Hair matters, and what better way to find out the best tips than from a pro? Right On! Digital recently sat down with Annagjid “Kee” Taylor, a celebrity hair stylist and salon owner who works with Nafessa Williams, Keke Palmer, Tiffany Haddish, Tika Sumpter and many others. She is also a natural hair YouTuber with 800,000+ subscribers. But don’t just try her tips; spread the knowledge that you’ll learn in this interview.
INTERVIEW BY CYNTHIA HORNER
Q: How did you get involved in the hair industry and what was your big break?
A: I initially got involved in the hair industry by linking up with people who wanted to be models, artists and actors. I always made sure that their hair was done for every call or job so that the people on set could see how good they looked. My friend, Nafessa Williams, broke through to the next level, so I always made sure she looked great before jobs and eventually those jobs started booking me! My big break was in 2016 when Tyler Perry gave me a job at his studio working as Tika Sumpter’s personal hair stylist on “The Haves and The Have Nots.” I had smaller breaks along the way, but that was definitely a big moment for my career.
Q: You specialize in natural hair. What are some of the needs of clients who are natural?
A: The most important thing is to maintain a healthy hair regimen! For most of the women who come into the salon, especially the new clients, we spend some time making sure everyone gets on the same wave length when it comes to taking care of their hair. We teach them how to properly care for their hair, the best products to use and then we go from there.
Q: What products do you recommend?
A: I recommend the following products:
Deeper Than Hair Glass Brilliant Shine
: This weightless shine serum is my secret weapon for doing a silk press! It creates instant shine on dry or dull hair and helps to smooth frizzy ends. It provides thermal and UV protection, so it can be used before heat tools or as a finisher. It’s free of parabens, alcohol and sodium chloride.
Keira Ashley Hair + Scalp Cleanser:
This is a great product as it’s an oil that actually cleanses your hair and scalp. If you’re dealing with dandruff or an itchy scalp, this oil is great as it gently removes buildup and flakes of skin while nourishing and moisturizing your scalp and hair. I love to use this before I put my hair into a protective style to ensure my scalp is really clean. If you have a really dry scalp, start using this once a week. If you are just using it for clarifying and maintenance, you can probably use it closer to once a month.
African Pride Hair & Scalp Sealing Oil:
Black Castor Oil for moisturizing the hair, especially when you’re wearing protective styles. This oil is great for braids, crochets, edges, under weave care and protective styles. You can apply it directly to the scalp and massage in as needed. I also love that it’s free of parabens, petroleum and mineral oil.
Q: If someone who used to have chemically relaxed hair wants to go natural, how should she start the process?
A: It depends on the person. For those who are really ready for it, you can always go for the big chop, but most people don’t want to do that… I have yet to have a client who was ready for that big of a chop!
For most people, you’ll need to take the time to grow the relaxer out. Every time you go in for a trim, cut a little more than a typical trim. As you watch the natural curl pattern come back in, you’ll notice that the new hair is stronger, and the line of demarcation starts to get weak. That’s typically the point when people are ready to go for a bigger cut. If you’re thinking about growing out your relaxer, it’s important to find a stylist who you trust who specializes in this!
Q: What have been some of your favorite hair styles to do for your clients?
A: Ponytails are definitely my favorite. Not too many clients in the salon get them, but my celebrity clients love ponytails, so I can get my fix there. I also love a silk press, so classic and timeless. And easy. Ponytail: supermarket to the red carpet.
Q: What do you like best about natural hair and how do you feel about some of the discrimination against it in the workplace?
A: I love the versatility of natural hair. I wish all women knew how amazing their natural hair truly is instead of always having a complaint. I’m around women everyday who say things like, “I would love hair like hers.” I always say, “comparison is the thief of joy.” Find the love within your own hair! At the end of the day, you cannot change the texture of your hair without chemicals, and even if you do, it’s not going to look exactly like what you see on other people (and there’s no reason for it, too!).
Annagjid “Kee” Taylor courtesy Nouveau Communications
I hate discrimination of natural hair in the workplace. I’m passionate about getting The Crown Act passed in Pennsylvania and beyond. Our natural texture is what it is—it shouldn’t be discriminated against. Period.
Q: What are some of the styling tools you won’t leave out of your bag?
A: My kit always has the following tools:
- A flat iron: My number one styling tool! You can create everything from curls to sleek and straight looks.
- Ponytail holders: I always make sure to bring extra ponytail holders everywhere—you always end up needing one.
- Denman brush: I love Denman brushes because they work for every hair type.
- Styling comb: Necessary for precision work.
- Claw clips: You can find these affordable on Amazon or at the drugstore.
Q: Tell us more about your YouTube channel and what has been some of the feedback from your viewers/subscribers?
A: I love YouTube—it’s been my favorite thing for the past couple of years! I wanted to make sure that everyone understood their hair and the dynamics of their hair, so giving out free education on my YouTube channel has provided a great platform for just that.
There are only a few of us out here who genuinely push for healthy hair. I love teaching, but I’m only one person and can only reach so many people in person! On Youtube it’s a totally different story. Anyone can come to learn about their hair, or, even better, learn about other peoples’ hair. When people of other races or nationalities say negative things about our hair, I just hate it. But, by expanding understanding, it makes it harder for others to discriminate and helps work towards appreciation. We deserve to be appreciated and to appreciate ourselves.
Kee’s Social media links: