LoveToKnow Hair is privileged to speak with celebrity hair artist Nedjetti for expert insight into creating naturally glamorous looks for African American hair. Nedjetti is a licensed cosmetologist from the European Academy of Cosmetology and has been a professional natural hair care specialist and educator for many years. She is the owner of Hair by Nedjetti in Bloomfield, New Jersey. Her work has been featured in more than 50 hair style and celebrity magazines. In October 2007 she was the featured stylist for Essence Magazine's 30 Dates for 30 Days event.
Natural Styling Benefits
LoveToKnow (LTK): Why is natural styling best for African American hair?
Nedjetti (N): Your hair is organic, thus making natural styling healthier. Chemicals strip the hair, causing it to become fragile and weak. Natural hairstyling has great versatility and as long as the hair isn't pulled with too much tension, the hairstyles are amazingly beautiful and healthier in the long run. How lovely is it to know your own hair can be glamorously styled without adding extensions? It's a celebratory experience everyone should try at least once.
Natural Style Options
LTK: What different types of styles can be created naturally?
N: Diverse natural styles for all occasions include double-strand twists, comb-coils twist, afro twist out, combination styles such as cornrows with double-strands, braids with flat twists -- the options are endless. The longer your hair, the more style options are available. Natural styles can be created from one inch of hair to numerous inches there is a gorgeous style for every length.
LTK: What are the most popular trends for natural styles?
N: The most popular trends are double-strand twists, the carefree afro twist out and combination hairstyles.
Transition to Relaxer-Free Styling
LTK: How should patrons care for their hair when making the relaxer-to-natural transition?
N: When I went natural in 1993, I allowed my hair to grow to about one inch and I myself box-braided my hair with extensions for 2 months. I then removed the braids, shampooed and conditioned my hair and re-box-braided my hair. I did this process for 6 months and then I gave myself the 'big chop' to my natural tresses, which was about three-inches in length.
The quicker a person removes the chemical hair from their natural tresses, the better. With the right hair care maintenance, your natural tresses will flourish before your eyes. Remember, healthy hair is contributed from a healthy diet, positive mind set, and professional hair care maintenance.
LTK: What are the most difficult challenges to styling African American hair?
N: I don't find styling African American hair to be challenging because I'm a natural hair care specialist. However, there's a proper technique and understanding in how to maintain curly hair.
- The hair should always be damp before combing.
- I suggest every home to have these necessary tools to make combing natural hair with ease: large tooth comb, water spray bottle and a natural ingredient moisturizer.
I find many women aren't aware with how to comb their natural tresses because many have been using chemicals since childhood. This is why I created a Natural Hairstyling no extension DVD series showcasing the versatility in natural hairstyles and to globally educate the masses.
Tips for Fabulous Natural Tresses
LTK: What tips you would offer to clients to keep their hair fabulous?
N: Use a hydrating shampoo and condition hair once a week. You can condition your hair daily.
- Get trims every 2-3 months.
- Sleep with a rayon or silk scarf; it keeps the moisture in your hair and the longevity in your hairstyle.
- Oil hair with natural moisturizers as needed. Every hair type craves different amount of oil use, so learn your hair type.
- Find a natural hair care specialist who caters to natural hairstyling opposed to those who are in it because they think it's trendy to be natural.
- Drink lots of water, eat healthy foods, and think positively as often as possible.
LTK: What products are best for maintaining natural styles?
N: Biolage Hydrating Shampoo by Matrix, LeKair Cholesterol Conditioner (beauty supply stores) and Nourish and Shine by Jane Carter Solution are excellent for daily moisture. Nourish and Shine is concentrated, therefore use dime size amounts throughout scalp and hair. Natural oils containing vitamin E, rosemary, almond, and olive are essential ingredients for promoting healthy hair.
LTK: What damaging things can clients unknowingly do to their hair?
N: One of the most damaging things a client can do to their hair is not to oil it on a regular basis. Curly hair tends to be drier, thus requires more moisture. Never color your own hair, get it professionally done. Be aware of the right products to use in your hair. It's imperative for clients to know how to maintain their natural tresses; it's self-empowerment.
If you're ready to go natural, the expert tips provided here can certainly help prepare you to make forward progress toward your goal. Follow Nedjetti's advice and you'll be on your way to lovely, natural locks faster than you would have thought possible. Be patient - your efforts will be well-worth the results.