Celebrity hairstylist Kendall Dorsey on protecting natural hair with ‘Dark and Lovely’ latest collection

Dorsey is also an ambassador, incorporating the new 'hair hydrator' collection in his work to help keep the tresses hydrated and healthy.

Celeb hairstylist Kendall Dorsey has been in the industry for more than ten years, building a clientele that includes some of our favorites in the industry, such as Nicki Minaj, Yara Shahidi, Teyana Taylor, Solange, Alicia Keys, and more.

According to his official site, Dorsey says making men and women feel good about themselves is his purpose and educating himself daily on new trends and techniques is his passion.  

The hairstylist has worked on different hair textures and has done a variety of protection styles, which is why he teamed up with Dark and Lovely, in February, for the virtual launch of their new collection, Dark and Lovely Protective Styles.

Dorsey is also an ambassador, incorporating the new collection in his work to help keep the tresses hydrated and healthy.

The new line is designed to help with protective style maintenance and takedown. It includes Cleansing Water, Detangling Cream, Tension Tamer, Hair Mist, and a Hair Refresher.

Photo Credit: Dark and Lovely Instagram

Read More: Cancer survivor creates curly wigs after not being able to find any during chemo

During an interview with theGrio, Dorsey shared that what he loved most about the new collection is that “all the products target at-home ingredients that are found in your kitchen with healing, strengthening, and hydration.”

“I love the hair hydrator based on the fact that its star ingredient is the Rice water complex. This product is super easy to use with a spray bottle application, making it easy to navigate through your protective styles. I also love to use this when I’m setting the hair with twist-out or flexing rods and natural hair (dry hair preferably). It also helps to maintain the stretch while you roll your hair or twist it,” Dorsey explained.

Dark & Lovely was created to help Black women express and embrace their individual styles. Dorsey shared why he feels the brand continues to make space for Black women especially.

“Dark and lovely has listened to the Black community through conversations of generations past. I think Dark and Lovely had heard the cry for products that totally work well with natural hair textures and to provide simple ingredient products that hydrate the hair,” Dorsey explained.

“Most importantly, when our women are wearing protective styles — which they have done for so many years — now it’s more acceptable in the general public workplace. Dark and lovely has answered the question of protecting with hydration.“

Working in the Hollywood realm, Dorsey is well aware of the stories and actresses who have spoken out about the lack of hairstylists in Hollywood that know how to care and style Black women’s hair.

Actress Tiffany Haddish shared how she left a big-budget movie set in tears trying to find someone who could properly do her hair. Tia Mowry-Hardrict also recalled crying onset in regards to a bad hair experience. She shared, “It’s mind-blowing to me that we still have to fight to have Black hairdressers on set for us.”

In an interview with Insider, Monique Coleman, recently revealed her character in High School Musical wore headbands because the crew didn’t know how to style Black hair.

Dorsey also reflects on the industry, stating it has been a challenge for many years regarding Black hairstylists and Black make-up artists’ presence on production sets.

“I literally was just on set and the model said, “I knew once I checked your Instagram, I would feel safe at work today.” She went on to say the experience she had with another artist that clearly stated he had never worked with her textures before. And before you knew it, she was styling her own hair,” Dorsey said.

“What I’m saying is that it all starts with the hiring process. Truthfully, the hiring people need more education on what it is they are hiring for and not just based [on] the artist with 15 Vogue covers. Yes, they must have experience but they should also have knowledge of 4c hair.”

Photo: Kendall Dorsey

Dorsey loves working with Black women and their hair. He expresses that there are so many beautiful textures and lengths to love at first sight.

“I also love that working with Black women and their crown has a powerful moment behind each creation,” says Dorsey. “And that’s the beauty because no one is alike but all are queens.”

Dorsey also debunked some myths about hair hydration and protective styles do’s and don’t’s. Check it out below.

Hair Hydration Myths Debunked

  1. Grease isn’t the only way to help hydrate your scalp. I prefer natural oils designed to penetrate. 
  2. Using over-the-counter cooking coconut oil on the hair can be very dangerous. In the summer months, the sun heats up the oil and begins to overheat the hair strand, especially color-treated hair. 
  3. Leaving on deep conditioning for hours will not help restore the hair, follow the guided time instruction. 
  4. Always remember water is the first form of hydration. Wet your hair if it’s super dry. 
  5. Protein treatment will not give you hydration, you will need to follow up with a moisture mask for double penetrating mask effects. 

Do’s and Don’ts for Protective Styles

  1. Never let any stylist, cousin or friend do any style too tight around the perimeter.
  2. Never leave your style in for more than the recommended time from your professional stylist.
  3. Always use ‘Dark and Lovely’ Hair Hydrator during the process of your style to maintain that strength and moisture.
Credit: Dark and Lovely

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!

TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!