No Matter Your Hair Texture, Zendaya's Hairstylist Has a Tip for You


(Image credit: Zendaya )

For women with textured hair, it comes as no surprise that many professional hairstylists struggle to work across the full spectrum of hair types. Ursula Stephen, however, is not one of those stylists. With over a decade of experience as the go-to expert for the top names in fashion and entertainment, including megastars like Zendaya, Rihanna, and Kerry Washington, to name a few, Ursula has been a leading force within the beauty industry, honing her craft and teaching others how to honor the beauty of any type of hair in its natural state. 

As someone who has recently learned to embrace my curl pattern, and is always looking for the best curly hair products; I understandably jumped at the opportunity to interview Ms. Stephen backstage as she used an array of TRESemmé products to create the styles for Studio 189’s spring 2020 New York Fashion Week show last year. Keep reading for her tried-and-true tips for your texture, Ursula’s take on diversity in the industry, and, of course, why Zendaya’s hair always looks so damn good. 

If you have kinky/coarse hair…


(Image credit: Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows)

Ursula says, "Take your styling creme to the next level and make sure it has a monoi oil in it. It's one of the best oils because it mimics our natural hair sebum." 

If you have wavy hair… 


(Image credit: Getty Images for TRESemmé)

"For natural hair, the main thing is to love it—resist the temptation to pick up your flatiron. And then second is to keep it moisturized at all times. Having a daily styling product is always good to keep in your arsenal," she explains. 

If you have curly hair…


(Image credit: Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows)

According to Ursula, "A good cut is important, but if you're not ready to chop, make sure you invest in a good curl creme to revitalize your curls."

If you have straight hair…


(Image credit: Getty Images for TRESemmé)

"For straight hair, it’s always fun to add a bit of texture. Everyone always wants what they can’t have, so something like dry shampoo can add a little body to it," says Ursula. 

The secret to Zendaya's perfect texture…


(Image credit:  Gotham/WireImage)

According to Ursula, Zendaya's perfect texture is the product of roller sets. "We try to stay away from blow dryers, irons, or any form of heat on her hair, so we typically let her hair air dry and add it rollers to create her perfect texture," she explains.


(Image credit: Getty Images for TRESemmé)

Whether you have kinky hair or are just trying to make your waves as stunning as Zendaya's, there's something to be said about having hairstylists who can advise you on your particular hair needs. In Ursula’s own words, "We've been speaking about the lack of diversity in the entertainment and fashion space for so long, and now the problem is actually being fixed. As you can see, there's a lot of brown faces backstage here today. I think it's a matter of everyone working together and professionals learning how to work with different textures so that we can all work together and be a big hair family."

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This post was previously published and has since been updated.

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Jasmine Fox-Suliaman

Jasmine Fox-Suliaman is a fashion editor living in New York City. What began as a hobby (blogging on Tumblr) transformed into a career dedicated to storytelling through various forms of digital media. She started her career at the print publication 303 Magazine, where she wrote stories, helped produce photo shoots, and planned Denver Fashion Week. After moving to Los Angeles, she worked as MyDomaine's social media editor until she was promoted to work across all of Clique's publications (MyDomaine, Byrdie, and Who What Wear) as the community manager. Over the past few years, Jasmine has worked on Who What Wear's editorial team, using her extensive background to champion rising BIPOC designers, weigh in on viral trends, and profile stars such as Janet Mock and Victoria Monét. She is especially interested in exploring how art, fashion, and pop culture intersect online and IRL.