Written By: Lexi
Celebrity stylist Chuck Amos is known for creating fabulous hairstyles on some of the most popular celebrities around. Vanessa Williams, Jordin Sparks, Mary J Blige, Iman, Kelly Rowland–and two of my favorites: Solange and Tracee Ellis Ross, are among his roster. I jumped at the opportunity to be able to ask him general questions about natural black hair and some style tips to achieve some of Tracee Ellis Ross’ hair styles.
When someone is transitioning to natural, what are a couple of tips to help them get through the process?
Chuck: Be patient and breath! The transition is a huge step in your hair life, so go with the flow and don’t be afraid to let go; and I mean let go of any relaxer or straight tips you are holding on to! Get your old hair cut off and down to the natural new growth!!! Keep it moisturized and clean (healthy scalp)!
What is the key to maintaining healthy hair?
Chuck: For one, a healthy mind towards yourself, life and your hair! You will attract a healthy head of hair! Always keep your scalp clean and unclogged with heavy greases and oils. Use creams and light oils (mix them together) and keep hair moist all year round! Wash hair at least twice a week. If you use minimal moisture creams, your hair will create its own oils and they shouldn’t be washed out as quickly as if you had straight relaxed hair!
What are some winter hair care tips?
There are 2, and they sort of play agains’t each other One is, You are better off wearing your hair down when you wear a ski cap or winter hat. Reason being that, if the hat is wool or cotton or any mono-phobic fiber, it will “chew” your hair line to death!!! The hairs around the perimeter of your head are way more fragile than the bulk of the interior head of hair! Which is where the hat will lay if your hair is down!! Now if you are letting your hair “down”…for that one of a kind “Dior” ski cap, I suggest that the jacket you are wearing is a mono-fillic fiber, such as silk satin, polyester fibers, example: a puff coat with smooth hand to it , or a leather of some sort. Even mink or fur is better on the fragile “ends” of your hair, to rest upon, when you are wearing your hair down and sporting that new Tom Ford ski cap.
If wearing extensions, how do you care for your real hair throughout the time it is installed?
Chuck: I suggest that you cover the entire head with extensions, leaving nothing of your real hair out for a chance!! You need to (..and probably will) only concentrate on the weave textured hair anyway, that is why you got them!! So choose a style where you have to do minimal to your real hair!! Keep your real hair all covered up in the cornrows underneath! (Bang style super suggested). And Ladies, “Please get them taken out and your real hair treated every 5th week, max! Do as the celebs do!! And your real hair will treat you accordingly!
What are your favorite products for natural black hair?
Chuck: I like Pantene Relaxed and Natural “Oil Cream Moisturizer” for overall everyday added moisture. I love “Hair Rules” entire product line (inquire within). I’ve become crazy, lately about what Carol’s Daughter is bringing to the table with their “Monoi” hair line! It manages to give hair back its strength! Their Mango Butter is nice and the Black Vanilla Spray mixed with the Tui Oil for my scalp is my luxury when I do my dreadlocks! I love it and use it everyday!
What is your go-to styler to create defined and frizz free curls?
Chuck: I only suggest “Hair Rules”- Kinky Curling Creme and “Hair Rules” Curly Whip! Those 2 or a combination of the 2 will have your curls defined and defrizzed!
What are your favorite go-to natural hairstyles?
The freedom of not having a hair style is my all-time favorite! To let each curl play in the beauty of it’s individual curves, to let each hair feel each other and twirl and twine and play together all in one spot at the height of your creation! Let them blow freely in the wind!
You can have a “natural style” by pulling them back or up into a ponytail puff, or even a bun; but if you do, I suggest that you let your edges rest and let them loosely play agains’t your face and down your neck. You have enough tension, keep the hair playful and loose!
With all the poetic gestures aside, “cornrows” are my real all-time favorite natural “hairstyle” if I was to choose one! The history of them and the ancestry of them is remarkable and how “by magic” you can manage to get “all that nappy big ole head o hair” down so close to your hair and keep it compact like that is magic! Magic traced back to the days of Cleopatra, before chemicals or wefts! This was the hair invention revolution that came with us on the slave boats…to America!
How do you achieve some of Tracee Ellis Ross’ hottest styles?
Chuck: First of all, we love Tracee Ellis Ross! Muah, Momma!! Her hair starts off great! It is Diana Ross’ DNA in there, yes? LOL!!
Well, what we do is saturate her hair with water and some cream , her concoction. And I always add a little Pantene Oil Cream Moisturizer! We diffuse it with the funnel diffuser on medium hot then cooled down to cold to “freeze” the curl in shape! We do that to her entire head, approximately 1 hour.
Then we blow it on hotter heat at the roots around the top and crown, loosening up the shape, almost an upside down triangle shape, circa disco/soultrain era! Then we go at random pieces with a 1/4″ curling iron making spirals and pulling them out as they cool and doing “S” waves with the curling iron by going back and forth against the curved edge creating a wave!
With the combination of all that, so strategically placed, we create what is “Tracee Ross’s Hair Style”
Chuck: We used Kim Kimble Silk Wrapped elastics and raise all of Tracee’s hair to the crown with wet hands! We leave her two signature neck curls on each side of the nape of her neck out, coiled with a wet finger twist! Bind it within the elastic! Keeping edges loose and tension free! And Tracee is ready to go!