Celebrity hairstylist, Maui Moisture brand ambassador and all-around hair MacGyver Nikki Nelms is one of the realest hair pros that we know. If you follow her on Insta, you know she’s just as comfortable transforming the tresses of Zoe Kravitz and Janelle Monáe as she is lip-synching her favorite throwback songs, or dishing out no-nonsense real-world advice to her fam and gal pals. Below, the hair wizard offers up a sprinkling of #BlackGirlMagic tips, how-tos and product advice for keeping our everyday manes all-around fly.
SEVEN PRODUCTS EVERY TEXTURED-HAIR GIRL SHOULD HAVE IN HER MANE STASH, ACCORDING TO NELMS:
NELMS’ HOT-GIRL SUMMER HAIR HOW-TO (DEMONSTRATED ON ACTRESS BIANCA LAWSON):
1. Take half -inch sections and cornrow hair in a straight-back direction.
2. Leave out a small section on both sides at the temple area.
3. To make a cleaner part, use a hairpin to secure sections.
4. After hair is completely braided, make one large plait using all the braided ends, then tuck it under and secure with bobby pins and hairpins.
5. Next, using a bendable gold wire, weave throughout the braids, securing it in random places.
6. Last, use a flat iron to give the side pieces a wave.
THE NO. 1 THING WE ALL NEED TO STOP DOING TO OUR HAIR:
“Stop comparing it to others! Take the time to learn your own hair and what its needs are. When you do that, that’s when you’ll discover true hair health.”
NELMS’ TOP TRESS-CARE TIPS:
For those with braids:
- Be mindful of tension levels when styling and braiding. Being too snatched is damaging to your follicles.
- Keep your edges hydrated and oiled.
- When undoing braids, be just as concerned with how you undo a style as you are in selecting one. Take your time in order to minimize hair loss.
For those with natural curls or coils:
- Keep your hair well-hydrated and conditioned.
- Sleep on a satin or silk pillowcase to help maintain your hair’s luster.
- It’s easy to forget when you wear your hair curly, but get your ends trimmed regularly.
For those with relaxed manes:
- Split ends aren’t cute and will keep on splitting; keep your ends trimmed.
- Keep the usage of heat tools to a minimum. They can be damaging to chemically treated hair. If you must use one, use on its lowest setting so you don’t fry your hair.
- Protein treatments are a must for reviving damaged locks. They help combat all the stress we put on our strands and help keep them healthy from the inside out.
NELMS’ ALL-TIME HAIR FAVES:
“I love all the hair icons listed below. No matter how long ago they introduced us to their most iconic look, their manes are still being celebrated, imitated and recreated to this day.”
“I love all the details and the intention that can be seen in her hair. The beading is beautiful.”
“The volume and fluff of her curls just make me so happy!”
“She taught me that a hairstyle can leave an unforgettable impression on others. I still think of her fanned-out, precision updo cut to this day.”
“Her hair was and still is a whole star by itself. Even though her costumes were amazing, I love how her hair always made her wardrobe look even better.”
” I love the carefreeness I see when it comes to her hair. I love how she chooses to switch it up; it’s so inspiring!
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Joane Amay is the Beauty and Style Director at Ebony magazine. A hoarder of shoes, baubles and sparkly things, she dreams one day of owning her own private island.