Vixen Chat: Derek J Talks Shoe Designers, “Hair Battle” and Hair Tips


What do you think of the natural hair movement?
Most women don’t know what their natural hair looks like. They would come in my shop and take out their weave and be surprised their natural hair is curly. Well you wouldn’t know that because you been perming your hair since you were 12 and now you’re 30. So I do encourage my customers to grow their hair out and see what their natural hair texture is because you just might like it. Also, I feel like not all women are meant to be natural. Some women, you can’t get a comb through their head. You need a texturizer at least.

What about the evolution of hair expression in the workforce and media?
Not just in the workforce but in life. Unfortunately, we have been brainwashed as to what is considered “good hair.”  Now when you do see natural hair on television, it’s big Tracee Ellis Ross curls, but you don’t see a girl with a cropped afro because to the industry that’s not considered beautiful. I appreciate people like Chrisette Michele cutting it all off because they are making strides to show natural is beautiful.

As an honorary member of Real Housewives of Atlanta, which cast member has your favorite sense of style?
This season, I will have to say NeNe [Leakes]. She has come into her own style as a woman and as a personality. She has a great sense of style and she came all the way around since the first season. Kim is a label whore, so you know she will always have the big labels. But for an evolutional style, I’d say NeNe.

Every scene someone has a different hairstyle. What you think about the hair this season?
As far as hair, you know all the girls are hit or miss. One day they looking good, the next day they’re not. My hand wasn’t as prominent in people’s hair, so I don’t have a favorite because it wasn’t my work. [Laughs]