Brooklyn’s Foremost Stylist @HairBySusy
Natural Hair Movement has maintained its stronghold for years. Thanks to the advance in hair care products, African Americans can now grow their natural hair if they can take care of it. While you would need to invest years of care and effort, people say it is far better than repeatedly applying relaxers or weavings that would damage hair. Your desire to grow a long hair can surely be satisfied.
You only need to provide ample nutrients to your own hair underneath the protective styles that keep your hair look attractive. Because you cannot recommend just any product to customers, we asked the Brooklyn’s finest braider. Let’s grab your customer’s attention with hot items and techniques.
She’s recognized as one of the top braiders not just in Brooklyn but also in Caribbean and Europe. To receive hairstyling from her, even Solange or Beyonce has to wait. She worked with the world star Beyonce’s in her Lemonade album, and Zoe Kravitz’s wavy braids styling was Susy’s creation as well. In addition, her clientele includes the comedian Chris Rock, Oprah Winfrey, and LaLa Anthony. Susy is a Nigerian American, who boasted her prowess on social media under the name HairBySusy and founded a company bearing that name. She also volunteers for her community and people in need.
Why high profile customers stick to Susy so much?
You don’t go to a hair salon just to get your hair done. She works with her clients with a purpose that “when people book Susy they are getting an experience into their hair.” She makes an effort to find the best style for each and every one of her clients as well as touch their hearts and seed self-confidence.
As she often works with people at the center of attention, she is very sensitive to privacy issues including confidentiality and photo leaks. She believes keeping client’s private life and accommodating their needs are part of hair professionals’ responsibility to their clients.
Can you share the most popular styles and maintenance tips as well as your secret weapon in hair care?
Client’s hair should be treated like a baby. I pay the utmost care for this. Although it’s a trade secret, I’ll make a special exception for BNB readers.
The most exciting project among many I have participated was Beyonce’s Lemonade braids. After the project, many clients still ask about the style. It probably was the origin of knee length braids. For this hairstyle, you need to form braids tightly along the scalp, which makes it one of the styles put me on a high alert. Client’s scalp should be protected by providing sufficient moisture and oil before braiding. One of the most frequently used products today is Infinix Hair Care and my own creation Ouee Oil.
Skin moisturizers and moisturizing products with essential oils for scalp are not easy to find on the market. By word of mouths, the foregoing products are widely used at salons. I recommend applying scalp protection sprays to protect sensitive scalp just like skin. These products let you care for clients’ hair even after they step out of your hair salon.
Ouee Oil is a plant oil based product. While not too thick, it penetrates skin easily and keeps the sebum balance. I made this product available on the market at clients’ request.
For Lemonade braids, Ruwa Braiding comes at handy. It is one of the brands that clients like most. Personally, I do not care for brands as long as they are pre-stretched braids. However, if I want to create curl, I prefer Kanekalon hair because it comes out best after heat treatment.
Knotless Box braids
Without creating cornrows you divide natural hairs into smaller sections for maintenance, so it is preferred by people whose hair have grown somewhat long. Unlike box braids or cornrows, it does not pull the hair; no pain and no tension on the scalp and hair roots. You use fewer strands compared to traditional braids, so it is lightweight as well.
For this styling, I prefer X-pression or pre-stretched hair that has a good grip and can be braided smoothly. Spectra Braiding is also soft on clients’ hair.
When you divide scalp into sections, you want to use gels to settle the smaller portion of hair. Many products such as Eco Gel and Eco Booster are available, but I prefer Pure O Neat Braid Jam and Ebin’s EdgeTamer above all. I believe keeping it simple is the best, so I tend to stay away from scented products.
As the scalp will be exposed extensively, you want to educate your clients on hair care routines. You want scalp protection sprays for protection of scalp against UVs and continuous supply of oil and moisture to prevent hair loss.
Zuzu Crochet Braids
I’m receiving an increasing number of inquiries about Zuzu braids that translate to voluminous crochet braids. Made of textured human hair, you can make the most natural look just like your hair. While the best approach would be using client’s own hair, you want to guide clients so that they can enjoy this blessing. You can make it natural, simple and, most of all, easy by crocheting with Afro-textured human hair. Smaller curl and great volume make it almost accident-proof for your clients’ hair. So, it is one of the popular subjects for a beginner’s class for hairstylist wannabes.
I really don’t fixate on a hair product. As long as it’s Afro-textured, I can make it work. If you want to try locs, you don’t need to unhook the crochet but just make a round turn with the same hair, making it a very versatile product. Natural hair can keep grow underneath the cornrows. Never forget to keep the scalp hydrated with moisture and oil supplements.
What would be your forecast for braids market? Easier, simpler, and more.
The braiding market will continue to grow. While it is partly due to the ever-increasing interest in natural hair, the influx of younger generations is especially noticeable in this field. Braiding has become a style for everyone beyond African ethnicities, and the arrival of crochet products made it more approachable. As opposed braids tightly sit on scalp, crochet products are by far more efficient and time and energy-saving. As you have a better turnaround time for clients, you make more money for the same time. Also from clients’ perspective, you prefer crochet because it is faster, more efficient, and more affordable. Because many people choose crochet as a protective style, the trend among braiders is also making loose cornrows. It is the middle ground for the sake of both scalp and hair.
You can simply loosen the curls within 3 to 4 weeks after crochet-style braiding to create a new look. Then again, you can make curls to create locs. Then, when it gets loose, you can tightly curl the root-end of the hair. While these are ongoing, your natural hair grows happily under the braids.
If you take a close look at the recent influx of stylists to Brooklyn, the number of crochet-only stylists has increased in the past two to three years. This is a career path you can hop on without a special training.
To support these newcomers, I want to host more braiding classes and special events to nurture their career dream. Recently, I hosted a Juneteenth event for the celebration of official independence of African American community. In the line of community development, I also made appearance at an advertisement campaign for Uber and global community. I hope it to be an inspiration for many.