Ursula Stephen Reveals Her Drugstore Secrets To Creating The Perfect Curly Updo

When it comes to maintaining our natural curls, it’s crucial not to cut corners — even if it means spending countless hours on wash day detangling and conditioning our hair. Knowing how delicate our hair can be, Conair and Scünci understood the assignment when they set out to create the Curl Collective, a collection of appropriate tools and accessories designed to make a significant difference in our curly hair journey.

Tailored to #savethecurl for all curl types, this thoughtful collection comes in an assortment of combs, brushes, elastics, and jaw clips that are designed to hold the thickest hair in place. 

“The Curl Collective made it easy for people with natural hair to shop for accessories,” celebrity hairstylist Ursula Stephen tells ESSENCE exclusively. “I just used the hairpins on a shoot I did with Jodie Turner for Vogue Brazil. It was a fun shoot and I had to use lots of pins to keep hair in place, so the Curl Collective Bobby Pins ($5) was an integral part of that shoot.”

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Stephen, who is also the owner of “Ursula Stephen, The Salon” in Brooklyn New York, is best known for creating iconic hairstyles for superstars like Rihanna, Kerry Washington, Laverne Cox and Zendaya. According to Stephen, she swears by this innovative line of accessories and grooming products specifically created for the 65% of women who have curls. “Each comb in the collection has been designed specifically for curl types 2, 3, and 4 so it’s very easy to find a comb that is perfect for your hair type,” she says.

Stephen insists that all strands of hair are delicate, but natural hair needs special attention. “Natural hair is a bit more delicate than other textures because it is coily and naturally drier than most textures.” She cautions, “In order to avoid damage, you need the right accessories.”   

With the holidays right around the corner, we couldn’t help but ask Stephen for her secrets for creating the perfect curly updo. She advises, “The safest way to put curly hair up is by starting with damp well-moisturized hair. If your hair is dry, you can end up ripping it out. Sectioning and detangling your hair using jaw clips and the right brush from the Curl Collective makes pulling up your hair so much easier.”

Lessons from the master! The full Curl Collective comes in prices ranging from $3.99- $12.99 and is currently available online and in-stores at Ulta, RiteAid, and CVS.

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