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For stylists like (Dionte Gray) aka Arrogant Tae, hair is not a hobby, it’s a calling. This Chicago native has been doing hair since he was 12 years old and has only gotten better with every client he’s worked with. To say Tae’s styles are the picturesque images of legends is no understatement, this celebrity stylist has famously worked with Nicki Minaj, Lala Anthony, Love & Hip Hop Star Dreamdoll, and model Ari Fletcher. He has become notorious for snatching, weaving, and slaying the wig game with bold colors, sleek cuts, and enviable looks that make him one of the most sought after stylists in Hollywood. Most recently he’s taken his expertise to the next level as the first-ever stylist ambassador for African Pride where he is promoting a custom Sealed2Slay regimen for healthy hair & protective styling maintenance. We sat down to chat with Tae about all the 411 on choosing, styling, and using a wig in your hair care routine.

Describe your journey of becoming a hair artist?

My journey to becoming a hairstylist started when I was 12 years old. I was doing my Mom's friend's kid's hair in my room. I always watched my Aunt, Mom, and cousin- who also did hair. From there I knew I would make a career of doing hair. 

What is your first memory of working with wigs?

My first memory of working with a wig was on my cousin shortly before I moved to Atlanta. I can recall buying the wig, coloring it, but I didn't do any of the steps I do now. Lol. I didn't bleach the knots, I didn't pluck it. I installed the wig on her and it was so thick, but at the time it was how all the wigs were looking. My cousin didn't have a thick hairline, so when I installed the wig on her it appeared even thicker, but the hair was so full and we thought it was so cute. When we looked at it, all we kept saying was "Yesssssss. This looks like your real hair." Now looking back- it was horrible. 

Can you share the most common types of wigs (hair type and styles) and what you prefer to use with your clients?

The most common wigs right now are transparent and HD full lace wigs. The densities vary from 160, 180, or 200. I prefer HD lace wigs because the lace is so thin it literally melts into the skin. As far as density, I use 160 or 180. Density refers to how full the wigs are- like how much hair it has. I don't like when it's a full lace wig and it has too much hair, I feel that gives the "wiggy" look and I prefer natural looking wigs. My favorite styles I install on my clients with HD wigs are sleek styles- bone straight, middle part, ponytails, bobs, or long layers with curls. 

You’ve worked with celebrity clients like Nicki Minaj, Ari Fletcher, and LaLa Anthony, is it a collaborative process creating their hair styles or do you come with concepts for them to choose from?

With all my clients, I like to come up with different styles and colors that I envision on them. I like my clients to sit down and I say, "we're doing XYZ today." I also love when their creativity comes to play and they suggest styles, color, and show me inspirational pictures I can take and put my own twist to it. When I do music videos/photoshoots the glam team receives a mood board with direction of the video or shoot and I'll reference that for direction, but I always get more creative and always put my own twists and turns on it. 

What are the 3 common misconceptions about wearing wigs?

The three most common misconceptions about wigs is they take your edges off, afraid it looks too "wiggy", and that the wigs irritate your scalp. 

For first time users, what are your tips for sourcing and choosing a wig?

For first time users, I always suggest 100% human hair, thin lace (HD), and make sure it's a full lace wig so they can be versatile with styling. 

What are three styling tips you’d recommend when wearing a wig

Three styling tips for wearing a wig are to make sure you use a hot comb to create a natural and flat hair illusion, do not use any oil products directly on the lace, and part out sections when curling and straightening the hair. 

Tell us about your Seal2Slay regiment with African Pride

In partnership with African Pride, we are promoting a custom regimen for healthy hair and protective styling maintenance. The regimen features a selection of African Pride’s premium Moisture Miracle and Olive Miracle products that support under wig care. The regimen will be available for purchase on African Pride’s Amazon storefront.

Which products do you recommend for helping maintain protective styles?

  • African Pride 5 Essential Oils
  • African Pride Moisture Miracle Coconut Milk & Honey Hydrate & Shine Leave-In Conditioner
  • African Pride Olive Miracle Foam Setting Mousse

Which protective styles do you forecast will trend in 2022?

I think in 2022 wigs will continue as a protective style. I do however feel like more people will understand and educate themselves on the importance of protecting the natural underneath the wigs.