Nafisah Carter Shares DIY Hair Tips While Stuck At Home
Like many other industries, the beauty world is changing rapidly in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Salons are closing across the nation, leaving many makeup artists and hairstylists without work. Beauty brands and retailers are relying on online sales as the Covid-19 spread disrupts the retail industry. It’s becoming increasingly clear that this pandemic will likely leave a lasting impact on the billion-dollar industry. So what does this mean for us who are creators and consumers in this space? Who better to ask than an accomplished hair/beauty expert?
Meet Nafisah Carter, an international celebrity hair stylist who began her career at Rita Hazan Salon that is well known for slaying the manes of Beyonce, Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez. She has over 10 years of experience in the hair/beauty industry and worked with your favorite celebs such as Michelle Williams, Tinashe and Erica Mena. In this Q&A, she shares her coming-of-age beauty story and a few must have DIY hair care tips!
Q & A Interview with International Celebrity Hairstylist, Nafisah Carter
In the blink of an eye, COVID-19 has become a global pandemic causing our economy to come to a screeching halt. How is this impacting the beauty industry as a whole?
Nafisah: I think it’s definitely hitting small businesses harder than anyone else. We’re not making the money that we used to make. This situation reinforces how important it is to have a backup plan. I don’t think anyone saw this coming. I know I didn’t see this coming. And I’m learning a lot from this, along with a lot of other people. I definitely think it’s important to have a good amount of money saved up and to invest. I think a lot of people now are realizing this. So when things pick back up, I think that many people will start saving and investing.
This has also allowed me to unify with fellow hairstylists. For example, I have a friend who also does hair, and the salon she worked at had to close down, and at the time, my building wasn’t closed, I was still open. So she called me crying not knowing what to do because she couldn’t work. I told her that she could come to my studio, service her clients there and we can just split up the time and she was so thankful. I am no longer working in my salon now due to Covid-19 restrictions, and as I reflect back, this is definitely the time to just step in and help each other, because we’re not in competition with each other.
How did you know you wanted to pursue a career as a celebrity hairstylist? Was it something you chose or did it choose you?
Nafisah: My career as a celebrity hairstylist definitely chose me. My cousin owned a salon growing up, and I used to work at her salon and help shampoo her clients. I always thought it was really fun. I don’t know if I really knew at that time if that was exactly what I wanted to do because I ended up going to college for child psychology. When I went to college that’s when I figured it out because I was able to make extra money, and it was still fun. So I was like, ‘Okay, I can make money and have fun at the same time.’ So I think that’s when I really figured it out. Then right after that was when I went to beauty school.
“This is definitely the time to just step in and help each other, because we’re not in competition with each other”– NAFISAH CARTER
You’ve worked with some of the biggest names in the industry. What was your breakthrough moment into that world, and what is it like to work with A-list celebrities?
Nafisah: It was when I was assisting a celebrity stylist that I broke into the world of celebrity hairstyling. I met a lot of different celebrities, and I was able to travel with him and I met a lot of people. While assisting the celebrity hairstylist, I was also able to meet their managers and assistants and soon, people started referring me to other people and their celebrity clients. Starting off as an assistant to a celebrity hairstylist was definitely my breakthrough moment to working with celebrities, and from there it just kind of took off on its own.
Depending on the job, I may get a little more nervous when working with a celebrity only because I want to make sure that they look perfect, and I don’t know them. (Laughs) It’s different at work, I know all of my clients. Of course I don’t get nervous with my regulars because I know exactly what I’m doing. I know their personality, I know them. I don’t get nervous at all. But with celebrities, sometimes I get a little nervous because I just want to make sure I do a really good job and make sure they are satisfied with my service. But usually, once I start working with them and get to know them, the nerves go away. (Laughs)
DIY Hair Care Tips
Many of us don’t know what to do when it comes to nurturing and protecting our hair while we are being quarantined. What are some DIY hair care tips we can do while we are stuck at home?
Nafisah: For natural girls, have a good moisturizing shampoo and conditioner! You can do twist outs and braid outs, and they are really cute and easy to maintain at all times. Make sure you have your shampoo, conditioner, and your curly cream and your oil on hand. That’s something naturalistas can do at home–shampoo, condition, braid hair down at night, and leave it braided for two days and take it out if you want.
For hair extensions, I recommend a good cleansing shampoo to make sure you can clean their scalp, and get up under their braids by using a good moisturizing conditioner, and a leave in. And that’s also for the natural girls too. I also recommend a good serum to keep the extensions smooth. Also, they will definitely need a blow dryer and a flat iron, which are primary tools for extension maintenance. Also, I do offer a FaceTime session to my clients, where they can FaceTime me and I’ll walk them through step by step of what to do with their hair.
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Many beauty aficionados aspiring to make their mark in the industry are discouraged when they hear that the market is “oversaturated”. How have you been able to achieve massive success in this billion dollar industry?
Nafisah: I just don’t focus on what everyone does. I focus on what I love to do, and I just feel like every market is oversaturated. There are so many hairstyles and makeup artists. I’m very confident in myself, and I’m very comfortable with what I do. I tell people all the time, don’t look at what everyone else is doing. Just focus on yourself and what you want to do. Because we all may do the same thing, but it’s still going to be different. There are so many creatives out here, there’s enough room for everyone to make money.
What is the typical process we must undergo in order to work with you? Where can we connect with you on social media?
Nafisah: My instagram is @nafisahcarter. Potential clients can also book online through my Instagram if they need to schedule an appointment. My hair Instagram is @pyarahair, and my website is currently being rebranded. Also, I have a hair vendor guide, Nafisah’s Hair Vendor Blueprint, for anyone interested in the hair business. It’s a list of vendors from all over the world that sell the best hair, eyelashes, packaging, and vendors. I actually had a teenager who purchased it, and her mom stopped me, and told me: ‘My daughter purchased your ebook, and her business is booming. She started selling eyelashes, and is doing really well. She’s up and running and I just want to thank you so much.’ If you have no direction, but want to get your start in the hair industry, it is the perfect product to purchase.
Do you have a personal experience with the coronavirus that you’d like to share? Any advice? Tell us in the comments below.