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Issa Rae: Revamping the Simple Up-do's

Issa Rae, star of the hit show “Insecure” on HBO has been taking the natural hair game to ANOTHER level recently. The past couple of weeks I have gotten way more of what I consider to be “simple updos.” You know… the styles that 5 years ago most of us didn’t consider to be a true “style” or let alone a service that you would leave with as a paid service from the salon: two simple halo twists or braids, simple Mohawk with only 2 twists on the side… those type of styles.

I sat down with a client last week and we both discovered that it is potentially ALL because of Issa’s character on “Insecure.” When we see her change hair styles literally every scene, we literally ohhh and ahhh at how SIMPLE, but cute, they are! It gives a new statement to the idea of the acceptance of these styles in even corporate settings.

Replenish Salon is known for many of our natural clients coming as a check-in, with their biggest concern being treating and trimming their hair and not always wanting an elaborate style. With the increase in inspiration that Issa has provided, I wanted to share some tips for many of these looks, as it pertains to health:

  1. Issa, as it pertains to hair on “Insecure,” is a character. You can’t change your style every day or every few days and expect health. Aim for styles and products that can allow a style to only need to be revamped weekly to avoid creating split ends due to increased manipulation.

  2. For styles with less sections (such as two braids or twists) blowing the hair out helps increase the longevity and creates a smoother look. On freshly shampooed, conditioned, and detangled hair, coil the hair off (bantu knots) into 4 sections and clip. Blow dry one section at a time, using subsections, and the tension method before using the direct heat of the comb attachment. Using the Felicia leatherwood detangler before blowing each section helps make using the comb attachment easier.

  3. For styles requiring smaller sections and wash and go portions, make sure the hair is THOROUGHLY detangled during the conditioning portion before twisting to avoid tangles when it is time to take down.

  4. Opt for gels only on edges to polish the look and moisture only on the ends. (Wash and go requires gel root to tip).

  5. For hair longer than Issa, doing a twist or braid out on hair left out and pinning and tucking the ends keeps the ends protected from the weather.

  6. Make sure to DEEP CONDITION before doing any protective styling so the hair starts with a higher level of moisture. Hair that is softer before protecting is always easier to take down. Always use oils before gels to protect the hair from dryness.

  7. Do not wear a lot of protective styles if your ends are unhealthy. Unhealthy ends only tangle more when kept up for extended periods of time. Keep those ends healthy! Get a precise and professional trim.

As the fall and winter approach, protective styles are a great way to give your hair breaks from manipulation. Issa provides A LOT of inspiration for styles that can be done with your own hair. Have fun with your hair this cool season, but let’s continue to grow healthy hair!

Brandy Sims

Master Stylist

*Some of Brandy’s favorite products and tools for Protective Styles*:

*Coconut Detangler Comb

*Felicia Leatherwood Detangler Brush

*Aussie Megamoist to Detangle

*As I am Leave In Conditioner

*Camille Rose Aloe Whipped for Twisting

*Camille Rose Curl Maker or Aunt Jackie’s Don’t Shrink for Wash and Go

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