Andre Walker is many things: an award-winning hairstylist, a hair-care entrepreneur, and an author. But according to Oprah Winfrey — his main client of 30 years — he's simply "the best."
In between creating iconic hair looks for the world's most influential woman, Andre also created the first hair typing system as a way for people to better understand and care for different natural hair textures.
So we asked Andre and fellow pro stylist Jèan Selassie Frèdèric to make over four different textured naturalistas, while educating them on their beautiful curls in the process.
First up was Sierra. She was mostly concerned with avoiding split ends and double-strand knots, preserving her natural curl pattern in humid climates, and retaining length.
The first step to combating dryness is a thorough cleansing, which will help moisturizing products penetrate your scalp and hair. You'll know you're getting all that buildup gunk off when your shampoo starts to lather into thick, foamy suds.
To keep Sierra's hair from looking like a football, Andre cut off the damaged ends with shears, then used a razor to add long layers and create a full, round shape.
Once the hair is clean and conditioned, Andre suggests finger-combing product into the hair, instead of pulling it through with a wide-tooth comb, for a defined, undisturbed curl pattern.
Air drying's cool, but it takes forever. Using a blow dryer with a diffuser attachment minimizes frizz and helps to maintain volume, giving curls an air-dried look in a fraction of the time.
Zaaayum!!! Sierra's curls are now living their best lives and we're here for it.
Laticia was next. Her biggest hair-care concerns were color-damaged, dry ends and an overall lack of curl definition.
Jean combed a generous amount of TKO conditioner through Laticia's shampooed mane and let it marinate under a plastic cap for 30 minutes. Sitting with conditioning treatments helps to combat dryness and gets the hair nice and soft for styling.
If you're planning to trim or cut coily, shrinkage-prone hair, make sure it's blown out beforehand to ensure manageability.
If you're wondering what's the best haircut for you, think about your face shape. In Laticia's case, Andre cut down the sides and left a little length on top, creating a tapered cut to complement her oval face.
Say it with me: OBSESSEDDDD! Laticia's cropped 'do is perfection.
That brings us to Alanna, a lover of twist extensions who hadn't had a trim in "forever." She also had some heat damage and loss of curl pattern from getting her hair blown straight every now and then.
After a shampoo, a looong deep condition, a blow out, and a haircut, it was finally time for the main event. Instead of just doing two-strand twists, Jean twisted her hair and then put the twists into Bantu knots for some extra oomph to the curl formation.
When undoing twist-outs, it's very important to start at the ends so the curl formation stays in tact. Remember, slow and steady wins the race!
Use your fingers (no combs or brushes!) when separating each twist. The less you separate, the more curl definition you'll get. The more you separate, the bigger and fuller your hair gets.
Alanna's new curls are serving some serious definition and we can't look away. HALP!
Last and not least was Natelege, whose biggest concerns were keeping her thick, shoulder-length hair detangled and stretched in a healthy way and removing damaged ends. She and Andre decided on a silk press because she'd been dying to switch up her look.
When blowing out your hair for a straight style, make sure the hair gets completely dry. If there’s the least amount of dampness, it will frizz up.
Natelege wanted to maintain her length, so Andre slightly trimmed her damaged ends to give her hair some shape. You don't have to trim all your split ends at once, although this is recommended, as long as you regularly snip them away as your hair grows.
Consider setting your hair with Velcro rollers after you've hot-curled it. Roller sets give more volume and body. And in Natelege's case, the remaining damaged ends would go limp without that double setting.
After all of the hair was curled and set, Andre carefully removed each roller, applied a bit of Q-oil, and vigorously brushed it through Natelege's tresses.
Big hair and we absolutely DO care! Natelege's gorgeous mane is laid and serving ~bawdy~ for days.
HERE'S TO MORE HEALTHY AND HAPPY HAIR FOR ALL IN 2018!!!