Ursula Stephen’s work speaks for itself. Everyone from Rihanna, Laverne Cox, and Jourdan Dunn to Sanaa Lathan, Queen Latifah, Jill Scott, and Aja Naomi King has trusted her strands to the celebrity hairstylist. And for good reason. As a celebrity, your image is everything, and with a stylist like Ursula who believes in being unconventional (remember when she gave Ri Ri that killer pixie back in the day and completely changed the game?), your star power only increases with a head-turning head of hair crafted by her hands.
But it’s not just about the look when it comes to Ursula’s hair philosophy, it’s about health and choosing products not just because they’re from a big name retailer or cost a pretty penny, but because they are made for your hair type and needs. With that in mind, we reached out to the coveted stylist for some summer hair care tips and got her real thoughts on hair vitamins, pre-pooing, and why we all need to stop trying to look like each other when it comes to beauty.
MadameNoire (MN): What should women be paying attention to most when it comes to choosing hair products?
Ursula Stephen (US): Women should pay attention to the product’s ingredients and claims to make sure it matches up with their hair type and specific hair needs. If dryness is an issue, look for an ultra-moisturizing shampoo and conditioner with ingredients such as coconut oil. If your hair is frizzy and needs to be tamed, opt for products that contain smoothing ingredients such as avocado or olive oil and so on. Even when Suave branded itself as evaus the products specified which hair care need each collection focused on – strength, damage repair, smoothing, volume and shine. It’s really about paying closer attention to what’s inside the bottle rather than just how cute the packaging might look.
MN: Is there a such thing as using too many products?
US: I don’t think so. If you have a different product for each hair care need (washing, treating, styling, etc.) I think that’s completely fine and healthy. It all comes back to choosing products that are developed for your hair type and using products in your daily routine that give you great results.
MN: Which products are must-haves for the warm months?
US: Products that provide heat protection are definitely must-haves for the warm weather. I like the Suave Professionals Avocado + Olive Oil Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner because it helps prevent frizz and moisturizes dry hair.
MN: Is pre-shampooing necessary?
US: Pre-shampooing is not a must, however it is a great idea! For someone with dry hair or kinky/curly hair it’s very helpful because it helps to loosen, detangle and condition the hair before the shampoo process.
MN: Nowadays, women are all about being kitchen beauticians. What processes would you say are cool to do at home and which should you see a professional for?
US: Well, I always say that you spend more time with your hair than your stylist does. Doing conditioners, treatments and masks at home are cool to do and are very beneficial! I would suggest staying away from chemical services that can potentially cause breakage and damage to the hair. Things along those lines should be left to a professional.
MN: What do you think about the hair growth vitamin craze and what’s the best way to really grow and retain length?
US: Adding vitamins to a healthy hair regimen such as treating and trimming hair regularly is a great way to promote and retain healthy hair growth! Vitamins are a great added benefit because they’re working on the hair from within. For example, you could tell by the beauty of a tree that the soil has been nourished.
MN: You had a post on IG about hoping women will become more individualistic when it comes to their look. Why do you think so many of us are beauty copycats and what are some cool ways to experiment with your hair for the summer months?
Like, really? ??♀️I hope that individuality shows its face this Summer. Where a confident chick rocks a style that sets her apart from everyone else. #UrsieOnHair #justmytwocents
A post shared by Ursula Stephen (@ursulastephen) on Apr 14, 2017 at 2:35pm PDT
US: The reality is that it’s pretty hard to be different when we all love the same things! However, it’s always best to find what makes you feel good. It’s those small details that set you apart from everyone else. Above all, looking the best for you is most important. The summer season is a wonderful time to experiment with styles that are outside of your norm. It’s a time to have fun and play around with styles that beat the heat (i.e.: ponytails, cornrows, updos etc.).