When I first started reporting on the natural hair looks seen at New York Fashion Week back in 2012, to be honest, there wasn’t much to report on. Runway after runway featured straight or straightened hair and any curls to be found were created with heat styling tools. Now, it’s a joy to see shows that feature curls, coils and waves being creatively styled in all of their vast versatility. Fe Noel’s recent Spring 2023 show at New York Fashion Week featured the work of Unilever Stylist & Celebrity Hair Artist, Lacy Redway and the TRESemmé team of textured hair experts. We spoke with Lacy Redway backstage before the show to learn more about the looks she created, as well as the changes she’s seen firsthand in the fashion industry.
Photo: Astrid Stawiarz, GETTY Images for TRESemmé, Graphics by Fran Avery
Can you tell us about the look and the inspiration behind it?
I envisioned this style complementing the femininity and fluidity of Fe Noel’s collection. The hair appears wet, emulating a drenched, watery, wavy texture, which will be brought to life in a variety of ways throughout the show
So there's hair that kind of sweeps over the forehead in this wave using the TRESemmé TRES TWO Mega Control Hair Gel. Then we gel the hair back saturated like it's dripping in water, and then it'll be shiny at the end. We're using the TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Shine Serum at the end for a shine. And then we're using TRESemmé Freeze Hold Hairspray as well to really make sure there’s hold.
Do you have tips for maintaining this kind of hold and definition throughout the night, especially when there's humidity?
If somebody wants to do a style like this in real life I would say you definitely want to know your hair type and what it does. So I would say girls that have really, really coarse hair, I wouldn't suggest gel as the primary product. To emulate this look, I would probably use hairspray and and then maybe do a twist out or something, and then use hairspray to kind of help flatten it as opposed to gel because gel will revert your hair back. So I would just say, use the right products and the right tools, like a good flat brush, and just tie it down - tie it down!
Why is it important to you to use your platform to shine a light on texture?
It's really important, especially a show like this that is very diverse. That we have a diverse team back here. I know for myself, when I was coming up in the industry, there weren't a lot of Black stylists backstage. So this is like a privilege, you know, to have so many of us here. And we also deserve to be here. But [it’s important] to make sure models here are being taken care of properly. For so long, and even now, some model feel so traumatized that they come with their hair already done, because they don't know that there are people that are actually going to be at the show that know how to handle their hair. So we're just trying to make sure that everybody's hair type gets the same amount of attention and address their hair needs.
How have you been seeing the TRESemmé Future Stylists Fund impacting the industry?
I actually have some former Future Stylist recipients here on the hair team! So that's how I try to use my platform is to really walk it like a talk and really pay it forward. So I do have some of the girls here with us who are not as experienced as some of the other people that I have here that have maybe 20 years of experience, but they're here, they're getting in, and they're talented. So I feel like talent doesn't have an age number on it or a certain amount of years of experience. These women are talented and we're just going to continue to nurture them and help them get into the environment.
TRESemmé strives to make quality salon haircare accessible to women everywhere and as an industry leader recognizes the need to counteract the lack of textured hair training in past and current cosmetology curriculums to better service the textured hair community. In partnership with Diane Da Costa, CEO and founder of SimpleeBEAUTIFUL CurlyTextured Academy, TRESemmé introduced the Texture Certification Program in 2022 to provide more than 1,000 licensed stylists nationwide with exclusive training and the tips, tools and vocabularies to consult textured hair clientele with confidence and expertise. The program is an expansion of the TRESemmé Future Stylists Fund, an annual $100,000 scholarship program designed exclusively for aspiring Black female hairstylists. Learn more here.