Even in a room full of globally popular hair brands, well-known online personalities, stunning models, and noteworthy celebrity hairstylists, Johnny Wright still commands a presence like no other.
On a lengthy, impressive resume you'll see that he has worked with everyone who matters, including First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama. During New York Fashion Week 2016, he headed the hair crew for Dark & Lovely during Texture on the Runway. Before the madness of Fashion Week ensued, I got the chance to speak candidly with Johnny about his vision for the big production.
Anything can inspire me--I can literally take energy from anywhere. It's so much more than a color or cut.
How long have you been doing hair?
I've been doing this for 26 years; I started when I was really young!
What pivotal moments have shaped your career?
The first pivotal moment is when my parents started a hair salon in the basement of our Southside Chicago home. Of course, they supported me, and I was able to grow while practicing and perfecting my craft. Then I worked with Tamron Hall and Fox News. I met so many people through her.
You also are First Lady Michelle Obama's hairstylist!
Then my hands literally touching history working with the First Lady of the United States. I feel like this is my service to the country. I've been able to travel around the world and see all different forms of beauty in colors and texture. I feel like I am the true American Hair Story.
Michelle respects creativity. I couldn't ask for a better situation. I feel like I am the true American Hair Story.
Michelle lets me do my thing, she is not picky. She allows me to be an artist. She respects creativity, which is to me, I couldn't ask for a better situation. I told her sleeping on a satin/silk pillowcase but I don't know if she does it!
What is your inspiration for today's show theme?
Our theme is "I am dark and lovely". Today is about showing the versatility of textured hair and her embracing everything from who she is. The beauty, the movement, the texture... The reason why we're doing this today is because a model wearing their textured hair on the runway is not really thought of. We want to make sure that natural hair has its place this year.
What inspires you in your everyday life?
Anything can inspire me--a tree, a car, the way a building is shaped, something someone says on the street. I can literally take energy from anywhere, and to me that what makes someone a true artist. It's not just another hair color or cut--it's so much more than that.
Today, I Googled and searched different imagery but there's not a lot out there for runway looks that incorporate texture. I took images from my own creativity to show various different and real textures. The fact that this model has so much hair makes it easier, as well. As you can see, I created a braided texture, a smooth texture, and a kinky texture. This is a true representation of texture on the runway.
What key products are you using?
For Afroista's look right now, I'm using the L.O.C Super Quench Leave-In Spray. I really wanted to use her own texture but give her moisture and the shine that you see. I also used the twice as nice curl refresher, it's our newest baby. I love it because it helps days-old curls look brand new.
One thing about Dark & Lovely, we try to take the guesswork out of styling and caring for natural hair simultaneously. This line does just that. It has great ingredients, including bamboo oil and mango milk, and hydrates hair for up to 7 full days! You really can't get any better than Dark & Lovely Au Naturale.
How can we recreate these runway worthy textured hairstyles at home?
The foundation of any good hairstyle in the cut. Then it's about using great products--that elongation, hydration, and all day definition.