For women with textured hair, it comes as no surprise that many professional hairstylists struggle to work across the full spectrum of hair types. Ursula Stephen, however, is not one of those stylists. With over a decade of experience as the go-to expert for the top names in fashion and entertainment, including megastars like Zendaya, Rihanna, and Kerry Washington, to name a few, Ursula has been a leading force within the beauty industry, honing her craft and teaching others how to honor the beauty of any type of hair in its natural state.
As someone who has recently learned to embrace my curl pattern, and is always looking for the best curly hair products; I understandably jumped at the opportunity to interview Ms. Stephen backstage as she used an array of TRESemmé products to create the styles for Studio 189’s spring 2020 New York Fashion Week show last year. Keep reading for her tried-and-true tips for your texture, Ursula’s take on diversity in the industry, and, of course, why Zendaya’s hair always looks so damn good.
Ursula says, “Take your styling creme to the next level and make sure it has a monoi oil in it. It’s one of the best oils because it mimics our natural hair sebum.”
“For natural hair, the main thing is to love it—resist the temptation to pick up your flatiron. And then second is to keep it moisturized at all times. Having a daily styling product is always good to keep in your arsenal,” she explains.
According to Ursula, “A good cut is important, but if you’re not ready to chop, make sure you invest in a good curl creme to revitalize your curls.”
“For straight hair, it’s always fun to add a bit of texture. Everyone always wants what they can’t have, so something like dry shampoo can add a little body to it,” says Ursula.
According to Ursula, Zendaya’s perfect texture is the product of roller sets. “We try to stay away from blow dryers, irons, or any form of heat on her hair, so we typically let her hair air dry and add it rollers to create her perfect texture,” she explains.
Whether you have kinky hair or are just trying to make your waves as stunning as Zendaya’s, there’s something to be said about having hairstylists who can advise you on your particular hair needs. In Ursula’s own words, “We’ve been speaking about the lack of diversity in the entertainment and fashion space for so long, and now the problem is actually being fixed. As you can see, there’s a lot of brown faces backstage here today. I think it’s a matter of everyone working together and professionals learning how to work with different textures so that we can all work together and be a big hair family.”
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This post was previously published and has since been updated.