During the Essence Festival here in New Orleans, I was invited to the Motions Style Bar event at the W hotel. While there, I was blessed with the opportunity to meet and interview Motions Hair Glambassor Ursula Stephen and whose also known as the hairstylist behind Rihanna’s shortcuts and bold blunt bobs.
Tell us how you began your career in hair styling?
My high school in Brooklyn was a beauty school so I earned my license and diploma. I would always do my friend’s hair on the weekends in my mother’s basement. By the time I graduated high school; I had a big cliental and my own chair.
Besides Rihanna whose hair looks amazing! Who are some of the others celebrities you’ve has the chance to work with?
Thank you (smile) Some of the other celebrities I’ve had the chance to work with is Remy Ma, Keyshia Cole, Michelle Williams (Destiny Child) and Kandi (Xscape)
Who was your first celebrity client?
My first celebrity client was a Khadijah Bass she sang the hook on Jay-Z’s “Ain’t no….” She was friends with a stylist whose hair I did and the stylist recommended me to do her hair. From that experience, I wanted to do it more often but I always worked in a salon and at that time it was a small percentage of celebrities and myself majority of the time I was in the salon.
How did you get into styling celebrities?
Basically, word of mouth, I had a couple of clients while I was working in the salon that worked at record labels or was in the business.
When clients request a new look from you what factors do you take into consideration?
I always like to sit down with the client first and find out what they want because they have good ideas they just don’t know how to execute it. So much goes into a new look I always like to tailor it to fit that person’s lifestyle or personality.
Your hairstyle creations are always beautiful and bold. Where do you get inspiration from?
*Smile & laugh* Thank you, I take inspirations from so many areas in my life, fashion, travel and old even movies. I usually go off of that person personality and choose a look that would fit them & their lifestyle.
Us as women, we are always looking for a new look or a slight change to our hair. What advice would you give to us?
The advice I would give is to love your hair & consider your lifestyle. You don’t want to get a haircut that’s going to make you get up two and a half hours early to curl. Make your hairstyle fit your personality and your lifestyle.
What advice do you have for up and coming hair stylist?
Stay hungry always be ready and willing to work. Never get lazy. Work hard and be dedicated to what you’re trying to do. Always stay on top of your craft. Don’t have a closed mind. It takes a while to get to where I am. Be open-minded to other opportunities in the beauty industry. Be assertive and confident. When you get the chance to work with that celebrity client know that you are there because you’re great at what you do.
Over the years, I’ve been inspired to try a few hairstyles that Ursula Stephen did on Rihanna.
♥ I really enjoyed interviewing Ursula Stephen. She was so down to earth and I couldn’t believe how close we were sitting. Our knees were literally touching, lol! Talking to her was like talking to one of my dolls. She gave my friend Domonique who just finished hair school advice on breaking into the business. She’s truly humble, have a great spirit and such an inspiration.