Meet Nafisah Carter, an international celebrity hairstylist with over 10 years of experience in the hair and beauty industry and a clientele that includes top names in Hollywood such as Destiny’s Child alumni, Michelle Williams and R&B Sensation, Tinashe. Nafisah lets us in on maintaining the hair and beauty business with regardless of the DIY uprising; she also talks about the fate of the industry post-CoVid and shares a few hair care tips.
Q: How did you get into the business of hairstyling?
A: I got my start in hairstyling as a teenager helping my cousin in the salon. While in college, I would do my friends and other people’s hair. This is where I knew that I wanted to get into the hair industry, so I left college and enrolled into beauty school.
Q: What celebrities have you worked with?
A: I’ve worked with Michelle Williams, formerly of Destiny’s child, Erica Mena, and Misty Copeland just to name a few.
Q: How did you start hair styling for celebrities?
A: I started as an assistant for various top celebrity hairstylists in New York for some years, and continued to network and form good connections. One of my friends got me my first job at BET after working in New York, then my career kind of took off from there.
Q: What is your best project to date?
A: I feel like I’ve worked on a lot of big projects, however my Sheen Magazine cover with Michelle Williams is monumental because it was my first cover shoot, and first time working with Michelle. Aside from photoshoots, I also hosted an event in Dubai and was able to work in Australia. All three of these moments were really big for me.
Q: What is the biggest challenge when styling celebrities’ hair?
A: The biggest challenge arises in scheduling conflicts between myself and my clients.
Q: How can hairstylists remain in business during this time of uncertainty?
A: Hairstylists should come up with new ways of doing things– such as virtual sessions with their clients, hosting online classes, and selling products.
Q: How do you keep updated on the latest hair trends?
A: I take in-person and online classes along with watching many hair videos. I also ask my network of stylists about new methods and constantly talk and learn between them.
Q: What’s one hair product you can’t live without?
A: I love Alterna Rapid Repair Spray. It’s a heat protectant and a shine spray which smells amazing.
Q: What is your top hair care tip?
A: I tell my clients to not put a lot of heat on their hair. I usually tell people to only use heat once a week.
Q: With more people learning how to care for their own hair, how have you maintained relevance in the hair industry?
A: I believe it’s a different experience when you go to a stylist. I love an undone look, however, there’s art too! Many people come to me for it, so I remain relevant by showing them new techniques that cannot be achieved at home.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge styling for celebrities?
A: The biggest challenge arises in scheduling conflicts between myself, my clients and setting up locations.
Q: What is your go-to hairstyle?
A: A loose wave undone look with a middle or side part is my go-to look.
Q: What hair/beauty myth would you like to debunk?
A: One myth is dirty hair makes your hair grow. I don’t really agree with that. I think we should definitely clean our scalp which will allow your hair to grow quicker.
Q: What’s your advice for the beauty industry moving forward from Covid-19?
A: My advice to the beauty industry is to find alternative ways of income, and not rely on one source. Some stylists only have their clients, but I think now we should focus on other things like products. Stylists should take their time before serving a lot of clients at once since we are in the beginning stages of reopening.
Q: What keeps you motivated?
A: I am a mom and my son definitely keeps me motivated. I am also an aunt and my nieces and nephews keep me motivated as well. I also find inspiration from my clients. I want to be a good example for them. I want to show them to never give up, and when things don’t go a certain way to try a different approach.