For Celebrity Hairstylist Nai'vasha, Hair Care Is All About Simplicity
Here's how the stylist to Alicia Keys, Yara Shahidi, and more takes care of her natural curls.
Have you ever looked at someone, be it a celebrity, influencer, or your childhood best friend, and wondered how they get such good hair? Here, we explore the different hair care routines of people with different hair types, textures, concerns, and goals, and break down what they do to achieve SUCH GOOD HAIR.
Name: Nai'vasha Johnson
Hair type: Fine with 3C to 4A curls
Hair concerns: Brittle hair
Hair goals: Long length
Before becoming the hairstylist to A-listers such as Alicia Keys, Yara Shahidi, and Tracee Ellis Ross, Nai'vasha learned to professionally style hair at a salon in New York City after having worked in real estate for over a decade. At the same time, she was learning how to care for her own hair while playing with it more than she had before. "I started to do things to my hair to fit in with the other girls, and then once I got into my own and found my groove, I got into my personal hair journey," she tells HelloGiggles over the phone. "Then, I began to love my hair a little bit more, and now I love it a whole lot more."
While working at a Manhattan salon, she got her first break into the world of celebrity by styling Wanda Sykes when a friend called and asked if she could style natural hair. A while later, she entered the North American Hairstyling Awards and was nominated as a Newcomer of the Year. Eventually, she worked her way up to working closely with Hollywood's A-list.
In terms of her personal hair journey, she's also come a long way. "What I learned is that I don't need all that—my hair is the definition of less is more," Nai'vasha says. After over-processing, bleaching, and dyeing it cool colors for years, her curls had begun to lose their definition, so she went into repair mode and cut it off, doing deep treatments and masks. "I'm in no way discounting or shading chemically-processed hair," she says now, "but it shouldn't have been a part of my hair journey. I was losing myself and my texture."
Nowadays, her hair care routine is simple. "I'm not fussy," she says. On wash day, Nai'vasha begins her regimen by detangling her hair thoroughly with a unique, texturized glove she designed for her own company, Curl Queen. Then, she'll step into the shower and wash her hair with Oribe's clarifying shampoo from roots to tips, using her innovative glove.
If her hair needs a little more moisture, she'll then apply a hair mask as well. "I'll use a very heavy mask and massage it in real good, emulsify it with the glove, and continue to detangle my hair," Nai'vasha explains. If her hair needs even more hydration, she'll use the Oribe Signature Moisture Masque; otherwise, she'll use the Kérastase Discipline Oleo Relax Anti-Frizz Mask to replenish her hair's moisture.
If it's not wash day, Nai'vasha will start her hair care routine by waking up on a silk pillowcase she bought from Marshalls. "I'm a little vain, so I don't like to wear a bonnet as I like to wake up looking so fly—that's also why I wear lash extensions," she shares.
Then, once she's up, she'll shake her hair out and go over to the mirror and look at her curls. If some pieces are looking a little flat or wild, she'll take her T3 Lucea ID Flat Iron to enhance her waves. "[This iron] is so powerful and high-tech—you can customize the settings on it," she says of her go-to hot tool. "Because my settings are customized, I just plug it in, turn it on, and boom—it's right there ready for exactly what my hair texture needs."
Nai'vasha recommends prepping hair with a heat protectant to prevent damage if you're using a hot tool like she does. "I use the Kérastase Discipline Oleo Relax Anti-Frizz Oil Serum—I love the way it smells and it gives my hair a luminescent shine," she says.
Once the styling is done, Nai'vasha doesn't do anything else to her hair. "Again, less is more," she notes. If she wants to do anything to her edges, she'll use her tried and true Hicks Edge Pomade. "It doesn't flake or turn overly matte, and it has a really strong hold," she says.