The 411 on Hair Steaming With Celebrity Stylist Johnny Wright

Johnny Wright, Michelle Obama

The 411 on Hair Steaming With Celebrity Stylist Johnny Wright

Mrs. Obama's stylist talks moisture must-haves and spring hair trends.

Published March 30, 2015

President Obama may be the U.S. head of state, but if there were an official head of healthy, fabulous hair, we’re sure it would be celebrity hairstylist Johnny Wright. Wright has been First Lady Michelle Obama’s official mane man since 2009, and he also styles the heads of the first daughters, Sasha and Malia.

Just judging by Mrs. Obama’s flawless hair evolution over the years, including the sleek, shoulder-length bob she flaunted at Black Girls Rock 2015, it’s clear that Wright has a knack for healthy hair. So we jumped at the chance to sit in his chair and dish about hair care, plus the products we need to stay bouncin’ and behavin’ like Mrs. O.

Wright’s go-to for keeping hair hydrated is with regular hair steaming treatments. “I use it for all of my clients. Whenever I am in the process of growing somebody’s relaxer out, I find it really important to keep the hair really moisturized,” Wright tells B*Real.

“Steam treatments are a way to humidify the hair, but also add some moisture to the hair at the same time. You’re gently opening the cuticle layer, you’re allowing the product to work better and to penetrate deeper into the hair shaft.”

For you transitioners out there, he says the penetrating treatments help ease the tension between your two textures. “A lot of time when you’re growing out a relaxer, you find a lot of breakage, and that’s why people don’t want to do it. So this was a way to minimize the breakage on any one of my client’s hair.”

Wright, who is artistic director for SoftSheen-Carson, says that the brand’s new Hydra Steam System is his choice for banishing frizz and locking in moisture. The line includes a sulfate-free shampoo, treatment mask and a leave-in moisture sealing spray. Used in conjunction with a hair steamer or steaming cap, the products help revitalize strands from the inside out.

“I love that you’re able to get intense moisturization for severely dry hair,” he says of the Hydra Steam collection. “It really invigorates the hair shaft and also gives you that moisture where your hair is just so bouncy and behaving. It keeps your hair really healthy. So that’s why I love this line.”

As for the “It” style for Spring 2015, he says it’s all about “curl power.”

"You know, what’s really in right now is really big, beautiful hair. It’s like the reinvention of the Afro. You’re seeing a lot of really different textures and a lot of different shapes, and I think that’s in. I know it’s a certain demographic, but you see it everywhere. Curly girls rock! Natural hair is really taking flight again and I’m really excited about that.”

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(Photos from left: Paras Griffin/Getty Images, Brad Barket/BET/Getty Images for BET)

Written by Britt Middleton

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