Name: Daryce “Reece” Brown-Willis
Location: Broom Street Society, New York, N.Y.
Number of years in the industry: 4 years
Brand partnerships: Mizani, Indique Hair Extensions, Enso Styling Tools
Expertise: Texture Specialist, Hair Care Specialist
Daryce “Reece” Brown-Willis, a Bronx native got her start as hairstylist/entrepreneur in the heart of Midtown, NYC. As a self-proclaimed leader of the new school, Reece’s skillful hands are starting to make a statement in the beauty industry, in the form of education, media, print and runway. She most recently was recognized at America’s Beauty Show in Chicago during the Beauty Changes Lives fundraising event as the “NEXTgen” [next generation of beauty innovators] and Modern Salon’s top 100 game changers/innovators nationally for 2017. As Texture Expert and MIZANI Platform Artist and Educator, Reece travels the country sharing her knowledge and expertise with other stylists, salon owners and educators. She spends the other half of her time behind the chair, as a one on one coach/stylist to women on their hair care needs regardless of texture. We got a chance to catch up with Reece and talk all things haircare. Check out some of her tips on how to care for your tresses before and after your wedding day:
What differentiates a hair care specialist from a hairstylist and why should brides know the difference?
The main point of difference for me as a hair care specialist is that my biggest concern is first the overall health of your hair and not just the end result. The importance to a bride would be that, wedding styles are usually done in a short amount of time and can be stressful on the hair, just think of the amount of hair spray, ties and pins used. Of course one should be concerned with their look for the day but having a hair care specialist on board will ensure you hair looks amazing and is healthy thereafter.
Before we get into wedding day styles, what are some things that brides can do to create a healthy hair foundation?
My number one requirement for my brides is that we start a treatment/trim schedule as soon as possible to ensure your hair is strong and moisturized. Keeping the hair health and balanced makes wedding day styling so much easier for the both of us. Of course there are ways to enhance the hair on the day of, but starting with a great foundation helps me guarentee the best look for your wedding day. Being that most of my clients and brides are naturally curly and want to add extensions the day of, I stress the importance of making sure your tresses are healthy and strong so that when smoothed out or in its natural state, the hair will blend flawlessly.
What are some of your favorite products?
My favorite product right now is MIZANI’s 25 Miracle Milk, Humidity Resistance Mist and Lived-in Finishing Spray for textured hair. With these in my arsenal I can smooth flyaways, lay the hair line, create luscious curls that stay all day/night and fight off humidity during those summer months.
What do you recommend for brides who want to add some length on their wedding day?
I recommend Indique Hair extensions, they in my opinion, have been the easiest hair to blend with my clients hair. I appreciate a full weft and Im sure my clients appreciate that they can get the look they desire with only two bundles.
Speaking of Indique Hair Extensions, what are some popular bridal styles for this season?
Most brides are into the old Hollywood glam waves which are super on trend and actually never go away. Its seen time and time again, pulled back into a classic chignon or cascading with a statement hair piece.
What questions should bride’s ask before selecting a hairstylist?
Here are a list of questions that you should ask your stylist during your bridal trial or hair appointment:
Is the look I want feasible in the amount of time we have to style day of?
Should we install extensions before the wedding?
Will this particular style last through the night, and into the honeymoon?
Are you willing to travel, stay later for an outfit change?
If I needed touch ups for my bridal party, is that possible? Fee?
If naturally curly, am I only locked into a straight style or can we do something built off my natural texture?
Can we try a few different styles out?
What are some hair trends coming up for the fall/winter season? And how can we protect our tresses against the winter elements?
Winter is always protective style season for most of my natural hair clients, and while I know what information is circling the blogs I’d love to add some clarification.
First ask yourself, “what are you protecting?” If you have not trimmed and treated your hair before going into extension or braids, your essentially covering damaged hair and will be actually worse off when you remove that style.
Also I’d love to dispel the myth that oils moisturize your hair, scientifically that’s not even possible. Moisture gets into the hair by shampooing and is then sealed in with conditioners, so my advice would be to invest in a great shampoo and masque.
Braids are super on trend right now, but be careful and make sure that the person who is installing them is moisturizing your hair with some kind of cream (MIZANI true textures defining pudding) so that your hair isnt being dried out by the added hair.
Lastly, protective styles don’t always have to involve extensions, there are styles that will help protect those ends. Book an appointment with your nearest texture expert to discuss your options.
Who is your latest hair muse and why?
My lastest hair muse is Yara Shahidi, the fact that she embraces her natural curls, through buns, braids, and just simply rocking her fro. It’s amazing to see such a young person in the industry be as “woke” as she is and I’m so here for it. I’d love to do her hair one day.
What do you love most about what you do? And what was one of your most memorable hair projects?
I love that no two days are the same. I could be in the salon one day, at a hair show another and then called into a set at any given moment. I love that I have the privilege of intimately touching women both physically and emotionally. The fact that I can change someone’s mood and make them feel their best is such a power trip that I thrive off of. I just love to make people feel beautiful. My most memorable hair project to date would have to be the night I was honored as NextGen of beauty innovators, sponsored by MIZANI, for the Beauty Changes Lives fundraiser event in Chicago. It meant so much to me to be able to be honored this way in the beauty industry and to be able to showcase my views through hair. My message was simple, “inclusion without being exclusive”; I truly believe that hair and beauty transcend ethnicity.