
Image Source: @janetjackson

She gave 70s glam during her Damita Jo era! Her voluminous pressed strands looked effortless during the release of her highly anticipated pop album.

11.

2024 Essence Festival Performer Janet Jackson Continues to Revolutionize Pop Culture With These Head-Turning Hair Styles
Image Source:@x.janetjackson 

Janet exudes elegance in her pin-up box braids at the 1999 Vanity Fair Oscar Party.

12.

2024 Essence Festival Performer Janet Jackson Continues to Revolutionize Pop Culture With These Head-Turning Hair Styles
Image Source:@x.janetjackson 

Ms. Jackson’s fashion-forward pixie cut looks elegant during her 2011 appearance at the amfAR Gala. The subtle shaved side and dashing mohawk accentuate her bone structure and the mid-aughts vibe.

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2024 Essence Festival Performer Janet Jackson Continues to Revolutionize Pop Culture With These Head-Turning Hair Styles
Janet Jackson (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
Image Source: @gettyimages

Jackson smiles for the camera in a top knot bun with burgundy fringe bangs at the “America’s Promise” organization.

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2024 Essence Festival Performer Janet Jackson Continues to Revolutionize Pop Culture With These Head-Turning Hair Styles
Janet Jackson during 6th Annual BET Awards – Show at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA, United States. (Photo by M. Caulfield/WireImage)
Image Source: @gettyimages

This is another iconic moment for the songstress during the BET Awards. Janet strutted in a white dress while rocking tousled wavy extensions.

15.

2024 Essence Festival Performer Janet Jackson Continues to Revolutionize Pop Culture With These Head-Turning Hair Styles
HOLLYWOOD – APRIL 26: Singer Janet Jackson at the 19th Annual GLAAD Media Awards on April 25, 2008 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Caulfield/WireImage)
Image Source: @gettyimages

This sleek hair look, paired with a playful, natural, textured ponytail, gave Janet’s appearance at the 19th Annual GLAAD Media Awards a messy, elegant vibe.

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2024 Essence Festival Performer Janet Jackson Continues to Revolutionize Pop Culture With These Head-Turning Hair Styles
Image Source:@90s.history 

Janet stepped out in her cherry curly mane! This voluminous, colorful do garnered much attention as the pop singer entered her vixen era. 

17.

2024 Essence Festival Performer Janet Jackson Continues to Revolutionize Pop Culture With These Head-Turning Hair Styles
Presenter Janet Jackson during The 2nd Annual BET Awards – Gallery at The Kodak Theater in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by L. Cohen/WireImage)
Image Source: @gettyimages

This mogul shined in her choppy layered look! She was all smiles during the 2nd Annual BET Awards.

18.

2024 Essence Festival Performer Janet Jackson Continues to Revolutionize Pop Culture With These Head-Turning Hair Styles
NEW YORK – OCTOBER 25: Actress/singer Janet Jackson attends the premiere of “For Colored Girls” at the Ziegfeld Theatre on October 25, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Marcel Thomas/FilmMagic)
Image Source: @gettyimages

Jackson added drama and simplicity to this short hairdo. She styled her pixie in a sleek side part while appearing at the “ For Colored Girls” premiere.

19.

2024 Essence Festival Performer Janet Jackson Continues to Revolutionize Pop Culture With These Head-Turning Hair Styles
MILAN, ITALY – FEBRUARY 22: Janet Jackson attends the Versace fashion show during Milan Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2013/14 on February 22, 2013 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Venturelli/WireImage)
Image Source: @gettyimages

Another box braid moment for the performer! Janet scooped her plaits in a high ponytail, this time at the Versace fashion show during Milan Fashion Week.

20.

2024 Essence Festival Performer Janet Jackson Continues to Revolutionize Pop Culture With These Head-Turning Hair Styles
LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 28: Honoree Janet Jackson accepts the Ultimate Icon Award onstage during the 2015 BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on June 28, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/BET/Getty Images for BET)
Image Source: @gettyimages

An icon with iconic tresses—serving beach waves onstage! Janet is stunning with her long, flowy, medium-brown extensions. She accepted her Ultimate Icon Award during the 2015 BET Awards.

21.

2024 Essence Festival Performer Janet Jackson Continues to Revolutionize Pop Culture With These Head-Turning Hair Styles
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – SEPTEMBER 26: Janet Jackson performs during the 2018 UCSF Benioff Dreamfest benefit at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on September 26, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)
Image Source: @gettyimages

Ms. Feedback ate with the long, natural high ponytail, wrapped effortlessly as the base during her performance at the 2018 UCSF Benioff Dreamfest benefit.

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2024 Essence Festival Performer Janet Jackson Continues to Revolutionize Pop Culture With These Head-Turning Hair Styles
Image Source: @janetjackson

Another abstract moment for the mega-superstar and fashion girl! Janet Jackson rocks this maximalist, upscale updo while attending the Thom Browne Womenswear Spring/Summer 2023. The hairdo has box braids, natural hair pieces, and a subtle plait wrapped at the base and elongated toward the side.

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2024 Essence Festival Performer Janet Jackson Continues to Revolutionize Pop Culture With These Head-Turning Hair Styles
Image Source: @janetjackson

Janet Jackson is an authentic glam doll at heart! During Paris Fashion Week, the songstress wore boho braids styled into pigtails and exaggerated baby hair.

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2024 Essence Festival Performer Janet Jackson Continues to Revolutionize Pop Culture With These Head-Turning Hair Styles
Image Source: @janetjackson

Jackson is giving goddess vibes with this afro-puff updo she rocked at the “Forever – Valentino” Exhibition.

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2024 Essence Festival Performer Janet Jackson Continues to Revolutionize Pop Culture With These Head-Turning Hair Styles
Image Source: @janetjackson

All we can say is..period! The singer-songwriter shines in a coily coif during her appearance at the 37th Annual Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony.

26.

2024 Essence Festival Performer Janet Jackson Continues to Revolutionize Pop Culture With These Head-Turning Hair Styles
Image Source: @janetjackson

Janet owns protective styles. At the EMERGE Fashion Show & Gala Dinner, she wore clean box braids plaited into one braid. 

With each look Janet rocks, she wears each style effortlessly but with attitude. Stay tuned for more celeb hair styling techniques connected to the Essence Festival of Culture.

The ESSENCE Festival of Culture™ presented by Coca-Cola® will take place July 4-7. For more information and updates on the festival, visit our website and follow us on social media @ESSENCEFest on X, Facebook, and Instagram.
16 Career-Defining Hair Moments For Anne Hathaway

Anne Hathaway is one of Hollywood’s leading actresses, and her movies are grossing worldwide. She cemented herself as an icon starting in Disney’s “Princess Diaries” and then getting her recognition as a fashion queen in her breaking role, “The Devil Wears Prada.” The Oscar-winning actress, Met Gala attendee, and editorial superstar is an expert at shutting down the red carpet. Her fashion moments make headlines, and she stuns the magazine covers with her rich hairstyles.

Tap into our top hair and beauty moments from this megastar. 

1.

16 Career-Defining Hair Moments For Anne Hathaway
SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 25: Anne Hathaway attends the 2024 Film Independent Spirit Awards on February 25, 2024 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Robert Smith/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Image Source: Getty Images

Andy Sachs, is that you? Hathaway returns to her Devil Wears Prada era wearing her sleek, fringe bangs at the 2024 Spirit Awards. The award-winning actress kept her signature look during her new movie, “The Idea Of You.”

2.

Image Source: @annehathaway

The actress gives “good girl energy” styling and profiling in a swift high ponytail at a Colbert Show appearance. Her minimalistic hairstyle compliments her maximalist Christopher John Rodgers two-piece outfit.

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16 Career-Defining Hair Moments For Anne Hathaway
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 01: Anne Hathaway attends The 2023 Met Gala Celebrating “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 01, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/MG23/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue)
Image Source: Getty Images

The starlet posed in a custom Versace gown, rocking a voluminous half-up and half-down do. The soft, messy waves complemented the distressed ensemble. The Met Gala queen’s 60s-esque do looked posh and polished. 

4.

16 Career-Defining Hair Moments For Anne Hathaway
PARIS, FRANCE – JANUARY 25: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY – For Non-Editorial use please seek approval from Fashion House) Anne Hathaway attends the Valentino Haute Couture Spring Summer 2023 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 25, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/WireImage)
Image Source:  Getty Images

Get it, Ms.Glow girl! Hathaway’s medium-length waves looked hot at the Valentino Haute Couture Paris Fashion Show. The fashionista’s crystalized gown shut the red carpet down, and her relaxed hairstyle mimicked Old Hollywood glamour.

5.

16 Career-Defining Hair Moments For Anne Hathaway
Image Source: @annehathaway

The star glows with her golden-blonde, long-layered bob. At a Ralph Lauren event, she paired her messy beachy curls with a two-piece suit. Take a glimpse as her hair flows while her tailored outfit charms the camera.

6.

16 Career-Defining Hair Moments For Anne Hathaway
Image Source: @annehathaway

The actress takes a selfie with her short layered blunt cut. This hairstyle frames Hathaway’s chiseled face structure while giving her a youthful look! Her healthy chocolate brown strands look effortless but yet so striking. 

7.

16 Career-Defining Hair Moments For Anne Hathaway
NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 30: Anne Hathaway seen on location for ‘Modern Love’ in Manhattan on November 30, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
Image Source: Getty Images

Jessica Rabbit, who? The “Ocean’s 8” star’s romantic red hairdo captivates true romcom fans. The IT girl gleams in her auburn chic hairstyle. The movie star was captured during her role on “Modern Love.” Ms. Hathaway loves a good switch-up!

8.

16 Career-Defining Hair Moments For Anne Hathaway
HOLLYWOOD, CA – MAY 23: Actress Anne Hathaway arrives at the Los Angeles Premiere “Alice Through The Looking Glass” at the El Capitan Theatre on May 23, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
Image Source: Getty Images

Princess Diaries or Princess Balayage? The actress stepped out in a long, warm, brown blunt bob while her subtle blonde hair peeked throughout her hair. The colored do was styled in a side part with soft waves for her Los Angeles premiere for “Alice Through The Looking Glass.” The star-studded event did not stop Hathaway from shining in her new boss girl do.

9.

16 Career-Defining Hair Moments For Anne Hathaway
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – JANUARY 06: Anne Hathaway attends the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 6, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
Image Source: Getty Images

This hairstyle gave three words—classic, simple, and chic. The beauty smiles in her sleek, pressed look at the 76th Annual Golden Globes. The star’s style gives buss down, middle part realness. Hathaway is a chameleon when it comes to a Hollywood event.

10.

16 Career-Defining Hair Moments For Anne Hathaway
NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 08: Anne Hathaway attends the Broadway Opening Night performance of “Sea Wall / A Life” at the Hudson Theatre on August 08, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/WireImage,)
Image Source: Getty Images

She’s a Mutha! Magenta suits Hathaway as she poses in a split bang, long-layered haircut. The then-mommy-to-be glowed during her appearance at the Broadway opening night performance of “Sea Wall / A Life.” Her natural brown color was complimented by caramel lowlights.

11.

16 Career-Defining Hair Moments For Anne Hathaway
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA – FEBRUARY 27: Actress Anne Hathaway arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party at Sunset Tower on February 27, 2011 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
Image Source: Getty Images

During the Vanity Fair Oscar Party, the movie megastar shined in her tousled, light brown highlights. The actress looked like a rockstar with her flowy and frilled hair.

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16 Career-Defining Hair Moments For Anne Hathaway
NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 20: Actress Anne Hathaway attends the premiere of the Film Arcade & Cinedigm’s “Song One” hosted by the Cinema Society & Tod’s at Landmark’s Sunshine Cinema on January 20, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
Image Source: Getty Images

Ms. Bobiana! The star looks striking in her 90s-angled bob at the premiere of the Film Arcade & Cinedigm’s “Song One.” The dark, dimensional haircut contrasted with her white oversized ensemble, adding mystery and simplicity to the overall look.

13.

16 Career-Defining Hair Moments For Anne Hathaway
NEW YORK, NY – MAY 06: Anne Hathaway attends the Costume Institute Gala for the “PUNK: Chaos to Couture” exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Karwai Tang/FilmMagic)
Image Source: Getty Images

Hi Barbie! Hathaway struts on the red carpet for the Costume Institute Gala for the “PUNK: Chaos to Couture at the Met. The starlet shined with a bleach-blonde pin-up do. 

14.

16 Career-Defining Hair Moments For Anne Hathaway
MIAMI BEACH, FL – MARCH 21: Anne Hathaway attends the ‘Rio 2’ Premiere at Fontainebleau Miami Beach on March 21, 2014 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)
Image Source: Getty Images

The Les Misérables star made a colorful appearance rocking her side-swept pixie cut at the ‘Rio 2’ Premiere in Miami Beach. Hathaway’s simple cut overstepped her lively gown.

15.

16 Career-Defining Hair Moments For Anne Hathaway
LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 04: Actress Anne Hathaway arrives for the Premiere Of Neon’s “Colossal” held at the Vista Theatre on April 4, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
Image Source: Getty Images

Since her Mia Thermopolis days, the esteemed actress stepped out in her natural curls at Neon’s “Colossal” premiere. Hathaway’s luscious and bouncy hair was accompanied by some caramel lowlights.

16.

16 Career-Defining Hair Moments For Anne Hathaway
Anne Hathaway during The All-Star Stephen Sondheim 75th Birthday Celebration Children and Art at Four Seasons Restaurant in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Lawrence Lucier/FilmMagic)
Image Source: Getty Images

An icon is born! Hathaway’s tightly curled hair from the early aughts screams a redefined Y2K hair moment. This girl-next-door style is a prom hair meet date night look. 

The movie star’s early celebrity sightings can be recycled and reimagined throughout numerous editorial campaigns. Throughout the years, Hathaway’s hair has matched her star quality and talent.

Does Anne Hathaway’s hairstyle make you wanna run to the salon? Check out these 15 Trendy Haircuts for Fine Hair to inspire your next look!

How I Create My SpringTime Twist-Outs

When it comes to my coils, I have to maintain their silkiness using different hair techniques. However, as I entered my twentysomethings, I noticed that my strands had become overwhelmed with heavier products. I’ve learned the key to a lasting style is utilizing lightweight products or not being heavy-handed when applying stylers. Yes, I had my fair share of slabbing curl creams in on my coils, but I noticed my hair felt exhausted and suffocated with the mixture of essential oils, which resulted in product buildup. 

During the warmer months, I challenged myself to insert minimalism into my hair care routine. Though I’m still considered a “baby” product junkie, my fix resulted in my rehabilitation to negate overconsuming unnecessary hair trends. I opted to evolve my hair care routine, hoping to receive great results. 

I’m in dire need of a trim; I wanted to minimize using excessive heat. Since my Black girl card got revoked for being a non-braider, I had to supplement my abilities by flat-twisting my hair. This go-to natural style is effortless and long-lasting, depending on the technique.

The key to receiving a free-flowing, flat twist-out, especially during the hotter months, is to use breathable and functional products. I wanted to make sure the consistency of my hairstylers was slimy and gel-like but still made my hair soft and smooth—meaning the Chicago wind and my tresses moved in unison. 

I crafted a guide with NaturallyCurly to help you find the best twist-outs during springtime.

The Prep

How I Create My SpringTime Twist-Outs

A little under a week ago, I used the Olaplex No.3 treatment. Then shampooed and conditioned my hair with Olaplex No.4 and No. 5 to cleanse and soften my strands. Afterwards, I wand curled my hair but after a few days, the curls flopped. 

How I Create My SpringTime Twist-Outs

I usually do my twist-outs on fresh blowouts; however, I opted to style my hair in an older do since I only used Aunt Jackie’s Oh So Strong Biotin & Honey Moisturizer. Though the product is for protective styles, I wanted a lighter leave-in conditioner.

The Process

How I Create My SpringTime Twist-Outs

To start, I refreshed my hair with Aunt Jackie’s Biotin and Honey Moisturizer to untangle any knots since it was slightly dry. Then, I parted my hair down the middle and sectioned my fro into two equal pigtails. I started on the right side of my hair, parted off a medium-sized piece, and clipped the rest. 

How I Create My SpringTime Twist-Outs

Before I flat-twisted my hair, I grabbed the Curls Blueberry Bliss Super Rich Moisture Fix and poured a dime-size amount of the product on the palms of my hands. The consistency felt tacky, like Elmer’s glue, but lightweight, which my hair needed to hold. I massaged the product on my strands and brushed it for an even distribution. 

How I Create My SpringTime Twist-Outs

Afterward, I poured a pea-sized amount of the Eco Style Koily Moisturize Smoothing Butter and repeated the same routine as the previous product. Though it wasn’t sticky, the lightweight formulation made my hair soft and easy to brush. Lastly, I scooped a finger full of the Blueberry Bliss Extended Hold Gel to lock in the moisture and define my twists. The product had a great slip and a jelly-like texture. 

How I Create My SpringTime Twist-Outs

After smoothing the gel on my parted hair, I grabbed two strands at the base and twisted the pieces clockwise while feeding in more strands.

How I Create My SpringTime Twist-Outs

After the feed-in process, I twisted and rotated the hair so it wouldn’t unravel. I ended up with ten imperfect twists. I recommend sleeping in the twists overnight or until dry. 

The Take Down

How I Create My SpringTime Twist-Outs

I scrunched my twists to ensure they were dry, then used the Eco Style Koily Shine Hyper Gloss Serum to unweave the style, making sure my ends lacked frizz. The serum is extremely lightweight, but use it with caution because it’s easy to oversaturate the hair with this thinner oil. Each twist came out defined but movable, proving my new regimen worked. 

How To Upkeep

How I Create My SpringTime Twist-Outs

Sadly, I don’t pineapple my hair anymore. I use metal clips and bobby pins to hold it at night. I clipped four clips and four large bobby pins throughout my hair. I clipped my hair at the root to avoid disrupting my curl pattern while stretching my crown for more volume. 

The Big Reveal

How I Create My SpringTime Twist-Outs

I carefully removed each clip and pin and shook my hair. Then, I parted my hair in half and used a larger hair clip to pick out my fro.

How I Create My SpringTime Twist-Outs

My hair was flowy but still defined. Though my routine mimicked a softer look, grooming my coils takes some TLC before my next style.

This guide will show you the proper way to detangle your hair to avoid tension. 

All In The Family: How Hormones Affect Your Hair Health

Black Maternal Week signifies a movement in which Black mothers acknowledge the race disparity in reproductive health. The week calls for uplifting expectant Black mothers and prioritizing resources for their well-being. Black Mama’s Alliance, along with many advocacy organizations, caters to motherhood and the dwindling mortality rate. 

Along with battling reproductive organs and hormonal changes, Black women’s hair is jeopardized during pregnancy. 

Mothers are expected to lose strands pre and postpartum—causing a decline in mental health since Black women pride themselves in their crown. 

All In The Family: How Hormones Affect Your Hair Health

Dr. Andy Goren, board-certified dermatologist, trichologist, and Chief Medical Officer at Daniel Alain, assures in recovering poor scalp health since the topic is continually overlooked in the hair care industry. Goren advocates protecting the hair follicles, especially to expectant mothers. 

The scientist shares tips for recovering hair loss and growth in honor of Black Maternal Health Week.

What To Expect (In The Scalp) When You’re Expecting

Image Source: @1riishaaa

The certified doctor says the influx of hormones causes scalp changes contingent on the stage of pregnancy, individual genetics, health status, and diet. The symptoms in the scalp vary from dryness to sebaceous but most than likely cause itchiness. Goren says the pregnancy triggers circulating and tissue hormones.

Hair, nails, and skin are connected with these hormones, and new mothers may notice an increase in hair growth in the scalp, face, and arms. However, postpartum accompanies significant hair loss called telogen effluvium—which is a dreadful transition welcoming motherhood. Goren confesses the condition is temporary, and the hair follicles will revert to normal months after delivery. 

“The mechanism of action leading to postpartum hair loss is not entirely clear; however, it is believed that the change of hormones combined with the stress of delivery results in rapid hair shedding,” he says. 

Image Source: @gettyimages

Does Race and Hair Texture Contribute As A Major Factor In Hair Loss?

Though Black women face negligence in maternal care, Goren incurs research demonstrating hair loss comparing ethnic groups during pregnancy has not been studied “in a systematic way.” However, the expert says the itchiness and dry scalp may “manifest” more in some ethnic groups than others. Also, Dr. Goren reveals pregnancy plays a significant role in the density of curly hair textures. He expresses that in certain cases, circulating hormones amplify the “curliness” in one’s textures, or some women lose the volume of their natural hair.  

Consult Your Physician Before Treating Your Scalp 

Image Source: @chriss_nichole_

Hair loss can be a major transition, but Dr. Goren suggests communicating with a professional before incorporating undiagnosed treatments to avoid complications. He says vitamins or hair growth medication should be avoided and secondary to maternal care. 

“Some hair growth drugs, such as minoxidil, can potentially affect the fetus,” he says. “Some products and drugs (such as anti-androgens) are often effective at growing hair; however, this category of products can significantly affect sexual characteristics of the developing fetus.”

Dr. Goren dismisses any treatment that enters the bloodstream but believes over-the-counter shampoos, conditioners, and moisturizers are primarily safe and provide a feel of “healthier and fuller hair.”

Image Source: @beeblondor

Like the physician, hair stylist, and Bee Blondor Studio salon owner, Brittney Aub-Constantin believes in a holistic approach to nurturing her hair after birthing two children. She confesses that, being a mother and wife, she’s sometimes unprepared but still holds it down. As her family and business grow, Aub-Constantin prepares to open a headquarters in the backyard of her newly developed home.

Before the entrepreneur dedicated her energy to motherhood, she built her empire in South Florida and exceeded her expectations as a natural hair colorist. The Jamaican-American business owner prides her mom on celebrating her thick curly hair—which shifted into catering to her coils when she was expecting. 

NaturallyCurly also spoke with Aub-Constantin on the best product recommendations for pregnancy.

All In The Family: How Hormones Affect Your Hair Health
Image Source: @jcoolitphotography

Product Recommendations

During her pregnancy, the stylist says her bleach-blonde curls became drier after her children. After 4-6 months postpartum, she says her hair starts to shed. Since Aub-Constantin focuses on colored hair, she is an avid Olaplex enthusiast. She uses their No.3 treatment to restore her hair’s moisture and follows with RedKen’s CAT protein treatment. She confesses she added rosemary to her shampoo to stimulate the scalp.

Image Source: @beeblondor

She says healthy hair and regrowth thrive from balancing protein and nourishment. Deep conditioning is vital in retaining hair strands, and the stylist suggests Biotop Professional 911 Quinoa Hair Mask. Since Aub-Constantin resides in the Miami heat, she uses Design Essentials Almond, Avocado Mousse, and BounceMe Curl Spray Gel as stylers. A budget-friendly product Aub-Constantin raves is Miss Jessie’s Leave-In Condish.  

Simplify Your Routine and Stick With It 

Aub-Constantin suggests not sleeping with wet hair and including low manipulation styles. Lastly the creative objects to oils and silicone-based products. She says oils do not penetrate or moisturize the hair contradicting the idea of hair growth. 

Hair Advice To Mommies 

Aub-Constantin reinforces taking vitamins A and D for healthy skin, hair, and nails. Additionally, stress is a common denominator in hair loss. She advises letting the body heal through every stage of motherhood. 

“You want to let your scalp breathe. You want to let your body regenerate itself because you’re in a new body now,” she says. 

Aub-Constantin presents herself as a colorist who perfects her craft. However, there are steps intended to follow before coloring your strands. This article gives you tips on prepping your hair before bleaching. 

How To Revitalize My Old Silk Press Before My Next Appointment

My natural hair journey started during my undergrad at FAMU. At first, I was ashamed that my coils didn’t blend with my extensions throughout college. I opted to wear textured extensions to avoid further heat damage but realized I neglected the hair tucked under my sew-in.

Though my relationship with my hair was toxic, it blossomed into an everlasting relationship throughout my adulthood. Now, I experiment with my coils by ensuring they’re nourished and healthy but not limiting my creativity with my hair. From flat-twists to bone-straight bobs, my hair has been through the ringer but my dedication to protecting my crown outweighs any styling extremities.  

My Inspo Before The Styling Process

My stylist, Laura Bedenfield, clips my ends every three months. However, I’m almost to the five-month mark since my last visit. Even though my ends might deserve some “dusting,” I preserve my strands with high-quality products. I was determined to make my hair look like my weekend, so I decided to revitalize my dry, curled silk press with a pressed roller set. 

My look is very multidimensional but timeless. I derive inspiration from the mid-to late-1900s to the mid-aughts. Truthfully, my vision for my mane dates back to 70s-inspired hair looks and fantasizing about being a hair model for Kim Kimble. Also, for hairstyles, I cosplay Pam Grier’s Blaxploitation films and relaxer box ads but without the chemicals. I celebrate my hair in all its forms: the good, the bad, and the glory. However, this time, my coils needed some attention and restoration before my next visit. 

Wash and Condition Process

How To Revitalize My Old Silk Press Before My Next Appointment

I sectioned my hair into three random parts and sprayed it with hot water to activate the Olaplex No.3. I rubbed a quarter-sized amount of the product in my hair and used a wide tooth to distribute the bonding treatment evenly.

How To Revitalize My Old Silk Press Before My Next Appointment
How To Revitalize My Old Silk Press Before My Next Appointment

I saturated the treatment in my hair for 30 minutes, then hopped in the shower to rinse it off. Before shampooing with the Olaplex No. 4 and Lush’s Fairly Traded Honey cleanser, I combed my hair to avoid tangles. While soaking wet, I split my fro in half and massaged the Olaplex cleanser into my scalp while combing my ends to combat breakage. I rinsed the shampoo out of my head, then lathered another layer of both products for about five minutes. 

How To Revitalize My Old Silk Press Before My Next Appointment

Afterward, I parted my hair into four even sections and distributed the Olaplex No. 5 conditioner on each part while dousing it with warm water for more slip. I then conditioned my curls for 15 minutes before rinsing out the bonding hydrator. 

How To Revitalize My Old Silk Press Before My Next Appointment

I submerged the Design Essentials Bamboo & Silk HCO Leave-In Conditioner in my hair to strengthen my strands while soaking wet. Then, I used a microfiber towel to wipe off any access water. Before parting my hair into 16 random twists, I squeezed a quarter-size amount of the Olaplex No. 6 and brushed the leave-in creme on my curls. Lastly, I sprayed the Mizani Thermasmooth Anti-Humidity Spritz to lock in any moisture and protect my hair from further heat damage. I let my hair air dry for two hours. However, I ensured my curls were damp before the blow-drying process. 

How I Style My Timeless Rollerset Look

How To Revitalize My Old Silk Press Before My Next Appointment

I clipped my hair into one bun, then unraveled and detangled each twist using the Pattern Beauty detangling brush. I set the blow dryer on high heat at low speed for a quicker process while ensuring the heat was evenly distributed. I ran the tool four times throughout each twist until my hair was dry. I opted for a slightly pressed look since I dislike bone-straight tresses. To avoid a reverted fro, I wore my blow out for a day. 

How To Revitalize My Old Silk Press Before My Next Appointment

Before clipping up my tresses, I preheated the flat iron to 400 degrees (my hair can take heat.) Using a medium-width section, I took a fine tooth comb and followed with the straightener to pass through my strands twice. 

How To Revitalize My Old Silk Press Before My Next Appointment

Once the flat iron process was done, I used 20 small to large velcro rollers. I randomly took medium-sized sections and rolled my hair clockwise. After rolling my hair, I let it set overnight. 

How To Revitalize My Old Silk Press Before My Next Appointment

The Take Down 

How To Revitalize My Old Silk Press Before My Next Appointment

Since my type 4 hair is prone to breakage, I slowly removed the rollers. If one snags, I separate my strands with the tip of my fingers. 

How To Revitalize My Old Silk Press Before My Next Appointment

After each roller is out, I comb my hair in a “feathered motion” away from my face. 

How To Revitalize My Old Silk Press Before My Next Appointment

The ability to express creativity while maintaining healthy hair is a liberating part of one’s hair journey. Though I never colored my tresses, I learned a few gems through Verna Meachum’s hair journey. 

Monique Rodriguez Talks Building Her Haircare Empire


Monique Rodriguez presents herself as a true Midwestern hair giant who transformed from being a medical professional to creating her empire, Mielle Organics. Though her background is in nursing, Rodriguez dreamt of being in the beauty industry. The Chicagoan describes her city as the “mecca of the beauty and hair industry.” Rodriguez reminisces about being raised in the city where Luster Products, SoftSheen Carson, and Johnson and Johnson products shifted the hair care market—igniting her passion to succeed in beauty. She confesses begging her mother to be featured in those hair campaigns where young girls would be plastered on relaxer boxes and billboards. Even though hair companies never featured Rodriguez, she embraced her natural beauty and became the face of her brand. 

However, she doubted a lucrative career in haircare, hence her pursuit of science. The business owner credits her nursing background with developing the formulation behind Mielle Organics. She mixed holistic ingredients like avocado, honey, and essential oils in her kitchen. Rodriguez refers to herself as a “kitchen chemist” for her research in scalp stimulation. Later, she found a chemist to extract natural ingredients since the hair shaft repels food molecules. Rodriguez believes Mielle Organics’ products are noteworthy to consumers since her credibility in healthy hair compliments her dreams of building her enterprise with accurate results. 

During Women’s History Month, Naturallycurly spoke with the self-made entrepreneur about her present and future endeavors.

Monique Rodriguez Talks Building Her Haircare Empire

Starting An Empire

NC: You created your company out of pain and purpose. Would you say Mielle Organics is your safety net? 

Monique Rodriguez: God is my safety net, first and foremost. God has redirected me to that passion I had as a child. I always [ask] people, “If you go back to your childhood, what was that thing that you did effortlessly? That’s probably what you should be doing because that’s truly what God called you to be.” God put me on a path to discover my purpose and my passion.

Discovering that passion I had as a little girl, allowed me to utilize that platform for a bigger purpose. What I do is marketplace ministry. Yes, we sell amazing hair products. More importantly, we’re a faith-based organization. We’re bringing people to God’s kingdom. I look at Mielle as something bigger than hair products. We are mission-driven. I want to inspire people to identify their purpose and be their best version. Mielle allowed me to take my mind off of what I was going through with the loss of my son—it was bigger than what I can’t even imagine.

Image Source: @mielleorganics

NC: Social media helped you showcase your products when you first started. Tell me about your relationship with social media now. How did it shape your business?

Monique Rodriguez: I have a love-hate relationship with social media because I feel like it’s taken a turn. It was a positive place to share your experiences with like-minded people. I looked at it as a place to engage with people. I built this community of women who share the same passion for hair. We became this family of just sharing ideas and tips. Before I started the brand, I took my community on the journey with me. I would go to the manufacturer, think about products, [and] how I would design the packaging. I made everyone feel inclusive.

When I launched, they supported me because they felt like they’d been a part of the journey from the beginning. I thought at that time, it was great. We were able to continue to blossom. Our community dictated how we grew in retail because our community demanded that we have more shelf space and expand retailers. That was a great part of social media that I loved. My hate part is there’s a lot of negativity. It gives people a platform to say things they wouldn’t say without your presence. There are a lot of hurt people in this world, and social media gives them a voice. I know we live in a country where it’s freedom of speech, but it’s also hurting our youth. 

NC: How does Mielle Organics stay authentic, especially to its audience? How do you stay authentic, especially in your brand and audience?

Monique Rodriguez: I stay authentic by just showing up. There’s no other way to do it. My community knows my character. They know a lot about me. There’s a way that you can maintain some privacy but be open and transparent with the community that you’re serving. I still respond to DMs. I try to respond when people comment on my photos. No matter what level I’m at, I’m not above.

We all bleed blood. We’re all equal. I always make people feel like you’re my best friend or sister. There’s no competition. I think people relate and connect with me because I’m the girl next door. I’m down-to-earth. That’s how you remain authentic. I feel like your character will always outweigh the negativity, haters, and criticism and silence all the noise

How To Move As A Businesswoman 

Monique Rodriguez Talks Building Her Haircare Empire

NC: Aside from the scrutiny you faced behind selling to Procter & Gamble, what obstacles have you faced as a Black woman entrepreneur, especially in the beauty and hair space? 

Monique Rodriguez: I would say one of the obstacles I faced as a black woman is a lack of access to capital, expertise, and mentorships. I would search outside of my culture to be inspired by other women entrepreneurs because I didn’t see anyone who looked like me. I’m adamant about making sure my voice is heard. I want to change the narrative and be an example [of how] little boys and girls can see possibilities. Kids can’t be what they don’t see. Instead of looking at things that are displayed in a negative aspect, let’s continue to show our kids something positive. So they can look at someone like me and say, “I don’t have to look outside. I had a Monique Rodriguez. I want to do what she did, and I want to do it even better.’

Monique Rodriguez Talks Building Her Haircare Empire

NC: You mentioned little boys and little girls. Your brand is named after your children. How has motherhood shaped you as a businesswoman?

Motherhood is everything. It changes the way you think, your drive, and your ambition. What I do is not for me— it’s for creating a legacy for the next generation and ensuring my kids don’t grow up the same way that I grew up and that my kids have the flexibility and the freedom to discover their passions.

It’s my job to nurture their gifts and talents and say, “Hey, do whatever you want to do. If you want to go to space, do that.”

The way I think about fulfilling your dreams, purpose, and visions— I encourage my kids to do just that. I probably wouldn’t have that same mindset if I hadn’t stepped out alone. To see what was on the other side of the process was by having faith.

Monique Rodriguez Talks Building Her Haircare Empire

NC: What are your favorite products that you invented and why?

That’s like asking me, “Who’s your favorite child? I love all the products. But the latest product innovation I love is our Rosemary Mint Scalp Scrub. You can’t have healthy hair if you don’t have a healthy scalp. This product is super innovative. It’s infused with biotin and essential oils to help scalp stimulation in the follicles and exfoliate the scalp. When you apply it, you get this squeaky clean feeling that feels amazing. When you rinse it out, it turns into a shampoo. So you don’t have to follow up and get exfoliating beads out of your hair. That’s my new favorite.

Collaborations With Idols 

Monique Rodriguez Talks Building Her Haircare Empire

NC: You became an official partner with the WNBA, Howard’s swim team, and FAMU’s cheerleading squad. Why did you intersect Mielle Organics and women’s sports?

It was a huge, untapped market, especially for Black women. The stigma is Black women don’t exercise because we’re afraid we’re going to mess up our hair, which we paid a lot of money for. I feel women in sports didn’t have products that served them. They don’t have to worry about their hairstyle on the court.

They have products that will keep their hair healthy and looking good. Also, to show people they matter. Just because you’re in sports doesn’t mean you don’t have a voice and are not seen in beauty ads. We wanted to bring representation to that audience to show that these women are killing it on and off the court and that they’re beautiful. Mielle was the solution to help keep them beautified.

NC: You are collaborating with another Midwestern entrepreneur, Melissa Butler, CEO of The Lip Bar and Thread Beauty. How did that happen?

Image Source: @mielleorganics

I’ve known Melissa since we started trade shows ten years ago. When I first met her, she was wearing bright blue or orange lipstick. We bonded over the fact that we were two struggling entrepreneurs trying to build our companies together. We bonded over some of the challenges that we face as entrepreneurs. To know where we started, it only made sense to come together as two Black women to show collaboration over competition. We operate from a spirit of abundance. We can create history during Women’s History Month.  

NC: Why did you choose these IT girls to represent your brand, from Megan Thee Stallion to Angel Reese and Saweetie?

I mean, number one, because they are IT girls. All of them have huge followings. They represent themselves well. Once you get to know their heart, they’re good people. We try to align our brand with people who are the same audience we’re trying to serve. They’re not afraid to rock their natural hair; they’re confident. They’re very bold. 

They are doing amazing things in their industry despite the odds against them. Angel Reese is young, but her boldness and authority she commands on the court— I can only imagine what she’s going to be 20 years from now. She’s a beast because she’s well-respected on the court. She rocks her edges. They are always laid down, and people know her for this. Why not complement ourselves with someone who has an amazing reputation?

Future Endeavors 

Monique Rodriguez Talks Building Her Haircare Empire

NC: Where do you see Mielle Organics in five years? How the brand is cementing itself in the natural hair space for long-term success?

I see us expanding into international markets, into new categories, not just on hair but also skin, and having the foresight to anticipate the needs of our consumers to remain ahead of the curve, innovative, and a solution-oriented brand. Yes, there’s competition, but no one’s going to outwork the brand.

NC: How did it feel being on the cover of Essence Magazine with your husband and business partner?

That cover was a dream come true. To be on the cover for my own haircare brand was like God exceeding my expectations and continuing to blow me away with the opportunities he has given me. It was super historic.

NC: Describe Mielle Organics’ innovation in four words

Our innovation is exciting, science-led, consumer-focused, and hot! 

NC: What advice do you have for new Black women entrepreneurs in the haircare and beauty industry?

Remain true to who you are. Be authentic, passionate, and very disciplined because discipline will take you places that motivation can’t. You’re not going to wake up every day motivated, but you have a level of discipline to pursue your dreams. Fall in love with the process. Fall in love with the journey. Embrace it because it’s very fulfilling on the other side.

Rodriguez pushes boundaries in the hair care industry and strives for young women to follow their dreams. This naturalista crafts an empire for the next generation to pursue—making her a key leader in our Laying The Roots vertical.

Find out what other phenomenal woman was highlighted in our series. 

Laying The Roots: Felicia Leatherwood

Celebrity hairstylist and brand owner Felicia Leatherwood cemented herself as a curly hair expert through her long resume styling top celebrities like Jill Scott, Ava DuVernay, Lenny Kravitz, Teyonah Parris, and now Issa Rae. Aside from creating top-notch red carpet looks, Leatherwood designed her signature detangling brush following a pact of curly girls whose crowns appreciated the flexible but linear movement of the brush. She earned her spot as a top creator in the hair care industry. 

Laying The Roots: Felicia Leatherwood
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 07: Natural Hair Stylist Felicia Leatherwood speaks on a panel during ESSENCE House: Hollywood Edition at NeueHouse Los Angeles on February 07, 2020 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images for ESSENCE)
Image Source: @gettyimages

Earlier, she spoke with NaturallyCurly, stating that the natural hair community motivates her intent in styling coily hair. She said her constructed dos are derived from nostalgic Black hair moments and ancient Africa. NaturallyCurly awarded Leatherwood’s highly recognized detangling hairbrush during the 2020 Best of Best Beauty Awards.

Since then, she gained over 123,000 followers stunning her consumers with her game-changing technology. During Women’s History Month, NaturallyCurly recognizes Leatherwood for her leadership and impact on the natural hair community. 

Coming Up As A Celebrity Hairstylist 

Laying The Roots: Felicia Leatherwood
Image Source: @msayles

Leatherwood’s introduction to hair started as a young child. She treated hairstyling as a side hustle and turned it into a stepping tool as a top Hollywood hair expert. The Zoe Report says the LA native grew up with her hardworking father and frequently ill mother. Leatherwood’s escapism in her creativity turned into a lucrative career. Though she loved hair care, Leatherwood grew up when natural hair wasn’t celebrated.

She stepped out in faith and created beauty trends for the upcoming years. After leaving her corporate Warner Bros job, she pivoted to being a full-time natural hairstylist. The former executive channeled her natural beauty in a world where trends shifted into an “acceptable” look. During her 30s, Leatherwood unlocked her destiny by enrolling in beauty school. Though she had critics, she confidently stood tall for her creativity and passion for hair care.

During the early 2000s, Leatherwood met mega, neo-soul phenomenon Jill Scott. The Rnb singer and Leatherwood built a relationship with natural hair, and Scott’s audience paid attention to her voice and crisp tresses. Leatherwood credits Scott for transforming her career, gaining recognition from blogs, and noticing fans focused on her work. 

Laying The Roots: Felicia Leatherwood
Image Source: @mr_dadams

Leatherwood’s career soared when she became the lead stylist for the hit TV show Insecure. She and Issa Rae connected at the “Black Women in Hollywood” event. They had a telepathic connection on set. While Rae trusted in Leatherwood’s creativity, Leatherwood knew when or when not to converse with the star, said The Zoe Report. The hairstylist revealed she produced more than 300 hairstyles on set following the past seven seasons. Their bond led Leatherwood to style Rae’s hair for her intimate wedding.

Leatherwood’s Long-Term Haircare Tips For Maintaining Strong Natural Tresses 

Laying The Roots: Felicia Leatherwood
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 07: Natural Hair Stylist Felicia Leatherwood poses for a picture backstage during ESSENCE House: Hollywood Edition at NeueHouse Los Angeles on February 07, 2020 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images for ESSENCE)
Image Source: @gettyimages

Hair loss can be a touchy subject for women. Leatherwood spoke with NaturallyCurly and stated our crowns are the most vulnerable when wet—meaning our hair is prone to breakage during showering. She said hair shedding is normal, but hair loss is not. She advised those dealing with hair loss to pay attention to dietary conditions and consider more protein intake.

Leatherwood offers webinars for those with textured hair and encourages holistic approaches for great scalp health. She confessed to BET that she advises her A-List clients to drink water for healthy tresses regardless of their hair type. Leatherwood advocates for a consistent hair care regimen. She recommends following the routine for three months to a year to see results. Leatherwood said to repair any damage and create styles that last before the big chop.

Then, as the hair grows, trim the ends every 3-4 months to retain their length. Type 3-4a curlies should deep condition the hair every two weeks to nourish the strands and reverse any damage. Lastly, Leatherwood believes switching up hairstyles aids in healthy hair—only if the hair is properly treated. Type 3 hair should keep protective styles in for two months, but for coily textures, she believes keeping styles in for 4-6 weeks since the texture is prone to dryness and breakage. 

How Hair Bristles Created A Journey/Step in Innovating The Hair Care Industry  

Laying The Roots: Felicia Leatherwood
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 03: Felicia Leatherwood attends the 2024 Hollywood Beauty Awards at Taglyan Complex on March 03, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images)
Image Source: @gettyimages

Leatherwood uses natural hair as a vessel to combat stereotypical misconceptions of it being “difficult” to maintain. As a 4C natural, she told NaturallyCurly that styling coily hair with improper tools made it difficult to expose their scalp and “get air for exfoliation.”  She challenged naturalistas to learn their texture without overconsuming “new launches” and trendy products, The Zoe Reports confirms. Leatherwood credits her dedication to studying natural hair as a stepping stool to her business.

The hair expert created “Brush With The Best” detangling brush during a time when hair tools negated textured hair. The brush’s form is built with flexible bristles and is only “bonded on three sides” allowing all hair types to glide through without any shags or rips. After the brush’s success, Leatherwood invented Texture Tools—a line of flaxseed heated bonnets used as a deep conditioning agent. The cap is microwaveable and designed as a sealant for moisturizing hair. The hair expert continues to expand her enterprise, offering microfiber towels and shower tools—a step in reinvigorating her brand. 

Leatherwood continues her journey as a hair giant in the industry. Her innovation through media and blank encourages young entrepreneurs to strive for respect and greatness throughout the hair care community. CURLDAZE’s founder, Robyn Atwater is another hair CEO who found her niche through the media and natural hair.

NC Talks With Sister Scientist About Iconic Brands Whose Chemistry Equated to Success

Though intrigued with pharmaceuticals, Erica Douglas found her niche in cosmetic studies through her mother. Douglas felt ostracized in her skin before the chemical engineering graduate changed her career path. The former Organic Root Stimulator professional describes how her natural hair wasn’t normalized due to societal beauty standards. She felt compelled to straighten her coils since natural hair products were scarce. However, Douglas took a leap of faith and became “the solution to her problems.” 

Douglas created a manufacturing company, mSeed Group, in 2014 when Black beauty creators mixed products in their kitchens. Most manufacturers negated small business owners for their lack of capital. She built a safe space and purpose for haircare brands to expand their businesses. 

“The people who deserve to be on the shelves are the people who started it and the barriers of entry were just too high for them to scale the brand,” Douglas says. “Our concept was let’s do small batch manufacturing for these up-and-coming brands with the hope and prayer some of them are going to pop off and become great brands. Sure enough, we’ve probably worked with almost every brand— a good portion of these natural brands in the textured hair space.”

In the next five years, Douglas wants to expand her knowledge in colored cosmetics, powdered technology, and bestow opportunities to “untapped talent.” Douglas acknowledges her work’s impact on today’s hair care brands, especially in her community. Douglas’ ability to intersect analytics and creativity crafted a cosmetic expert whose lab experience embarked on her journey of enhancing natural hair products. 

Legacy Brands That Innovated Clean Ingredients

NC Talks With Sister Scientist About Iconic Brands Whose Chemistry Equated to Success
Image Source: @orshaircare

From Madam C.J. Walker to the Luster family, these monumental giants dominated the hair care industry. Since then, newer brands have challenged legacy competitors by using cleaner and more sustainable ingredients. Douglas says older products relied heavily on petrolatums and mainly “grease” to nurture multicultural textured hair. Douglas says the older ingredients weren’t harmful, but the technology behind extracting and absorbing products in the follicles has evolved. She noted the “older regime” gravitated to a straighter look, but naturalistas shifted to embracing our coils. She witnessed the “green movement” working at ORS—claiming Gary Garner pioneered natural ingredients. He mixed “hair mayo and carrot oil” in his line, revolutionizing the organic market in haircare. 

“When you have these huge companies that have built successful brands on one training of thought and then now they’re trying to do this shift, it’s just very hard to do that overnight.,” she said. “They kind of came at the back end of this natural hair movement, and were playing catch up.”

Douglas applauds Pantene for pushing originality in their formula. She recognizes a huge conglomerate backs the brand; however, she loves that they can sell quality products at a higher volume while remaining cost-effective. She appreciates Pantene’s diversity, celebrating curly hair, and highlighting its “Miracle Rescue Series” on her Instagram. 

Image Source: sisterscientist

“I’m enamored with their innovation and how they create products. It keeps me like ‘ooh what’s all doing over there?’

Why Silicones And Sulfates Are Safe In Moderation

There is a negative stigma amongst silicones. Douglas objects to the silicone hate train claming the chemical protects the hair shaft against heat. She says hair breakage derives from “heat penetrating too fast,” and silicone-based products allow heat to penetrate the hair but seal the strands against damage. Douglas agrees that sulfates cause dry, dehydrated hair, but mixing secondary surfactants and other conditioning chemicals aids in a healthier and nourished scalp. Since these chemicals created a frenzy in the natural hair community, clients force chemists to formulate a new generic makeup for their products. However, scientists have dismantled the myths behind these ingredients in the hope of educating curlies worldwide.

“There’s no scientific conclusions that say this is dangerous [and] don’t put it in products,” she says. 

Though Douglas disagrees with discounting these additives, she pleases her clients with their brand’s needs—challenging her as a better chemist and reformulator. 

“Every ingredient is put on the mean girl list. I’m like, ‘Ah, I got to find something else,’ but that’s where true innovation comes from and I don’t run from it,” she explains. 

The Innovation Behind The Newest Haircare Heirs

NC Talks With Sister Scientist About Iconic Brands Whose Chemistry Equated to Success
Image Source: @camilleaaustin

Though ORS created the clean, natural ingredient wave, the family-owned company sold relaxers, representing an underlining depiction between moving forward in the hair community and conforming to specific standards. Brands like Mielle Organics, Shea Moisture, and Briogeo repurposed the natural hair movement with simple and sustainable products. Douglas says newer brands garnered a closeness to their consumers due to social media. She adds customers trusted nurse and Mielle Organics founder, Monique Rodriguez as she educated customers on the healthy benefits of her brand—solidifying her stance in the curly hair community. Since then, newer curly brands popularized a certain “standard” to challenge boardrooms by eliminating toxic chemicals in their product list. Douglas agrees these cleaner brands set the trend for mainstream hair care. 

“When you already have the infrastructure established and one foot in social media and one foot in building a product-based company, you know how to innovate extremely fast,” she says. “That has been their advantage in this whole space.”

Is There A Myth Behind Hair Growth Oils?

NC Talks With Sister Scientist About Iconic Brands Whose Chemistry Equated to Success
Image Source: @kreyolessence

Oiling the scalp is part of the curly girl’s ritual. Mainly, the urban practice started from our elders. Popular ethnic haircare brands like Kreyol Essence, Sunny Isle, and Mielle Organics sell mixtures of their essential oils—promising luscious, long tresses. However, does this tradition grant hair growth, or is it a ploy for marketing purposes? Though Douglas says there is no scientific evidence that they strictly stimulate hair growth, essential oils contain anti-fungal properties that encourage a “healthy environment” for hair to grow. She adds hair doesn’t grow at an accelerated rate after using hair growth oils but it visibility looks better and thicker.

NC Talks With Sister Scientist About Iconic Brands Whose Chemistry Equated to Success

Maintaining A Lasting Business Relationship As A New Brand

To achieve a successful business when launching new products, Douglas advises small beauty brands to consider their core consumer group, monitor cash flow to buy more inventory and push innovation before perfectionism. Douglas recognizes resources are scarce for Black women owners and “understanding financial literacy” can positively impact beauty brands. Check out these successful indie brands who maximized their time and effort specializing in curly hair extensions

Black Stylists Share Hair Moments That Influenced Their Career

It’s nothing like the smell of edge control, oil sheen, and witnessing Marcel irons inches away from burning your ear. The Black girl’s salon experience remains a nostalgic moment as well as the creatives who perfect our strands. These Black beauticians share their communal pursuits and influences while dominating the hair care industry. 

The Everlasting Journey 

Black Stylists Share Hair Moments That Influenced Their Career
Image Source: @byjustinrevenge

Celebrity hairstylist Justin Turner’s interest in hair started as a toddler. The 24-year-old misunderstood the importance of haircare until he reached his teens. He tried a variety of styles on his friend (who became his first client) and got “better and better.” Turner garnered a mass social media following for his bodacious, layered blowouts and pin curls. The “Justin’s Revenge” salon owner found his niche in perfecting silky, natural tresses, and extensions. Turner’s blending techniques and adoration for healthy hair skyrocketed his business. Turner says his admirers mistook his extensions for natural hair. The stylist emphasizes healthy hair is the key to any style.

 “I take my time to make sure that I’m doing my best to keep my clients hair healthy and protected,” he confesses.

Black Stylists Share Hair Moments That Influenced Their Career
Image Source: @kekekudajuyce

Kiara Elery started doing hair in her late teens after a failed attempt to become a respiratory therapist. Elery grew up in the hair industry—raised by a bloodline of cosmetologists and found her willfulness in her aunt, Laura Bedenfield. Elery hesitated to transition into the family business but found her passion in serving women.

Black Stylists Share Hair Moments That Influenced Their Career
Image Source: @toniannmalcolmhair

Toni-Ann Malcolm insists she’s more than a beautician; she’s a creative. The 25-year-old editorial hair expert despised hairdressers who failed at perfecting her tresses. Malcolm negated being a stereotypical hairstylist until she found editorial styles liberating. Now, the artist designs sculpted hair looks for Netflix, Nike, Mac Cosmetics, Harpers Bazaar, and Supreme while selling raw bundles and educating prospective cosmetologists. “Hair, to me, is a unique tool. It plays a huge part in many lives. It is not just something decorative but a meaningful source,” she says. 

Malcolm uses her clients as canvases, giving her more “creative freedom” to “display her masterpieces.” The U.K. native relishes in hair art and makes her prototypes shine through the camera. She uses historical storytelling to paint a picture through the lens of hair. 

Black Stylists Share Hair Moments That Influenced Their Career
Image Source: @enhancedbybritt

For seven years, self-proclaimed Broward hairstylist Brittney Thompson divulged in the cosmetic space as a makeup artist. Shortly after, Thompson expanded her knowledge in the beauty industry by becoming a licensed esthetician. Following the pandemic, Thompson graduated from Paul Mitchell and opened her suite two years ago. Thompson’s husband supported her during her revamp, signifying Black love as a testament to accomplishing one’s goals. Though Thompson fell out of love with makeup, she felt South Floridians lacked natural hairstylists.

“I love everything about hair care and natural hair plus there isn’t a lot of us in the South Florida area. Contrary to popular belief, natural hair is very versatile,” she says.

Black Stylists Share Hair Moments That Influenced Their Career
Image Source: @pincurlsandpaint

Hairstory’s stylist, Jennifer Covington-Bowers, did not have a linear relationship with the hair industry. Originally, she was interested in fashion but lacked support from her family. She enrolled in law school, but motherhood interrupted her studies, and the hair magnate left to focus on beauty school. Like Malcolm, Covington-Bowers is an editorial hairstylist who started as a colorist. She “craved” more of an avant-garde career path since she loved high fashion. The runway hair connoisseur assisted other hairstylists by impacting her profession.

Black Stylists Share Hair Moments That Influenced Their Career
Image Source: @ceo_nurse_co

Like her counterparts, Inecia Sneed started doing hair as a teenager. She became immersed in beauty when she spent quality time at the salon getting her hair done. The “Changin Faces” salon owner practiced roller sets on her grandmother, then quickly perfected her craft when she enrolled in the Dudley Beauty College and received her cosmetology license, which hatched an entrepreneur reigning the Chicago beauty scene for over two decades. Sneed explains her craftiness is coveted by God. She decorates unique hairdos for women daily.

Muses and Inspirations

Black Stylists Share Hair Moments That Influenced Their Career
Image Source: @kekekudajuyce

Vidal Sassoon’s technique impacted Elery’s urge to perfect a master cut. She watched his styling tapes while mimicking his skillfulness. Elery prides the matriarchs and patriarchs in her family for inspiring her to become a hairstylist. Her mother showcased her talent in hair styling by persuading a young Elery to follow in her footsteps. Elery commends her aunt, Bedenfield, for pouring her life into her craft. “We’ve been working together for the last 16-17 years. We have a bond that’s so breakable. We were in the ropes and trenches together. We’re more like sisters,” she says. 

The 70s were a pivotal and visionary moment for Black hair, for which Turner drew inspiration from his brand. Also, Turner prides himself as a Beyonce fan. He treasures the megastar and mogul. The 70s were a pivotal and visionary moment for Black hair, for which Turner drew inspiration from his brand. Also, Turner prides himself as a Beyonce fan. He treasures the megastar and mogul for her artistry and diligence. “That sounds cliche to some, but she inspires me to work hard with whatever I put out into the world— to keep learning, growing, and teaching,” he says. 

Black Stylists Share Hair Moments That Influenced Their Career
Image Source: @enhancedbybritt

Thompson applauds actress, writer, and producer Issa Rae, for staying authentic and modeling her natural hairstyles. Also, she adores global hairstylist Pekela Riley for her “artistic” catalog centering on natural hair and texturized extensions. 

Malcolm connects with major game-changers in the hair industry. She cherishes hairstylist and ID magazine’s senior beauty editor, Jawara Wauchope. “We think the same, I think & I love that. I hope to work with him & assist,” Malcolm says after complimenting his craft. 

Sneed became a student in the hair industry from her friend Angie Middleton. She gave tips on monetizing her work and increasing notoriety in the salon business. Despite being a veteran in the hair industry, Sneed supports younger social media hair artists like Razor Chic, Tokyo Stylez, and Arrogant Tae—who inspired her to partake in hair trends. She took a class with Tokyo Stylez (real name) to become more business savvy. 

Unique Style Techniques 

Black Stylists Share Hair Moments That Influenced Their Career
Image Source: @kekekudajuyce

Elery’s “biggest flex” is coloring natural hair with “dimensional color.” Elery enriches the beauties in her chair by tailoring their coifs with structure and precision. She analyzes her client’s head shape and skin complexion to decipher if the style compliments their vibe. She applauds Farouk System’s haircare lines for its innovative products. 

Like Elery, Turner considers his client’s face shape when cutting precise layers. He compliments his precise “layer placement” as unique and “individualized” to every customer.

Black Stylists Share Hair Moments That Influenced Their Career
Image Source:@renellaice

Malcolm uses historical storytelling to paint a picture through the lens of hair. 

 “It’s like a Van Gogh painting—people might see something else but the artist created that piece based [on] a pivotal point in his career.

Black Stylists Share Hair Moments That Influenced Their Career
Image Source: @changinfacesbeautybar

Sneed advocates for shorter hairstyles and has been rocking them since grade school. She received compliments from strangers, which led her to tackle pixie cuts. “People always wanted to look like me. ‘Do my hair like yours.’ So I’m like, okay, let me try to do their hair like mine—which would always wind up being a short haircut,” she says. 

Life-Changing Hair Moments 

Every year, Elery teaches cosmetology at Mooseheart Academy—a school designed for underprivileged children. Even though Elery feels like an amateurish mentor, she inspires young people to excel in the hair business.

Black Stylists Share Hair Moments That Influenced Their Career
Image Source: @byjustinrevenge

Turner’s cutting skills were derived from Chicago stylist, Chris Curse. The mentor and muse, Curse shaped Turner’s approach to snipping Black women’s natural coils without altering their density and length—while giving his clients a chic and effortless layered do.

Black Stylists Share Hair Moments That Influenced Their Career
Image Source: @miguelherreraphoto

Covington-Bowers dreamt of working in Couture Fashion Week in Paris. Though she didn’t have traction, she applied to agencies hoping they would highlight her work. To her dismay, the hair prophetess was released from the shows on the flight to Paris. When she arrived, she got an email inviting her to assist in the Valentino Couture show with Guido Palau as the lead stylist. 

“It was the year that the legendary MUA Pat McGrath did the petal eyelashes, and it was magical,” she says.

Like her fellow hair educators above, Malcolm found a friend who changed her idea to pursue her dreams. Her colleague, Shemiah Gold, persuaded Malcolm to assist her on set. Since  Malcolm treated hairstyling as a side job she was reluctant to complete the job, but she “never looked back.” Malcolm says Gold holds a special place in her heart. 

The Next Big Plan 

In the next five years, Elery hopes to open a sister property to Simply Amazin Hair Creations. She wants to expand the family business in her name while “executing” haircut styles.

Black Stylists Share Hair Moments That Influenced Their Career
Image Source: @byjustinrevenge

Turner’s community is the women whom he services in his chair. His next move is providing his clientele with a hair accessory line named ENGE. The innovation behind Turner’s new brand offers hair accessories that “elevate hairstyles.” “I want accessories that are as common as a go-to handbag,” he says. 

Black Stylists Share Hair Moments That Influenced Their Career
Image Source: @toniannmalcolmhair

Instead of reaching celebrity status, Malcolm manifests a community of junior stylists fascinated with hair. The hair phenomenon wishes to reach prospects globally. Also, Malcolm says she desires an extension line, mentorship program, ebooks, and virtual classes.

Sneed serves her people in various forms. She’s been a licensed practical nurse for under a decade, hoping to run a med spa in a few years. She wants to duplicate her beauty experience for aesthetical and clerical purposes

The Legends’ Legacies

Sneed takes pride in feeling loved for her services. While Turner’s legacy intersects versatility, attentiveness, and professionalism, Elery entails being the best “version” of herself while beautifying women. “I want women to continue to love themselves. Putting smiles on people’s faces makes me feel really good,” she says. Covington-Bowers strives to impact future stylists with determination, tenacity, and the ability to quiet negative opinions on hair artistry.

Black Stylists Share Hair Moments That Influenced Their Career
Image Source: @barbaradonninelli

“I want to keep living my dreams, not my fears, and continue going into creative spaces that I didn’t think it was possible to for me to go,” she says. These hair giants heightened their status through their expertise in the hair care sector. Since Lover’s Day is approaching, show these sweet and sensual updos to your beautician for date night or a fun girl’s outing.

Breaking New Ground: The Ingredients Behind The First Black Haircare Brands

Black people’s influence has threatened mainstream America despite starting cultural trends, especially in hair care. Companies jeopardized Black women’s jobs and careers by discriminating against them due to their natural hair. Dove and Black women legislators created The Crown Act to dismantle ostracism and its consequences against Black hair. The enacting law “prohibits race-based hair discrimination,” which includes “locs, twists, braids, and bantu knots.” 

There was a time when conglomerates prohibited Black people from using their products. Now, the Black dollar remains a number one marketing strategy for lifestyle brands. Black hair care entrepreneurs innovated inclusive products for textured hair. Brands like Carol’s Daughter, Brigeo, and Mielle Organics, shaped superstars turned to hair experts, including Taraji P. Henson, Tracee Ellis Ross, and reportedly Beyonce (after she speculated on Instagram) formulated ingredients that nourish afro-textured tresses. Curly girls’ pockets may have suffered after buying their “fan favorites,” but many historic brands paved the way before social media, influencers, and virality. These historic Black innovators created a “table” for Black hair care when brands neglected our coils and culture.  

Madam C.J Walker 

Breaking New Ground: The Ingredients Behind The First Black Haircare Brands
Portrait of American businesswoman, philanthropist, and activist Madam CJ Walker (born Sarah Breedlove, 1867 – 1919), 1913. She is widely considered the first female, self-made millionaire in the United States. (Photo by Addison N. Scurlock/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Image Source: Getty

Madam C.J Walker became the pioneer for Black haircare during the Harlem Renaissance. Born Sarah Breedlove, Walker’s success was attributed to her haircare products, making her the first Black woman and a “self-made millionaire woman,” as revealed by Guinness World Records. Walker evolved from a sharecropper’s daughter to an iconic public figure. During a time when Black hair was deemed as unruly, Walker created “Madam C.J. Walker’s Wonderful Hair Grower,” a treatment conditioning Black hair with household products like petroleum jelly, coconut oil, beeswax, and presumably sulfur—an active ingredient to boost hair growth. 

Breaking New Ground: The Ingredients Behind The First Black Haircare Brands
Image Source: @madambymcjw

Walker’s great-great-granddaughter, A’Leila Bundles, applauds Walker’s triumphs as the sole historian for her empire. So much so, Sundial’s CEO, Cara Sabin, and Bundles rebuilt her ancestor’s hair care by naming it “Madam by Madam C.J. Walker,” in honor of Walker’s legacy. The new beauty line’s ingredients contain shea butter, castor oil, lavender, and pomegranate seed oil—essential products rooted in hair growth. Walker’s new line intersects Black excellence history with a “Gen Z” approach. 

Dr. Willie Lee Morrow

Breaking New Ground: The Ingredients Behind The First Black Haircare Brands
Image Source: @sdmonitornews

Most curly girls know the final step to a voluminous afro is the afro pick. The afro pick dates back to Ancient Africa, where northern African women used picks to accessorize. In the 70s, Black people shifted their political stance in America while celebrating Black culture. The natural fro and the pick became pivotal in Black history thanks to its inventor, Dr. Willie Lee Morrow. The barber migrated to San Diego for communal efforts and “provide resources for his people,” Vibe Magazine reports. Morrow repurposed the Afro-pick while cutting hair to generate wealth for his people. 

Breaking New Ground: The Ingredients Behind The First Black Haircare Brands
Image Source: Getty

The hairstylist invested in his own media company and designed combs while formulating chemicals to turn coily hair curly. The Washington Post credited Morrow as the originator of the “The California Curl”—before Jheri Redding altered the idea and created, “The Jheri Curl.” Though Redding “exploited” his idea Morrow invented a tenacious effort to maximize his Black empire. 

Fred Luster Sr. 

Fred Luster Sr. generated an empire stocked at the local beauty supply. The barber turned global businessman created The S-Curl texturizers, Smooth Touch Relaxers, and the nostalgic Pink Hair Oil Moisturizer. The oil became a staple in the Black household. Since relaxers were linked to cancer, the natural hair movement resurfaced—celebrating Black hair and its glory. 

Breaking New Ground: The Ingredients Behind The First Black Haircare Brands
Image Source: @lusterspink

Hair care retailers replaced the pink oil moisturizer when with clean, environmental-focused products. Luster’s original formula contained mineral oil, parabens, a distinct bubble-gum fragrance, and an oily residue, which caused controversy in the curly girl community. Since then, the family-owned company has reformulated the cult favorite into a silicone-free option for naturals who are conscious about their scalps. 

Edward G. and Retiaan Gardner

Chicago’s hair royalty, Retiann, and Edward G. Gardner represent how Black love influences activism and hair care. After delivering products out of his trunk, the Gardners started their company Soft Sheen Products in the mid-1960s, Ebony Magazine reported. Soft Sheen Products’ gained notoriety for their Care-Free Curl brand— a line of leave-in moisturizers packed with protein and glycerin. 

Breaking New Ground: The Ingredients Behind The First Black Haircare Brands
Image Source: @softsheencarson_pro

The Gardners impacted Chicago households by employing nearly 900 people during its reign. Also, they made charitable donations to their Southside Community after opening the Regal Theater. Edward sold their multi-dollar company to L’Oreal Paris in the late 1990s, making his children run “day-to-day operations,” though his son, Gary Gardner, separated from the family’s business and produced his hair care brand, ORS Hair Care

Cara Sabin

Though Shea Moisture’s legacy just started, its impact over the past decades remains supreme. There is no doubt Shea Moisture became almost every curly blogger’s best friend. Sundial’s reign became a pivotal moment in the new age of Black haircare for Zillenials that’s social media driven. Founders Richelieu and Mary Dennis (the mother and son duo) sold their beloved company to Unilever, according to Forbes

Breaking New Ground: The Ingredients Behind The First Black Haircare Brands
Images Source: @sheamoisture

Shea butter, a popular West African essential oil that soothes the scalp and skin with its healing properties became Sundial’s vital ingredient. The Jamaican Black Castor line became a favorite, especially for those with limp, dull coils. Cara Sabin became Shea Moisture’s CEO in 2019, two years after Unilever acquired the brand. Now, the powerhouse operates Nubian Heritage, Nyakio, and Madam C.J. Walker while operating in West Africa to source “raw ingredients” and bridge the wealth gap for Black women. Sabrin continues to reshape beauty standards by investing in small-owed brands. 

Newer hair care creators mirrored past innovators to restore moisture and growth. Check out the shelf life of these highly recommended brands that will leave your strands fresh and hydrated.

Editorial Stylist Sarah Sango Talks Modernizing Period Pieces For Natural Styles

With trends like Cottage Core, Quiet Luxury, and Mob Wife Winter, TikTok influenced many women to cosplay nostalgic events relative to their history or the images seen in pop culture. With a costume or any outfit, hair design is more than an accessory—it’s considered a crown, especially for Black women. Period piece stories like “ Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, Gilded Age, and Black Cake” center Black women in “higher society” despite their adversities. These shows depicted Black women wearing their natural coils in a quaint and elite manner—which transformed into high fashion and everyday life. 

Editorial Stylist Sarah Sango Talks Modernizing Period Pieces For Natural Styles
Image Source: @hairbysarahsango

Editorial hairstylist Sarah Sango creates sculptural afro-textured hair on and off the camera. Like many young Black girls, Sango struggled to find the right products for her mane. Before she produced Lush Cosmetics’ textured, natural haircare line, the U.K. native worked in an elite Black salon while braiding her younger cousin’s hair. Raised in a West African and European household, Sango’s curly hair routine challenged her to become an Afro hair enthusiast. Sango applauds her Black elders for introducing her to essential ingredients like shea butter and aloe vera gel to moisturize her curly hair. Even though her mother helped her embrace her curls, Sango experienced “microaggressions” within her mixed-race family. 

Editorial Stylist Sarah Sango Talks Modernizing Period Pieces For Natural Styles
Image Source: @scotttrindle

To break the curse, Sango wanted to break barriers in the fashion industry as she witnessed Black models neglected during shoots. After 23 years, Sango continues to promote inclusivity and diversity while assisting stellar fashion campaigns like Vogue, Balmain, and Bottega Veneta. With her expertise in multidimensional hair design, Sango’s creativity shines through constructing natural hair. Sango gives Naturally Curly tips on redefining nostalgic looks.

Finger Waves 

Image Source: @twinsunisexsalont1

Black entertainers like Josephine Baker revolutionized short hair with her sleek pixie cut. The hairdo became a popular and liberating hairstyle for women looking to rock short hair. Sango suggests using a hard gel and spraying the hair with Got 2b glue for a “solid set.” She recommends cleansing the hair to remove product buildup and maintain a healthy scalp. SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Shampoo clarifies the hair while promoting moisture.

Feathered Wrap 

Image Source: @transmalcomx

From Jackée Harris in 227 to Sanaa Lathan in Love and Basketball, the feathered wrap is a timeless hairdo dating back to the late 70s. The silk press is a reinvention of the voluminous style, without harsh chemicals. However, Sango is an advocate of Afro-textured hair and believes Black hair has been conditioned to “conform to society’s expectations.” With this look, she recommends not pressing the hair but stretching it to showcase its natural texture and dimension. Add velcro rollers or rods to give the hair a soft and volumizing look. 

Pin Curls

Image Source: @fabellousbeautylounge

The Harlem Renaissance popularized this elegant ensemble. Now, the vintage hairstyle exuberates elegance and beauty. Pin curls require heat. Sango suggests roller setting the hair and spraying heat protectant before using a blow dryer and curling iron. For a more defined look without heat potential damage, insert Curformers to minimize tension in the hair. 

Braided Buns

Editorial Stylist Sarah Sango Talks Modernizing Period Pieces For Natural Styles
Image Source: @Alessandro Lucioni / Gorunway.com

Over 30 years ago, the 90s solidified its stance on iconic braids. From Brandy to Sade, Black girls celebrated these role models by repurposing their version of long braided plaits. Braided buns are sophisticated with an edge. Sango is an advocate for length and a slick back bun. She suggests not to “hold back” when adding hair extensions. For a sleek look, slick the edges with Mielle Organics Rosemary Mint Edge Gel.     

Classic Pinned Coif

Editorial Stylist Sarah Sango Talks Modernizing Period Pieces For Natural Styles
Black woman portrait in beauty salon
Image Source: Getty

Whether the hair is coily, blown out, or draped with locs, a simple, effortless pinned updo screams elegance and timelessness. Sango believes “less is more,” especially for this style. She recommends structuring the hair with bobby pins while keeping its “natural shape.” Accessorize the updo with barrettes or clips for a romantic night out or special occasion. 

Like Sango, many Black women experiment on their hair at a young age. Also, using clean products protects a child’s growing hair. For educational purposes, check out ways parents can style their child’s hair in a creative but timely manner. 

How to Avoid A Brittle Silkpress During The Winter

During the colder months, many curly girls rush to the salon to achieve a luxurious silk press since pressed hair behaves in the winter. However, natural hairstylists forget the importance of keeping silk presses non-damaged and fresh. 

What Is A Silk Press? 

A silk press is a chemical-free, pressed hairstyle dedicated to those with curly and coily hair. The process entails a shampoo and conditioning treatment, followed by blowing out and then flat-ironing the hair. Depending on the stylist, Black women leave the salon chair with clean, sleek tresses. 

Image Source: @photoartclickclick4u

Simply Amazin Hair Creations’ salon owner, Laura Bedenfield, is an 18-year veteran hairstylist whose dedication to hair started with the matriarchs & patriarchs in her family. Bedenfield’s grandparents, George Owens Sr. and Elsie Owens, encouraged her (and her siblings) that studying hair will always be a consistent, universal career. She educates her clients that healthy hair is the foundation of any hairstyle and avoids unsupportive beauticians who refuse to maintain the “integrity of hair.” Now, Bedenfield gives NaturallyCurly tips on combatting dry silk presses during winter. 

Pre-Treat Hair

Black hair is prone to breakage, especially for those living in frigid weather. Using a bonding or protein-based pre-treatment results in strong, silky hair. Bedenfield recommends Olaplex No. 3 bonding treatment for salon and at-home haircare. 

Steam Hair While Deep Conditioning

While sitting under a hooded dryer might feel tedious, conditioning the hair ensures the silk press is everlasting and smooth. Bedenfield consults with clients to ensure a proper deep conditioning treatment based on their hair’s needs. She encourages steaming the hair allows moisture to “promote softness and make sure the hair stays strong.” Clients with heat and color-damaged hair are strongly encouraged to receive biweekly conditioning treatments. Camille Rose Naturals Coconut Water Penetrating Hair Treatment is an affordable deep conditioner that hydrates thirsty hair. Also, she advises using argan oil as a hot oil treatment while steaming the hair. 

Use A Light Leave in Conditioner 

How to Avoid A Brittle Silkpress During The Winter

Leave-in conditioners are vital during these colder months. Leave-in stylers seal the moisture in the hair while protecting it against heat. Refrain from using cream-based leave-in conditioners since they cause product build-up and oily hair. Mizani’s 25 Miracle Milk Leave-In Treatment combats dryness while nourishing the strands with its pristine ingredients, a product Bedenfield highlights. 

Abstain From Heavy Oils, Use Light Serums 

Using humectants seals coils, adds shine, and avoids hair swelling, but heavy oils result in limp, pressed strands. Add a lightweight serum to damp or blow-dried hair to obtain bouncy, luscious hair. Chi’s Silk Infusion is a popular leave-in serum that coats the hair, leaving it soft and polished. Bedenfield applauds this serum for its oil-free formula and protein-rich benefits. 

Use Heat Protectants And Avoid Overusing The Flat Iron 

Silk presses can be costly, especially during the holiday season, so it’s important to refrain from over-processing the hair. Constant flat-ironing ends in a “thinner, curl pattern.” Bedenfield recommends a dab of Dudley’s Creme Press Oils to prevent hair from reverting back to curly. 

Maintain Consistent Trims

Image Source: @quitaiswhattheycallme

As a natural who adores a sleek style, nothing beats a feathered, freshly-trimmed silk press. Not only do regular trims give a sharp, aesthetically pleasing look, it aids in afro-textured hair. Black hair can grow rapidly, but flat-ironing hair with dead ends prompts further damage. Remember, health is better than length. Also, seek professionals when getting trims to prevent frayed ends and encourage bouncy, full hair. 

Use Wide Tooth Combs To Avoid Excess Shedding

The harsh winter chills can make the hair fragile. Using hard, detangling brushes can potentially break off the hair stands. Comb coils after deep conditioning, blowing out the hair and wrapping it at night. Wide tooth combs detangle the hair evenly while limiting breakage and brittle ends. NaturallyCurly sells an array of combs, including their signature wide tooth shower comb

Seal Hair For Longevity

Though afro-textured hair needs moisture, hot showers or sweaty workouts revert silk presses to its natural state. Before a shower, wrap the hair clockwise with a satin scarf so the silk press can maintain its shape. Bedenfield recommends locking the scarf with a terrycloth or cotton headband before showering or exercising for extra security. 

Use a Dry Shampoo To Maintain A Cleaner Scalp 

How to Avoid A Brittle Silkpress During The Winter

Silk presses can last for a few weeks. However, dirt and product buildup makes the hair shapeless and stiff. Apply dry shampoo to refresh the scalp while delaying wash day. Products like Unite 7 Seconds dry shampoo absorb excess oils, giving the hair more body and shape. 

Bedenfield’s goal is to promote healthy-hair journeys for all coilies. The main objective is to ensure a luminous, strong mane is moisturized. Check out these products to maintain hydrated hair. 

Abstract Braids Might Be Historic, But This Hairstylist Shows It’s Far From Traditional

Artists like Solange, Kelela, and Willow Smith created headlines rocking abstract braids. Even though these women made hieroglyphic cornrows popular, they date back to ancient Africa, where Black women created freestyle braids as a fashion statement and as archival art pieces for hairstylists to have a free range of creativity. 

Abstract Braids Might Be Historic, But This Hairstylist Shows It’s Far From Traditional
Image Source: Ryuan Johnson

Chicago native Ryuan Johnson learned at six years old that braids were monumental to taking care of Black hair. The 23-year-old championed her beautician grandmother for expressing her imagination through hair. Growing up in Garfield Park, located on the city’s westside, Johnson never envisioned being an editorial hairstylist, designing plaits for haircare brands, and being featured in magazines. However, she applauds her “natural talent.” Johnson’s legacy ensures a safe space for women whose creativity outshines their ability to conform to any environment.

NaturallyCurly had a chat with Johnson to discuss this electrifying protective style. 

How does your Chicago upbringing influence your braiding techniques? 

Going to inner city schools, girls would come with design braids. In my family, colored braids were embraced. Chicago shaped the way I braid because I feel free to be creative. I grew up in a big city with different people who are experimental with hair.

What makes your brand, Sexy Scalps, fresh and innovative?

Abstract Braids Might Be Historic, But This Hairstylist Shows It’s Far From Traditional
Image source: @sexyscalps

I want to challenge the idea of what normal hair is supposed to be, whether that’s sculpting or accessorizing. I love to take random things around my house, dice, lighters, and computer keys, and put them in the hair. The way I freestyle braids is fresher because it’s contemporary—not pre-planned. Sexy Scalps is this take on African traditional braiding through a modern, artistic, African American, Gen Z lens. 

Abstract braids aren’t super trendy, but they are not exactly new. Since cornrows impacted Black culture, where do you find inspiration? 

Abstract Braids Might Be Historic, But This Hairstylist Shows It’s Far From Traditional
Image source: @sexyscalps

I feel inspired by nature. I take inspiration from my ancestors. While trying to make this my own, I’m inspired by braiders around the U.S. because everyone’s style is different. I’m inspired by the person’s hair I’m doing. Some want to feel neat and structured. Some are creative and free. They’re like, “I want to look crazy! I want to look like I’m walking at the Met Gala.” I’m, like, say less.

What makes abstract braids an effective protective style?

Abstract Braids Might Be Historic, But This Hairstylist Shows It’s Far From Traditional
Image source: @sexyscalps

Weaving protects coiled hair. I take steps oiling the scalp, using heat protectants, not braiding too tight and using products to help maintain growth and durability during the winter. 

What are your favorite products to use on clients?

I love Shea Moisture. I like Shine N Jam. Shine N Jam just partnered with Stasha Harris. They collaborated with her because she made Magic Fingers specifically for braiders. Annette Roche makes this rosemary retwist oil that I use religiously to oil the scalp. 

What products from Shea Moisture do you gravitate towards?

If I’m going to be doing a natural hairstyle, I liked their Curl Enhancing Smoothie and Coconut & Hibiscus Freeze-Free Curl Mousse

How was your experience connecting with Ravyn Lenae and braiding her hair for her tour?

Abstract Braids Might Be Historic, But This Hairstylist Shows It’s Far From Traditional
Image Source: @iakamin

I connected with Ravyn Lenae because her music and work have always inspired me. I love how she has this theme of red hair and experimenting with braids. One day, I commented under her Instagram picture, “I would love to do your hair for your tour.” Weeks later, her manager hit me up. I literally screamed.

Abstract Braids Might Be Historic, But This Hairstylist Shows It’s Far From Traditional
Image Source: @iakamin

The hairpiece I made for her was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever created. It took work, determination, and passion. I spent two days sculpting hair with wire. I had prototypes and sketches and took inspiration from her album, “Hypnos.” A Black medusa inspired the hairpiece I made. The hairpiece had a spiral in the middle to hypnotize the audience. She’s sweet. She cares about her family. She’s not Hollywood. You know, it feels like I’m working for a cousin.

To have my work featured in Vogue was amazing because it showed me there are people who are interested in sculptural hair. I didn’t understand the title, editorial hairstylist. I was creating these pieces in my room because they looked cool. For Vogue to see that, I realized I was on the right path, and it opened up doors for my creativity.

Abstract Braids Might Be Historic, But This Hairstylist Shows It’s Far From Traditional
Image Source: @thedenisestephanie 

Sky Jetta said, “I’m gonna be in New York for AFROPUNK. I want some crazy hair. Do whatever you want.” I went out there, had fun, and experimented. The photographer liked how she looked, and that’s how we did it.

What upcoming projects are you excited about for the new year?

Abstract Braids Might Be Historic, But This Hairstylist Shows It’s Far From Traditional
Image source: @sexyscalps

I just did a campaign with SheaMoisture in December. I have a project coming out in March focused on essential workers called The Black Avant-Garde. Black women who work at department stores, Chicago Authority Transit workers, construction workers— I want to give them avant-garde hair. I want to [photograph] them at work to represent how fluid we are with our hair on a dramatic level. Aesthetically, I think it’d be cool. 

Johnson supports Black women and their entrepreneurial enterprises. She mentions avidly using Black-owned haircare products where she nourishes afro-textured hair. Even though Johnson accessorizes her clients’ braids, she ensures each strand is moisturized. Check out these brands that are suitable to prep the hair before styling.