When I first started my natural hair journey I remember coming across Monica Stevens blog and learning so much from her on how to care for my curly hair. She is a wealth of knowledge and has styled hundreds of naturals all over the country and continues to elevate the natural hair industry with insight and education. Keep reading to learn more about her new hair collection, MoKnowsHairCurl Collection, and how she strives to simplify natural hair care.

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Image:@moknowshair

From being a natural hair influencer to a stylist and now creating your own hair care collection, how did you pivot and what advice do you have for other women looking to elevate their skills?

My goal was a career in the beauty industry and blogging was a way to create an experience in a space where I had none. The "pivot" was becoming a licensed stylist in 2016. That allowed me to have more opportunity in the space. If you are interested in advancing your career, enhancing your skill set with any available certifications is a good idea. 

Tell us about MoKnowsHair collection and your inspiration for this hair care line. 

After styling hundreds of natural, curly heads of hair in my salon, I found many had something in common; too much conflicting information leading them to damaging hair care practices. The misconception that natural hair care is a miserable, time-consuming process, with lots of steps and even more products is keeping you from living your best curly life! It is time to take the mystery and misery out of natural hair care. With my knowledge as a licensed cosmetologist and connection to the natural hair community, I created MoKnowsHairCurl Collection, a line of salon-quality products with a simple approach to caring for all curl types and textures.

What was the process like creating your own hair care line? What were your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?

The process was very time consuming, but very much a labor of love. I LOVE all things hair and beauty, so being able to combine my natural talent with years of experience to create something in this space is nothing short of amazing. The biggest challenge is remembering that you can't be all things to all people. No one product will solve everyone's needs or desires. I think it is important to produce from your heart, with proper research and experience, and know that it will have a positive impact in the industry. 

What are the key ingredients? Why did you select those ingredients specifically?

Each product is formulated with botanical extracts such as chamomile, rosehip and lavender to nourish, essential oils like apricot, Abyssinian and Argan, butters like mango and cupuacu to enhance manageability, and powerful proteins like quinoa and hydrolyzed wheat protein to repair and improve elasticity, ultimately restoring scalp and curls to their optimal health. 

What are your top curly hair tips for healthy hair?

Deep condition weekly.

Get your ends trimmed at least on a seasonal basis (4 times per year).

Clean your combs, brushes and clips weekly, and replace them at least once per year.

What are the CG questions/concerns you receive from clients? How do you address them?

Most are concerned about moisture, and even though they do all of the steps of cleansing and conditioning, they feel their hair is dry.

What have been some of your most memorable moments in your career?

Quitting my very stable job in higher ed to pursue MoKnowsHair full time in 2015

Appearing and presenting on Wendy Williams with Johnny Wright

Being given the opportunity to attend Aveda Institute NYC on full scholarship from the brand

Owning my own salon in Manhattan for three years

Becoming Sally Beauty's Texture Expert and Stylist

Creating MoKnowsHair Curl Collection

What are the biggest misconceptions when it comes to caring for naturally curly hair?

That shampoo is "bad" or will dry the hair out.... it wouldn't be possible to dry out the hair with something that requires water to apply. SOME shampoos can make the hair feel too squeaky clean, but that's just a small percentage of the ones out there. You have to cleanse your hair. Not shampooing is like taking a shower with no soap, toweling off, applying lotion and calling yourself clean; you simply are not. Focus on finding a shampoo that solves your need - moisture, detangling, color preservation, repairing - there's something for every need. I created a range of cleansers in the MoKnowsHair Curl Collection for that reason!