Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Natural Hairstylist Interview: Jessica Stanton of Revolution Ego (Charlotte, NC)

Jessica's Bio: Jessica Stanton is a licensed cosmetologist who graduated from Aveda Institute Charlotte in 2010.
She earned the Deva Inspired Stylist certificate at the Devachan Salon in New York, NY
She is Revolution EGO's Cut & Color Specialist.

Question we asked Jessica: 

What hair care tips would you give to kurlees that have dry, brittle or dull looking hair?
Check your diet. Healthy hair starts from the inside. Increasing your water intake is the easiest way to moisturize your hair. Be sure to use alcohol free products and sleep with a silk or satin pillow or covering on your hair. 

How often should the hair be deep conditioned? Do you recommend oil treatments or cream based deep treatments?
How often you choose. You just have to listen to your hair. There's really no need to frequently do deep treatments if you treat your hair well regularly...unless you just like some spa time :) As far as oils vs creams, choose whatever you like. Just know that oils alone do not moisturize hair, they only seal it in. 

What do you suggest if your hair is not growing? Take vitamins, co-wash more, trim, etc?
Unless you are taking a medication or have a health/hereditary  issue, your hair is always growing.  Many think their hair isn't growing when its actually breaking off at the ends. Combat that by detangling your hair gently every time it gets wet. Frequent wash & go's on hair that is 5 inches or more causes single strand knots. These knots have to be trimmed off thus curtailing your length retention.  The rate of growth is about 1.25cm-0.5inches per month. As we age, hair growth slows down. Cell division is responsible for hair growth so in order to grow your hair long, you need to give your body the nutrients to help the cells divide. 
Exercise, and a diet rich in proteins like fish, eggs, beans and yogurt, Iron, B vitamins, and vitamin E will promote hair growth.  

It is difficult at times to maintain a healthy diet regularly so I do recommend vitamins. After some years of research I've chosen a proven vitamin complex (just 1 pill) that I will be retailing at Revolution Ego beginning in May. 

Are there any product ingredients that natural girls should avoid such as sulfates, parabens, etc?
Mineral oils build up on the hair shaft, clog pores, and weigh hair down. Alcohols found in most gels dry hair out. Sulfates are necessary if you are using the above listed products because they strip all that product out allowing your hair to be cleansed properly. If you only use naturally derived hair products, you don't need a shampoo with sulfates because it will strip your hair of ALL the natural oils in it. A paraben is a preservative to increase the shelf life of your products. They are in everything from toothpaste to food, not just hair products.  There are many alternatives to them if you choose to side with those that believe parabens cause health issues. 

How do you feel about straightening natural hair? 
Personally I prefer to wear my hair textured. As a stylist I don't offer any hair straightening services because our focus at Revolution Ego is to embrace your natural texture and all the  things it can do. 
Many women go natural thinking they can switch between curly & straight styles frequently. Most of them find out the hard way this isn't true. Very, VERY, few textures can flip flop without heat straightening their curls permanently.  There's nothing wrong with wanting to switch it up...that's what wigs are for! 

Does color hurt your hair if your natural? What are your thoughts on henna?
If used incorrectly, hair color can damage any hair. You should always seek the advice of a professional before attempting to color your hair. 

Many seek henna as a safe & natural alternative to traditional hair color. This is both true & false. Henna is a plant that contains a red dye molecule that is released when it is ground and mixed with an acidic liquid. In my opinion, henna is a great conditioner with a color side effect. When using pure henna, the color you receive is based on the color of your natural hair. It will always be a shade of red. It cannot lighten your natural hair color. Different herbs, & other ground plants can be added to the mixture to make the resulting color brown, black, copper, or more intense red. 

Important things to remember with henna treatments are:      
-Hair that has been previously treated with henna cannot be safely lifted with traditional hair color. It's more permanent than permanent hair color! 
-Hair that is currently or has previously been colored can be treated with pure Body Art Quality henna.
-Repeated applications will leave you with darker hair over time. 
-Henna is recommended for clients who wish to keep their hair well conditioned and strong but permanently dark red, brown, or black in color.

Can you give a short explanation of how long you've been a stylist and what made you fall in love with and specialize in natural hair?
I started doing natural hair in 2007. I transitioned that year and began doing styles on friends, and people I met out and about. My transition inspired my career change. So many people would ask me about my hair and how they could stop relaxing on a daily basis I decided to go to cosmetology school.  I realized there was a need for stylists who understand curly hair and know how to work with it. I've never had a desire to do straight hair, it's just not as fun as texture! 

How often should you trim your natural hair? 
Trims are recommended if you have uneven, split, or knotted ends. There's no time frame for this. Some people take really good care of their hair and never trim it. 

How often do you wash your hair? 
Weekly. Sunday or Monday is my wash day.

Do you shampoo or co-wash?
Since my hair is heavily colored currently, I use a treatment shampoo called Power Build from our Organic Color Systems line. I recommend Castile Soap or a gentle shampoo from Jane Carter Solution, Curls, Shea Moisture, Oyin handmade, or Qhemet Biologics rather than co-washing. Co-washing does not cleanse the hair. Not cleansing  your hair & scalp regularly can cause buildup and even fungus! 

What was the one thing that motivated you to transition from relaxed to natural hair?
I was bored with relaxed hair. It was long and straight, and just laid there.  So plain. So not me. Learning more about how relaxers will eventually leave you bald just solidified the fact that for me, curls, kinks, waves, and locs are where I need to be. 

Revolution Ego Contact info:
Located inside Sola Salons
2000 South Boulevard
Suite 120
Charlotte, NC  28203
Salon:  (704)  951-7386

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