Name: Nedjetti Harvey
Company Name: Hair by Nedjetti Salon
Location: Bloomfield, NJ & NYC www.Nedjetti.com 973.748.0181
Part II of my series on Natural Hair Care I interviewed celebrity hairstylist, Nedjetti. Nedjetti is a renowned natural hair care specialist of 18 years & celebrity hair artist who promotes the essence in wearing your hair in its beautiful organic state. A native New Yorker and owner of Hair by Nedjetti Salon based in Bloomfield, NJ & NYC is a licensed cosmetologist, L’Oreal consultant and int’l educator.
Nedjetti’s sculptured hairstyles, hair care advice and encouraging ‘it’s grand to be au naturale articles have graced the pages of over 50 fashion and beauty magazines including ESSENCE, UPSCALE, BRIDES NOIR, SOPHISTICATES BLACK HAIR, TODAY’S BLACK WOMAN, SALON SENSE, BLACK BEAUTY and HAIR among others, including The New York Times.
In January of 2005,Nedjetti was listed as being one of the ‘Top 100 Elite Stylists’, received a 2004 Certificate of Excellence for being one of the ‘100 Most Influential Women in the Beauty Industry’ from SalonSense Magazine and was a contender on “Making It Big”, an Oxygen network reality show about hair designers. Then in 2004, Nedjettiwas an expert guest speaker at Toronto Naturals Hair and Beauty 2nd Annual Show and in front of hundreds admiring spectators, shared her expertise advice on natural haircare maintenance, locs and hair products.
Nedjetti believes, “we’re all here to be spiritually happy, find your niche and pursue it, you’ll thank God for revealing your purpose.”
One on One with Celebrity Natural hair specialist Nedjetti….
Nedjetti, when did you start doing hair? My mother saw my interest in styling hair as I’d intensely watch her cornrow and braid my younger sister’s hair. She then decided to buy me a mannequin and taught me to braid and cornrow at age 7. I begin practicing the braid technique then graduated to cornrowing on a straight haired mannequin. By age 8, I was cornrowing my own hair, my grandmother, best friend, uncles anyone I could get my little hands into. I recall my mother telling me for a child, my craftsmanship was extremely neat and also my uncle shared I’d cry if he didn’t allow me to cornrow his hair, which brought tears to my eyes because his story affirmed the innate passion I walk in life as a hair artist. My maternal grandmother was a cosmetologist and paternal grandfather was a barber (& coil miner) so my hair artistry gift literally flows through my veins and inner core.
Are you self-taught or did you go to cosmetology school? After my mother taught me braid and cornrow at 7 years old, I grew up honing my craft because I loved to do it, not realizing at the time hair artistry is my calling and passion. I professionally begin styling hair at age 25 and finally went to cosmetology school at age 37. I know this may seem old to some, but it’s never too late to get your degree in your chosen field. At first I thought because I have an innate gift to style hair, I didn’t need an education, how wrong I was. I actually pursued the entertainment & fashion industry 5 yrs before enrolling in cosmetology school and what was the deciding factor to obtaining my license was being informed I could never become a platform artist for a hair product company without my cosmetology license. For this goal to be fulfilled, it is mandatory to be licensed. Not wanting to stifle my dreams, I went to school and am extremely proud to say today I’m a consultant for L’Oreal Paris. I will tell any aspiring hair artist to go to cosmetology school and get your license and always take educational classes to keep your artistry skills current. The more you know, the more you will achieve.
Do you remember who your first customer was? I don’t exactly remember the woman, but I know stopped on the street in Queens when I was 25 after a sistah observed my extension box braids. She asked what salon I went to and told her I did them myself. Based on the wrinkling of her brows, I knew she didn’t quite believe me and I had to convince her I did style my own hair. She was shocked because of how neat my hair was including my parts being meticulous, but I grew up parting my hair neatly, therefore with all of my practicing as a child, my parts and precision became my trademark. She then asked me would I style hers and I said sure. Interestingly, because I never went to salons, I had to research on what salons charged for box braids. I charged $50 the going price back in the 90’s and it took me about 8-10 hours; yes indeed I’ve paid my dues, lol. My client then got asked who did her hair and the rest is herstory. Later I got business cards because I was tired of looking unprofessional by writing my name and number on pieces of paper.
Your salon Hair by Nedjetti specializes in natural hair care and locs, why do you specifically cater to natural hair? First I cater to natural hair because it’s the beautiful texture God gave me therefore I accept it with a smile on my face. I’ve been a natural hair care specialist for 18 years and an int’l educator of 6 years and at Hair by Nedjetti Salon I promote for women to have their own natural hair styled oppose to opting to wearing extension hairstyles which isn’t a healthy choice for their hair in the long run. Extensions and weaves are known to cause traction alopecia and countless women and children are irreversibly losing their hair, a truly sad epidemic situation. Anything done excessively is never good, therefore it’s important for women to begin embracing and celebrating their gorgeous natural texture they were born with. My philosophy is to educate women to understand their natural hair is not only beautiful because it’s organic, but it’s versatile and can grow if we maintain it with non-extension hairstyles, a healthier approach to styling our natural tresses.
Why is it important for you educate your clients’ about their hair instead of just styling it and sending them on their way? It’s self-empowering to know how to manage the beautiful God given texture so you can love, embrace and celebrate it without the need to compare your hair texture to someone else thinking another hair type is better than yours when in truth, all hair textures are beautiful. For countless years, African descendants have been brain washed into desiring straight hair instead of the gorge curly coils that we’ve lost the know how in working with our own hair texture. Curly hair is very easy to manage and one must relearn and apply these simple maintenance steps into our daily regimen. For starters, always comb your hair with conditioner in it and while it’s damp. Water is our bff and is an instant detangler and it alleviates excessive hair shedding and pain while combing through the hair. Visiting the salon for your 2-3 months trims not only removes split ends, it keeps the hair shedding to a minimal. Extensions and weaves are known to cause traction alopecia and countless women and children are irreversibly losing their hair, a truly sad epidemic situation. I love educating my clients on how to manage their tresses so they will be grateful for their God given texture.
What is the best product to use for stimulating your roots to grow in thin or bald areas? Products that contain essential ingredients like rosemary, vitamin E, rosewood, jojoba, olive oil, they each has their own purpose to benefit the vitality of our hair. I find steam treatments to also be beneficial to the hair such as adding moisture to the hair, alleviating breakage and it softens the hair. Understand hair products cannot help the hair to grow once the papilla has been destroyed be it from traction alopecia, chemical relaxers, coloring or adhesive weaves. Drinking lots of water, maintaining a nutritional lifestyle, and living stress free are greatly beneficial to hair growth.
If you have thin hair, what is the best natural style to prevent it from thinning even more? The best choice to styling fine hair is to style the hair without adding extensions. Although extensions styles may look great to the eye and add density, the extension hair will act as a weight causing the person hair to pull excessively which will cause hair breakage. In the end, adding extension hair to fragile hair will cause more harm than good, therefore the best decision is to work with what you have.
Is a curly relaxer good for natural hair if you want a softer texture? I don’t believe in chemical relaxers or texturizers of any sort. I promote for women to have their own natural hair styled oppose to opting to wearing extension hairstyles which isn’t a healthy choice for their hair in the long run. My philosophy is to educate women to understand their natural hair is not only beautiful because it’s organic, but it’s versatile and can grow if we maintain it with non-extension hairstyles, a healthier approach to styling our natural tresses.
If your hair already natural, but are using sew-in weaves and braids to grow it, what non-alcohol moisturizers can you recommend? I love Nourish and Shine by Jane Carter Solution, it has natural essential ingredients and it’s concentrated therefore a dime size goes a long way.
If you are transitioning from relaxed hair to natural hair is it necessary for you to cut off ALL your hair? I prefer for the relaxer to be cut off to your natural length be it ¼ inch, the sooner the better. The relaxed hair is very fragile and eventually stunts the growth of your natural hair texture. Sometimes people try to hold on to their length because they are not mentally ready to let go, but the quicker the relaxer is removed the faster and healthier their own natural tresses will flourish. It’s not my job to convince people to cut their relaxer off, instead I’m the person you come to when you are 100% ready to come back home to your au naturale roots and it will be my pleasure to bring you home.
See also Be Natural…with Dreadz N Headz (www.dampfang.com/examiner/x-44753-Center-City-Beauty-Examiner~y2010m7d14-Be-Naturalwith-Dreadz-N-Headz)
How many times a week should natural hairstyles be washed? Natural hair should be washed once a week, not daily as not to remove your natural oils, but you can condition on a daily basis. Curly hair can be dry therefore it needs and craves moisture and water and conditioners are excellent for our hair. Of course if your hair is in a style, you’re not to wash it with water, but instead get a cotton cloth and witch hazel in a bottler and spritz it on the cloth and gently rub only the scalp. Remember to add a natural product to the scalp and hair for moisture to replenish the oils which was removed.
Where did the term Earthlocs originate? I heard the term in ’94 and gave it my own meaning. Knowing life comes from the earth and locs can grow endlessly, it made sense to combine the two and refer to locs as Earthlocs. I wanted to refer to locs in the positive way they are to be acknowledged as. What people may not consciously realize, if we all never used a tool to comb through our hair, what our hair will naturally do, you got it, Earthlocs it is.
What plans do you have for the future? I plan on having my natural hairstyling DVDs series completed, my natural hair book finished, styling hair on more film and TV and traveling the world. Now what God has plan for me will be more exciting to witness.
Do you have any DVDs, books etc… that people can purchase?
I’m excited to have created a series of Nedjetti’s Natural Hairstyling DVD tutiorials because I can educate the masses globally. On vol 1 DVD, I demonstrate how to create the comb-coil twists to the afro twist out, double-strand twists and most importantly how to properly comb natural curly hair. Many people aren’t aware of the easy technique and it’s imperative to be informed as to not cause pain to anyone especially a child when combing their hair. Visit www.NaturalHairDvd.com to order your own DVD and to sign up for my newsletter as to when my other vols will become available.
Also, pick up Thank God I’m Natural a book that serves as a valuable style manual that takes a very detailed look at what makes curly hair ‘different’ and the variety of ways we can cherish that uniqueness by Chris-Tia Donaldson a Harvard graduate. My hairstyles and hair product recommendations are shared in the book as well as a natural hair salons directory within the United States among plethora of tips from renowned natural specialists.
Do you think Chris Rock accurately portrayed black women in his documentary film?
I’ve actually haven’t seen the film.
Who are some of your favorite celebrities to work with? I enjoyed working with Ilyasah Shabazz, Melba Moore, Eva Marcille, Alessandra Ambrosio, TC Carson & Mos Def.
Whose tresses would like to run your fingers through one day? Corrine Bailey Rae, Sasha and Melia Obama, Jamie Foster, Gayle King & Sade.
If someone is contemplating transitioning from relaxed hair to natural what advice would you give them? I would recommend getting extension braids or cornrows (only to transition), making sure it’s not too tight as not to cause your hair to fall out and keep them in for 6 wks at a time. Always shampoo, conditions, steam treatments, trim the relaxer and repeat these steps for about 6 months. Averagely hair grows ¼ inch per month and in 6 months, one should have about 2 inches of new growth. Go to a natural hair care salon to receive the BC (Big Chop) to your TWA (Teeny Weeny Afro). Depending on your hair texture, usually you can get your hair styled in comb-coils or double-strands no extensions and both styles can be turn into the cute afro twist out. Sometimes a person who may not want to transition from extension styles may opt to have their hair styled in a straw set which will help prepare you to embracing your hair in a ‘curly’ style. Try to refrain from getting your hair flat ironed as you transition as the heat can irreversibly alter your natural curl pattern just as a relaxer does and the only way to rid of it is to cut it off, then you’ll be back to square one which defeats your goal in going natural.
What makes a person’s experience at Hair by Nedjetti Salon a unique one? I purposely set up my salon for each individual to be treated like the celebrity we all are. Your TLC pampering is a one-on-one experience, with scented candles, soothing music, uplifting conversation all the while enjoy helping others realize their Godly purpose in life. Herbal tea, water, healthy refreshments are offered and great inspirational & nutritional books are shared. Everyone needs a hair spa experience to rejuvenate their soul and at Hair by Nedjetti Salon, it’s my pleasure to extend such a service to you. www.Facebook.com/hairbynedjettisalon
Nedjetti is based in NJ/NYC. She is available for campaigns, editorial, film/TV, runway, commercials, corporate/music videos, recording artists, and personal. She is a Liscensed Hair Artist & Groomer.
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