Debra Hare-Bey is the CEO of OMhh Inc, a line of natural beauty products based on the philosophy of Ayurveda. Hare-Bey is a licensed cosmetologist, master braider, and celebrity stylist located at The Red Room Luxe Salon in Brooklyn, N.Y. She is committed to consistently raising the bar of professional natural hair care; bridging the gap between beautiful, healthy, and natural. Always the dedicated professional, Hare-Bey was one of four women instrumental in changing the cosmetology law in New York. The law was changed to include natural hair styling as a viable option for licensed stylists. She was the former associate editor of Braids & Beauty Magazine, and we are delighted to welcome her to the Editorial Advisory Team of Naturally Happy Hair Magazine.
I just started my Natural Hair Journey and my hair is always dry — what can I do? Most new Naturals will run out and buy everything they see, but you don't have to. Read your labels and try to stay away from alcohol-based products. Alcohol dries your hair; dry hair becomes brittle and breaks. Moisture, moisture, and more moisture is the key to prevent and stop breakage. Steam is a great way to deeply condition hair and add moisture quickly. Steam provides maximum moisturization. They have handheld steamers and sit-under steamers you can purchase online, or you can go to the salon to for a steam treatment. Try that before purchasing a bunch of products that promise moisture but yield little results.
I feel a little overwhelmed with this natural process what are the essential items I really need?
Choose products that offer slip (serums, oils, and pomades) for hair. This creates better elasticity, ease of combing, and styling. Another tip is to create a go-to bag of healthy hair care items that includes wide tooth combs, (soft) natural boar bristle brushes, covered ponytail holders, non-flake protein gels (soft and strong hold), a satin scarf, etc. If you like the straight look, trade out your flat iron for rollers and flexi rods so you can create wet sets and roller sets for style variety.
What advice do you have for taking care of color treated hair to prevent breakage?
Color-treated hair is generally very dry. Moisture is the key to preventing damage. Use products that impart moisture in every aspect of your hair care regimen (washing, conditioning, and styling). Select products that are specifically designed for color-treated hair. They are designed to protect, enhance, and extend color. Ingredients are equally important, so make sure they contain natural ingredients. Conditioning is the next key and is vital to preventing damage. Conditioner attributes vary, so select a conditioner or conditioners that concentrate on adding moisture. You can also opt for deep conditioning steam treatments for maximum moisturization.