As far as we know, there’s almost no such thing as effortless beauty. From facial treatments that leave your complexion dewy and luminous to the perfect winged eyeliner, experts reveal their most-trusted, insider hacks for CR‘s series, Beauty Secrets.
After working in real estate for over a decade, Nai’vasha made the leap to pursue a career in hairstyling and relocated her family of seven from Atlanta to New York City. “It was like taking on a whole new identity–it’s the best thing I’ve ever done in my life,” she tells CR. Since the big move, she’s traveled around the world for her work and garnered an impressive list of clients, including Alicia Keys, Tracee Ellis Ross, Serena Williams, Janet Mock, and more. While she’s known as the Curl Queen, the celebrity hairstylist knows her way around any style and texture. From jewel embedded braids to gravity-defying ponytails to Old Hollywood-inspired waves, each of her looks present a wow-factor moment.
Here, Nai’vasha talks to CR about representation in the hair industry, at-home haircare tips, and why she always crosses her fingers after creating a show-stopping, sculptural hairdo.
You’ve lived in several cities and traveled a lot for work. Do you see any influence from the places you’ve been in your hairstyling?
“I see a lot of the influence of each region in my work. New York is very creative, very colorful. I think [the city] overall is a risk taking experience. When I do those risky hairstyles, those edgy hairstyles, they’re overtly quintessential New York. When I’m doing something very clean or windblown, it’s definitely an LA vibe. And I have a love fest with Paris. There are certain aesthetics of what I do that has that kiss of French, that very Parisian vibe.”
How have you seen the industry change in terms of diversity behind-the-scenes throughout your career?
“It’s slightly changing behind the scenes. It has not done as drastic of a change as I would like to see, but that’s gonna come from editors and talent fighting for who they want to brand them. Honestly, that is always going to be an ongoing battle, because photographers know who they want and editors know who they like, but no one is consulting the talent about who they really want, who makes them feel comfortable, who makes them feel good, or who makes them look the way that they want to look. Until that happens, until the powers that be actually listen and act accordingly, it’s always going to be a huge divide.
I think that these conversations should be had more, and they can happen in a way where we’re not uncomfortable across the board, regardless of what your ethnicity is. It should be a comfortable conversation and an open forum. That’s the only way that things are going to shift.”
Who is your hair icon?
“Diana Ross is like my everything. She just gets it. She is timeless, she is refined. She’s the It factor, and everything she’s possessed in fashion and beauty has been an example of that.”
Do you have a favorite look you’ve created?
“I was totally obsessed with the ponytail on Alicia Keys with all the jewels and music notes on it. That is a close runner up with the one with where her hair is suspended in the air.”
Can you share any secrets behind how you achieve those sculptural looks?
“For the ones that are suspended, I do everything in layers. I take tiny sections and I delicately back comb it into the shape. Then I leave the perimeter out, and I lay the hair lightly brushed out on top of the shape, so it can be beautifully viewed.”
When you first began experimenting with those styles, were you nervous?
“It was intimidating all the way through until it was time to take it down, because you’re keeping your fingers crossed that nothing moves, that nothing falls out of place. You’re always going to be on edge.”
What can people be doing at home to take care of their hair?
“I think the time is now to really soak up all the moisture that you can get and steer away from the heat if possible. Now is such a great time to [do] all those things that nurture the hair, like oil treatments, regardless of your texture. Do cute little twists, don’t take them down, and just let it air dry.”
What are some of your favorite styling products?
“The wax spray by Oribe is my favorite hairspray. I don’t have to back comb or anything, and [the hair] will stay right where it is. Where you spray is where it’s going to stay. Hicks is my favorite pomade for edge control and I can create really cool styles with that, whether it’s a finger wave, baby hair, or a really sweet ponytail. My favorite shine spray would probably be Oribe’s Cote d’Azur spray, it’s incredible and weightless.”
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createdAt:Wed, 13 May 2020 20:59:11 +0000