Tonya Chaney is the owner of Mykal Grant Salon in Denver, Colorado. She's been a licensed cosmetologist for 8 years. Tonya loves hair care and believes that inner beauty magnifies outer beauty. She wants to help you find both when you're sitting in her chair. In this Q&A, she explains some common relaxer pitfalls, the importance of clean hair, and more.
The About Us section of MykalGrant.com says, "To have and maintain a cut that enhances your sense of style, you must have healthy hair." Tell us what that means.
Many times a woman picks up a picture and wants that look for herself. The majority of the time she truly does not understand the type of hair that she has and the condition that it's in. It is my job to help her understand her own hair's capabilities, set her expectations, and get her to trust my expertise. Once that is complete, I am able to give her a cut that fits her and her lifestyle.
Some women feel that healthy hair and relaxers don't go together. What do you think?
That is not a true statement. If the relaxer is applied by a professional (which generally means they are using a professional system), the stylist is able to apply it correctly, make sure the pH level is brought down, and condition the hair correctly as well. Healthy hair is hair that has no breakage, no split ends, hair that is pliable, and holds a style.
Times are tough and women are trying to keep up their beauty regimen while saving money wherever they can. What is your advice to women who relax their own hair?
Make your hair a priority! Get it done professionally. If you can't make it to the salon, at least have someone else apply it. The other person will at least be able to see in order to prevent as much overlap as possible.
Chemical burns and dandruff are common problems for women who relax their hair. How can those problems be avoided?
Correct relaxer application is critical to a healthy scalp. If the scalp is based correctly, that will prevent much of the chemical burns. Proper water intake and a moisturized scalp will help prevent dandruff.
What is the biggest mistake that African American women make with their hair?
Many African American women do not wash their hair enough! And they use too much hair "grease". They believe the grease will moisturize their hair, when in fact, hair that is clean and conditioned will give them the shine they are looking for as well as the bounce too.
What do you define as "deep conditioning"?
A moisturizing conditioner applied to wet hair, covered with a plastic cap and wrapped with a hot towel. Let that sit for about 15 minutes, rinse and follow with styling.
What are your favorite products?
I love Design Essentials HCO Leave-In Conditioner and Design Essentials Compositions Foaming Wrap Lotion.
Anything else you want to tell Hair Liberty readers?
If you understand your hair's capabilities and love the hair the Lord gave you, your hair will amplify your beauty.
You can find Tonya at Mykal Grant Salon, (303) 477-1712. Follow her on Twitter @MykalGrantSalon.