Search Results: Desiree Johnson

Lacy Redway and Ryan Destiny Delve into The Power of Sisterhood, Salons, and Styling at BeautyCon
Lacy Redway and Ryan Destiny Delve into The Power of Sisterhood, Salons, and Styling at BeautyCon
Essence Festival of Culture

In a world where everyone runs their race, community shapes your journey. 

Digital Creator Blake Newby adeptly moderated “Beauty That Bonds Presented by Shea Moisture,” a panel featuring the unique insights of celebrity stylist Lacy Redway and actress-singer Ryan Destiny at BeautyCon. The two women engaged in a candid discussion on the art of bonding, the importance of hair health, and styles that withstand the summer heat.

Lacy Redway and Ryan Destiny Delve into The Power of Sisterhood, Salons, and Styling at BeautyCon
Essence Festival of Culture

Building The Bond Between Clients and Stylists

Today’s hair culture is undergoing a shift where the salon is not just an option but a necessary space for building your hair journey. Redway stressed the salon’s role as a foundation for fostering healthy habits and routines for your hair texture. “The salon is not just a workplace; it’s a home and a community hub. This aligns with the ‘Beauty That Bonds’ theme from Shea Moisture because I can only give my best to my clients when I understand who they are as individuals. Building a bond with your clients takes time, and it’s a journey that doesn’t always begin the first time they sit in the chair.”

Lacy Redway and Ryan Destiny Delve into The Power of Sisterhood, Salons, and Styling at BeautyCon
Essence Festival of Culture

As a multi-hyphenate performer who is based in Los Angeles and always traveling, Destiny shared that as a Black woman, she finds it difficult to get her hair done in a city that glorifies blowouts. “I’m a salon girlie; I love getting treatments and trims and giving my hair a break when I can to maintain my health.” While she has a few gems she can visit, she relies on having a trusted glam team that has good energy and pours into her daily. Newby shared that as longtime friends of Destiny, they spent hours in the salon and could relate to how the environment shapes how you bond as friends. 

Products That Won’t Fail

Lacy Redway and Ryan Destiny Delve into The Power of Sisterhood, Salons, and Styling at BeautyCon
Essence Festival of Culture

Bonding as sisters, friends, and women remained a mainstay of the conversation, with Redway and Destiny citing their favorite Shea Moisture products. Since the New Orleans humidity wasn’t letting up, Redway discussed how the Bond Repair Oil is the go-to product to keep handy since it’s lightweight and prevents frizz for up to 24 hours. Destiny said she always tries to “Pick styles that work better in the heat because my schedule doesn’t always give me the time to sit down for braids. Today, I chose to slick down a portion of my hair and leave the rest down so it’s more manageable.” As a bonding collection, Shea Moisture’s products are not just about style; they’re about maintaining the health of your hair and giving you the confidence that your hair is in good hands.

With the newest Camp Shea activation bringing people together at BeautyCon, Redway, and Destiny shared how the theme of community resonates with them. Destiny stated, “All my life experiences wouldn’t have been possible without sisterhood. We feel for each other and try to be there for each other as much as we can. I can’t stress enough how impactful it can be to be seen authentically by your fellow sister. Redway reflected on how traveling has helped to foster community and said that during EssenceFest 2024, she’s been grateful to meet women who have helped her with filming and social media. 

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.

SOTRO Founders Alicia and Stephanie Talk About The Importance of Bringing Innovative Tech to Haircare

Alicia and Stepahenie are the co-founders and brainchild of SOTRO (Salon on the Road), which is an innovative, dynamic, and revolutionary 2-in-1 micro-mist hair steamer + hooded hair dryer. These ladies used their natural hair care experiences to bring awareness to a gaping hole in the beauty market: innovative tech solutions for natural hair. While the shelves are full of products with promising solutions for our curly, coily, and wavy haircare woes, they lack tools to enhance our texture.

Alicia and Stephanie created SOTRO to help bridge this gap by helping stylists and consumers feel empowered to treat their hair from the comfort of their homes. Long gone are the days of sore arms and necks trying to power through wash day, SOTRO helps consumers maintain a regular hair routine that repairs hair loss and moisturize with salon-grade styling results.

We sat down to chat with the blossoming co-founders about the creativity behind SOTRO, the landscape of tech in haircare, and what we can expect from their upcoming debut at ESSENCEFest 2024.

When did you meet as co-founders, and what are your roles within your company?

Stephanie: We met five years ago when Alicia won a contest that allowed the winner to visit the best ten salons in New York City. We were the first salon that Alicia visited, and we started to bond through these vulnerable conversations regarding her hair blog.

Alicia: When I ran this blog, I started right out of college to encourage people to be comfortable wearing their natural hair at work in every setting. It was right when the natural hair movement started, and people were wearing their natural hair but straightening it again for work.

I wanted to help resolve that dichotomy, so I decided to be like a sacrificial lamb for the New York hair community that summer. I will try all these salons and tell you how they are. But I went to Stephanie’s Salon and never went anywhere else.

Stephanie: Regarding our roles, we’re in the early stages, so that ebbs and flows. We both handle everything. But if we had to break it down, I’d be more CEO and operations, and Alicia’s would be more CRO and marketing. 

Stephanie, between 2019 and 2021, you had a natural hair journey that was the foundation for SOTRO’s ideation. What did you learn about your haircare routine during that time?

I can handle business professionally, but I can be lazy about self-care. Hair care is one of those things that feels like a cute chore. So anyway, can I try to escape it? Having natural hair felt like a task, so outside of having it done for the salon, I never took care of my hair. Even though I owned a salon, I still didn’t even go to the salon as regularly as I could. I’m swamped, and there’s just no time. And, like anything, it worsens when you don’t take care of it. 

For the first time in my life, I started losing hair and chunks of it. And then I got a bald spot. And so, at that point, I was like, oh, no. Like, how did we get here? I went to lots of dermatologists and then was finally diagnosed with a form of alopecia called CA

Even though I had this bald spot, she was like, yeah, don’t worry about it. We can still reverse it with medicine. But one thing you’re going to have to do is take care of your hair. I can give you all the medication in the world, but it’s not going to change the fact that if you go through these same habits again, you’ll find yourself right back here and then. There’ll be a point where we can’t reverse it. 

Now I gotta do the thing I haven’t been doing forever, and I started with the fact that I’m lazy because I was trying to think through why it is that like I don’t do this right. I could just walk to the salon if I want to, it’s a 5 minute walk away. I don’t have to pay for it cause I own it. So, what prevented me from doing it was that it always felt like work, even though someone else was doing it. And then I would have to get myself in whatever comfortable position I was on my couch right to go over there and then sit in a salon space. 

I thought if I could think through how to make this accessible when you’re at home with salon-level quality, then maybe I would do it more. These are like the beginning stages of what would ultimately be our tool line. Skincare has seen a surge in self-care as part of how people do these routines; hair care doesn’t have that. 

Alicia, you started hair steaming in 2019. How did this change your haircare routine, and what were the benefits of diffusing or air drying?

Prior to 2019, I’ve always had long hair, like shoulder length, and now it’s longer than that. I always had a routine where it was good: I’d cut it, wear a protective style, and then have to restart growing it out. When I started regularly steaming my hair, it became more manageable, so I was able to be more consistent when I couldn’t go to the salon.

Steaming has been an additional step that I was missing in my hair journey. It keeps my hair moisturized and makes it easy for me to manage on my own. I would say it’s very different from air drying and diffusing because those were more of the final steps, whereas this was for having my styles look good in between wash days.

How did you come up with the name and design for SOTRO?

Stephanie: SOTRO stands for (Salon On the Road), which indicates tools and solutions for people on the go. We wanted to think of a very memorable name, like Coca-Cola or Kodak. Second, we wanted to reinforce this concept of an accessible salon concept that you can take anywhere with you. We felt like that was very representative of the types of tools and solutions we would end up building for people. Regardless of their destination, location, or stylist, they could always have their salon with them to meet their hair care needs. 

What has been your biggest challenge as co-founders entering a crowded haircare market?

Stephanie: It’s an exciting time. One can look at crowded as a limiting step, but the conversations are changing now to your point about Cécred, FentyHair, TPH, and Flawlessby GU. All of these brands, right? Like there’s a conversation about what your natural hair is doing and how we can enhance that. 

It’s not crowded for us because very few people are taking a hardware approach to that. But the fact that we are in a space and in a time right now with curly hair is a market opportunity that people are actually recognizing. We all have this curly hair for what, like the other. 

You’ve got all these products, and they are great, but without the tools to optimize them, they could not work as well for you as they should. How can we help your products perform better? How can we help you maintain a better hair care routine? Like how? We get to be that gap. We see that this is the right time for SOTRO to exist; we couldn’t exist before people had the desire and the language to be able to care for their hair.

What was a game-changing moment for your company?

Stephanie: The first game-changing moment was when we came together with our diverse backgrounds and combined our passion for improving hair care for other people. We could take a napkin-drawn concept to a fully functional prototype, and that first day that we plugged it in and it worked…was a big deal.

Image Source: @sotroinnovations

Another hallmark was winning this manufacturing grant that New York State sponsors. It’s designed for robotics and high-end tech, and we almost won first place, which made us realize that we are innovators. Sometimes, it takes someone to recognize you in a space you would not think is a traditional place to go.

Being a winner of the  “Lift as We Climb” grant from Gabrielle Union was a personal and professional victory because she’s a legendary actress. Pitching to her was one milestone, but having her support our vision has been an unforgettable experience. Our next big moment will be debuting our product at ESSENCEFest 2024.

How does combining a hair steamer and hooded dryer improve a person’s hair health?

Alicia: Many of us have alternatives for drying, whether starting with an air dryer or using a diffuser. Then you have the hooded cap or dryer I used to have in my house, so to say there are many options to dry your curls, coils, and waves is an understatement. When we thought about this, we wanted steaming to be a tool that people introduced to their routine, and the best way to do that and educate our consumers about that is to marry it with a product they’re used to.

When they see a dryer and a steamer, they’re like, shouldn’t this be the same machine? And we figured out a way to do that so that people aren’t shelling out all this money to have a whole salon worth the products in their house. We can simplify it to one. With that, we’re really on this mission to emphasize the importance of steaming so that people can have a similar experience that I had where I realized this was the missing link in my routine that really brought it all together and then provided them with the tool that they’re used to for an optimal experience there as well. 

Adjusting your haircare regimen revolutionized both hair experiences; what advice would you give to people who are scared or hesitant to try a new tool?

Stephanie: Having a built-in trust with the community makes these sorts of arguments easier, and that’s something we’re building. As we build, we will invite people into our hair care routine, and people will get to follow us and see how regular steaming sessions and drying sessions with the SOTRO machine.

Many companies are trying to zero in on a core tenant of hair care that can only be resolved with moisturizing. You want your hair to be healthy, and products with this water percentage are excellent. Still, if you don’t have a foundation where your hair can absorb this moisture, retain it, and do that consecutively, you won’t see a difference.

Alicia: For people with curly hair, the tighter the curl, the higher the stakes when trying out a new product or tool. You have one shot each week to do your hair, and you’re like, alright, are you going to work, or should I just stick with what I know will make me look good? Our product will allow you to have maybe even the opportunity to have two do-overs in a week, right? If you come out of the shower and it’s messed up like I’m going to go right under the steamer, try again, and it’ll be more accessible than the first time I did it.

Your brand is focused on making “hair care accessible to everyone.” How do you plan to execute that philosophy in the future?

Image Source: @sotroinnovations

Stephanie: You spoke about affordability earlier in this call, and I think that is one high barrier to accessibility. So we want to introduce our tool, which we have priced accordingly. It’s two tools in one, giving you some long results, and it’s travel-friendly. 

The innovation alone has a commensurate cost, right? But we want to make it affordable. Not everybody can spend hundreds of dollars on a tool at once, so we want to offer buy-now, pay-later plans out of the gate. That is very important for us. We’ll eventually implement a rental plan as well.

We’ll be seeing SOTRO at ESSENCEFest 2024 at the NaturallyCurly booth. What can we expect from your partnership?

Alicia: I think the inspiration behind what we wanted to do at ESSENCEFest 2024 is to give people a taste of what it would feel like to have our machine in their home, just to be able to block everything out and let something else do the work while you. You can focus on something else while your hair is getting taken care of. We’re really trying to bring that relaxation aspect of it as well, and the specific meditation that we’re doing really reframes the idea of wash day.

I think for most of us, it feels like a chore. It feels like work. I have been putting it off for way too long—even me just right now. And I’m a co-founder. But you know, just reframing that, you get to do your hair, and it’s exciting and it’s good. And you’re happy to do it, and it won’t be hard today. 

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.
The NaturallyCurly Team Shares Protective Styles They’ll Be Rocking at ESSENCEFest 2024

The countdown to ESSENCEFest 2024 is happening, meaning it’s time to plan, pack, and strategize all the essentials for the 30th anniversary celebration. For the NaturallyCurly team, deciding which hairstyle we want to rock will allow our curls and coils to flourish in New Orleans. Before loading up our suitcases with tons of travel-size products, we decide the best way to style our curls and coils. Given the sweltering heat and humidity, the best option is a protective style.

Why We’re Opting For Protective Styles

The NaturallyCurly Team Shares Protective Styles They’ll Be Rocking at ESSENCEFest 2024
Image Source: @euleticiapiuu

Going for a protective style can not only be beneficial to save time and energy from constantly styling our hair each day, but there are endless options to choose from. Every season, we see braids, locs, and twists evolve into intricate designs and styles showing natural hair’s power. The climate of New Orleans can lend to humidity, heat, and frizz, which could be a winning combination or epic fail for your traditional wash-and-go, depending on your regimen.

Our team is dreaming up the perfect protective styles to have our curls and coils thriving during the summer heat while we sashay between all that ESSENCEFest 2024 has to offer. Between panels, concerts, and hanging out with our NaturallyCurly readers, we want to ensure our styles are sleek, frizz-free, and manageable.

Interested to see what protective styles our team could wear at ESSENCEFest 2024? Read more below.

The NaturallyCurly Teams Share Their Style Choices

Ayeshah, Social Media Manager

The NaturallyCurly Team Shares Protective Styles They’ll Be Rocking at ESSENCEFest 2024
Hair selections: Perm Rod Set, Knotless Twists, Faux Locs

What do you love about these styles?

The NaturallyCurly Team Shares Protective Styles They’ll Be Rocking at ESSENCEFest 2024
Image Source: @teerachelle_

What I love about these hairstyles is that they are effortless and bring out my personality. I love how my natural hairstyles can speak for themselves.

Why would they be good options for ESSENCEFest 2024?
Image Source: @akemurrr

These on-the-go styles are great for ESSENCEFest 2024 because they require little effort. I can style each hairdo in various ways.

What would be your prep routine for a protective style and any products you use?

The NaturallyCurly Team Shares Protective Styles They’ll Be Rocking at ESSENCEFest 2024

For my styles, I will be prepping my hair with the Olaplex No. 3, followed by the Olaplex shampoo and conditioner. I want to make sure strands are protected and hydrated. I use the Innersense leave-in conditioner, followed by Doux’s heat protection spray, silkening fluid, and bonding polish before I blow my hair. These products combat heat damage. Also, I’m ensuring my ends are trimmed properly after my blowout. Then I use a cream like Melanin hair care twist elongating cream to seal my hair before installation.

Desiree, Editor

The NaturallyCurly Team Shares Protective Styles They’ll Be Rocking at ESSENCEFest 2024
Hair selection: Knotless Braids, Micro Braids, Marley Twist

What do you love about these styles?

The NaturallyCurly Team Shares Protective Styles They’ll Be Rocking at ESSENCEFest 2024
Image Source: @braidsgang

I love that these are very easy to style and manipulate, besides just wearing them down. I can choose the color, length, and size, which allows me to customize my overall ESSENCEFest outfits.

Why would they be good options for EFOC?

Image Source: @braidsconnect

At best, all I have to worry about is hydrating my scalp and oiling the braids to prevent frizz, but they don’t require much upkeep. This makes moving between events easy during the weekend and saves me prep time in the morning.

What would be your prep routine for a protective style and any products you use?

The NaturallyCurly Team Shares Protective Styles They’ll Be Rocking at ESSENCEFest 2024

These styles will require me to stretch and straighten my hair, so I’ll want to use a good deep conditioner like the OUAI Fine to Medium Hair Treatment Masque to make my hair soft and strong. I’ll follow it with the Moroccanoil Intense Smoothing Frizz Control Serum to reduce frizz and create a good slip for my braider.

Keturah, E-Commerce Manager

The NaturallyCurly Team Shares Protective Styles They’ll Be Rocking at ESSENCEFest 2024
Hair selections: Island Braids, Fulani Braids

What do you love about these styles?

Image Source: @kp_thestylist

I love how timeless they are. I can look back on photos and feel good about what I chose.

Why would they be good options for EFOC?

The NaturallyCurly Team Shares Protective Styles They’ll Be Rocking at ESSENCEFest 2024
Image Source: @justbraidsinfo

They’re good for festivals because they keep my hair from my face and let my scalp breathe in the NOLA heat.

What would be your prep routine for a protective style and any products you use?

The NaturallyCurly Team Shares Protective Styles They’ll Be Rocking at ESSENCEFest 2024

I know I would lay my hair down at night. I would ensure I had an excellent scalp oil and some edge control. I like the Mielle rosemary mint collection!

Stay tuned to our ESSENCEFest 2024 coverage next week to see what styles we’ll be rocking at the event!

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.
Experience the Inclusive Vibes of Houston White’s Fresh Collection

Created by successful barber, designer, and cultural curator Houston White, the high-vibes, inclusive personal care brand Fresh by Houston White launched exclusively at Target to bridge cultural divides in the beauty aisle. The collection is for people of all races, genders, and hair types. It provides effective routines for a community of people who celebrate feeling beautiful and strive to vibe high daily.

Experience the Inclusive Vibes of Houston White’s Fresh Collection

FRESH by Houston White features 11 solution-oriented products ($9 – $12) ranging in hair, skin, and body care and offers vibrant packaging and fresh ingredients, including Matcha Tea, Lavender, Soothing Aloe Oil, and scented notes of apricot, almond, cedar, and coconut for an ultimate FRESH feel – all at an affordable price point.

We chatted with Houston about how he developed his barber skills and expanding the haircare sector for men of all textures.

You originally started cutting hair in your aunt’s basement. Did you have a few signature styles, or could you do all haircuts?

I did mostly bald fades with the waves on top. The waves with the tight lineup were really a big deal back in the day.

Did you have any learning curves or memorable hair blunders?

Experience the Inclusive Vibes of Houston White’s Fresh Collection
Image Source: @freshbyhoustonwhite

Of course…, I messed a few lines up early on. I was trying to be so precise when I first started!

You’ve created several businesses as an entrepreneur; what vision did you want to achieve when designing the Houston White Men’s Room?

I wanted to elevate the experience of the local barbershop. The goal was to create an upscale environment that exuded approachable opulence. I wanted everything to be perfectly in place and the customer experience consistent and top-notch for the “everyday person.”

How would you describe the essence of a barbershop and how it’s evolved for the modern man today?

Image Source: @freshbyhoustonwhite

The Black barbershop is a second home, a space where you come as you are, no matter who you are, where you’re from, or what you’re going through. When you walk through that door, you enter some type of family you won’t experience anywhere else. The evolution of space has become much more multicultural.

What inspired you to create a natural hair and skin care line for all genders and hair textures?

Experience the Inclusive Vibes of Houston White’s Fresh Collection
Image Source: @freshbyhoustonwhite

I started making hair and skin care products in 2008, starting with pomade. The original pomade I was using was discontinued, and because I couldn’t find one that had the same quality, I learned to make my own. When I opened the barber shop, I wanted to give my clients the ultimate experience.

With the positive feedback and questions from women and men from all races who would come in and ask if they could use the pomade, I knew we could re-engineer those recipes to formulate what is now FRESH by Houston White, intentionally created to meet everyone’s hair textures and skin types. I’m happy that our formulas have gone beyond the barbershop and are now available at select Target stores and

Is there a common problem or issue you’ve noticed all men face with their hair care/grooming routine?

Many men struggle to find the right hair products and skincare routines tailored to their texture and lifestyle needs.

Image Source:

Where do you see your brand evolving in 2024?

Our primary goal is to continue growing the Houston White brands and uphold our commitment to a culture-first mindset that creates products and services for the greater good. For FRESH by Houston White, we aim to increase mass retail distribution and introduce new products in the hair and skincare categories.

We have some exciting collaborations for Camdentown Flats, our professional housing apartments in Camdentown, Minneapolis, and The Get Down Coffee Co. our specialty coffee selection in Target is a part of the expansion that will bring people, cultures, and communities together to celebrate one another.

The FRESH by Houston White collection also features a QR code and frequency icons on each product, which drive to a playlist of frequencies to listen to while using FRESH products for a truly immersive sensory experience.

The Best Brushes for Detangling Curly Hair – According to Curl Stylists

Knots are an inevitable part of curly hair, and there is absolutely no avoiding them, no matter how fine-tuned your routine is. Finding the right detangling brush can make or break your wash days. Luckily, we’ve seen innovation in detangling tools that are leaps and bounds from the styling tools of yesteryear that would leave us in tears.

We talked to ten natural hair stylists from all over the country to get their opinions on the best detangling brushes for curly hair.

1. Sharita Payton

The Best Brushes for Detangling Curly Hair – According to Curl Stylists
Image: @sharitapayton

Sharita is the owner of The Loft Hair Studio, the only curl-exclusive salon in Medford, Massachusetts. As a curl specialist, Sharita remains committed to helping individuals of all backgrounds and curl types embrace and love their natural hair. She has taken classes with prominent curl brands like DevaCurl, Rezo, and Forever Curls in her pursuit to provide a safe space for customers of all curl patterns and textures.

The Best Brushes for Detangling Curly Hair - According to Curl Stylists

Sharita’s pick: Felicia Leatherwood Detangler Brush

“Our Salon “ALL TIME” favorite detangling tool…drum roll please…“Felicia Leatherwood Detangler Brush” Brush With The Best”! For the last four years, it’s been undefeated at The Loft Hair Studio. While we do lots of “finger detangling” at the shampoo bowl for low to medium density, we need a little extra help for clients with higher density. In addition to detangling, it gives some great curl definition with very little hair shed in the brush. We highly recommend it to our clients.”

2. Debra Gomes

The Best Brushes for Detangling Curly Hair – According to Curl Stylists
Image: @dosbydeb_

Debra Gomes is a Rhode Island-based hairstylist whose passion lies in helping people embrace and love their natural curls. She has dedicated her career to becoming a resource for fellow curlies and is committed to providing them an excellent experience. Whether it is keeping up to date with new trends or styling techniques, she is committed to improving the educational gap in the curly world and helping people learn how to love and care for their hair properly. 

The Best Brushes for Detangling Curly Hair - According to Curl Stylists

Debra’s pick: The Wet Brush

“When detangling curly hair, I always recommend finger detangling first, followed by the Wet Brush. I love this brush because not only does it help reduce detangling time and has soft tips and flexible bristles that eliminate stress on the hair strand. It will prevent damage such as ripping or pulling of the hair strand that can eventually lead to split ends, breakage, and even hair loss, often caused by detangling wet hair. The Wet Brush also has a beautiful slip, making the hair easier and faster to detangle. I even love this tool for styling curls!”

3. Haley Smith

The Best Brushes for Detangling Curly Hair – According to Curl Stylists
Image: @loveleyshair

Haley Smith found a passion for hair care on the journey of learning to love her own natural curls. Originally from NJ, now in Richmond, VA, she has specialized in bridal, advanced color, and wig customization. She has mastered cutting natural hair, ultimately creating LoveLey’s Hair, her salon specializing in curly/natural hair solutions. Virginia licenses Haley as a master instructor in cosmetology. She has been published in magazines, including Essence, MunaLuchi Bride, TheVoyageLa, and VPM, and has also trained under celebrity stylists like Tabatha Coffey, Yene Damtew, and Metowi.

The Best Brushes for Detangling Curly Hair - According to Curl Stylists

Haley’s pick: The CurlTamer Brush

“I am a huge fan of the CurlTamer Brush for styling all textures in the salon. This detangling brush is amazing at getting through all curl patterns, from loose to extremely tight curls. I prefer this brush because the bristles are pliable, small, and flexible. These special bristles make it super easy to glide through and around tangles and stubborn knots in the hair without ripping and causing unnecessary damage. This CurlTamer Brush is hands down my most trusted tool in the salon for successfully shampooing, conditioning, detangling, and defining curls.”

4. Serina Lopez

The Best Brushes for Detangling Curly Hair – According to Curl Stylists
Image: @yourhairstylistserina

Serina Lopez owns the Curl Lounge in Sacramento, California, and is passionate about styling curls and advocating for natural hair as a “Curl Activist.” As a Latina stylist, she is proud of her heritage and seeks to educate women and children on the importance of self-love with their curls. She is Rezo certified and prides herself on bringing curls to life after they may have experienced damage.

The Best Brushes for Detangling Curly Hair - According to Curl Stylists

Serina’s pick: Rizos Curls Pink Detangling Flexi Brush

“My detangling brush of choice would have to be the Rizos Curls pink detangling flexi brush. It’s kinda like a wide-tooth comb/wet brush hybrid. It doesn’t rip out hair or cause any breakage. It’s also the perfect comb for kids because it is gentle and can help detangle out all those fairy knots.”

5. Genese Cervantes

The Best Brushes for Detangling Curly Hair - According to Curl Stylists
Image: @mycurlconnection

Genese Cervantes owns My Curl Connection, a curly hair salon in Central Texas. She deeply loves curly hair and believes her purpose is to help people embrace the curls God gave them! Her goal is to partner with those ready to master their curls through a simple and practical routine. Genese believes that “curly hair doesn’t have to be hard, and I want to show you that.”

The Best Brushes for Detangling Curly Hair - According to Curl Stylists

Genese’s pick: Felicia Leatherwood Detangler Brush

“I recommend the Felicia Leatherwood Detangling Brush to my curly guests! It’s so gentle on the hair when it is used properly. Even though it’s called a detangling brush, I use it to style my curly guests, too! It helps evenly distribute the product, an important part of our curly set process. I love it, and you will too!”

6. Dawn Archer

The Best Brushes for Detangling Curly Hair – According to Curl Stylists
Image: @vancityhairgirl

Dawn has spent over a decade as a hairstylist and 20 years in fashion. Her intuitive approach to hair with curls and texture is unique as it’s based not on her education but on her personal experiences. Her approach is shaped by getting her haircut at both commercial and natural hair salons and being disappointed but not knowing what to ask for. She currently works at Axis Hair Salon in Vancouver where she is working with clients to create trendy summer styles.

The Best Brushes for Detangling Curly Hair - According to Curl Stylists

Dawn’s pick: Wet Brush Pro Detangler

“I recommend the Wet Brush Pro Detangler because it is great on textured and curly hair. It manages to untangle curls without breaking the hair, which is ideal for any curl texture. I also love that it can be used on wet or dry curls, a lifesaver between wash days. Clients like how it stimulates the scalp, especially since curlies don’t brush their hair very often, so getting that extra scalp care is perfect!”

7. Ashley Kukay

The Best Brushes for Detangling Curly Hair – According to Curl Stylists
Image: @ashleycurlskc

Ashley Kukay is a curly hair specialist located in Kansas City. She has been in the hair industry for five years and has been focused specifically on curly hair the past three years. She enjoys working with all curl types and encouraging women and men to embrace their natural hair. Ashley remains passionate about helping her clients achieve healthy and beautiful hair.

The Best Brushes for Detangling Curly Hair - According to Curl Stylists

Ashley’s pick: Felicia Leatherwood Detangler Brush 

“Brush with the Best by Felicia Leatherwood is by far the best detangling brush I have ever used. I use it on every one of my textured clients and get amazing results. I chose this brush over the rest because it has amazing detangling benefits and gives me a great definition of styling natural hair.” 

8. Nadia Nicole

The Best Brushes for Detangling Curly Hair – According to Curl Stylists
Image: @thenadianicole

LA’s Curly Hair Specialist, Nadia Nicole, has always been excited about cultivating a community that empowers women to embrace their naturally curly hair. With certifications for various types of curly hair, including Rezo Cut and Lights, as well as the popular Deva cut and style, she has truly mastered the art of taking care of all textures. She was inspired to create her own brand, “Curly Babes” and it has allowed her to teach women how to truly love their natural beauty. She continues to make a name for herself, transforming lives one curl at a time.  

The Best Brushes for Detangling Curly Hair - According to Curl Stylists

Nadia’s picks: The Tangle Teezer and Denman Brush 

“I highly recommend the Tangle Teaser and Denman Brush for all my curly babes. Tangle Teaser has flexible bristles, which allow the detangling of wet hair without causing any breakage. Once you begin styling, I’d switch over to the Denman brush, which has stiffer bristles. This brush allows you to define and style your curls for that maximum bounce with some added definition.”

9. Ashley Nisheé

The Best Brushes for Detangling Curly Hair - According to Curl Stylists
Image: @ashleynisheehair

Ashley Nisheé is based in Tampa, FL, and is a texture specialist focusing on all natural curl types. She believes in embracing your natural hair and walking around with your head crowned in curls. She takes her time to give each curl the love it needs to hydrate and flourish!

The Best Brushes for Detangling Curly Hair - According to Curl Stylists

Ashley’s pick: The EZ Detangler Brush

“I highly recommend buying the EZ Detangler Brush! I LOVE to use it not only on my clients but also myself. It does not break or yank your hair while you’re detangling. Other detangling brushes I’ve used in the past have ripped and pulled the tangles instead of working them through. This brush gently glides over the knots until they are completely gone and is so gentle for my clients with sensitive scalps!”

10. Adriana Acosta

The Best Brushes for Detangling Curly Hair - According to Curl Stylists

Growing up, Adriana was exposed to all hair textures and instantly fell in love. She understood that women struggled with their hair and how to manage it. She made sure to invest in her education to perfect her craft, and now she teaches and helps women understand how to style their hair. Most importantly, her clients get to a point where they LOVE their hair.

The Best Brushes for Detangling Curly Hair - According to Curl Stylists

Adriana’s pick: Felicia Leatherwood Detangler Brush

“One of my favorite hair tools is the Felicia Leatherwood brush. Its versatility helps with detangling and styling all at the same time. It’s so easy to clean and one of the tools I always recommend my clients to invest in.”

30 Two-Strand Twist Hairstyles For Girls

Two-strand twists are easily one of the most popular hairstyles for kids. This is not only because of their versatility in styling but also the ease of the styling process—parents can quickly learn to create the hairstyle by watching one or two video tutorials on YouTube or TikTok. 

When correctly done, these two-strand twists are created by wrapping two equal strands of hair around each other to give off a springy, bouncy finish. With child-friendly hair products like OBIA Naturals Sweet Almond Heavy Cream, you should have less difficulty prepping your child’s hair for twisting. As already emphasized, two-strand twists are a simple hairstyle.

Still, you can elevate them by jazzing them up with accessories or incorporating them with other equally beautiful hairstyles to create an eye-catching appearance.


30 Two-Strand Twist Hairstyles For Girls

These two-strand twisted bangs are delicately assembled to form a heart design and crisscrossed to merge with two buns.


30 Two-Strand Twist Hairstyles For Girls

These box two-strand twists are heavily adorned with colorful rubber bands and beads, giving the hairstyle a vibrant aesthetic.


30 Two-Strand Twist Hairstyles For Girls

For this hairstyle, single twists are further twisted to lay flat in front while the rest gently fall back, thus imitating a waterfall look.


30 Two-Strand Twist Hairstyles For Girls

Many parents opt for locs for their kids because of its long-term benefits, and two-strand twists are one of the most common ways to do them. Throw in some hair beads for a little razzle-dazzle.


30 Two-Strand Twist Hairstyles For Girls

This twists hairstyle is characterized by parting the hair into multiple sections, with each section having a double two-strand twist.


30 Two-Strand Twist Hairstyles For Girls

Kids love puzzles so why not incorporate puzzle parts in her two-strand twists hairstyle to give her that feeling of uniqueness?



Like the puzzle parts, the distinct triangular parts make this hairstyle stand out here.



This twists hairstyle features the entire hair split in two, the upper half in two-strand twists, and the lower part is separated into two buns.



These simple but adorable ponytail twists involve splitting the hair into four large sections, with each section put in double ponytails.


30 Two-Strand Twist Hairstyles For Girls

As its name implies, this twisted hairstyle is characterized by zigzag parts which take the style from regular to classy.


30 Two-Strand Twist Hairstyles For Girls

Featuring three giant ponytail twists, this hairstyle exudes a peaceful aura.


30 Two-Strand Twist Hairstyles For Girls

Here, the hair on both top sides of the head is braided to form an x-design, while the hair in the middle and the lower part is left in two-strand twists.


30 Two-Strand Twist Hairstyles For Girls

By adding extensions to double ponytail twists, you create not only more length but beauty.


30 Two-Strand Twist Hairstyles For Girls

This hairstyle combines two-strand twists and twists out with gold accessories to create sparkle and shine.



Here, prominent heart parts are cut out, and large beads adorn the hair at the roots and tips.


30 Two-Strand Twist Hairstyles For Girls

Instead of a regular side ponytail, three two-strand twists are included, which are pulled together with the rest of the hair to a side.



This hairstyle is a variation of the mohawk: the hair on both sides is rolled and packed with rubber bands to create an effect similar to shaved sides, while the two-strand twists are pulled together in the middle.


30 Two-Strand Twist Hairstyles For Girls

Instead of a regular side ponytail, three two-strand twists are included, which are pulled together with the rest of the hair to a side.


30 Two-Strand Twist Hairstyles For Girls

Although two-strand twists feature minimally in this hairstyle, they nonetheless give the bangs of this puff hairstyle a polished finish.



A regular two-strand twist hairstyle can change from okay to ooh-la-la with colorful rubber bands adorning the roots.



If you’re a parent who wants a hairstyle that will last your baby girl for weeks, then the mini two-strand twists are your best bet.



The two-strand twists hairstyle here is horizontally divided into two with a distinctive wave part.


30 Two-Strand Twist Hairstyles For Girls

This fusion of two-strand twists and bubble braids comes together to result in a playful and dimensional hairstyle.



Butterfly hair clips latching onto every single twist in this hairstyle take it from ordinary to stylish.


30 Two-Strand Twist Hairstyles For Girls

The two-strand twists start thin at the base and gradually give way to chunky ends.


30 Two-Strand Twist Hairstyles For Girls

This is a fancy hairstyle that features cornrows braided to the side on the top part of the hair with beautiful two-strand twists falling delicately behind.


30 Two-Strand Twist Hairstyles For Girls

This hairstyle is an elegant combination of Bantu knots neatly set in the middle of the head with two-strand twists on either side for a visually appealing look.


30 Two-Strand Twist Hairstyles For Girls

For this low ponytail twist, the hair is vertically divided into two equal parts and sleeked down to create a symmetrical and stylish look.


30 Two-Strand Twist Hairstyles For Girls

Another hairstyle in which although two-strand twists play a minimal feature, their inclusion still results helps to create a striking effect.


30 Two-Strand Twist Hairstyles For Girls

This hairstyle involves side ponytails that merge braids with two-strand twists; the ends of the hair are colored purple.

And that’s it, Mom and Dad! 30 two-strand twists for you to screenshot for your baby girl’s next hairstyle.

Which Olaplex Products are Best for Curly Hair?

If you have ever gotten your hair colored at the salon, there is a good chance you’ve heard the word “Olaplex” thrown around, whether it’s a treatment or recommendation your stylist makes to add to your product regime. There’s a reason for that.

As a naturalista who loves to color her curls, I can say without hesitation that hair dye does a number on your texture, pattern, and overall hair health when not treated properly. Finding the right mix of shampoo, conditioner, and products to give your curls the bounce and moisture they need can be extremely challenging.

Every product can say “color safe” or “sulfate free,” but you can go through plenty of trial and error to determine which is actually helping your hair rather than hurting it.

What is Olaplex?


I’ve said it once & I’ll say it again, I love @olaplex! So let’s talk about my favorites! #olaplexpartner #olaplex

♬ original sound – kyra nikole
Image Source: @hairbynay247

Olaplex is a patented system developed by scientists to repair, protect, and strengthen damaged hair regardless of your texture or type. These bottles are filled with liquid gold and are known for their reparative qualities that re-link broken bonds whether you have damaged hair, frizz, colored curls, or split ends.

“Olaplex is Insurance for your tresses” says textured hair expert Niki Mackey. “I have seen first hand what this product can do to damaged as well as healthy hair. Olaplex’s game changing products repairs the disulfide bonds in your hair, which give your hair it’s structure, strength and stability; when these bonds break – this is what results in damage. The products work for every hair type and texture.”

The short version is that it leaves your hair easier to manage, healthier, stronger, and moisturized. We’re breaking down all the Olaplex products, why people love them, and which hair types they work best with.

Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3 – The Best-Seller

Which Olaplex Products are Best for Curly Hair?

Known as the “Hair Perfector,” the original Olaplex is one of the most popular products because it is an at-home treatment that nourishes, strengthens, and repairs hair from the inside out. It is the brand’s global best-seller because it improves the overall look and feel of the hair texture, giving it a noticeably healthier appearance.

“I use Olaplex on myself and my clients” curl stylist LaQuita Burnett told us, “I perform a lot of color services on my clients, especially blonde. I use Olaplex No. 1 with my color mixture during color service and No. 2 after color is rinsed to protect, repair, and strengthen curls post color treatment. I then recommend taking home care Olaplex No. 3 along with any additional products following No. 3 my client decided to use. Olaplex is definitely a must for healthy curls.”

It can be used once or twice a week to help strengthen hair before shampooing. You can use it all over the hair or on the roots, but much like a deep masque, you want to comb it through and leave it on your hair for a minimum of 10 minutes or more. This product is ideal for all curl types and should be used by naturalistas looking to maintain their favorite color treatment between salon visits.

Olaplex No. 4 – The Shampoo That Gives Back

Which Olaplex Products are Best for Curly Hair?

This highly reparative and nourishing shampoo is designed to repair and protect hair from daily stress, such as frizz, split ends, damaged hair, and relinking broken bonds. As a sulfate-free shampoo, it is a crowd favorite because it will not leave hair dry and provides great moisture for regular and color-treated hair.

Chicago color specialist Rhi Hibionada uses this on her color clients, “when a client sits in my chair, I believe they should have the most luxurious experience. That includes adding an Olaplex treatment to help keep their hair strong and healthy. I specialize in color services only, that being said, I use Olaplex no. 1, no. 2, no. 4 and no. 5. I start off by mixing in Olaplex no. 1 with the color then when the color is rinsed out, my client sits with Olaplex no. 2 for 15-20min. Lastly, they are shampooed and conditioned with Olaplex no. 4 & no. 5.”

Curlies can incorporate this into their weekly wash regimen or use it after using the signature No.3 product. This product is for you if you want to reduce breakage and incorporate moisture into your curls!

Olaplex No. 4D – For the Clean Hair & Healthy Scalp

Which Olaplex Products are Best for Curly Hair?

Welcome to the newest edition of the Olaplex family, the NO. 4D Clean Volume Detox Dry Shampoo. The best thing about dry shampoo is that it can make your hair and scalp feel cleaner without the fuss of wash day. As a healthy scalp shampoo, it does not clog pores or leave any visible white residue, so your roots aren’t powdery or gritty.

It can be easily applied to different sections of your roots between wash days to amplify any style. Current results show that consumers had 100% no white residue, 97% say their hair looked clean, and 97% saw an overall reduction in oil.

Olaplex No. 4P – For the Unbreakable Blondes

Which Olaplex Products are Best for Curly Hair?

The purple shampoo has made a splash and become a staple of the Olaplex family! Whether you’re a natural blonde or not, the concentrated purple shampoo cleanses, tones, and repairs any hair type or texture from root to end.

The sulfate-free formula creates a rich later, which can neutralize the dreaded brassiness of washing your hair. In just one use, you can look forward to improving brightness in blonde, lightened, and grey hair.

Olaplex No. 4C – For Removing the Buildup

Which Olaplex Products are Best for Curly Hair?

Don’t you hate when your hair becomes dull, discolored, dry, and unmanageable due to hair damage? The No 4C Bond Maintenance Clarifying Shampoo helps optimize hair repair by removing impurities that can leave your hair brittle and straw-like. Your hair will love the airy volume, softness, restored shine, and vibrant color clarity. If your scalp needs a deep clean, this shampoo is for you.

Olaplex No.5 – Say Goodbye To Frizz

Which Olaplex Products are Best for Curly Hair?

The No.5 is the perfect complement to the shampoo because it’s a nourishing conditioner that keeps hair healthy, shiny, and strong. Known as an ultra-hydrating conditioner, it is an excellent remedy for frizz and infuses moisture into thirsty strands. For those of us with super dry ends and damaged hair, this is your best friend.

One of the benefits of this conditioner is that it is lightweight and doesn’t require a heavy handful. It can be applied daily and should be washed out as it is not a leave-in conditioner. It should be used slowly, moving from the ends to the root.

Olaplex No.6 – The Leave-In Conditioner

Which Olaplex Products are Best for Curly Hair?

Finally, we can fall in with a leave-in. The No. 6 separates itself from the average leave-in conditioner because it is designed with curls in mind. Hydration and moisture are the staples of this product that can eliminate frizz and flyaways for up to 72 hours.

It adds weightless nourishment while protecting and defining your curls just how you like it. If you have chemically treated or color-treated hair, this can greatly improve your hair health and be used on dry or damp curls. It should be applied from mid-length down to your ends and combed through generously.

Olaplex No.7 – The Big Finish

Which Olaplex Products are Best for Curly Hair?

An oil that is a step above the rest. The No. 7 is the Bonding Oil that can be applied for extra gloss and shine. The product is highly concentrated, lightweight, and reparative and can be used for all hair types and textures. Just a few drops can drastically change the appearance of dull, dry curls and be applied to wet or dry hair at any time. If you also like to straighten your hair, this oil can provide heat protection, which is vital to preserving your hair’s health when applying large amounts of heat.

Olaplex No.8 – Time to Mask Up

Which Olaplex Products are Best for Curly Hair?

This bond intense moisture mask is the latest and greatest addition to the lineup and debuted this past year to stellar reviews. As a “multi-benefit” reparative mask, this product works to shine and smooth hair damaged by heat. It has been clinically tested to treat all hair types and is recommended to be used weekly as part of your regular hair routine.

“Six of [the] eight products are available for shoppers to use at home,” says stylist Nicki Mackey, “Olaplex No 3 Hair Perfector and Olaplex No 8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask are both my top leave in treatments for home. You can mix and match based on your individual hair needs. Give your hair the TLC it needs and watch it transform!”

Olaplex No. 9 – When It’s Time for Nourishment

Which Olaplex Products are Best for Curly Hair?

Knots, tangles, and dull hair do not stand a chance with the No. 9 Bond Protector Nourishing Hair Serum. Heat damage and pollution can contribute to your overall hair health. Olaplex is ensuring you can protect your hair from daily damage with this weightless leave-in serum to help shield hair from pollution and up to 450 degrees of heat. It can be incorporated as a serum on your wash days to improve shine and softness and bring the bounce back to your curls.

Have you tried Olaplex on your curls? Let us know how it works for you in the comments!

This article has been updated with newly released products and links.

Leysa Carrillo Talks Expanding The Scope of Texture Hair Education For Stylists

Leysa Carrillo is a force to be reckoned with in the hair industry. As a Cuban woman, she understands the transformational journey that comes with curly education and why there isn’t a one-size fits all solution to cuts and styling. Her passion, drive, motivation, and empathy for helping elevate stylists around her is reflected in her work and entrepreneurial pursuits. Her 14 years of experience as a hair colorist has led to countless awards like the American Influence Award in 2020 and creative projects with international brands like Lacroix and Halo Top Ice Cream.

Her passion for teaching curly education to stylists around the world not only led becoming a brand ambassador for Redken but features in top magazines like Nylon, Seventeen, and Pop Sugar. Carrillo’s Forever Curls Academy teaches a hybrid learning model for stylists looking to advance their education and expertise in curly hair. When she’s not styling her clients in Florida, she’s taking the main stage on her 2024 National Tour meeting curly experts around the country and imparting her gems of wisdom.

Image Source: @leysahairandmakeup

We’re excited to chat with Leysa in honor of National Hairstylist Appreciation Day about all the game changing moments of her career.

How did your relationship with your hair impact how you viewed yourself growing up?

This is a really good question because everything is related, right? I grew up in a third-world country in a humid little town by the beach with no possibility of having any beauty experience. So, my struggles and my connection with my hair started at an early age due to different factors. One, I’m a mixed-race kid– my mom didn’t know how to do my hair, and on my dad’s side, my grandma passed away, so when she passed away, my mom was like, what did I do right now, right? I had to take responsibility for my hair with no products. 

Did you have any beauty blunders in the early years of your career that were big learning moments?

Leysa Carrillo Talks Expanding The Scope of Texture Hair Education For Stylists
Leysa Carrillo Talks Expanding The Scope of Texture Hair Education For Stylists

The biggest challenge for me was believing there was a beauty industry problem. I couldn’t believe there was such a big problem. I used to work at a salon and became part of the education team where I was facilitating the education coming to the salon, but not as an educator. 

There was an event where one educator had a model that didn’t show and needed me to step in. I asked, “Can you do my hair?” and he said, “Yes, of course.” Long story short, half of my hair was gone a week after that. It broke off literally, and I had to shave my head. So that was a lesson where I learned you have to be able to show you can do curly hair and have the proper training and background, you can’t just take a stylist at their word. 

What was a formative moment in your professional career that proved a game-changer?

There have been so many different ones, right? I think the first one was me having the strength and courage to be in places I wasn’t welcome. So I started my career cleaning the salon where I ended up working, which was transformative for me because I can say that I have an extremely humble background. I started this alone. There was nobody that looked like me. No Latina, no Hispanic, no Black stylist, and at the same time, I had to prove when I went on the floor I could do hair. 

I could do hair even though you saw me cleaning three months ago. I had to get tough skin to look up at the eyes of customers shaking my hand and say, “Welcome, follow me, I’m going to do your hair today.” A lot of internal work within me resulted in great customer service. I had to train myself to talk to people for them to believe in me so I could sell myself to somebody sitting in that chair.

Leysa Carrillo Talks Expanding The Scope of Texture Hair Education For Stylists
Image Source: @leysahairandmakeup

Another one was when I decided to consider natural hair as a hairdresser, switch my whole clientele, and start from zero. I wanted to be able to have a space for my curly girl community, right? I was already double-booked and making amazing money, but I had no space to welcome them. I think that it took a lot of strength to give up on something secure and start all over again. 

I have started over so many times in my life, but I think the other one was recently when I moved from the West Coast to the East Coast. I left my whole clientele for so many years and came to Florida with no clients, income, or anything like that. I was focused on building my education team and the people who are now educating me or for me. 

That was a big moment in my career that I will never forget. It was really hard, stressful, and financially risky. 

We’ve seen a drastic change in texture hair education and awareness between the CROWN Act and the NEW YORK SENATE BILL S6528A; how have your peers navigated the increased pressure to style curls, coils, and waves?

I feel that it’s extremely gratifying and exciting because I’m looking at genetics, society, and kids, which reflect where the future is going. Let’s say ten years from now, 80% of people will have some sort of texture. I remember going to Japan in 1999, and I remember I didn’t see anybody who looked like me. You didn’t even see mixed-race couples or families because they would never get married to somebody outside their culture. 

Now, there are more blended families appearing on billboards, TV, and film, and there’s not going to be any way that stylists are not going to learn how to style textured hair. Once a week, somebody is sitting on your chair with some sort of texture, and I’m not talking about like curly or color. I’m talking about people. I feel like that’s what the future is looking like and I’m super excited because I finally feel that people are understanding. 

What inspired you to create the Forever Curls Academy?

Leysa Carrillo Talks Expanding The Scope of Texture Hair Education For Stylists

Ten years ago, I was going viral in multiple communities, and I kept thinking, How much impact can I have on this community? Just me being at the salon, right behind the chair? I would help other salons with texture education because I was achieving healthy, beautiful, light colors without destroying the curls. Hence, the curls were forever, but I didn’t have branding, no name, anything.  I felt like I needed to do this, did you know? That’s The only way I can impact more people: if I can teach what I know. So more stylists could help girls like me, but it wasn’t enough. I’m a pioneer, so when I started teaching, I remember the only education available was Deva Curl.

I created the first academy where I could have a more intimate scenario where they can literally set up and get certified with a technique you learn in a day. The Academy is a hybrid learning system where we track your progress in so many different ways, both online and in person. The reason I created it was because I wanted people to be really, really good, not just learn technique and just do their haircut good, but understand the beauty of all textures.

Texture education can be a textbook in itself. What inspired the type of content you wanted to cover?

When I realized that people think one style of cut or one set of products can be used across all textures. There’s going to be different scenarios like where they live, their cultural background, how many textures are in their head, their current hair regimen. Not to mention that there is a big factor about the trauma that can happen with color, bleaching, and straightening. So when I go over the content, I want the students to understand the culture behind the hair. 

Image Source: @leysahairandmakeup

You need to understand where the person comes from and that should come from the first interaction when you send a text. I go over for example, genetics, people don’t talk about it. A customer could come with with a picture of a cut that they want, but genetically they were never going to have that. No matter what we do, so I teach how can you say that to somebody? How can you communicate effectively and with empathy?

Stylists are often multi-hyphenates between their clients, business, and growing platform; what are your tips for stylists looking to grow their business beyond styling?

I always tell my students to analyze their lives, you have to be emotionally mature to open a business life outside just being an employee. You have to be emotionally ready. You have to be financially ready and you have to really take a deep look on your life because people see one person doing it online and then just want to jump into owning a business.

There are tons of products flooding the market, how do you decide which brand or collection to use in your daily styling?

I have also an amazing app you can share, It’s called Think Dirty . If you scan the QR code on any product it tells you the ingredients, science, and any toxic ingredients in your beauty products. I trust so much professional products and brands that are on the market because they have better budget to make quality products. 

I would like to support a small business because I know what it goes on the back end and it’s a journey. Nobody knows what goes into creating a product, but budget has a large impact on the quality of the ingredients. For example, maybe your budget is $5 per bottle and the container is $4, so your putting $1.00 into whatever goes into the product, and most people don’t know that. It’s insane how many ingredients go into a product that so many companies can’t even afford. You know what I’m saying? Only the big companies can afford those things. So that’s why I trust more professional brands like the one’s you find in a salon. 

April 25th is National Hairstylist Appreciation Day; what are any tips you can give to help customers be more mindful of their interactions with their stylists?

Image Source: @leysahairandmakeup

Do your research. You do it for everything else whether it’s a doctor, dentist, insurance, or emergeny room. you go to the doctor, you don’t go to any doctor unless an emergency and you go to the emergency room. That would be my biggest advice. Do a little research. We are service providers. We are giving our heart and soul. It’s such a beautiful industry and I think a lot of them miss opportunities to scale and change their service offerings. 

Social media provides a platform for videos, and there is a high expectation from customers for a stylist to deliver and they aren’t considering there is lighting and photoshop impacting what they see. I feel like if you are looking for inspiration or a salon to get your hair done, your nails done, do your research. Look at that persons work personality environment and how does the salon treat people? 

Are you a stylist ready to expand your education with Leysa? Enroll in the Forever Curls Academy today!

5 Reasons Your Curls Won’t Stay

Daily styling can be the bane of anyone’s existence. Very few enjoy devoting hours every day before or after work to styling their hair, and that is not a club I want to join. One of the main reasons women restyle their hair daily is to combat frizz, and Lizzyar from Curly Q&A wants to know what’s going on with her hair in her neck of the woods.

Image Source: @xoxoemira

Why don’t my curls stay? My hair is thick, I don’t know my hair type (I know it’s pretty curly), and it’s usually very humid where I live.


You have frizz or lose curl definition over time for multiple reasons. Some things are out of your control, while others require changing habits or techniques. These five reasons are the main variables.

1. High humidity + high dew points=frizz

5 Reasons Your Curls Won’t Stay
Image Source: @tonaturali

When you live in a humid climate with high dew points, experiencing frizz is inevitable. NaturallyCurly is based in Austin, and we rarely attempt to style our hair when summertime rolls around. Anything we do gets obliterated when we walk outdoors. Humid climates with high dew points cause the hair to expand outward in an attempt to absorb moisture, which is why many women are anti-humectants or anti-glycerin to reduce the effects of this behavior.

5 Reasons Your Curls Won’t Stay

Humectants attract moisture from the air, which is great for touchable curls but not the best for maintaining hold. You can try to use anti-humidity products but I assure you that Mother Nature will probably win if your weather is anything like Austin or Houston. Consider sealing your hair with an oil before applying a styler. This will help to lock moisture in your hair so your strands are not searching for it outdoors.

2. You are not applying the right curl defines

5 Reasons Your Curls Won’t Stay

Finding the perfect styler, especially for curl definition, takes time. I am incredibly picky. I prefer cream stylers with moisturizing properties, slip, and hold minus too much crunch, which are hard to come by. The tighter your curl pattern, the more likely your hair will respond better to gels and puddings, and looser curl patterns will respond better to creams and mousses. Remember to read the product packaging for a description of the holding strength and style recommendations.

3. You are not applying products to soaking wet hair

Image Source: @thecurllounge

Styling products capture your natural curls, not create them. You want to apply your stylers to soaking wet hair so that they can set in place as it dries. Applying the product to damp or dry hair will still provide hold, but it will not revive your curl definition. Hydrated, healthy hair is the best foundation for all great styles. Air-drying yields the best curl definition, so put down the dryer if you use one and consider plopping.

4. You are manipulating your hair as it dries

Image Source: @briciaemilyn

I know our curls are irresistible, but you have to keep your fingers out of your hair. Hand-in-hair syndrome is the number one way to ruin a hairstyle. Over time, your hair will incur frizz, so don’t kill your style longevity by playing in your hair.

5. Your hair is naturally frizzy

5 Reasons Your Curls Won’t Stay
Image Source: @yorgivlogs

This is very possible, especially for tighter textures. Controlling frizz is one of our FAQs in Curly Q&A, and for the most part, there are three reasons you experience frizz: genetics, damage (mechanical, thermal, and chemical), or dryness. If you deep condition regularly, limit or eliminate heat styling, seal, and get regular trims, then you may naturally have a fuzzy halo, and who doesn’t want volume?

Embrace your fuzzy curls, coils, and waves, and find other ways to style your hair if wash-and-go’s are not working for you.

This article was published in 2016 and updated for clarity.

Monaè Everett Shares How Coily Textures Can Embrace The Coquette Aesthetic

Monaè Everett is a powerhouse stylist and entrepreneur who has been creating game-changing styles for decades. Her resume includes talents like Tia Mowry, Yara Shahidi, and Taraji P. Henson, just to name a few. As a texture expert and artistic director for Blushington, she remains a trusted expert voice and authority in the beauty and style industry. As Monaè has expanded her artistic pursuits to include speaking engagements, consulting, and training upcoming stylists, she continues to advocate for texture education. The Monaè Life Academy gives a variety of options ranging from books, braiding tutorials, and online classes that teach stylists how to work with celebrities and increase their revenue stream.

We sat down to chat with Monaè about her diverse portfolio of work and how tighter textures can embrace trending styles.

You’ve been busy with awards season. What has been your favorite look you have created so far?

Image Source: @monaeartistry

This award season has been full of beautiful looks. I liked the updos I created, but to change things up a bit, I fell in love with the look I created for Hailey Kilgore for her performance at Carnegie Hall. 

As a stylist who has worked across print, digital, fashion, and beauty, what industry has been the most challenging for you to work for, and why?

Image Source: @monaeartistry

The most challenging industry to work for has been fashion. You have to mold the looks around what people find conventionally attractive, and for so many years, that left out curly and coily hair looks. Also, there’s always been this lie: you can’t get paid if you work in fashion. So many amazingly talented artists donate their hair and makeup skills to wardrobe artist designers so that they can look great and for major brands to shine. 

It’s Women’s History Month; as a history-making stylist and entrepreneur, who are the women who have been influential to you in your career?

Bozoma Saint John and Kendra Bracken-Ferguson are the women most influential in my career. They both come to mind, but there are many more, maybe Jen Akin. 

I love Bozpma because she has worked across so many amazing industries. She worked in fashion with Ashley Stewart, worked with Pepsi, and then, you know, she got into music doing like beats. And I love that she doesn’t let anybody keep her in the box. She pivots, knows her worth and value, and finds and creates opportunities.

Kendra Bracken-Ferguson is known as the Warren Buffett of Beauty. She creates opportunities and is always looking to help advance black women. She’s great with partnerships and is one of the few black women who has raised over a billion dollars through a venture capitalist. I love that. She creates new opportunities and new roads in business.

We know Jennifer Hudson from American Idol. She kicked down that door and made America love her. She and Viola Davis are EGOTS, but I love this act of life. Jennifer Hudson has her talk show and interviews people, so she has found a way to integrate her God-given singing talent into something else: interviewing people and creating relationships.

You recently released “Get Out Of Your Way: 25 Insider Tips for Booking Celebrity Clients.” What’s the biggest lesson you learned working with celebrities?

Image Source: @themonaelife

They are your clients. They are not your friends, but they’re people like everyone else. So, as their clients, you have to maintain a certain level of professionalism. You have to know when to add your viewpoint and when not to. 

You have to know how to hear what they’re saying to you. Read between the lines and know that they are not professional hair stylists or makeup artists, so they will describe their needs and needs to the best of their ability. And it may use different terminology.

Celebrities are human. They may have good days and bad days. This job is for them, but getting their hair and makeup done for two to four hours may not be what they call fun. You get to see them in their most vulnerable times and places. 

Many viral hair trends emerge, from mullet knotless braids to mob wife vibes. How does social media impact the type of styles you create?

Because social media is where so many people go to have their inspiration or inspirations put in front of them, we all know that social media platforms listen while you talk. Because your mic is turned on, they bring in your timeline. Social media has a great influence because this is where most people see things, and social media now defines the new beauty standards.

When we looked at magazines and TV shows, they were all skinny women, mostly skinny women with sleek hair. Now, we get to see so many different forms of beauty, including different hair textures. Social media is ever-changing, so people’s opinions are ever-changing, and many are based on social media. 

Recently, we’ve seen the “coquette aesthetic” emerge as a reclamation of soft femininity; what are your favorite hairstyles that emerged with this trend?

So, the coquette aesthetic is a reclamation of soft femininity. My favorite hairstyles that emerge from this trend are: I’m a huge fan of the half-up, half-down with the cute little ribbon. I think it’s really sweet and just very pretty. And, of course, I’m always a fan of the perfect pony like Barbie. I think it’s super cute only because of its placement in a way that lifts the face with ribbons on it. 

The coquette aesthetic is often seen on loose textures; what are your recommendations for how type 4 textures can implement this aesthetic into their styling routine?

Image Source: @anna1z

I recommend that Type 4 use stiffer ribbons where the bow is firmer so it stays, and wear the bows closer to the hairline around the air to draw attention to your beautiful face rather than throughout the rest of the hairstyle. 

What products or tools can be used to create a coquette-style hairdo?

There are so many different ways to create a coquette-cut hairstyle. You can do twist styles, or you can do braidouts if you want to show off your coils or your curls. Go for a looser tone like large bantu knots and remove those large bantu knots after they try to have big waves, or you can also try something like stretching your hair straight and curling with a wand to have those types of loose waves products that I like to use for type 4 hair. 

Accessories are a big part of this look; if people are hesitant to wear bows or ribbons, what would your alternative recommendations be for this trend?

Monaè Everett Shares How Coily Textures Can Embrace The Coquette Aesthetic
Image Source: @haileyfkligore

An alternative recommendation for this trend would be adding diamonds and pearls to the hair. I’m a huge fan of that. I’ve recently created multiple looks on Haley Kilgore using diamonds throughout the hair.

Also, my client Brittany Howard allowed me to completely makeover her look from short curly hair to a large curly hair vibe with a triangle shape. But we softened it and made it more feminine by implementing diamonds throughout the hair. And she’s wearing this look for her new album, Now What, and her current tour. 

Check out Monaè’s Beauty Show Tour, Texture Unleashed: Star Styling Simplified, coming to a city near you!

NaturallyCurly Reviews Beyoncé’s Cécred Haircare Line

Cécred hit the market in February 2024, and like founder Beyoncé Knowles, it’s the talk of town. Whether it’s the enviable hair boxes, sleek packaging, or behind-the-scenes glimpses of beauty editors getting their hair styled by Ms. Tina Knowles, Cécred is here to be more than a product on your shelf. Fans everywhere can be inspired by Beyoncé’s journey to grow and fall in love with her natural hair after years of consistently switching it up as a powerhouse performer. There have been rumblings for years that Beyoncé would add haircare to her impressive business ventures that span music and clothing, and she did not disappoint. 

The “Foundation” collection is the first from Cécred to consist of hallmark products that will delight the senses and restore hair health. The line can be bought a la carte based on your hair needs or bundled based on whether you want to treat, condition, or shampoo your hair. Cécred was formulated with scientists, trichologists, and salon-level testing to provide various hair solutions for any texture. With the luxury and richness of science-backed formulas, eight products seek to cleanse, condition, and repair curls, coils, and waves from root to tip. Each product ranges from $30-$52, with the full collection costing $265. 

NaturallyCurly Reviews Beyoncé’s Cécred Haircare Line

In a post-COVID era, when everyone is still trying to figure out the secret sauce to obtaining a healthy hair routine and regimen that will deliver consistent results, Cécred makes it simple with a step-by-step system. The first collection focuses on the most important aspect of hair: the scalp. Cécred acknowledges the range of damage we do to our hair daily, whether it’s color, combing, chemical, or manipulation, and provides products to help your hair reset. The entire brand and collection focuses on honoring the art of rituals, which means consistent practices done with intention.

After years of research, working with top-notch stylists, and having a mother who is a former hairdresser and salon owner, to say that Beyoncé knows hair is an understatement. She wanted to give her fans products integral to their hair routine and evolution with a silicone-free formula that could be used across any hair type and texture. Her patent-pending Bioactive Keratin Ferment contains “wool-derived keratin, honey, and lactobacillus ferment, that closely matches and replaces depleted proteins in hair. Its molecular weight is small enough to deeply penetrate the cortex to visibly strengthen weak, damaged, or highly manipulated hair.”

NaturallyCurly Reviews Beyoncé’s Cécred Haircare Line

The Collection:

  • Clarifying Shampoo & Scalp Scrub ($38 USD, 8 oz.)
    Like skincare for your scalp. This Clarifying Shampoo & Scalp Scrub combines a balance of exfoliants, fermented purple willow bark, and tea tree oil to remove buildup and residue from your hair and scalp for a game-changing deep clean.                                                        
  • Hydrating Shampoo ($30 USD, 8 oz.)
    This luxurious, hyaluronic acid-infused shampoo goes deep on hydration, leaving your hair visibly nourished, manageable, and strong.
  • Moisturizing Deep Conditioner ($38 USD, 10 oz.)
    Bring dehydrated and dull hair back to life. This ultra-rich formula is infused with our African oil blend and shea butter to moisturize, soften, and improve manageability.                                        
  • Reconstructing Treatment Mask ($42 USD, 10 oz.)
    Hair repair in a jar. Powered by our patent-pending Bioactive Keratin Ferment, this treatment is clinically tested to visibly reduce damage, increase strength, and improve shine after one use.
  • Fermented Rice & Rose Protein Ritual ($52 USD, 4 treatments)
    Fermented rice water is long adored in Asian cultures for its hair-strengthening and length-retention benefits, but the fermentation takes days. This ritual begins with a Fermented Rice & Rose Powder that instantly transforms into a water-activated, fortifying hair rinse treatment followed by a luscious Silk Rinse.        
  • Moisture Sealing Lotion ($38 USD, 8 oz.)
    This multitasker does it all: seals, smooths, and styles with a light hold.                                        
  • Nourishing Hair Oil ($44 USD, 1.7 oz)
    This blend of 13 oils and plant-based extracts seals in moisture and adds a soft shine—all without silicone.
  • Ritual Shaking Vessel ($20 USD)
    Take haircare to luxe levels with the bespoke vessel to mix our Fermented Rice & Rose Powder with water to create a fortifying hair rinse treatment.

Our Review

The NaturallyCurly team tested and reviewed these products on two different hair textures and is here to discuss performance and results. Each review was based on the individual needs of our hair texture and our normal routine, which meant we used only part of the collection in one sitting for the review. 

Desiree, hair texture: 3B/3C

Image Source: @naturallycurly

Can you share your normal routine for a wash and go and what from this collection was an addition/deviation from what you’re used to?

My wash-and-go routine usually consists of a shampoo, deep conditioner, leave-in conditioner, curly cream, gel, or mousse, depending on the humidity, and an oil to finish off. 

Since most of my routine focuses on incorporating stylers to maintain hold, definition, and frizz control due to my thick hair, I need a cocktail to help keep these curls together. The collection only has one styler (moisturizing lotion), which I don’t typically use in my hair regimen, but it was different. 

What were your initial thoughts on the packaging/product lineup?

The packaging was very clean and simple, featuring many restorative products that can help with hair damage. The bottles were very beautiful and reminded me of something from Egypt, with straight lines and shapes.

How would you describe the scent?

I prefer fairly light scents, so this had a much heavier scent, reminiscent of perfume. It stays in your hair for days, so if you like a fragrant scent, this is great; if not, it may be too overpowering. 

What’s your favorite product in the line, and why?

The hydrating shampoo was extremely impressive in terms of slip and moisture. After just one wash, it left my curls defined and shiny. I will keep this product in rotation and use it in my wash-and-go routine.

What was the texture of your hair before/after using the products?

My hair was fairly soft before and after using the products. Noticeably, I had great shine and definition and very fragrant hair that lasted for days.

Editor’s note: Products like the Fermented Rice & Rose Protein Ritual are meant to be used over six weeks to get the full results so I opted not to use these for my wash and go. I do plan to review this product at a later date.

Keturah, hair texture: 3C/4A

Image Source: @naturallycurly

Can you share your normal routine for a silk press and what an addition/deviation from what you’re used to from this collection was?

I normally use Dry Bar’s Liquid Glass collection to blow out my hair. The steps are similar to my normal routine, but I noticed there’s no specific heat protector, which is worrisome for continued use. I did add a little of my own to protect my hair.

What were your initial thoughts on the packaging/product lineup?

I loved the look of the packaging. Its clean lines make it pretty enough to stand out without being an eyesore.

How would you describe the scent?

The scent was earthy. I’m still getting used to smelling it on my hair. Today is day 3, and it’s much lighter but still there.

What’s your favorite product in the line, and why?

I love a good oil! The Nourishing Hair Oil was my favorite. It’s light but gives a good shine.

What was the texture of your hair before/after using the products?

My hair was a little greasy since I was almost two weeks post my last blowout. It was still soft, sleek and shiny. After the products, my hair remained soft but much less sleek and a bit frizzy.

We can’t wait to see how Cécred expands and makes its unique footprint in the haircare market. We send a big applause to the team on this first collection, which is a standout, and we look forward to more products in the future. With Beyoncé at the forefront, they will surely be iconic all on their own. 

Have you tried Cécred yet? What are your thoughts and experiences? Let us know in the comments!

The Polls Are Open: Best of Best 2024 Voting is Live!

It’s that time when we celebrate haircare, tools, and accessories that showed up and showed out all year. The 2024 Best of the Best Awards are here, and it’s time to VOTE for all of the products that brought glory to your curls, coils, locs, braids, and waves.


Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned reader, we’ve hosted the Best of the Best since 2006 and have seen tremendous growth in the natural hair category online and in retail., which continues to be the leading natural and textured hair resource, polls our global community for your favorite curly hair care products of the year. Thousands of community members vote, and the winners receive NaturallyCurly Best of the Best Awards by product category and curl pattern.

The awards are “now considered the ultimate seal of approval by curl brands both large and small,” says NaturallyCurly Founder Michelle Breyer, “the gold standard for the textured hair community.” The Best of the Best Awards allow the curly-haired community to share your Holy Grail products with others and give well-deserved recognition to the brands who’ve earned your trust.


Simply put, haircare products, accessories, and tools remain the foundation of our awards. This year, we focus on the fundamental basics of haircare, like cleansers, conditioners, and stylers for waves, curls, coils, locs, and braids. Our awards allow you to vote on the products you love from brands, cementing their status in the natural hair category. This year, we’ve expanded our survey to be even more inclusive with new categories for men’s and kids’ products. 

Are you ready to cast your vote? Get started here.

The Guide To Temporary Hair Dye Application (And Cleanup)

The spring season usually calls for tons of purging–whether you’re getting rid of hair products, winter clothes, or looking to change your style. We love to use the changing seasons to switch out our haircare routine and regimens but what about our color. What does that mean for you? Experimenting with temporary hair dye in the comfort and convenience of your bathroom. Although it is a great way to save money, it also means there is a greater risk of pink and purple hair dye stains all over your bathroom floor and countertops. That’s no bueno.

Here’s what to do before, during, and after your temp hair dye experience.

What You Need

Assuming you have already bleached or permanently dyed your hair color and you are now attempting to change the color with a store-bought hue temporarily, here is what you should have readily available:

Before and during the application:

  • Pair of gloves (latex or vinyl)
  • Plastic cap
  • Glass mixing bowl
  • White or apple cider vinegar
  • Tub of Vaseline
  • Tint brush
  • Hair clips or hair ties
  • Old T-shirt or cleanup towel

Before application, do a vinegar rinse in your hair after shampooing. Let white or apple cider vinegar coat your scalp for 30 minutes, then rinse. Do NOT condition the hair, as it will repel the color from staying on your strands. Vinegar helps bring your pH up.

Separate your detangled hair into four large sections with either hair clips or ties. Wear an old shirt you don’t mind getting hair dye stains on.

Put on your gloves and dip two fingers in your Vaseline jar, outlining your scalp and nape to prevent the color from spilling onto your face and neck (or baby oil, if you prefer). Pour the coloring mix into a glass bowl (plastic will stain) and use your tint brush to sort of paint the dye onto your hair, starting with your roots.

Use your shirt or a cleanup towel to wipe any color off your arms, the sink counter, or anywhere you notice. Do it quickly, as temp dyes tend to set in quickly and stain. Wear a plastic cap over your head and let the color saturate your hair as long as the brand’s directions advise you
Image Source: @yazzbratz

After (cleanup)

  • Toothpaste
  • Brillo pad
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Facial astringent
  • Cleanup towel
Image Source: @nolies420

Coat your bathtub floor with a generous amount of vinegar and/or baking soda. Discard your gloves in the proper place–trashcan. Do not set them on your counter.

Use a brillo pad and your usual cleaning supplies for spots on the counter, sink, and floor. Toothpaste works for pesky spots in the sink, too.

When rinsing the color out, use a color-corrective or color-enhancing deep conditioner. Your hair needs as much moisture restored to it as possible.

Use a facial astringent or vinegar to get the unwanted color off your ears, forehead, etc.

On your next wash day, use this to touch up your roots and add leftover dye to your shampoo.

Are you planning to add color to your curls, coils, and waves this season? Let us know in the comments.

5 Conditioners That Instantly Melt My Tangles Away

About a year and a half ago, I decided to start detangling damp hair instead of soaking wet hair. When our strands are saturated in water, the hair shaft swells, making it weak and vulnerable to breakage. Since my 4A coils are fine in width, I know that even though wet detangling in the shower was easier, it is not the best approach to prevent breakage. After parting my hair in six sections before removing tangles and shed hair at the sink, I reach for one of these five conditioners (daily conditioners and leave-in conditioners) with slip that eliminates all friction between my strands for smooth application. 

Image Source: @Natasha Leeds

1. SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Conditioner

The SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Conditioner has been my go-to detangler for the past year, and I am still on the same 13 oz. Bottle, using 2-3 pumps per section. With coconut oil as the third ingredient, I feel confident about preventing hygral fatigue, and the stearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, and behentrimonium chloride give me an endless slip with little application.

2. The Mane Choice Prickly Pear Paradise Leave-In Conditioning Cream

5 Conditioners That Instantly Melt My Tangles Away

The Mane Choice is one of my favorite brands that does not disappoint. My coils love this conditioner because it features fatty acids that leave my strands soft, moisturized, and highly conditioned. As a leave-in conditioning cream, it’s deeply penetrating, helps improve the elasticity of my hair, and locks in lasting moisture.

3. Camille Rose Naturals Coconut Water Leave-in Treatment

The Camille Rose Naturals Coconut Water Leave-in Treatment not only provides great slip but also adds moisture. The surfactant behentrimonium methosulfate makes my tangles disappear, and the castor oil and shea butter leave my strands soft without the need to refresh before my next wash day. It spreads easily, and a little goes a long way. This leave-in conditioner also pairs great with any styler like the Camille Rose Naturals Coconut Water Set Styler and Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper Styling Cream.

4. TXTR by Cantu Leave-In + Rinse Out Hydrating Conditioner

5 Conditioners That Instantly Melt My Tangles Away

I love the play on words using”texture”! Cantu TXTR is my go-to solution for my coils because it quenches my thirsty strands by working a leave-in conditioner and rinse out conditioner. The silicone and paraben free formula is infused with shea butter, spearmint oil, and canola oil. I love that it can soothe my dry scalp and minimize breakage throughout my wash days.

5. Soultanicals Knot Sauce

Love dessert fragrances? Then the Soultanicals Knot Sauce is for you. This coil detangler is nourishing and packed with oils, marshmallow root slippery elm for slip, and aloe juice for its humectant properties. The flaxseed gel provides curl definition with light hold, making it a great primer for your styling product.

What are your favorite detanglers? Let us know in the comments!

15 Companies That Make Black Dolls

How many of us remember the excitement of choosing a doll at a toy store, one that we would create imaginary worlds for that mirrored the lives we thought we might one day have? Except too often, those dolls didn’t mirror us. Their blonde, straight hair and impossibly tiny waists were so ubiquitous that they made us question our bodies and see our differences as imperfections.

Today, the doll industry is making moves to do a better job of representing more girls in their offerings, and where the mainstream toy companies have fallen short, small businesses have taken up the mantle. We believe that young girls will be all the more confident and comfortable in their bodies for it. You only need to watch the 1940’s “Doll Test” once to see the impact of this issue.

Here are fifteen companies that make black dolls.

Note: We previously published this list in 2015 with six companies, but we’ve added to the list to incorporate the great feedback we got from our readers!

1. Corage Dolls

Image Source: @coragedolls

Flora Ekpe-Idang is the founder and CEO of Corage Dolls. After interning at Hasbro to learn about the landscape of the toy industry, Flora was inspired to create a doll that would celebrate Black beauty. Corage Dolls exist to encourage girls of color to be unstoppable, and are reflected in their hero doll, Aaliyah, who is an 8-year-old entrepreneur with curly hair and flexible arms and knees. Parents can enjoy a variety of Aaliyah-based merchandise to accompany the dolls, such as accessories, books, and shirts that reflect her courageous attitude.

Price: $49.99

Where to buy them: On her website

2. Herstory Doll

Image Source: @herstorydoll

If you’re looking for a doll reflective of African descent, look no further than Herstory Dolls. Queen Cee and Queen Dollylama created these 18-inch dolls to reflect brown skin tones and diverse textures. Each doll was created to be a representation of girl characters with distinct personalities spanning interests in crafting, sewing, videography, photography, and more. Your child can unlock their inner creativity with a notebook and pencil to engage with DIY crafting ideas posted on the website to help them engage with their potential.

Price: $120.00

Where to buy them: On her website

3. Healthy Roots

15 Companies That Make Black Dolls
Image Source: @healthyrootsdolls

Zoe is the first Healthy Roots doll created with an educational play experience blended with curl care. Yelitsa Jean-Charles is the founder behind these diverse dolls who span different facial features, skin tones, and hair textures that can be styled in multiple ways. As their hero doll, Zoe aims to make new friends like Marisol and Gaïana, who inspired her to love herself and others. You can explore the Healthy Roots universe with a curl power kit you can use to style your dolls hair, coloring book, and satin bonnet.

Price: $84.99

Where to buy them: On her website

4. The Melanie Dolls

15 Companies That Make Black Dolls
Image Source: themelaniedolls

The Melanie Dolls are here to transform the character growth and development of girls of color by providing Black representation that is empowering and positive. CEO Datreese Thomas created The Melanie Dolls to help elevate your child’s self-esteem. Each doll comes with its own “Black Girl Mantras” to help encourage self-love and eliminate negative self-love that can come from doubt and hate. The Breonna Doll is currently available on the website now!

Price: $24.99

Where to buy them: On her website

5. Somi The Computer Scientist

Image Source: @innovant_tech

Computer science got even cuter with the Somi doll, the first interactive African American/Black STEM doll for all children. The founder, Bukola Somide, is the brains behind this adorable doll, which was created to support Computer Science education and bring awareness to Cyberbullying. This STEM toy speaks over 220+ words that cover terms in JavaScript, HTML, binary numbers, and more. As an interactive doll, kids have the chance to be exposed to computer science in a fun way and can help cultivate logical reasoning and problem-solving skills.

Price: $89.00

Where to buy them: On her website, Amazon Prime

6. Melanites

15 Companies That Make Black Dolls
Image Source: @brownboyhood

Even boys deserve to play with dolls representing their interests and goals. Jennifer Pierre is a social entrepreneur who is passionate about creating spaces for diversity and empowering children to dream. Melanites celebrates the joy and beauty of boys with Jaylen, a curious thinker who loves to solve puzzles and create inventions. As an action figure, Jaylen is the perfect companion for your child’s next adventure!

Price: $65.00

Where to buy them: On the website

7. Brown Boy Joy

15 Companies That Make Black Dolls
Image Source: ourbrownboyjoy

Racial tensions have been at an all-time high in the past few years, and ten-year-old Lil Dee wanted to find a way to create positive social change from all the discourse. Lil Dee created his own company, Our Brown Boy Joy, to help motivate and inspire boys nationwide with a monthly subscription box with positive affirmations. The “My Friend” character is a plush doll that speaks positive affirmations and will put a smile on their face.

Price: $49.99

Where to buy them: On the website

8. WorldGirls

15 Companies That Make Black Dolls
Image Source: @teamworldgirls

Twin sisters Laken and Carlissa King wanted to create dolls that would spark creativity and celebrate togetherness. Worldgirls represents girls from different countries and backgrounds to learn, break down barriers, and explore the world. The Worldgirls dolls come in different skin tones, hair textures, and ethnicities and reflect characteristics like Explorer, Scholar, Rebel, Healer, and Warrior.

Price: $89.99

Where to buy them: On the website

9. My Natural Doll

15 Companies That Make Black Dolls
Image Source: @mynaturaldoll

My Natural Doll was created by Cutting It In the ATL’s Mushiya Tshikuka, and like the custom wigs she sells in her shop, the doll’s hair is made with 100% Virgin African textured hair. This feature was important to Mushiya because “in a community where our self-esteem and self-worth beauty is directly translated by the love of our skin and hair, this feature allows little girls to see the dolls model hair as beautiful and thus themselves as beautiful.” Mushiya also designed a Kikwembe (African print”> baby doll dress; the 18-inch doll comes with a song entitled My Natural Doll.

Price: $95.00

Where to buy them: Mushiya’s website Runway Curls

10. The Fresh Dolls (Formerly Positively Perfect Dolls)

15 Companies That Make Black Dolls
Image Source: @thefreshdolls

When Positively Perfect Dolls Founder Dr. Lisa Williams was first approached to start a line of dolls, she initially turned down the offer. She had previously been the first African-American to receive a Ph.D. from Ohio University’s College of Business, then became a professor, public speaker, and author. Toys were not her area of expertise. Dr. Williams told The Grio that it was a segment on CNN about the way young black girls react to black dolls that changed her mind, and she then made it her mission to manufacture dolls for minority girls.

Price: $39.99

Where to buy them: Online website, and

11. Queens of Africa

15 Companies That Make Black Dolls

Image Source: @queensofafricablackdolls

The Queens of Africa dolls were the first Nigerian fashion dolls designed to empower children of African descent. Founder and Nigerian entrepreneur Taofick Okoya created the dolls as part of a Queens of Africa program along with comic books, music, and an animation series to help children of African descent to be more confident. Each doll is made to represent a different Nigerian ethnic group, Igbo, Hausa, and Yoruba, and comes in beautiful outfits of both Western and traditional styles.

Price: Ranging from about $14-60

Where to buy them: Toy stores all over Nigeria, and on their website Queens of Africa

12. Natural Girls United 

15 Companies That Make Black Dolls
Image Source: @naturalgirlsunited

You may recognize Karen Byrd’s Natural Girls United dolls from social media. They come with a wide range of hairstyles from twist outs to tribal-inspired braids to locs, chunky locs, braided updos, and afros. There is even a range of hair textures within these styles, like the tight coils and soft curls of the Afro doll, as well as a variety of fashionable outfits. They are designed to help both children and adults recognize their natural beauty.

Price: $$69.99-79.99

Where to buy them: On their website Natural Girls United

13. Malaville Toys

15 Companies That Make Black Dolls
Image Source: @malavilledolls

St. Lucian model Mala Bryan created the Malaville line of dolls out of frustration when she couldn’t find affordable with kinky or curly hair for her own personal Barbie collection. She told Huffington Post that “there are lots of adult doll collectors that would reroot black Barbie dolls with more natural hair, but they are usually quite expensive…I notice[d] a high demand for them.” It’s true, dolls are not just for children! Her dolls come in four models with different skin tones: Maisha, Mala, Malina, and Mhina. 

Price: $19.99-$24.99

Where to buy them: On her website Malaville

14. Ikuzi Dolls

15 Companies That Make Black Dolls
Image Source: @ikuzidolls

Ozi Okaro was inspired to create Ikuzi Dolls by her two daughters, who have two different skin tones. She recognized that most black dolls on the market came in one skin color and failed to represent all of the many shades of black beauty. With the help of her young daughters, she has been working to create dolls with textured hair and African print dresses. You can even buy a set that includes a doll and dress, plus a matching dress for your daughter.

Price: $15-$80

Where to buy them: On their website Ikuzi Dolls

15. HarperIman

Image Source: harperimandolls

The mother-and-daughter duo behind HarperIman is committed to making dolls representing beauty, intelligence, talent, and creativity. They recognized that dolls of color are often underrepresented and wanted to create a toy showing the spectrum of Black and Brown toys. These handmade linen dolls come with set hairstyles of different curls, coils, and waves, showing the beauty of diverse hair textures.

Price: $110-$150

Where to buy them: On their website and Target

Is there a doll you love that we left off the list? Please share it below!

The Best Gels for Every Curl Type

Out of the hundreds of gels on the market, you may be wondering what differentiates one from the other/ is its texture. Consistency? Formula? Gel has had a serious comeback in the past few years as new businesses and brands have found a way to reinvent the crunchy curls of yesteryears with a firm hold and definition that truly awakens your curls. A good gel product can be extremely versatile and is more about creating a shape than leaving a sticky mark. What the modern-day gel does for naturalists is enhance our natural texture and provide our curls with much-needed moisture, especially when it’s humid outside.

These gel selections below are staples for our naturalistas whether they are creating a classic wash and go, laying down their baby hairs, or braiding a protective style. They have been tried and tested for their amazing formulas, anti-frizz effects, and ability to lift the curls instead of weighing them down.

We have gels for Type 2 wavies, Type 3 curlies, Type 4 coilies, and if you’re not sure what your curl pattern is, you can take our Texture Type quiz to learn more about it along with your porosity, density and width. 

Best for All Curl Types

The Best Gels for Every Curl Type

Ecoco Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel

This is a gel classic for curlies because it has a great shine and adds moisture back into the scalp, unlike other gels. This is the OG of gels and has continued to be a staple for naturalistas everywhere because it absorbs into the strands which can produce stunning results whether you’re looking to create twists, braids, bantu knots, or a wash and go style.


Ive been expirementing with my wash day routine, and wanted to try using just ONE product. This week, I used EcoStyler Olive Oil Gel. Here’s the final score. Price: 5/5 Hold: 4.5/5 Long lasting: 3.5/5 Smell: 2/5 White flakes: hardly any – 4/5 #curly #curlyhair #curls #curl #curlscheck #naturalhair #naturalbeauty #naturalhairstyles #naturalhairstyles #curlyhairtutorial #curlygirl #curlyhairroutine #curlyhairproducts #ecostylergel #ecostyler

♬ nintendo wii (mii channel) song – julie on the internet
Image Source: @mayaeaglin

This reigning “Best of the Best” winner is beloved for its versatility amongst all curl types, alcohol-free formula, and UV protection, which means your curls can bounce happily in the sun. The 100% pure olive oil combination with the gel creates a moisture that gives back to your curls and won’t weigh the hair down. It can be applied to wet or dry curls and won’t create any itching or flaking to the scalp! A little goes a long way with this fan favorite, so start stocking up your shelves.

Wavy Type 2

The Best Gels for Every Curl Type

Raw Curls Firm Hold Gel

If you’re looking for a gel with a little extra oomph to hold your curls together, my wavy friends, this is your gel. What makes this a fan favorite amongst curlies is the certified natural and organic ingredients that make it eco-friendly for the vegan user. Some ingredients include flower extract from honeysuckle, aloe, and cucumber, resulting in a light scent that won’t overpower your curls.

The Best Gels for Every Curl Type
Image Source: @hairandcurlsbyliz

For wavy users, definition and hold are important in a gel, BUT it cannot weigh down your hair. As a firm hold gel this product is all about preventing frizz and retaining moisture which results in a shiny, defined, and moisturized effect that you will love. The consistency is thick and firm, so a little goes a long way, and it is best used on wet or damp curls. This is the gel to add to your cart if you’re looking for maximum frizz control.

Curly Type 3

The Best Gels for Every Curl Type

Ecoco Eco Styler Argan Oil Gel

Argan oil is here to stay with this 2021 “Best of the Best” winner that is here for type 3 curlies looking to slay. If you’re looking for a gel to help revitalize the hair on day 2 or 3, this is the one to keep handy. The argan oil conditions and protects the curls with an amazing shine that will make your curls vibrant in between washes.


A quick and simple curly hairstyle using @Eco Style Argan Oil Styling gel #curlyhairstyles #fallhairstyles #curlyhair #healthycurls #curlyhairinspo

♬ romantic – fss
Image Source: @luanabxnks

Argan oil is derived from Morocco and can help shine, smooth, and condition the hair. It’s popular for helping lay down edges and doesn’t leave a white residue when it dries, which makes it a grade winner to use between wash days. It can be used on wet or dry hair and is alcohol-free, which means no crunching or scrunching. Like many Ecoco products, it is extremely affordable, can be purchased at a drugstore, and doesn’t require much product to be effective.

Coily Type 4

The Best Gels for Every Curl Type

Ecoco Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel

A gel so good, we had to put it on here twice! For our coily, kinky-type 4 naturalistas, Ecoco Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel remains supreme as the go-to gel to use on your hair. The alcohol-free formula makes it gentle on the scalp but has a thick enough consistency to hold a number of hairstyles.


Are their any other gels that don’t flake on type 4 low porosity hair? #fingercoil #naturalhair #ecostylergel @MVP

♬ original sound – Cici
Image Source: @elisacici_

Whether you’re sporting a protective style like braids or cornrows or creating a puff, your hair will remain moisturized, hydrated, and happy. The olive oil combination can also help promote healthy hair growth and rejuvenate the scalp instead of causing flakes or itch. Apply your favorite styling techniques using this little piece of heaven.

Which gel do you plan to add to your routine? Let us know in the comments!

Celebrity Stylist Kim Kimble Answers Your Winter Haircare Questions

Kim Kimble is an industry legend who has created hundreds of iconic looks that you’ve pinned, saved, and bookmarked from your faves. As a celebrity hairstylist, she’s become the go-to stylist for stars like Beyoncé, Zendaya, Halle Berry, and Brandy, just to name a few. While her talents can be viewed by everyone on-screen or on red carpets, this beauty maven was determined to carve out her own space in the beauty category. She used her expertise to create her own line of styling tools, wigs, and haircare products that can be used to renew, restore, and transform your everyday curls, coils, and waves.

Our readers submitted their burgeoning winter haircare questions to be answered by Kim Kimble, and she delivered all the details to survive the winter.

What’s your favorite celebrity hairstyle you created?

Celebrity Stylist Kim Kimble Answers Your Winter Haircare Questions
Image Source: @kimkimblehaircare

Beyonce’s Coachella look is my favorite celebrity hairstyle that I have created. It was a gorgeous half up half-down with amazing texture.

Did you get to style or create any of the wigs for the Renaissance tour? (if not- What recommendations do you have for first-time wig users?)

No, I did not. My recommendation is to try to get the right style and the right fit. 

Which product from your brand is best for type 4 hair?

Celebrity Stylist Kim Kimble Answers Your Winter Haircare Questions

For type 4 hair, I would recommend my Peppermint Cream Shampoo for a deep clean without stripping the hair of its oils. I would then follow up with the Curl Defining Conditioner 

How do you avoid breakage in the wintertime?

Image Source: @tladytheslayer

Protecting your ends during the cold winter months is key to retaining length and avoiding breakage. The easiest way to protect your ends is using a Kim Kimble Silk Bonnet or the Kim Kimble Silk Pillowcase. This will prevent any snagging and will make a great difference in your hair health without any effort. Silk also works to protect hair from the loss of natural oils and moisture.

What are some remedies to cure an itchy scalp?

Image Source: @chazpringle

Oiling your scalp regularly is a great remedy for a dry, itchy scalp. The Kim Kimble™ Replenishing Oil Drops is a light oil formula that helps nourish an itchy scalp. This product is great for braids, natural hair, locks, and extensions. I also recommend the Kim Kimble Scalp Relief Itch Spray. 

Should I get a silk press or blowout?

I recommend getting a silk press because they often last longer than blowouts. A silk press can last up to two weeks if you take care of it properly. The only downside to a silk press is that the exposure to humidity or moisture can revert the treatment. 

Is it better to use a hair mask or deep conditioner?

Choosing between a hair mask or a deep conditioner depends on the type of hair you have. Deep conditioners tend to be lighter, while a hair mask is thick, richer, and provides more hydration. So if you want a more intense treatment, going with a hair mask is the right move. 

Do all hair textures need a protein treatment?

When hair is weak, a protein treatment can be beneficial to strengthening any hair type, especially when using color or relaxers. So while they don’t necessarily need a protein treatment, all hair types could use one to treat any damage. 

Interested in more iconic styles from Kim Kimble? Check out our interview discussing her inspiration behind the Black Is King hairstyles with Beyoncé.

Ask a Curl Expert: “Why is My Hair Falling Out So Much?”

If there is one universal truth for all curlies, it’s our hair falling out whether you are combing it, brushing it, detangling it, or washing it up in the shower. This can commonly be referred to as “shedding” or “fall out” and can happen for a variety of reasons. Whether you have coils, waves, tight textures, or curls, all of our hair strands have an expiration date. This begins with understanding each strand on our head lasts 2-5 years which means there is a continuous growth and death cycle. Our hair goes through three phases called Anagen, Catagen, and Telogen which decribes the growth and fall-out cycle of our hair over a while. The American Academy of Dermatology Association cites that it’s normal for people to lose anywhere from 50-100 hairs a day. 

A few common causes of hair shedding, thinning, or fallout can be hereditary, the growth rate of your hair, diet, thyroid disease, and physical stress. While this isn’t a conclusive list, there can also be factors like your styling method, color damage, or the types of products you use. It is normal to have fallout but if you are experiencing any loss, thinning, or fallout in clumps or sections that is resulting in balding, we recommend going to see your doctor. As part of National Hair Loss Awareness Month, we’re continuing the conversation about prevention and education to help with this common issue. We sat down to chat with two haircare experts to get their tips and feedback for helping combat fallout.

The Experts

Ask a Curl Expert: “Why is My Hair Falling Out So Much?”

Felicia Leatherwood, Celebrity Natural Hairstylist

Felicia Leatherwood has been setting trends and breaking boundaries as the Celebrity stylist to stars like Issa Rae, Ava Duvernay, Anthony Anderson, and more. Her expansion into creating her brand led to the “Brush With The Best” Detangling brush which has helped to improve the haircare of curlies everywhere.

Ask a Curl Expert: “Why is My Hair Falling Out So Much?”

Jennifer Nast, Stylist at Sharon Dorram Color at Sally Hershberger Salon

Jennifer Nast is a NYC hair stylist who specializes in giving structural elements to haircuts to make them more dynamic and edgy. With over ten years of experience, her expertise has been featured in mainstream publications like Byrdie, InStyle, and PureWow, and she continues to work with clients at the Sharon Dorram Color at Sally Hershberger Salon.

What causes hair to fall out?

Leatherwood: Your hair falls out for many reasons. It could range from stress, diet, not enough rest,
hormonal imbalances, your adrenals could be off, selecting the wrong products to care
for your hair or simply not setting up a regimen at all to care for your hair.

What are common indicators of hair shedding?

Nast: Common signs of hair shedding are hair in your hair brush, hair in the drain after washing your hair, and loose hair on your shirt.

What are the signs of excessive hair shedding?

Nast: If you start to see an increase in the amount of hair in your brush or drain, you may be experiencing excessive hair loss.

How can you prevent excessive hair shedding?

Leatherwood: If you go down that list and check it off – you have to ask yourself an important question –
Do you have a routine? A must-routine is to regularly shampoo, condition, deep condition and hydrate your hair, at the same time, in the same places every few weeks. Pardon My Fro’s Moisturizing Hair Milk, Curl Enhancing Hair Cream, Mousse, and Detangler Leave-in Conditioner provides Hydration depending on hair type and style desired.

Nast: Many things can trigger excessive hair loss (hormonal changes, health, and stress to name a few). You can help slow and possibly prevent excessive shedding by adding a hair supplement to your diet.

What types of treatments can reduce hair shedding?

Leatherwood: Healthy hair starts within. Drinking water and hydrating yourself from the inside out is key to growth. Your lifestyle and eating habits play an important role in the health of the hair. You have to ask yourself a few questions – do you intake a lot of salt or sugar? Or do you balance it with a pretty good lean diet? Are you getting enough rest? 6, 7 hours or more rest is ideal. Are you having positive thoughts? Essentially, are you stressing yourself out by thinking the same thing over and over again? These real-life factors can aid in hair growth or hair loss.

Also based on ongoing research, since the pandemic, many people who ended up having COVID-19 had hair loss 6 months to a year later. It’s a possibility that if you’ve had COVID, the follicle needs oxygen and a few more nutrients that are missing because of COVID-19.

Nast: Treatment for excessive shedding can include adding more protein to your diet. Taking a daily hair supplement and/or hair treatments like shampoos and other topical treatments. There are also lots of hair growth systems available (Philip Kingsley and Harklinikken).