How would you describe your job?
I can say, no one title or label describes what I am but I can choose a few. Hairstylist, beauty expert, educator, consultant and aspiring life coach all wrapped up in one.
Tell us about your background? How do you manage your multiplicity of roles?
As a young girl growing up in Queens, New York I always had my hands in hair. I started my business as early as 11 years old taking neighborhood clients. At the age of 21, I decided to take it seriously and became licensed. My dream was to become a famous celebrity hairstylist. Somewhere along my journey, I discovered I had so many other passions related to my industry. Teaching, mentoring, traveling consulting. I believe these passions were recognized by others and I was quickly pulled into another lane. Balancing multiple roles was difficult in the beginning because I was fighting my truth and trying to uphold an image I thought made me more marketable. Once I realized that wasn’t my reality things became way easier to manage. Because it belonged. Having a daily spiritual practice is imperative.
You are an advocate for natural hair and expert in textured hair. Why is it important to you? How do you feel this passion reflects you personally?
It all boils down to one word and that’s representation. I represent women on so many levels. It’s more than just hair for me although that is a part of external beauty. As I embrace my truth I feel that I give people permission to embrace their own.
You are also a coach and talk about personal empowerment. Do you see wearing hair naturally as an empowerment decision? If so, why?
Yes, I do because it takes courage for some people to embrace and rock with what they were born with. We’ve been told by mainstream media what beauty is supposed to look like and it takes a bold person to go against that. You’ve told yourself that it doesn’t matter what others think as long as you like what you see in the mirror. It just baffles me how we’ve been trained to not like or honor what we naturally have.
The movement to embrace natural hair is the biggest change in styles we have seen in years. What movements do you think might emerge from this natural hair movement?
I think we’re already starting to see a wave of awareness emerge for the natural hair movement. Women are taking ownership of their health, mind, body and, spirit. I would love to see the movement continue To grow and expand its reach. This tells me that our society is ready for a change. We’re tired of the fake rules that govern us.
Growing up, were you encouraged to wear your hair either natural or treated? How did this experience reflect on your future passions in the hair world?
Growing up wearing your hair natural is mostly what kids did until they were old enough to get it straightened. Straight hair was the ideal look to feel and look beautiful. I feel that as a hairstylist first I always wanted to educate my clients so they could make the most informed decisions about their hair. It made me curious about the process and also the psychology of transitioning. I became extremely passionate about researching and trying out different things. I believe that’s why I’m an expert today.
Did you learn the treatment and styling of natural hair through personal experience or through instruction/apprenticeship?
Haircare and maintenance are mostly learned at home. Recipes and practices were normally passed down from generation to generation. A lot of those practices still stand strong but a lot of them are also outdated. I first learned basic styling at home and in my neighborhood. I took my interests further by assisting, attending beauty school and advanced classes. I also learn every day from my creative counterparts. I absorb a little of everyone’s flavor.
Who are your hair icons?
Currently, I’m inspired by anyone who’s style is unapologetic. The person that takes risks with their looks and isn’t afraid to be unique. Eryka Badu comes to mind.
Can you share some general tips for those who have no experience working with natural hair? What are the absolute basics someone needs to know?
Get started right away. Research and watch video. Find someone who wouldn’t mind you trying different things in their hair. It’s important to start with the fundamentals of hair. Learn hair type hair textures porosity, then figure out what products work best. There is no one size fits all.
Do you feel hair education currently is adequate in teaching hairdressers about natural hair? How would you like to see education in this realm change?
No, it isn’t. I would like to see hairstylists become a little more proactive about learning and I think it would be great if products companies and salon offered education to their hairstylists.
And for individuals, how is the access to information changing for those interested to care for, and style, their own hair?
Oh, my! The access is wide open. There are tons of tools and products to choose from. We didn’t have those options even 10 years ago. You can learn on the internet or attend natural hair meetups.
You recently started a company called Textured Hair Professionals tell us about this company, and where you plan to take it?
Textured Hair Professionals was an idea I had to form a community that supported hairstylists that wanted to learn more about the world of textured hair. I would love to host and curate workshops that strengthen skills in hair, business, and life. I want to provide stylists with the tools and information they need to be a success. Being a Textured Hair Professional is a lifestyle.
I believe that having a purpose and a vision for my life keeps me inspired. I do a lot more of what brings me joy and spend a lot of time with whatever I’m passionate about. I try not to focus on money. I love being around creative and passionate people. I love learning new things. I will forever be a student. What really gets me pumped up is observing excellence in any form. Also, staying in touch with what ’s going on in the industry, styles, tools, product, techniques, business… whatever!
What is your favorite thing about what you do?
The most rewarding aspect of what I do is witnessing transformations and also being a catalyst for that change. I love a good light bulb, ah-ha moment, especially if it followed by inspired actions. I love witnessing manifestations. Gives me the shivers. I love to feel like I’m being used by my creator to make an impact on the lives of others very touching.
Any advice for people interested to start learning about working with natural hair?
Yes, research then try. Don’t hesitate. Attend classes and practice.
Top 5 products (or type of products ) you need to have for natural styling.
4.Wide tooth comb
What is a normal routine on natural self-maintenance?
- Typical “Wash day”
- Pre-poo and detangle
- Shampoo and condition
- Set the hair
- Allow time to Dry(may take hours or days depending on porosity) then style
Best way to cut and shape an Afro?
The fro is so versatile. You can’t go wrong with geometric shapes. I love asymmetrical too! I also love a classic perfectly coiffed round fro.
What hot tools do you work with?
When working with natural hair I mostly use a diffuser or hooded dryer. On some occasions, if we’re pressed for time we will wand curl the hair with a tiny iron. Avoiding the heat tools reduces the occurrence of heat damage to the hair.
Do you use water for styling and “re-styling”?
No, I typically use water to dampen the hair before adding products. Water alone will dry out. Also, it depends on the desired outcome because sometimes added water to a style will cause the hair to revert back to its natural state or shrink.
Are there any “bad” oils to put in the hair?
There are bad oils. I can only name a few but I can research and get back to you. Mineral and petroleum oil are at the top of the no-no list.
It’s easier for me to name the ones that are best;
- Castor oil
- Grape Seed
To name a few…
Do you teach?
I do a lot of internal education but I have a public natural hair meet up that I’m hosting on September 30th at the Uniondale Public library. I would love to do more virtual classes as well.
Keep up with Stacey;
FB & IG: @staceyciceron