Celeb stylist Jay “Stay Ready” has been on our radar for quite some time now, after styling the likes of Quad Webb, Tami Roman, Saweetie and more. He’s also been slaying the ‘gram with his natural, no-glue lace fronts (this install on a cancer survivor went viral) and his own lengthy tresses.
Now, Jay’s glow-up is taking on new shine with his behind-the-chair slay on pop phenom Normani. For the past year, he has been given us slay after slay with the beauty, serving up what he calls “textured glam.” Together, they created more than 40 looks for Normani’s tour appearances alone (there were only supposed to be two to three variations).
After getting deets on the knockout look he did for Normani’s VMAs slay last week, we had to get more intel on the mane guru. Jay says he aims to create looks that are “full of energy to match her stage presence.”
Here, Jay talks favorite hair moments with Normani, keeping her natural hair healthy and his secret to flawless hairlines.
–Stephenetta (isis) Harmon
HH: You’ve been creating looks throughout her tour this summer… how long have you been working with her?
JAY: The first time I worked with Normani was last December for Jingle Ball San Francisco, so weʼre coming up on a year pretty soon!
HH: What is your favorite hair moment so far?
JAY: Itʼs hard to choose my favorite hair look on her because within the 54 tour dates alone we did a new look almost every show! But, I would have to say my favorite right now would be the half-up, half-down with the throwback rubber-band twists I created for the “Motivation” music video.
Iʼve been tagged in so many posts of people re-creating the look themselves on Instagram and YouTube and still canʼt believe how great of a moment it turned out to be!
HH: Being on the road so much, how do you maintain her hair (and edges)?
JAY: The best way Iʼve found to protect Normaniʼs hair while traveling was to create pieces (wigs & extensions) that can be easily removed while sheʼs not working. It allows for her natural hair and edges to breath as much as possible. I also use minimal to no heat on her hair to keep it hydrated & conditioned. It ensures that her natural curls stay vibrant and that she can rock “the poof” (what we call her super thick/curly natural hair) whenever she wants to.
HH: Your installs stay flawless! What is your secret/tips for maintaining natural-looking hairlines?
JAY: Why thank you! My number one tip for hairline believability is to create imperfections. I havenʼt come across too many clients with a naturally perfect/sculpted hairline and perfectly laid baby hair. So, I like to do small, but effective, adjustments across the hairline such as cutting jagged lines in the lace, razoring the ‘baby hairʼ different lengths, or even pulling out some of my client’s own edges and blending them into the install to create the most natural look possible.