Destinee Steele is on a mission to make styling Black hair in the theatre world the norm (rather than a specialty!), and is a firm believer that anyone interested in theatrical hair and makeup should have a base knowledge of how to care for the hair and wigs of all performers. She brings her first-hand wisdom and exuberant charm to this four-part video-content series, the first of its kind here on, that will talk about hair and makeup. Don’t miss any of the series; watch for future posts.

Meet Destinee: She’s currently the touring JEDI consultant/trainer at NETworks on Tour, the CEO of The Beauty Menagerie, a content creator here at, and the former Hair and Makeup Supervisor for Waitress on its second national tour. In her own words, Destinee says, “I could literally drop gems on this topic all day but I’ll keep it brief and give you three of my favorite tips!”

3 Quick Tips for Styling Black Hair

#1 Moisture
Beautiful hair styling starts with healthy moisturized hair as the foundation. Unlike other hair textures, curly Black hair doesn’t allow the natural oils of the scalp to travel down the hair strand due to its natural coiling. Think about sliding down a straight slide (which represents straight hair). Now think about sliding down one of those enclosed corkscrew slides that goes upside down (which represents curly hair). WHOA, right?! That corkscrew path is what natural oils from the scalp face which leaves the midshaft-to-ends of curly hair dry.

The LOC method is a system that hydrates the hair and can be repeated daily, if needed. LOC stands for liquid, oils, and cream. Some prefer to apply each component to their hair in three separate steps, but I like to put my mixture in a spray bottle and apply it to my hair before detangling.

LIQUID = water, rose water, rice water, aloe vera juice
OILS =  olive oil, Moroccan oil, argan oil, avocado oil, tea tree oil
CREAM =  leave-in conditioner, hair milk, curl defining cream

Black wavy hair wig with paddle brush shown

Using a paddle brush to detangle hair will make your hair happy and here’s why. The brush is designed to collapse a bit when it hits a tangle so you can adjust how hard you pull. You’ll break fewer hair strands this way!

#2 Detangling Tools 
I never feel prepared to style Black hair unless I have a wide-tooth comb, a paddle brush, and a Denman brush on hand. Let’s talk about the benefits.

Wide-Tooth Comb: If finger combing isn’t your jam then a wide-tooth comb is the alternative. This style of comb allows larger sections of hair to pass through its teeth to minimize snagging and breaking. This beautifully sets the stage for further detangling. When detangling hair with any tool, you always want to start from the bottom of the strands and move up toward the scalp. Your hair will thank you.

Paddle Brush: This is my favorite style of brush. The collapsible design of this brush will allow the bristles to cave in when it encounters a tangle which minimizes the breakage during the detangling process. The wide surface area of the brush allows me to move quickly through the hair especially if I’ve preceded this step using a wide-tooth comb. Remember, you always want to start from the bottom and move toward the scalp. Your hair will thank you.

Denman Brush: Although this brush is not marketed as a detangling tool, this brush is designed to smooth and define curly hair. I like to use this brush as my final step of detangling especially if I’m styling a wash-and-go. (It’s just what it sounds like. Shampoo, condition, detangle, and let your style air dry.) Remember, you always want to start detangling from the bottom and … well, you get it.

#3 Satin
We talked about the importance of moisture in hair for ideal styling. Keeping the moisture in hair is a job of its own but there are ways to help. When wrapping the hair remember that materials like cotton are absorbent by design and can further cause dryness and breakage to curly hair. Satin, however, is a beautiful alternative. Because satin is so sleek it allows the hair to glide across the fabric with no resistance promoting smoother ends on the hair and the material isn’t absorbent. Your moisture is safe with satin!

Satin-lined head wear is very popular and comes in many styles and forms. Some worth mentioning are satin bonnets, scarfs, satin-lined hats, and for people who don’t like to sleep with their hair covered, there are satin pillowcases. 

Here’s more info on styling Black hair from Destinee. Watch for additional videos from Destinee on styling Black hair and doing makeup.

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