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16 of the Best Black Hairstylists You Need To Follow Now

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Black hair is magical. From naturally worn locks, to flawless weaves, to intricate braids, glossy silk pressed strands, creative protective styles, and more (we can go on and on), Black hairstyles are uniquely transformative, thought-provoking, and rich in history, culture, and pride. While you can walk past any Black-owned beauty salon and spot some amazing hairstyle inspo, the easiest way to peep some of the most stunning looks created by hairstylists of color is to take it to the gram.

Luckily, there’s a long list of talented Black celebrity hairstylists that are all for sharing the styles they create and their passion for hair on social media. Their talents are vast, harnessing the skills to cut, shape, style, and color hair of all types and textures. And to say we’ve been obsessing over their skills is an understatement. Want to know who the hair masters are behind Beyoncé’s bounce, Alicia’s box braids, and Zendaya’s sleek, shiny strands? Here are 16 Black celebrity hairstylists that are creative forces in the beauty industry today.

1. Ursula Stephen

She hails from BK (we think that automatically makes her awesome), where she runs her own salon with a team of some of the best hairstylists in the bizz. Ursula’s cuts and styles have adorned the heads of A-listers like Zendaya, Rihanna (she’s the genius behind some of RiRi’s most badass looks), Iman, Mary J. Blige, Ciara, Laverne Cox, and Gabrielle Union.

2. Chuck Amos

Chuck Amos’ Instagram bio says “Hair Legend,” and that he is, 100 percent. Amos’ list of clients involves some serious name dropping. We’re talking celebs like Tracee Ellis Ross, Alicia Keys, Beyoncé, Solange, Taraji P. Henson, Naomi Campbell (seen with Amos above!), and more.

3. Arrogant Tae

Chicago native, Arrogant Tae is a celebrated hairstylist and wig expert whose creativity with hair is bold AF and truly one-of-a-kind. His talents for styling everything from long, sleek, shiny locks to crazy cool braided wigs can be seen on celebs like Nikki Minaj, DreamDoll, La La, and more. Long story short—Tae is a genius.

4. Tymothe Wallace

Cardi B., Taraji P. Henson, Mary J, Blige, Brandy, and Winnie Harlow are only some of the household names that take up real estate on Tymothe Wallace’s roster of celeb clients. He’s the creative genius behind some of the most iconic looks we’ve seen on our favorite stars (like MJB’s show stopping long blonde locks and Brandy’s brushed out afro that made us stop and stare with heart emojis in our eyes). Just check out #tossedbytym for some major hair envy.

5. Jonathan Wright

The queen (a.k.a. Michelle Obama) entrusts Johnny Wright to keep her hair coiffed and ever so picture-perfect. Have we ever seen FLOTUS having a bad hair day? Add Tamron Hall, Queen Latifah, Samira Wiley, and Janet Mock to that list and OMG, we need a spot in Johnny’s appointment book ASAP.

6. Tokyo Stylez

When you have a wild hair idea, Tokyo Stylez is the one you call to make it happen. You may recognize her from appearing on KUWTK (as Kylie Jenner’s personal hairstylist), and as the master behind some of the most out-there, colorful (and downright awesome) wig creations we’ve ever seen. Case in point: She once turned Cardi B.’s hair into a nest of Medusa-inspired snakes and created Cardi’s iconic chain link ponytail for her “WAP” music video.

7. Ted Gibson

There’s a reason Ted Gibson is practically a household name (besides his long-standing run on What Not To Wear). Ted’s expert hands have styled the likes of Angelina Jolie, Tessa Thompson, Lupita Nyong’o, Natasha Lyonne, Anne Hathaway, and many, many, more.

8. Kim Kimble

A third generation hairstylist (Kim started out as a shampoo girl in her family’s Los Angeles hair salon), hairstyling skills run deep in Kim’s blood. She’s Beyoncé’s go-to for everything from her hair flip-worthy waves to decorated braids and that iconic Foxy Cleopatra ‘fro. Her work has been featured in every major fashion mag under the sun, she’s been interviewed as a hair expert on countless television shows, and she’s got her own brand of hair products. Kim’s client list also includes celebs like Zendaya, Shakira, Tessa Thompson, Sanaa Lathan, Kerry Washington, and Tyra Banks.

9. Nikki Nelms

Nikki Nelms’ work is pure art. Her sky high braids seem to defy gravity, bending and twisting like masterpieces that belong in MOMA, and her use of unexpected hair accessories (like butterflies, bright threads, seashells, and googly eyes—yup!), makes us wish we had her on speed dial. Her list of clients includes Solange (she created the epic beaded braid look in her “Don’t Touch My Hair” music video), Janelle Monae, Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Zoe Kravitz, and Jurnee Smollet to name a few.

10. Kellon Deryck

An Aveda Institute trained stylist, Kellon Deryck has been a well sought after stylist in the industry for more than 15 years, having blessed the strands of some BIG names (like Megan Thee Stallion, City Girl, Missy Elliot, and more). He’s known for his ability to work with an array of hair types and textures, with a focus on taking care of his clients’ natural hair under their protective styles.

11. Takisha Sturdivant-Drew

Takisha Sturdivant-Drew is a seasoned celebrity hairstylist with more than two decades of experience in the industry. Also known as the “Hair Goddess,” Sturdivant-Drew has worked with stars like Kerry Washington (her first big name client), Iman, Sanaa Lathan, and more, along with loads of film, television, and editorial projects. Sturdivant-Drew also owns her own line of hair extensions, TSD Hair.

12. Felicia Leatherwood

If you’re in love with all of Issa Rae’s looks (we can relate!), from her natural brushed out ponytails to her intricately braided updos, look no further than Felicia Leatherwood. Leatherwood specializes in natural texture and encourages her clients to own, embrace, and show off theirs. We’ve also seen her masterful work on celebs like Wumni Mosaku, Ryan Michelle Bathe, and more.

13. Vernon François

Vernon François is known for pretty much doing it all. He’s a jack of all trades when it comes to styling hair of all textures, and a master at bringing stressed curls back to life. Not to mention a Redken Global Consultant, founder of Vernon François Hair Care (it’s vegan, cruelty-free, and restorative), and stylist to stars like Willow Smith, Lupita Nyong’o, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Solange.

14. Tippi Shorter

Tippi Shorter is more than an in-demand stylist to the stars (her roster includes Rihanna, Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, and Jennifer Hudson to name a few). She was also the first African-American woman to be named a spokesperson for Pantene and Clairol, which makes her pretty iconic in our book.

15. Kahh Spence

He’s the master behind Cardi B. and Winnie Harlow’s most glamorous looks. From his own custom wigs to silky, slicked back styles, Spence has his own beauty and lifestyle brand, Kahh Spence Beauty, and we're 100 percent here for it. Not to mention his social media presence which is totally fire.

16. Lacy Redway

Lacy Redway’s roster of clientele reads like a list of Oscar nominees. From Priyanka Chopra, to Anne Hathaway and Laura Harrier, and next-gen stars like Sadie Sink, Redway’s skills as a stylist shines bright. Her work can be seen on the covers of Essence, Vogue, W, and more, and she’s responsible for some of the most stunning red-carpet looks we’ve ever seen.

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About the author
Runa Rhattacharya
Runa Bhattacharya
Runa is an NYC-based writer and Registered Nurse with over 8 years of experience covering beauty and wellness. She’s worked for publications like SELF, Cosmopolitan, and more. She’s passionate about beauty, science, and two careers that she loves!
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Article Last Updated January 30, 2023 12:00 AM