About the Stylist: The visionary hairstylist behind some of superstar Rihanna’s most celebrated looks, Ursula Stephen is the go-to expert for today’s top personalities in fashion and entertainment. Ursula has worked with iconic fashion photographers including Steven Meisel, Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, Norman Jean Roy, Annie Leibovitz, Lachlan Bailey, Camilla Akrans and Mariano Vivanco. Her editorial clients include Vogue, W, 032C, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, L’Officiel and Rolling Stone, and she has created memorable looks for brand campaigns including Gucci, DKNY, MAC, H&M and Cover Girl. Her celebrity clients include Zendaya, Naomie Harris, Bebe Rexha, Rita Ora, Mary J. Blige, and Laverne Cox. Ursula is the owner of Ursula Stephen The Salon in Brooklyn. She divides her time between New York and Los Angeles.
Q: What’s your advice to help keep hair healthy when moving into the drier months?
A: As we move into the drier months, one great way to keep hair healthy is by keeping up with your trims. The hair is more prone to developing dry split ends during the winter. We tend to wear fabrics like wool and turtlenecks during this time and, when the hair rubs on rough textiles, it becomes dry and brittle. That’s why it’s also a great idea to hydrate at night with a moisturizing cream or a hair mask, like The Remedy Colorless Hair Mask (or The Remedy for Fine Hair, which won a 2020 Allure Best of Beauty Award). This will allow time for the product to penetrate and replenish overnight.
Q: Should all hair types wash their hair less in the winter or try co-washing?
A: I suggest washing the hair less for someone who has naturally drier hair. During this season, we wanna try to keep the hair as hydrated as possible, so using conditioner to cleanse instead of shampoo is a great option. The winter time is a great season to try co-washing a little bit more. It’s a great way for those with naturally coarse or coily hair to keep moisture in as some shampoos can strip the hair causing it to become dry and brittle, and this is what we are trying to stay away from. Fall and winter is also a great time to consider using more gentle drying techniques, such as air-drying or using an AQUIS Rapid Dry Hair Turban. Hair turbans like this cause less friction on the hair, less breakage, and dry the hair faster.
Q: How often can/should you use a hair mask?
A: Hair masks can be used anywhere from once a week to once a month. If your hair is feeling drier than normal, it is absolutely okay to use a mask a couple times a week to get the hair back to a normal state. Once you find a mask that is tailored to your hair type, it is fine to use regularly.
Q: Coloring and processing hair can be very damaging and drying, any tips to help maintain your shade and hair health in the drier months?
A: The coloring process can be very damaging and drying to the hair; multiply that by the negative impact of drier months, and that damage is magnified. Excessive dryness also causes hair color to fade faster. The great thing about the oVertone’s Coloring Conditioners is that they allow you to refresh your color while conditioning the hair at the same time —a win-win!
Q: What are some products or hair care tips you can add to your routine to help reduce static?
A: A light leave-in conditioner and a highly moisturizing conditioner (like The Remedy Colorless Hair Mask or The Remedy for Fine Hair that I mentioned earlier). If you are prone to static, invest in a metal comb as opposed to plastic, as it conducts electricity and helps to remove electric particles. There are also a few good hacks that reduce static, like gently rubbing a dryer sheet on the hair, spraying hairspray/static guard onto your hair brush, and brushing through the flyaways.
Q: What are your favorite hair trends and predictions for this winter? (cuts, colors, and styles)
A: Winter is a big season for protective styles so will see lots of beautiful box braids trending. They are versatile and easy to maintain. Red tones will also be trending this winter. I definitely see bangs becoming a trend this winter as well as a chic bob.