Any time is a good time to be
natural, whether you’re going in for the big chop or a decade into your longtime curl commitment. However, it’s easy to fall into the same routine of twist-outs, box braids, and wash and go’s. Of course, they’re fantastic styles — and foolproof ways for naturals to maintain or grow out their curls and kinks — but it’s still nice to break up the monotony.
Enter: Celebrity stylists like
Vernon François, Lacy Redway, and Chuck Amos. They’re among a small-but-proud group of talented pros who are responsible for helping stars like Solange, Lupita Nyong’o, and Yara Shahidi look their very best on the red carpet. More importantly, they make those same stars feel included. Even Viola Davis has mentioned instances where stylists simply didn’t know what to do with her hair.
Thankfully, that same inclusion is available for those outside of the Hollywood realm thanks to a hefty dose of inspiration served up via social media. The eight luminaries ahead have us covered in the most creative of ways — and are quite worthy of a click.
Check out a few of our favorite pros to follow for natural hair inspo, ahead.
Vernon François Celebrity Clients: Ava DuVernay, Lupita Nyong’o, Willow Smith
Why We Love Him: Believe it or not, but there used to be a time when short, natural hair was considered undesirable. Over the years, we’ve watched the charming stylist and creator of an eponymous hair-care line debunk that notion with Nyong’o’s stunning red carpet presence throughout the years. Aside from Nyong’o’s styles, François is also known for encouraging women and men all around the world to get rid of their frizz fear and embrace their curls — a message we can . always get behind Photo: Via @vernonfrancois.
Lacy Redway Celebrity Clients: Thandie Newton, Yara Shahidi, Storm Reid, Ruth Negga
Why We Love Her: Any stylist that can work with all textures — and can do every style imaginable — should be celebrated. Redway is the life of that party. From cornrows to brown braids to bob haircuts, this pro does it all — and with flair. Photo: Via @lacyredway.
Shai Amiel Celebrity Clients: Tamera Mowry-Housley, Nathalie Emmanuel, Logan Browning, Ryan Michelle Bathe
Why We Love Him: Once you click on Amiel’s Instagram page, be prepared to spend all day scrolling through his signature side-by-side transformations. The pro, who’s known as the “Curl Doctor” in L.A., has the ability to transform dry, lifeless hair into defined and hydrated halos of curls and kinks. Photo: Via @shaiamiel.
Marcia Hamilton Celebrity Clients: Tracee Ellis Ross, Alicia Keys, Willow Smith, Keke Palmer
Why We Love Her: Twists and braids are always awesome, but dark brown and black extensions can get boring. Hamilton plays with all kinds of hues with her protective styles, whether she’s doing burgundy plaits or unicorn yarn braids. Photo: Via @marciahamilton.
Felicia Leatherwood Celebrity Clients: Issa Rae, Teyonah Parris, Skai Jackson
Why We Love Her: Honestly, we could spend hours talking to Leatherwood about all things involving curls and kinks. The natural hair educator’s smarts also shine through her talent — we absolutely love what she does with Issa Rae’s midlength 4c ‘fro on Insecure and on the red carpet, too. So. Many. Styles. Photo: Via @lovingyourhair.
Nai’vasha Johnson Celebrity Clients: Yara Shahidi, Kelela, Zendaya
Why We Love Her: Despite her formal training, Johnson always finds a way to put curls first. In her words: “I went to a cosmetology school where we didn’t train on textured, black, or curly hair,” Johnson tells us. “It wasn’t until later in my career where I got into natural hair. Now, I take beautiful images I love so much — like maybe a Sassoon haircut or an Aveda updo — and turn that into a textured look. I’ll put a really clean bob on the kinkiest, curliest hair I can find, or the waviest girl that I can find.” Photo: Via @naivashaintl.
Nikki Nelms Celebrity Clients: Zoë Kravitz, Janelle Monaé, Kelly Rowland
Why We Love Her: Nelms doesn’t just push the envelope… she signs, seals, and delivers it. The pro, who’s been doing hair since she was 17, takes arts and crafts to the most elegant level ever with her use of pins, charms, barrettes, and googly eyes. ( Yes, really.) Photo: Via @nikkinelms.
Chuck Amos Celebrity Clients: Solange, Tracee Ellis Ross, Lion Babe
Why We Love Him: Aside from Amos giving us a reason to raid our office’s supply closet, we also admire his work with Pantene. The brand’s celebrity stylist was the mastermind behind all of the retro and futuristic looks in the brand’s forward-thinking commercials. “It’s so important to me because it gives textured women an opportunity to finally have a great relationship with their hair,” he told us at the time. “We can now celebrate our unique and diverse hair with a product line that sees us! Pantene is recognizing the importance of African-American women to feel confident wearing their hair in any style they choose and [it’s] celebrating the heritage, diversity and beauty of African-American women, proving that all strong hair is beautiful hair.” Photo: Via @chuckielovehair.
Like this post? There’s more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the
Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page. Like us on Facebook — we’ll see you there!
Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?
Kate Middleton Isn't The Only Royal Having A Really Good Hair Day
Don't Get Inked Without Checking Out These Rad Artists On Instagram
Kourtney Kardashian Is Officially Breaking Into The Beauty Industry — Again