In The Chair With: Nadia Vassell – Essence

courtesy of Nadia Vassell

“In The Chair With” spotlights the incredible hairstylists in our community who are giving us major inspiration. Each week, they discuss their personal hair and career journeys, what they’ve learned from their clients, and their top hair care tips.

Celebrity hairstylist Nadia Vassell’s hair journey has been nothing short of fab. Along the way, she’s done everything from hair modeling for magazines and doing Rihanna’s hair for music videos and TV appearances, to working with Lil’ Mama for award shows, Ashanti, and many more. Eventually, she opened her own hair salon, Nadia Vassell Salon

Her love for hair began as a child, growing up in her hometown, Jamaica. She would accompany her mother at a hair salon every week. Then, she started doing her own thing, beginning with braiding the hair of close family friends. Additionally, she would spend every Sunday washing and roller-setting her own hair, further solidifying her passion.

In The Chair With: Nadia Vassell

To this day, she still enjoys changing up her own styles to express different parts of her identity and creativity. “Whether it’s cutting my hair one day or coloring it vibrant shades the next,” Vassell says, “my hair choices have always been about self-expression and capturing how I feel at that time.” Above all, it’s the bond she’s built with her clients that keeps her going. “They trust that I am capable of executing their ideas perfectly. The satisfaction on people’s faces after they leave my salon chair is incredibly rewarding.”

Read more about her journey below.

Her favorite hairstyles: 

“I love silk presses because they let me express my creativity while keeping my clients’ hair healthy and beautiful. Whether it’s creating soft waves, bouncy curls, or a sleek, straight look, I love how versatile and flattering silk presses can be.”

Her current favorite products:

“I’m loving Redken’s bonding treatment for damaged and dry hair, which we offer as a salon treatment. I also love Nutrafol hair vitamins and daily serum, which have resulted in fuller hair for both my clients and myself when used consistently.”

In The Chair With: Nadia Vassell

Her top tip for healthy hair:

“Avoid over-styling and give your hair breaks from tight ponytails, tight weaves, and wigs. Spend time caring for your hair by moisturizing it regularly and keeping up with quarterly trims to maintain its health and strength.”

A hair myth she wants to debunk:

“A common hair myth is that braids and weaves grow your hair. In reality, neither of these styles actually promote hair growth. The truth is that while your hair is in braids or weaves, it isn’t being brushed, exposed to heat, or manipulated in any way, which helps prevent breakage and allows your hair to retain its natural growth over time.”

What she’s learned from her clients:

“One thing I’ve learned from my clients, particularly women of color, is their incredible passion and perseverance in their work. Many have shared with me the challenges they’ve faced and overcome in their careers. Despite facing obstacles and adversity, they have shown remarkable determination and drive. Their stories inspire me and remind me of the importance of resilience and never giving up, which is truly moving and humbling.”

In The Chair With: Nadia Vassell

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