hair care

Celeb Stylist Ursula Stephen Gives Us The FAQs

We get it: hair care seems hard. Different types, different textures, different colors; how do you decide which hair care routine is the best fit for you? Well, you ask a professional.

Ursula applied oVertone’s Copper Kit to Zendaya’s strands for the 2019 Emmy Awards.

When Zendaya, Laverne Cox, Rihanna, and Mary J. Blige entrusted their superstar strands to celeb stylist Ursula Stephen, we knew she was the expert we wanted to answer your most-asked hair care questions. And she did not disappoint: not only did she tell us how she achieves celebrity-status strands on her clients, but she tells us how to do it with oVertone products.

Q: How can someone identify what hair type or texture they have?

A: The best time to determine one’s hair type is when the hair goes from wet to dry. Once the hair is in its natural state you can determine whether the hair is straight, wavy, coarse or coily. You can do a “thickness” strand test to determine whether the hair is thin, medium or thick. Take a small section of hair between the fingers and the thinner the hair, the less you feel, and the thicker the strand the more you will feel between your fingers. Doing this will allow you to look for products that meet your specific hair needs, for example, if you have fine hair, you’d want to choose a more lightweight formula in a hair mask like The Remedy for Fine Hair.

Q: Can any hair texture color their hair with oVertone? 

A: Yes! Any hair texture can be colored using oVertone. Low porosity hair — e.g. hair that has not been bleached, heat styled, and is generally very healthy with a strong cuticle —  can be difficult to accept color as well as moisture. A good way to get around this problem is to sit under a steamer or hood with the product on, or blow dry the hair for a few minutes with the product on, to allow it to accept color. This will help to open the hair shaft allowing the product in and to penetrate deeper.

Q: Is it safe to color protective styles using oVertone? 

A: It is absolutely safe to use oVertone to color protective styles. It can be safely used on braids, weaves etc. If you plan on using it on box braids, chances are that you are looking to cover your grays or new growth of color. Apply oVertone Coloring Conditioner directly to the roots concentrating on the new growth and, if you have low porosity hair, follow the tips above to allow it to penetrate the cuticle properly. Leave on for 10-15 minutes and rinse.

Q: Is it true that people with darker colored hair can’t rock a vivid shade without bleaching? 

A: Typically those with darker colored hair can’t rock a vivid shade without bleaching, which can be damaging to the hair. But oVertone has created a For Brown Hair line, a range of color that is specifically formulated to be effective on dark brown hair. It gives bright results on light brown hair and a subtle tint on dark brown hair. These colors are safe and easy to use, and include warmer tones which make them show more on dark hair. They’re a great alternative to bleaching! These shades have nourishing, deep conditioning ingredients such as shea butter and coconut oil. 

Q: Is it true that fine hair is more prone to breakage? 

A: Fine hair is prone to breakage simply because it’s weaker than medium to coarse hair. This hair type is also prone to split ends, so keeping up with trims is very important. And keeping a blunt cut like a bob with little to no layers is recommended. This helps the hair to look and feel thicker as all of the weight is held at the bottom of the hair. Use as little heat as possible when styling this hair type — air drying is highly recommended as well as a heat protectant.  

Q: How often do you recommend shampooing? And what are the benefits of a clarifying vs. a moisturizing shampoo? 

A: Shampooing the hair can happen anywhere from 2-3 days to 2-3 weeks, all depending on the hair type. Straighter hair tends to get oily very quickly; this hair type usually needs to be washed every 2-3 days, while coarser/thicker hair can go up to 2 weeks before it needs to be washed. A clarifying shampoo helps to remove excess build up on the hair. I recommend using this 1-2 times per month as it can cause the hair to become dry if used too often. A moisturizing shampoo gently cleanses the hair without stripping and helps keep and maintain a healthy pH balance.

Q: Is it true that coily or curly hair textures should avoid shampoo? And if so what should their routine include instead? 

A: I think it’s more about what ingredients to look for in a shampoo as opposed to avoiding shampoo. This hair type should avoid overuse of a clarifying shampoo as curly/coily hair needs moisture and a clarifying shampoo can cause dryness if used to often (though it’s great for fading color if you’re looking to transition your shade, it should just be used sparingly). Ingredients like coconut oil, jojoba oil, shea butter and vitamins are incredibly moisturizing and can be found in oVertone’s Daily Conditioners as well as their Coloring Conditioners, helping you to maintain color while conditioning the hair at the same time. 

Q: Any other hair care tips that everyone should include in their routine? 

A: One hair care tip that everyone should include in their hair routine is a hair mask. oVertone makes an amazing colorless mask that provides intense hydration. Hydration is important when it comes to maintaining the health of the hair. A mask can be used at least 2-3 times a month depending on the health of your hair and hair care regimen. 

Inspired to achieve celebrity-strand status? Lock down the next staple product in your routine:

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