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refinery29.com / April 2018

“People take things way too seriously,” says Nikki Nelms, one of Hollywood’s most in-demand hairstylists,

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By Khalea Underwood

Photographed by Tiffany Dawn Nicholson

Green Peachskin Turtleneck by JoosTricot

Negative Space ‘Fro
Negative Space ‘Fro
The fastest way to upgrade your Afro, Nelms says, is with certain angles, shapes, and modern trinkets. “That pushes your hair from the ‘70s to the future,” she says.
To start, Nelms stretched medium-sized sections of Chavi’s hair out as far as possible by running a dryer (on the coolest setting) from roots to tips. Once she had a little more length to work with, she made a deep center part and grabbed a small chunk from her hairline to create a cornrow that ended just above her ear.
Once she finished the braided part, Nelms took two pieces of stiff cardboard and clipped them to the hair on either side of Chavi’s braid to create the “negative space." She misted the cardboard with Pump It Up, the classic styling spray, until it was damp and then let the hair set. After two minutes, she removed the cardboard and smoothed the sides and edges with a bit of styling wax (Nelms reccommends the Tancho Tique Stick). She then used an Afro pick to further perfect and mold the rounded shape.