Search Results: Ayeshah Plummer

“Wash Day” Celebrates The Beauty of Black Hair Care

Wash Day is more than a task; it’s a gem for generational growth within the natural hair community. 

“Wash Day” Celebrates The Beauty of Black Hair Care
Wash Day, Tomesha Faxio
Image Source: @tomeshafaxio 

Like most creatives, Tomesha Faxio’s journey wasn’t linear. In 2014, the lawyer-turned-author started questioning her career before becoming a photographer and documentarian. She started soul-searching when she studied advertising, art direction, and copywriting at the Creative Circus from the pressures of feeling undervalued at her law firm coupled with not being passionate as an attorney. Though she didn’t finish the program, Faxio realized she had a creative spirit. 

After working for Spankx, she wanted to ideate instead of evaluate executed plans. Still, photography sparked her interest when she made a documentary on her phone. Faxio’s “creative itch” blossomed when a friend gifted her a Canon camera after she confessed her interest in photography. A few years later, Faxio decided to pursue photography full-time. 

“Wash Day” Celebrates The Beauty of Black Hair Care

Like many individuals, the mother of two was affected by the pandemic and questioned her next moment within her artistry. The true storyteller and hair lover, Faxio was drawn to reimagining stories where Black beauty is the focus. She chatted with NaturallyCurly to discuss her book, “Wash Day,” an ode to implementing healthy hair care rituals within the natural hair space. 

What sparked the idea for this book?

“Wash Day” Celebrates The Beauty of Black Hair Care

The idea started before the pandemic hit. When I started taking pictures, I knew there would be a business and art component because of my love for storytelling and enjoying emotions and conversations people can have with a photograph. I decided to do a personal project, but I wasn’t sure what it was. In the fall of 2019 to early 2020, I was working on an idea. Now, I look back and see I love hair. When I was taking pictures of clients, I was really drawn to their hair, and I admit that it sounded weird.

I would tell people to ‘fluff your hair out or touch your hair’ in the images. I thought about it more as a Black woman with two Black daughters. With a history of natural hair discrimination and texturism, I knew I wanted to do something that showcased the inherent beauty of our hair. My kids grew up around many natural-haired women, but they struggled— even in kindergarten. My daughter was like ‘I want my hair to lay straight.’ It suddenly clicked to me that understanding comes from what they see. 

I knew I didn’t want to do portraits…and considered, ‘How do I showcase our hair as is but in a way that tells a different story.’ I was looking at an image of a Black woman sitting on the couch. You know, this is probably one of those pictures that everybody has in a photo album of a Black woman sitting on the couch, and then her daughter is sitting between her legs, and she’s doing her hair. I was like, ‘This is something. There’s your storytelling. Here is hair being showcased what it looks like on its own, and this generational story.’ 

“Wash Day” Celebrates The Beauty of Black Hair Care

I was having a wash day with my daughters, and at that moment, it was clear that’s how I wanted to showcase our hair.

How did you find the subjects in your book? What makes them so special, especially capturing these hair moments?

My editor and I had conversations about this. I wondered if I wanted to include influencers who are known in that space, but that wasn’t as important as telling the story that was common for us. It wasn’t until the fall of 2020 I decided to start shooting. I reached out to women who I knew would feel comfortable having me come to their homes. From there, it became women that I knew or friends of friends or relatives of friends because there’s a trust factor. They needed to trust me coming into their home with their children, and I needed to know that I would be alive the next day if I went to your house [laughs.] 

“Wash Day” Celebrates The Beauty of Black Hair Care

There were no complete strangers in the photographs. I knew we thought about doing an open call at one point, but this is in the pandemic era. Honestly, I do not take it for granted that so many people trusted me to come into their homes with a camera. I know that that’s not something people do every day.

Would you say it was more community-based? 

For sure. I could do several iterations and shoot “Washday” forever because so many families wanted to be a part of this. There was a lot of bonding between me and the other families. There was such a community aspect to this book. I am so grateful.

Usually, “Wash Day” for textured hair is presented as tedious and stressful, especially for coiler hair types. With the few images I’ve seen, what made you show this book as a form of self-care?  

“Wash Day” Celebrates The Beauty of Black Hair Care

I love that you saw that! That is one of the concepts I wanted to come out of this book. As I was taking these photos, I saw images of kids crying and moms comforting their children. I noticed this desire to depart from “beauty is pain,” like suck it up and deal with it mentality a lot of us grew up with and replacing it with self-care. For instance, there’s Stacia in the book; she had a “shampoo buddy,” It’s this great contraption that you sit on the edge of the sink, and the little girl had her iPad on her chest and a bowl of crackers. It was different from what I remember. 

One of the things I write about is during enslavement; it wasn’t like they gave slaves time to care for their hair. They weren’t given tools to do their hair or haircare products. “Wash day” is a way to reclaim our time, reclaim that self-care we lost—but teach our kids how to care for their hair.  

Our hair has been traditionally considered hard to maintain time, but it’s only because it’s in comparison to straight hair or looser textures. We live in a culture not built around our hair texture. 

“Wash Day” Celebrates The Beauty of Black Hair Care

Is “Wash Day” a generational journey? 

Many of us who grew up getting our hair straightened experienced the second wave of the natural hair movement and left relaxers behind. We’re not relaxing our children’s hair. There was this shift from our generation to the next generation. After using relaxers, many of us had to learn how to do our natural hair for the first time and how to love or at least tolerate it. That’s the whole point behind the book— moms passing that legacy on to their children.

Though the Crown Act was passed in Kentucky and the other 22 states, in a perfect nondiscriminatory world, what message would you like to present regarding natural Black hair, especially through your book? 

I love people to see themselves and the beauty of their hair texture. The book has a series of essays about texturism, respectability, microaggressions, [and] the context around why anti-black attitudes exist. I hope this book educates us to gain more freedom and feel confident about wearing it in any texture.

I think there’s still a lot of work to be done on accepting tighter textures and not feeling like your texture has to be a certain way for it to be beautiful. There’s a spectrum of different textures that should be equally acceptable. 

You said, “Wash Day is when we can be intentional about reminding our children that their coils are worthy of the extra care and maintenance we give them.” With that being said, how do you connect curly and coily hair with confidence and mental health?  

“Wash Day” Celebrates The Beauty of Black Hair Care

My daughter has 4C hair. She’s very confident in her hair when it is blown out. One of the goals is to show the hair as it is in its state. You know, after it’s been washed, this is what it looks like and showing those images as beautiful. I was blessed to be able to showcase these pieces in art exhibits.

One of the most beautiful moments was the image of this little girl’s hair on a gallery wall. This little girl walks in and sees her photo. You can see the level of pride in her eyes from that, and I have heard stories from other kids who are literally seeing themselves and then this sense of joy like ‘Wow, this hair is in a book.” I think that that goes a long way. 

I assumed my hair was bad and problematic, so I had to get a relaxer right. Kids now see images of hair that look like theirs and are presented as beautiful, and I think that shifts the way that you view yourself. I talked to a lot of moms who are intentional about making sure that when they’re doing their kids’ hair, they’re not making negative remarks. These moms, myself included, make a lot of effort with my kids. 

“Wash Day” Celebrates The Beauty of Black Hair Care

Wash days are usually associated with mothers and daughters. What advice would you give to readers who are either new mothers, fathers, or family members who want to make wash days a safe space for children? 

I do have mothers and sons in the book. We were talking more about including all sorts of other family dynamics, but when it came down to it, I wanted to tell it from the mother-child perspective. 

I think that there’s so much value in fathers, grandparents, or whoever reassuring their children about how beautiful they are. I don’t think that that has to come from a specific place. It’s really helpful coming from a community of people because there’s a disconnect between what is considered acceptable with regard to hair. My grandmother grew up in a very different time.

When she went to cosmetology school, they didn’t teach you how to do anything other than straighten natural hair. You weren’t taught how to care for it. When she was growing up, her hair was considered bad hair. She and several of her siblings would have to get their hair pressed weekly, while the “good-haired” siblings didn’t. 

Looking through my book, she’s like, ‘ I love seeing all this natural hair. This is so beautiful.’ But you can tell that she was commenting on different hair textures. The elders say things just based on what they’ve been taught for decades. 

When the community is able to gather around these kids and all affirm the beauty of their hair, there aren’t these contradictory messages that are beneficial. 

“Wash Day” Celebrates The Beauty of Black Hair Care

What wash day essentials do you incorporate into your routine and your children’s? 

One of the biggest techniques that I took away from this project was braiding or twisting my kids’ hair before I washed it. It’s a Game-Changer. I also use shampoo to detangle their hair. You’re getting a first wash out of detangling it and putting it into twists or braids. 

One of the products that I learned about during this process is The Doux. That foam detangles and conditions. When I use that product, it cuts down time. I was not good at wash day, and I know that because of these moms. This experience allowed me to learn from them like I learned from other Black women during the natural hair movement. I love Taliah Waajid and Mielle Organics—those are the two I use consistently. 

What legacy did you want to convey when documenting “Wash Day?”

“Wash Day” Celebrates The Beauty of Black Hair Care

[We’re] really reclaiming wash day as self-care and leaving behind a beautiful part of our culture. There’s something community-centered about our haircare rituals, but we’re claiming that time and self-care and [taking] a bit of the sting out of what wash day has become—laborious. 

When I started this project, I started looking at “Wash Day” as an opportunity to pour into my kids. It changed the way that I approach it. Rather than, ‘I just need one more week.’ It’d be like, ‘I’m feeling excited about doing it.’ We can watch their favorite show, talk, and listen while I’m reminding them their hair is beautiful.

Though Faxio showcased natural hair routines passed down from generations, she’s not done. She intends to document “Wash Day” in a film and highlight coily hair types while focusing on texturism, an anti-black rhetoric that challenges the natural hair community. The storyteller conceptualizes freedom and healing in her work.

Pass The Mic: Candid Conversations With Monaé Everett at EssenceFest

When you hear the name Monae Everett, just know the veteran hairstylist’s portfolio consists of stars like Maleah Joi Moon, Myha’la Herrold,  Brittany Howard, Tia Mowry, Method Man, Mara Brock-Akil, Gail Bean, Dominique Fishbeck, and Ayo Edibiri. The celebrity hairstylist and hair educator chatted with NaturallyCurly at EssenceFest to discuss summer hair trends and to prioritize scalp scare when rocking protective styles. 

Image source: @monaeartistry

What are some haircare tips as we transition from summer to fall? 

As we transition from summer to fall, moisturize your tresses—that hot sun was beaming down on it. Give yourself a hair mask and really take the time to make sure that the mask has penetrated the hair. Sit under a steamer or dryer, but make sure your hair is nice and moisturized.

What products do you recommend for women who utilize protective styles like sew-ins or extensions for upkeep? 

It will always come back to the basics of checking what your hair needs. Does it need protein because it won’t hold a style? Does it need more moisture? Is it dry, brittle, and cracked? When your hair is in a protective style, you still have to care for your needs and scalp. So, do not skip scalp care to enjoy your protective style.

What are some wash day tips for wearing protective styles?

If you are going to do a protective style, don’t skip a great shampoo, conditioner, mask, and leave-in. Load your hair out with what you need! Whether it is moisture or protein, don’t skip it. Completely dry your hair before you braid it down and add those hair extensions. We don’t want any mildew.

Image Source: @monaeartistry

The hair trends I’m loving lately are the huge afros. I cannot get enough. Make them crank their neck to look around you, baby! On the polar opposite, I am loving the short pixie locks. I’m all about extremism. I want them to see you coming a mile away. 

What is the best advice you’ve gotten regarding hair care?

The best advice I’ve gotten regarding hair care is that regimens vary based on hair texture, density, and porosity. You cannot do the same thing your good girlfriend is doing because you may not have the same type of hair. What is working for her and making her hair flowy and luxurious may damage your hair. Nobody has time for that.

What are three words to describe your crown?

Pass The Mic: Candid Conversations With Monaé Everett at EssenceFest
Image Source: @kerv.in

Three words to describe your crown are beautiful, majestic, godly, and everything everybody is looking for. 
Everett is an expert at executing hair stylists and the trends that follow. Just like her, we spotted 25 hair trends during ESSENCEFestival. Check out how these beauties rocked their styles during the celebration.

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.
25 Summer Hair Trends Spotted at EssenceFest

And just like that, it’s a wrap at this year’s most anticipated event. We thank our vendors, panelists, and celeb friends who supported us at BeautyCon. However, the show’s true stars are the attendees, whose support made the NaturallyCurly and BeautyCon experience truly special. Black and textured hair was the main character, and we featured some cool hair moments. Scroll for the top natural and protective hairstyles captured at Essence Fest’s 30th year.

1.

Big hair, let the haters stare! This attendee is giving real hair goals with her medium-brown balayage coily fro.

2.

All smiles with fashion stylist Sierra Rena as she rocked her twisted, mini curly fro. The pearl earrings and her short strands complemented her babydoll-esque ensemble.

3.

It’s Coily girls everywhere! During her fashion display, Kin Apparel CEO Philomina Kane rocked her juicy, hydrated coils.

4.

This look is straight goddess vibes! This attendee’s bantu knots matched her radiant aura as she smiled at the NaturallyCurly booth.

5.

Staffed but in style. This Essence photographer’s freeform locs complemented his ashy blonde beard. Even with a camera on his hip, he’s the star of the show.

6.

This EssenceFest attendee is too cool for school. He “smizes” while posing in his twisted locs.

7.

This is a first for NC—we’ve never spotted goddess stitch braids! This Essence Fest beauty looks dashing in her chunky plaits.

8.

Peace sign to Essence Fest next year! On the pink carpet, these besties rocked medium box braids with beads and balayage zig-zag Fulani braids.

9.

We’re just happy to catch these short goddess locs from our staff. She styled her tresses in two pigtails, perfect for an on-the-go style.

10.

And the winner of America’s Next Top Model goes to this braided beau! She shined, sporting her fresh knotless boho braids and color-block dress.

11.

We love this sisterly energy! These two divas looked angelic while they posed in their accessorized locs. This picture screams maximalism to a tea!

12.

Bucket hats for the bosses. This loc’d attendee looked superb as he spotted an orange bucket hat to dress her medium-length mane.

13.

It was an Essence-Fest family affair! This team emphasized protective styles and loc care. We love the artistic, abstract loc style.

14.

We had to capture this little star. This cover girl’s half-up, half-down, beaded braids are our favorite. Her look is a top-ten NC moment!

15.

BeautyCon attendee Nell loves to steal the scene in green. We applaud her mother, Meritha, for styling these goddess-green braids.

16.

This bandana over locs look exudes bad-boy energy! These freshly done medium-length locs pair well with these oversized shades.

17.

Spotted…a baddie with a braided baldie! NC captured the trendy braided style that’s been viral for months. 

18.

Hi Barbie! This attendee gave the main character energy with her platinum blonde textured ponytail.

19.

We prayed to the silk press heavens for this vibrant do! Check out this BeautyCon spectator as they look dashing in their pressed tresses.

20.

Look cute with the natural hair gang! These three naturalistas looked stunning in their natural styles at BeautyCon.

21.

Natural hair plays a role in the family. We blushed as this duo was overjoyed with our swag bags, and we caught them rocking their natural curls and freeform locs. 

22.

Thumbs up to this braided beau! We’re loving this chic and fresh-braided ponytail. 

23.

These luscious curls looked dreamy. This attendee’s side-swooped gray coif turned heads. 

24.

We’re living for this tousled, wavy braided look from this devoted NC lover.

25.

Short hair for the win! This NC patron rocked her curls in a middle part while grabbing her goodies during BeautyCon at Essence Fest. 

Though we are sad to leave NOLA, NaturallyCurly celebrates how the natural hair community stormed the pink carpet. Join us in September as we prep for BeautyCon LA—you don’t want to miss this.

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.
How These “Texture on The Runway” Styles Commanded The Catwalk at EssenceFest

A time was had at the BeautyCon stage! Texture on The Runway revolutionized the hair game with iconic looks that seamlessly blended the essence of editorial magazines and the vibrancy of New Orleans culture. Models strutted and posed on the catwalk, showcasing unique pieces that beautifully merged Black hair with high fashion. Beauty brands like L’Oréal, Mizani, Redken, Matrix, and Carol’s Daughter came together to celebrate textured hair as the main attraction.

Image Source: @naturallycurly

The highly anticipated runway show, curated by NOLA-bred hairstylists and the Texture of Change collective, Tippi Shorter, Michelle O’Connor, Jamal Edmonds, Allen Pazon, and Mandy D Williams, left the audience in awe with their jaw-dropping looks. 

The Anticipation 

Johnny Wright ignited the crowd’s excitement when he announced that Texture on the Runway celebrates fashion and hair culture. As New Orleans marks its 30th year, the Essence Fest served as the perfect “backdrop” to honor Black beauty and empower all Black women to shine. 

Let’s Get Into These Looks

How These “Texture on The Runway” Styles Commanded The Catwalk at EssenceFest

Each hair look was a moment. The architect of each hairstyle looked as if it was designed for an editorial spread. Models with different hair types shined as they glided on the runway. One by one, eleven models gave multidimensional hair inspiration. Each stunning look was created by the AirLight Pro, the first professional hair dryer augmented with infrared light by L’Oreal Professionnel.

How These “Texture on The Runway” Styles Commanded The Catwalk at EssenceFest

This stunning red abstract braided look shifted the energy in the room. The model complimented her hair with a bright, golden dress and rocked a half-up, half-down burgundy hairpiece. The upper half of the do was constructed with uniformed plaits that were crafted to perfection. Stylists kept the lower half simple but tousled with waves. 

Feathered and fabulous! This model killed it with her yellow, avant-garde dress and hair to match. The hair was styled in a sleek but lengthy low-textured ponytail wrapped at the base and secured with parted yellow rubber bands. This look is a fashion-forward ode to Y2K fashion.  

Big blowouts will forever be a moment. This model rocked a simple but voluminous blowout style with subtle waves. This is perfect for a versatile look. Whether for brunch or a night out, this Diana Ross-inspired style is the topic of conversation. 

Look extraterrestrial with this remixed Bantu knot-out style. This model posed in an auburn and dark brown exaggerated textured hair look. This intergalactic hairstyle gives the main character energy. 

This simple, platinum blonde finger wave moment is classic and chic but spontaneous. The ruby-red hooded dress is perfect for this retro ensemble. 

Mohawk realness! Bring out your inner rockstar with this glamorous, medium-brown textured mohawk. 

This crisp, half-braided afro is giving cottage-core realness. The textured piece is bluntly cut and topped with an abstract cornrow design. 

The most constructed hairpiece designed by hair scientists. This piece perfectly balances traditional editorial hairstyling while giving an amplified ode to the French twist updos and hair “bundles.” 

This curly fro look screams 80s baby! The tousled magenta hair piece is clipped to the side, a nostalgic but safe hair styling approach for curly hair lovers. 

How These “Texture on The Runway” Styles Commanded The Catwalk at EssenceFest

A true Bridgeron baddie! Beauty editor Akili King stated the hit TV series was a remnant of this hair look. This timeless coiffure is pinned to perfection! The model’s hair was styled with golden accessories throughout her crown.

Abstract braids for the win! Abstract braids became a part of the new wave of protective styles. The craftsmanship on the braided updo is foundational but extravagant. 

Texture on the Runway has paved the way for young entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams while making a mark on the hair industry. Stay tuned for more textured hair inspiration during the 30th celebration of the Essence Festival.

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.
NaturallyCurly Gets Candid: Takeaways From Our HairTok Panel With Michelle O’Connor and Tippi Shorter

Michelle O’Connor and Tippi Shorter are two hair stylists redefining protective style and natural hair maintenance. NaturallyCurly’s editor, Desiree Johnson, chatted with the two powerhouses to discuss protecting your tresses while rocking protective styles, the importance of wash days, and tackling texture hair stigmas in society. 

Protective Styling and Wash Days

NaturallyCurly Gets Candid: Takeaways From Our HairTok Panel With Michelle O’Connor and Tippi Shorter
Essence Festival of Culture

When wearing braids, twists, and bantu knots, it’s essential to make sure you maintain a consistent regimen for a healthy scalp. Shorter recommended “shampoo-less scalp cleansers” like ACV and Sea Breeze to replenish the scalp. Scalp and hair education have influenced hair lovers. Also, protective-style wearers are curious about retaining their strands while exfoliating their crowns. O’Connor suggested not pushing rocking protective style like box braids for more than six to eight weeks. 

“You have to wash your hair. That’s the bottom line,” O’Connor emphasized. “Unfortunately, we shy away from that because we know it’s a process of start to finish, but really think about what’s underneath and not covered up at the expense of your scalp being degraded.” 

NaturallyCurly Gets Candid: Takeaways From Our HairTok Panel With Michelle O’Connor and Tippi Shorter
Essence Festival of Culture

Shorter reiterated that there’s no need to worry about shedding hair after your takedown, as our hair naturally sheds daily.

Benefits of Protective Styling For Textured Hair

As the heat rises, we overmanipulate our tresses for a sleeker look. O’Connor recommends protective styling, which gives our delicate hair a break. Everyday styles like ponytails break our strands; however, simple styles rest textured hair. Shorter reacted to the audience and explained that being part of the “braided bunch” negates heat and environmental damage. O’Connor loves the “braided baldie,” a popular braid trend created by stylist and IG User Tookiedidit, which she says is a celebration of our hair. 

Preventing Dryness And Breakage

NaturallyCurly Gets Candid: Takeaways From Our HairTok Panel With Michelle O’Connor and Tippi Shorter

O’Connor instructs that water is our hydration source and that we must utilize it in every aspect of our bodies. Since water vaporizes our hair, another component needs to be added to the moisture. She recommends Matrix’s Food For Soft line, packed with hyaluronic acid to hold moisture within the scalp. Shorter added Mizani’s Wonder Crown, a clarifying cleanser perfect for protective styles.

Texturism and Society’s Beauty Standard on Natural Hair 

NaturallyCurly Gets Candid: Takeaways From Our HairTok Panel With Michelle O’Connor and Tippi Shorter
Essence Festival of Culture

The influx of beauty trends overwhelms our timeline, making it challenging to stick to a particular hairstyle. O’Connor believes these styles may be at the expense of embracing natural hair. She encourages treating these trends as a want, not a necessity.

“If you want to wear a lace front, braids, a braided bob— it should be an accessory, something you have fun with but not at the cost of your own hair.” Social media is a stepping stone in self-reflecting and representing your beauty; however, it can be a terror to hairstylists. O’Connor acknowledges that texturism is a forced ideology made to rethink society’s beauty standards, but stylists like herself and Shorter highlight different textures for representation. 

“You are seeing beautiful women with type 4C hair being elevated and put on billboards and skimming through magazines. and you’re seeing their hair being celebrated, she said.” “That is how we play our role in making sure that we’re advocating for models that have all textures, even in positions or styles that the person leading the shoot might not be comfortable with.”

Though Shorter had a love-hate relationship with influencers, she applauded how they take up space to advocate for their texture and take “artistic control” in narrating their hair journey despite their textures. 

These leaders in textured hair made momentous points in scalp care, proper protective styles, and accepting your curls and coils despite societal trends.

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.
EFOC 2024: Why Camille Rose’s Founder Janell Stephens Lives By Trust in Every Aspect of Business

Essence Fest’s 30th cultural celebration kicked it with a leading hair giant, Camille Rose’s CEO and founder, Janell Stephens. The entrepreneur built her brand on integrity and grit while remaining humble. The driven hair maven sat down with Sophia Dennis at the BeautyCon Stage to discuss her journey as a passionate but authentic beauty brand owner. 

The Journey To Success 

EFOC 2024: Why Camille Rose’s Founder Janell Stephens  Lives By Trust in Every Aspect of Business
Essence Festival of Culture

As a self-proclaimed “kitchen chemist,” Stephens recognized her strengths through her determination and faith in God. Even though Camille Rose was a year into producing for big retailers like Target, she hand-made her ingredients to prevent diluting her products and keep her brand’s integrity. Eventually, Stephens found a chemist, making the brand a viral sensation. When starting a natural hair company, Stephens stayed true to her mission and believed in her ability to take over the haircare retail space. 

Team Building While Being A Leader In Hair Care 

Stephens confessed she blocked out the noise from outsiders, making her a fortune. She also advised prospective entrepreneurs to follow their vision and trust their instincts while trusting others because “you can’t do it by yourself.” She had to learn to allow others to blossom as they grew with her brand. To grow a business, Stephens advised not to allow fear to consume your thoughts. 

“You have to realize when God whispers, you really have to hear and just make a move,” she said. “When you trust God, you can’t trust him halfway or be scared. So just get rid of the fear and go for it.”

Camille Rose’s Future

EFOC 2024: Why Camille Rose’s Founder Janell Stephens  Lives By Trust in Every Aspect of Business
Essence Festival of Culture

Stephens hopes to become a conglomerate for her enterprise. She hopes Camille Rose taps into beauty and skincare. However, she embraces her original products like her rosemary oils formulated for hair growth and alopecia, her curl maker, and deep conditioners for thinning and shedding textures. Stephens prides her brand on incorporating food-grade ingredients for proper nourishment and moisture. 

Representation For Black Beauty Brands Specializing In Curly and Coily Hair 

Stephens revealed they were scarce in Black hair care brands when she started in 2011. However, the natural hair movement shifted beauty spaces since consumers demanded inclusive or textured hair. She applauded the audience for being loyal consumers and interacting on social media for true results. The Lafayette, LA native embraces her communal approach to connect with beauty lovers. “Camille Rose is outside. I love touching hair. I love doing hair. I love taking pictures.” she said. “I think people feel that my brand is genuine and attainable. I’m just that girl. We show up in the community.” 

Work-Life Balance As an Entrepreneur 

Stephens is well-connected to her brand and despises a “corporate feel” to her business. However, she believes that, as your business exceeds its goal, having a work-life balance becomes a struggle and is slightly unrealistic. As a wife and mother of five, Stephens is still rediscovering herself and remaining passionate about her brand while taking time to refresh her mind. 

Stephens rejoices in her ability to take her brand from the kitchen to the big department stores. Before the audience roared in applause, Dennis asked Stephens to describe herself in three words, and her response is titled—proving why Stephens is a solidified game changer in the natural hair industry.

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.
NaturallyCurly Gets Swaggy With Our Swag Bags at EssenceFest 2024
NaturallyCurly Gets Swaggy With Our Swag Bags at EssenceFest 2024

NaturallyCurly is buzzing with excitement as we anticipate our trip to NOLA, a city where culture thrives. The city’s richness influences the biggest concert series in the summer, ESSENCE Festival. We are ready to attend this lively, community-forward event, where the NaturallyCurly booth will present special guests and gifts for our attendees.

Our annual “swag bags” feature momentous brands whose sole focus is nurturing textured hair strands through their moisture-rich formulations and revolutionary incentives. We’re giving you a sneak peek into some of the brands featured in our giveaway.

Starting July 4th, come to the NaturallyCurly booth to grab your swag bags and be part of this inclusive community before it’s too late! 

Mixed Chicks

NaturallyCurly Gets Swaggy With Our Swag Bags at EssenceFest 2024

Mixed Chicks is a multicultural, woman-founded brand that intersects diversity with a mission to produce inclusive hair care for curls and coils. Founders Kim Etheredge and Wendi Levy Kaaya started whipping ingredients in their garage until their community motivated the businesswomen to produce their innovations.

The successful brand will be featured in NaturallyCurly’s swag bag. Their “Curly Friendly Leave-in Conditioner” is a fan favorite due to its ability to define and moisturize curls.  The lightweight formula is vegan, sulfate-free, and their “His Mix” leave-in conditioner for men.

Image Source: @mixedchickshair

The daily moisturizer is packed with essential oils like jojoba, castor, and rosemary oil to hydrate the scalp and soften strands. To complete the Mixed Chicks styling regimen, there is their “His Mix Firm Hold Styling Gel,” packed with black walnut, castor oil, and aloe vera for long-lasting hold for defined curls. 

Innersense

NaturallyCurly Gets Swaggy With Our Swag Bags at EssenceFest 2024
Image source: @innersenseorganicbeauty

Founders Greg and Joanne Starkman created Innersense to add healthy benefits to the hair care market as parents to a child diagnosed with WIlliam’s Syndrome. From professional hairstylists to hair care brand owners, these hair giants cultivated a plant-based organization to purify ingredients and the environment.

Innersense’s “I Create Volume” styling lotion benefits fine curly hair while locking in moisture as it’s packed with amino acids. This product is perfect for refreshing limp curls during the humid NOLA weather. 

J Stickland Labs 

NaturallyCurly Gets Swaggy With Our Swag Bags at EssenceFest 2024
Image Source: @bluemagichaircare

An oldie but always a goodie, the Blue Magic Conditioner is a household staple for textured hair families nationwide. J Stickland Labs has been manufacturing hair care products for natural and relaxed hair since the 1930s. NaturallyCurly will feature their famous hair conditioners in shea butter, olive, and coconut oil—perfect for protective styles and hot deep conditioning treatments. 

DevaCurl

NaturallyCurly Gets Swaggy With Our Swag Bags at EssenceFest 2024
Image Source: @devacurl

During the natural hair movement’s resurgence, DevaCurl became a go-to for curly influencers. The dermatologist-approved company has been changing the game for curly and coily hair. The brand is marketed to all curl types, adding moisture to each strand.

Their “Dry No Poo and One Condition” are two fan favorites implemented into our swag bags. The Dry No Poo is a moisturizing dry shampoo meant to refresh the curls without dehydrating the scalp. Also, the One Condition is a creamy conditioner that reduces frizz, transforming dry, dull curls into a bouncy mane. 

S’able Labs 

Video Source: @sable.labs

Sabrina and Idris Elba have committed to healthy skincare with their brand, S’able Labs. The skincare mavens created a stepping stone for melanated individuals to incorporate beneficial ingredients within their skin care regimen. The Black Seed Toner is an antioxidant-rich toner formulated to even the skin and eliminate hyperpigmentation while giving the skin a healthy glow. 

ORS

NaturallyCurly Gets Swaggy With Our Swag Bags at EssenceFest 2024
Image Source: @orshaircare

The Soft-Sheen family cultivated this iconic brand when their son, Gary Gardner, followed the family business and started Organic Root Stimulator. Decades later, the hair care brand is stocked in every retail store and beauty supply.

Now, their Curlshow Hair & Scalp Oil, Curlshow Curl Creator, 24k Golden Glistening Spray, and Fix-It Wig Glue will be featured in our swag bags. Each moisturizing, olive oil-infused product is a household sample for protective styles, wig lovers, and natural and relaxed hair. 

The Doux

NaturallyCurly Gets Swaggy With Our Swag Bags at EssenceFest 2024
Image Source: @ilovethedoux

Do it right with The Doux! The Doux has been a game changer for natural hair beauties nationwide. Founders Maya and Brian Smith started this brand as a love story and ode to entrepreneurship within the Black community. The viral Mousse Def Texture foam will be featured in our giveaway bags to define and hydrate curls, coils, and protective styles. 

Hawaiian Silky

Video Source: @hawaiiansilkyus

Hawaiian Silky hydrating products have transformed hair looks for years. Their Hawaiian Silky 14-In-1 Miracle Worker is a detangler that soothes the hair, leaving it non-sticking or oversaturated with excess oils. The product strengthens the hair, leaving it silky and shiny. 

NaturallyCurly prides itself on collaborating with these brands to satisfy your skin and hair needs. Stop by our booth to receive your gifts for some moisture-rich greatness.

Texture on The Runway Takes on the Big Easy at ESSENCEFest 2024

Get ready because Texture on the Runway is back and will be bigger and better than ever! Our annual event is a vibrant celebration of Black hair and beauty, and this year’s show is sponsored by the dynamic duo of L’Oreal + Texture of Change.

The BeautyCon and NaturallyCurly collaboration promises a night of high fashion and editorial looks inspired by the industry’s leading entertainers. Want to be part of the most glamorous night at ESSENCEFest 2024?

Find out more about our lively event on Saturday, July 6th, and make sure you and your friends reserve your seats for the ultimate experience! 

History Behind Texture on The Runway 

Texture on The Runway Takes on the Big Easy at ESSENCEFest 2024

Texture on the Runway has a rich history. It started as a celebratory moment for textured hair during New York Fashion Week, a time when runway models with textured hair were often overlooked. However, Texture on the Runway was a game-changer, offering a platform to embrace multicultural beauty and the creatives who styled their looks. 

Texture on The Runway Takes on the Big Easy at ESSENCEFest 2024

Last year, Mielle Organics’ founder, Monique Rodriguez, hosted the event and praised the annual fashion show, stating, “It represents more than fashion. It represents pushing the culture forward.” Models and entertainers sashayed on the runway while rocking the latest fashion-forward ensembles. This year, we’re excited to expand the Textured on the Runway extravaganza to commemorate New Orleans culture’s fashion, beauty, and spirit. 

L’Oreal + Texture of Change and Their Contributions to Diversity and Inclusion 

Texture on The Runway Takes on the Big Easy at ESSENCEFest 2024
Image Source: @thetextureofchange

L’Oreal initiated Texture of Change to dismantle limited textured hair education while highlighting “inclusivity amongst various hair types.” This initiative helps stylists and classrooms transform educational programs concerning textured hair. The collective advocates for all states to implement textured and natural hair training in the state board exams while expanding knowledge for future salon owners and beauticians.

Also, the team acknowledges most institutions and licensed professionals are not masters at treating textured hair. However, the L’Oreal team will be posted at ESSENCEFest 2024 showcasing their newest artistic hair designs while teaching the community the latest hair trends and championing their mission to highlight Black beauty. L’Oreal + Texture of Change serves the community by bridging objectivity with the hair industry, a mission that aligns with the values of Textured on the Runway. 

Why Black Beauty Matters 

Texture on The Runway Takes on the Big Easy at ESSENCEFest 2024

Though this event applauds Black beauty, textured hair is policied through legislation, allowing race-based biases for protective styles and natural hair. The Crown Act is a movement that advocates prohibiting discrimination against race-based hairstyles. With National Crown Day approaching, events like Textured on the Runway will advance the efforts to appreciate Black hair and its glory.

From the runway to the workplace, textured hair represents the multidimensionality of Black people, and during ESSENCEFest and this show, the attendees will appreciate its excellence. Black beauty matters because without it, there would be no individuality, culture, and continuity to profit from Black beauty essentials. It’s time to rejoice and recognize the efforts of Black beauty and its influence in social media, innovation, and product development. 

Texture on The Runway Takes on the Big Easy at ESSENCEFest 2024

Textured on the Runway is not just an event; it’s a celebration of Black beauty and culture. It’s a day to be proud of who you are and your appearance. So mark your calendars for Saturday, July 6, 2024, and join us at the BeautyCon stage for a show that will dazzle you with its vibrant richness.

After the show, head to the convention center for an unforgettable experience. And don’t forget to visit the NaturallyCurly booth for more product giveaways, styling tips, and a meditation experience to help you relax and appreciate your unique beauty.

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.
NC Brings The Heat to ESSENCEFest 2024 With Powerful Panels That Pack a Punch

NaturallyCurly is back better than ever at the ESSENCEFest’s 30th anniversary. With our reemergence comes game-changing panels that will impact hair lovers worldwide. This year, we’re highlighting hair stylists who demonstrated quality hair techniques in the industry. NC’s editor, Desiree Johnson, will chat with hair founders Michelle O’Connor and Tippi Shorter for our live, on-the-ground “Ask a Curl Expert” series on Saturday, July 5th.

Also, SheaMoisture will sponsor a special panel with hair enthusiast Lacy Redway as she tells beauty secrets with model, actress, and brand ambassador Ryan Destiny. These panels will unlock the latest trends, innovative brands, and hair care tips for all textures while embracing Black beauty. The Superdome will broadcast lively energy while informing the community about hair health that impacts our identity. Be sure to check out these panels NaturallyCurly will cover! 

Ask A Curl Expert Featuring Some Hair Mavens

Image Source: @michelleoconnorbeauty

Michelle O’Connor is a 5x North American Hairstyling Award-winning editorial hair stylist whose achievements surpassed global expertise within the hair care industry. O’Connor’s reputation aligns with treating natural hair care and DIY tips while creating exceptional looks.

NC Brings The Heat to ESSENCEFest 2024 With Powerful Panels That Pack a Punch
Image Source: @michelleoconnorbeauty

The educator’s work was featured in Byrdie, Allure, and InStyle magazines. Now, the renowned creative team will share the spotlight with Tippi Shorter

NC Brings The Heat to ESSENCEFest 2024 With Powerful Panels That Pack a Punch
Image Source: @tippishorter

Shorter is an artist for L’oreal’s color artist team, collecting gems for being Pantene’s first Black American spokesperson. Shorter became Aveda’s 1st Artistic Director for textured hair and graced ELLE, Seventeen, and, of course, ESSENCE Magazine while styling for stars like Alicia Keys, Rihanna, Lady Gaga,  and Kelly Rowland. 

NC Brings The Heat to ESSENCEFest 2024 With Powerful Panels That Pack a Punch
Image Source: @krisdaviphotography

The business owner centers her work on editorial textured hair. Both phenomenal women empower stylists and the natural hair industry to enhance their techniques and beautify their clients. 

Janell Stephens Takes Us On A Hair Journey With Camille Rose

Image Source: @janell_stephens

When Janell Stephens developed the brand in her kitchen, the Black woman-owned and founded Camille Rose, which became a global phenomenon in the natural hair movement. Over a decade later, Camille Rose became a competing hair care brand, a household name that beauty creators use as their everyday hair regimen. From Target to your local beauty supply chain, the prominent pink packaging signifies a brand here to stay. Stephens will sit down with BeautyCon and discuss her trials and triumphs as a Black woman whose products shifted the lifestyle and beauty space. 

Hair Artistry With Lacy Redway and Ryan Destiny 

NC Brings The Heat to ESSENCEFest 2024 With Powerful Panels That Pack a Punch
Image Source: @paolakudacki

Celebrity hairstylist Lacy Redway will join IT girl Ryan Destiny on the stage to discuss the current state of beauty trends in Black culture and highlight summer-ready hair! 

Image Source: @lacyredway

Redway works with all hair types, and her work is seen in magazines like W Magazine, Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Glamour while showcasing her artistic abilities to stars like Sarah Paulson, Amandla Stenberg, Ayo Edebiri, and Hunter Schafer. The hairstylist created a Mer Gala hair moment for South Africa’s pop princess, Tyla. 

NC Brings The Heat to ESSENCEFest 2024 With Powerful Panels That Pack a Punch
Image Source: @ryandestiny 

The class act, Ryan Destiny, is known for switching up her style while staying true to her timeless aesthetic. The “Star” and “Grown-ish” actress embodies the “soft girl” trend with her luxurious, minimalistic looks. The songstress will model for the powerhouse as they highlight contemporary, beauty-related content.

SheaMoisture, an impactful brand celebrating beauty while reinvesting in communities, will sponsor this panel. This event will bring an exciting conversation about two of Hollywood’s talent stars. Join this moment and celebrate Redway’s contributions as Destiny models for the moderator. 

ESSENCEFest 2024 attendees don’t miss out on these women who challenge societal beauty standards while creating spaces for textured hair. You don’t want to miss it! 

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.
Join NC at ESSENCEFest 2024: A Celebration of Black Beauty and Cultural Richness

The countdown to ESSENCE Festival of Culture 2024 is here, and it’s a thrill to be back. NaturallyCurly is bringing a wave of excitement with its unique and thrilling hair activities! Curlies, Coilies, and protective styles wearers prepare for an unforgettable booth experience at the convention center for the 4th of July weekend.

We’re prepping for hair essentials like our exclusive swag bags, edge touch-ups to enhance your protective styles, a thrilling new collaboration with SOTRO, and much more! Just like the NOLA weather, this event will be sizzling! 

Join us and the other Essence community members as we proudly and passionately celebrate the richness of Black beauty, culture, hit-making headliners, and trends within the vibrant streets of New Orleans. 

What In Store for Our Booth Experience

Join NC at ESSENCEFest 2024: A Celebration of Black Beauty and Cultural Richness
Image Source: @sotroinnovations

NaturallyCurly is partnering with SOTRO, a revolutionary curl-friendly company whose philosophy is making natural hair care accessible and innovative despite hair texture or type. Founders Stephanie Louis and Alicia Davis created a 2-in-1 mist steamer and hooded dryer with cutting-edge technology to treat and hydrate textured hair. 

Image Source: SOTRO

The dryer is travel-friendly and collapsible for healthy, at-home hair care. She and her team of stylists will demonstrate the hair tool while treating those with protective styles. They will handle edge touch-ups while rejuvenating your protective styles. These powerhouses will nourish your strands in humid weather, offering you the best of both worlds. 

To supplement your hair experience, go to the main booth, grab some hair essentials for your stay at ESSENCEFest 2024, and travel back home. We’ve concocted “swag bags”— a tote bag with our NaturallyCurly imprint filled with curly hair goodies from brands like Mixed Chicks, DevaCurl, Innersense, ORS, The Doux, and more. 

Join NC at ESSENCEFest 2024: A Celebration of Black Beauty and Cultural Richness

Check out our booth for an immersive experience with the NaturallyCurly team and the opportunity to support Black women’s businesses and leaders in natural hair care

Powerful Panels

Our editor, Desiree Johnson, will lead two unique panels dedicated to our curly community. Johnson’s will commentate on Passion to Profit: Leaders in Curls and Hair Tok: Ask a Curl Expert x Social Arthouse Panel. These panels will feature lead stylists and hair mavens Michelle O’Connor and Tippi Shorter. Johnson will dive into the latest hair trends, summer hair care, product essentials, and more! Join us on July 5th at noon to educate yourself on a better hair regimen. 

Hit The Catwalk With Textured On The Runway 

Join NC at ESSENCEFest 2024: A Celebration of Black Beauty and Cultural Richness

It’s time to hit the Naomi Campbell walk with fresh tresses during ESSENCEFest 2024. Our annual Texture On The Runway programming is back and bigger than ever. Our collaboration with BeautyCon made this phenomenal event a reflection of Black editorial beauty while paying homage to our textured hair and the stylists who’ve paved the way for cultural change within the beauty industry. 

Join NC at ESSENCEFest 2024: A Celebration of Black Beauty and Cultural Richness

Texture On the Runway debuted in New York City in 2012 during Fashion Week as a rebellious, theatric high-fashion concept that tackles beauty standards while uplifting Black creators and their artistry. Now, NaturallyCurly brings Texture On The Runway as an opportunity for Black and underrepresented creators to be seen by the audience.

Natural hair is the central concept for this event, making coils, curls, protective styles, and locs a safe space under the Superdome. The event will premiere on July 6th—so grab your tickets because you don’t want to sleep on this avant-garde, intergalactic, and energetic activation. 

Join NC at ESSENCEFest 2024: A Celebration of Black Beauty and Cultural Richness

ESSENCE Festival of Culture 2024 will celebrate its 30th year. This moment impacts culture’s biggest night, our sponsors, and the attendees who’ve supported the ESSENCE Venture community for decades. NaturallyCurly will have more in store for culture’s biggest night. Stop by our booth to indulge in summer vibes while receiving cool gifts. You don’t want to miss it!

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.
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.

12.

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.

14.

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.

15.

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.

17.

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.

20.

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.

21.

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. 

22.

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.

1.

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.

2.

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.

13.

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.

14.

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.

16.

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.

22.

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.

23.

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.

24.

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.

25.

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.

3.

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.

12.

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.

      • 1
      • 2