Michelle Obama: First Lady, style icon and the epitome of a strong, black woman.
While many wonder what she will do next, or what she’ll have on next, others ask who’s responsible for her flawless hairstyles.
Johnny Wright, the First Lady’s exclusive hairstylist, and artistic style director for SoftSheen-Carson, is the First Lady’s go-to guy when it comes to maintaining her perpetually polished look. The Chicago native says, “Hair is just like any other accessory. You’ve really got to make it go with what you’re wearing.”
Check out Johnny’s tips for rocking a presidential-worthy hairstyle:
Know Your Style:
“Some styles are made for hair only when it’s blown-out straight. You want a cut that’s made for both curly and straight looks,” Johnny says. “If you’re concerned with how your hair will look wavy, ask your stylist to cut it when it’s curly, and then blow it out and fine tune when it’s straight.”
Embrace The “Up-Tuck” Style:
“I’m a big fan of what I call the up-tuck. It works very well with face-framing layers, which most people have. You pin-up all the hair in the back, and then let the front fall naturally. It’s like you’ve gotten a haircut. You kind of fake them out a little bit, and it’s a great way to add versatility to your look.”
Deep Conditioning Is Your Friend:
“People always think glossy hair comes from a topical product, but true luminous shine is achieved at the root. You should be deep conditioning to soften and nourish the hair shaft every time you shampoo. There is no such thing as too much deep conditioning.”
Johnny’s favorite pick? SoftSheen-Carson Roots of Nature Reconstructing Deep Treatment, which strengthens hair with a blend of shea butter and green tea.
Give Your Hair A Break:
“Even women with the healthiest hair need to minimize how often they style. If your hair is heavily styled and loaded with product four times a week, keep it down on the fifth day.” That one day will give your cuticles a chance to flatten and re-bond to the hair shaft, resulting in stronger, shinier looks when you return to styling.
Bring Back The Ponytail:
Call Johnny old-fashioned, but the ponytail is one of his favorite looks. “I’ve always been a huge fan. It highlights the beauty of a woman’s face,” he says. And no, ponytails are not just for the gym. “A ponytail can honestly be taken from day to night if it’s done properly. In the morning, make sure it’s smooth and has a nice curve to it. For the cocktail party, simply wrap a strand around the elastic and you’ve got an elegant look. Or, dress up the entire style by parting your hair on the side before gathering it at the base of your neck.”
Flat-irons, daily blow-outs, curling irons—most women can’t make it through the day without at least one heated styling tool. Johnny sees nothing wrong with that, as long as you use the right reinforcements.
“Be sure you’re using protective guards on your hair. Thermal protecting sprays create a barrier on the hair shaft, and keep the heat from penetrating into that inner core, which is what causes permanent damage,” Johnny says.