Roommates, social media is still gagging over Michelle Obama’s Inauguration Day look—and while her fashion was definitely top tier, it was her bouncy, flowing hair that made jaws drop. We caught up with Michelle’s personal hairstylist Yene Damtew and got a little insight to how she slayed and LAIDT Michelle’s hair for the big day!
When we asked Yene Damtew if there was plan in mind or if she freestyled Michelle Obama’s Inauguration Day hair, she explained:
“It wasn’t something I had thought about days in advance. But when I saw the clothing and coat Meredith Koop had picked out I knew the hairstyle had to complete the entire look. I also l look at the forecast and anticipate how long she may be outside in the elements. I wanted to create a sleek look that would turn heads, but I also wanted a style that would sustain for several hours without me by her side for a quick touch up. The bigger curls are easier to manipulate and hold very well. She didn’t give me any specific direction. We’ve been working together for more than a decade, which is a blessing. At this point we know each other. She trusts me to pick a style that will work and I trust her to allow me some creativity. I knew Mrs. Obama would be wearing a monochromatic look so I knew the hair would have to stand out on its own.”
She continued, also giving us the tea on how long it took for her hair to style Michelle’s hair:
“Not too long, I’ve been doing this for a while. But Carl and I were tag-teaming hair and makeup at the same time. So we had to work with and around each other while also watching the clock so we wouldn’t be late. The inauguration is a well-timed event, so there was no running late for this day.”
Now #Roommates you know we got ya’ll, so we also asked Yene what products she used on our Forever First Lady’s hair—so we can all make a quick purchase. She told us, “I have a number of products and tools that I use depending on the look I’m creating. My kit always has a good feather comb, a rattail comb, a solid pressing comb, a Marcel golden supreme iron, and a flexible hair spray like Oribe super fine. For this look I used Amika Headstrong hair spray for the finish and the Mizani 25miracle leave in to moisture prior.”
Yene also gave a little backstory on how she initially got the amazing opportunity to work with Michelle Obama as her personal hairstylist over 10 years ago. “I have had a relationship with the Obama’s since 2009. I was working for her then-stylist, who is my mentor, and he brought me to the White House where I assisted with hair needs for the entire family. Working in the White House for eight years was one of the highest honors of my life. My relationship with Mrs. Obama has remained strong in her post-First Lady life. I’ve been blessed to stay on her style team along with my friends Carl Ray (makeup) and Meredith Koop (clothing). I did hair for her best-selling book “Becoming” and accompanied her on her two-year book tour across the world. I consider her not just a client, but a friend and mentor,” she said.
We love to see this double dose of #BlackGirlMagic!
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