Ashley Phillips can literally “feel your pain” if you’ve ever felt like you’ve had to choose between your hair and your health. The Nashville-based hair stylist, color specialist, and salon owner understands the dilemma so many African American women face when it comes to “sweating out” their hairstyles and she has a solution to the problem.
Her passion for hair styling and hair care started when she was a young child. Growing up, Phillips spent so many hours in the hair salon with her aunts Sybil and Debbie that you would have thought she lived there. She would come to love the environment that was cultivated in the beauty salon and the inspiration to care for a woman’s crown and glory would ultimately become her business.
For Phillips, her work in and out of the salon is a labor of love. With appearances on TBN’s “Better Together” and as co-host of YouTube Series “Generations” alongside award-winning gospel singer Cece Winans, Phillips understands her assignment no matter what room or what role she’s in. Her mission is always to share the love of God and the word of God and she is known for creating a space where her clients can open up and share their authentic selves while sitting in her chair.
Phillips tells Sheen “Fitness is extremely important and sadly, many black women feel held back from exercising because they can’t keep a hairstyle. Depending on what type of style preference you have, there are options out there! If you have enough length and don’t mind rocking a sleek ponytail or bun throughout the week, this style is very conducive with intense cardio or swimming. There are also a plethora of protective styles that are perfect for the summertime, including braids, sew-ins, crochet, and twists.”
“We have versatility on our side! Many who wear their hair natural and have gone through the trial and error of product selection have an advantage of the “wash and go” option. Other products such as dry shampoo and bonnets/wraps that absorb sweat have also made it easier for black women to go full speed ahead with their workout routine while also keeping their hair healthy and looking great,” she adds.
Phillips sat down with Sheen to talk about her most memorable moment as a hairstylist and the bible scripture that impacted her most as a professional. The highly sought-after celebrity hair stylist shares the top 3 summer hair tips that she created herself.
What are three summer hair tips that you discovered or created?
- Dampen your hair with water before getting into the pool. If your hair is dry, it’ll absorb more chlorine which can damage and dry out your hair. So, wetting it beforehand can create a buffer.
- Leave-in conditioner is your best friend. The key to keeping our hair healthy is moisture. The more hydrated the hair, the less easy it is to be damaged and break off.
- Less is more. Even if you opt-in for braids or weave this summer, there’s no need to go overboard with too much hair. Keep things light and cool with fewer bundles (or split the tracks of the wefts), or choose a skinnier, knotless braid that’s not too heavy. This will also keep tension on the hair and edges to a minimum.
What is your most memorable moment as a hairstylist?
Getting to assist during New York Fashion Week. I was pretty new as a hairstylist and really put myself out there at a convention that I attended. One of the guest stylists mentioned he styled models for NYFW and I approached him afterward and asked him if I could assist for free. He agreed and it was a very fun and exciting experience for me, especially as a newbie.
As a woman of faith, are there any stories, scriptures, or bible characters that impacted you as a hairstylist?
Colossians 3:23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.
I believe that God has called us to do all things in excellence because we should always be representing Him. Just wanting to do a great job to serve people won’t always be a great motivator because people are flawed. They can be rude, selfish, and inconsiderate as we all know. But if you’re doing things unto the Lord, you’re always going to want to do your best.
For more information, follow Ashley Phillips on IG @AshRPhil