YouTube sensation and blogger Monica “Mo” Stevens, known as “MoKnowsHair,” is a licensed cosmetologist focused on healthy hair care tips, styling methods and product reviews.
Born and raised in Kansas City, MO, Monica has always had a natural talent for hair styling and maintenance. To enhance her natural skill, Monica earned her cosmetology certification at Aveda Institute New York, on full scholarship from the brand, and currently operates her own hair salon in Manhattan. She has joined the Sally Beauty team as a stylist and texture expert. Heart & Soul had the opportunity to have a sit-down with Monica to talk about natural hair care trends just before Sally Beauty kicks off its second Pop-up Salon & Lounge this weekend in New Orleans.
Natural Hair Care Trends with Monica Stevens
Q: How do I protect my hair from the sun?
A: Use a leave-in treatment that provides UV ray protection and apply it before long days in the sun.
Q: Give us two styling tips for this summer.
A: First, don’t skip out on deep conditioning because you “don’t have time.” Your hair will be dry and brittle by fall if you neglect it all summer. Second, plan on getting a haircut at the change of each season to make sure your ends are taken care of.
Q: How should natural hair be treated after a day at the beach or pool? What about relaxed hair?
A: Cleanse with a swimmer’s shampoo like Ion Swimmer’s Shampoo from Sally Beauty and proceed to condition and apply leave-in with UV ray protection. I like ApHogee Keratin and Green Tea Restructurizer.
Q: What are some product essentials this summer?
A: A gorgeous orange nail polish looks good on all brown skin. Try OPI Cajun Shrimp or OPI Infinite Shine No Tan Lines. I recommend a highlighter or bronzer to accentuate the glow (Femme Couture Mineral Effects Baked Bronzer), and a good co-wash to keep hair fresh between regular wash days. Try Mielle Organics Detangling Co-Wash.
Q: Will color affect the hair’s texture? What should you look out for?
A: It depends on the state of the hair. In general, healthy hair handles color more gracefully than damaged hair — think dry hair and split ends. It also depends on what is used to color (professional color versus box dye) and how it is processed. I have a complete tutorial/discussion around hair color and what you need to know available at http://moknowshair.com/haircolor101/.
As always, see a professional for consultation if you do not have experience with hair color. Correction processes are expensive and usually more damaging than if it was done right in the first place.
Q: What do you recommend for keeping hair fresh when it comes to humidity?
A: Plan on having to refresh with water and reapply a bit of the product used to set it, or just plan on modifying the style over the days with a high bun, ponytail, updo, crown braid, etc. You should also avoid products that have glycerin, honey or other humectants as a primary ingredient, as they attract more water to the hair.