Entering the hair industry at the young age of 17, it was only natural for celebrity hairstylist NAEEMAH JOHNSON to eventually leave what she likes to call her “beauty mark” on some of today’s Juiciest celebs and entertainers.
The Philly native has had the privilege of styling R&B artists JAZMINE SULLIVAN, SHERYL LEE RALPH, CHRISETTE MICHELLE, LIL KIM, and MICHELLE WILLIAMS, and is known for her high-end hair bonding techniques and expertise in the area of natural hair care.
Juicy caught up with Ms. Johnson to get her knowledge on everything from the do’s and dont’s of lace front wigs, how to transition from relaxed to natural hair, the unspoken beef between weave wearers and natural sista’s, and what hair trends we can expect to see in 2012.
JUICY: You specialize in high-end bonding techniques like lace fronts and strand-by-strand fusion weaves. What is the biggest mistakes women make when wearing lace front wigs?
NAEEMAH JOHNSON: First let me just say lace fronts are not weaves. If you don’t have the money to buy a quality lace front wig then you shouldn’t be purchasing them. And a good one can cost anywhere between a few hundred [dollars] to $5000. TYRA BANKS and WENDY WILLIAMS are good examples of celebrities with quality lace fronts, you can’t even tell they are wigs and most of the time it’s because celebrities don’t use the glue around their temples.
Lace front wigs should never be done by yourself. So many women just go out, buy a wig, slap the glue on and think they’re through. And if you don’t know what your doing you will definitely have damage. Lace fronts should always be done by a professional stylist.
JUICY: When it comes to women wearing weaves, what tips do you have for protecting and keeping their real hair healthy?
NJ: When you’re wearing a weave you have to make sure your scalp is alive and breathing by shampooing and cleansing every two weeks. I never recommend anyone keeping a sew-in in their hair for over two months. I don’t care how long you’re trying to make your hair last! Ultimately you have to keep the scalp cleansed, use good products, and trim those ends regardless if you have a weave, relaxer, keratin, color, or braids.
JUICY: Do you feel like there is an unspoken beef between natural women and women who wear weaves or have chemically treated hair?
NJ: At one point there was some animosity between the two. Philly was definitely going through a neo-soul thing a few years ago where it seemed like naturals were everywhere. But now, weave is becoming so mainstream and any and everybody is wearing it. I mean even dudes will see a chick and literally hit her with a compliment, like ‘your weave looks good girl.’ Ironically, weave brought everyone together because natural women are even starting to wear weaves on the regular. I guess it’s safe to say if there was any beef, it’s over!
JUICY: What hairstyles do you see trending for 2012?
NJ: Long hair is going to be big next year. I’m talking waist length! Deep side parts, loose body waves, and get ready for flashes of color.
JUICY: What’s next for Naeemah Johnson?
NJ: Right now I’m focusing on renovating my hair salon, Nbeauty Inc, in Philadelphia. I plan to do a grand re-opening sometime in December, and my close family friend and celebrity client Jazmine Sullivan is scheduled to perform. I am very excited!
Photo credit: Karim Muhammad