Karim Odoms’ 5 Tips For Lively & Healthy Hair

Welcome to Beauty School, where JET experts will teach you how to preserve your sexy!  This week, Tia Mowry’s personal hair stylist, Karim Odoms offers advice on how to take your follicles from frumpy to fabulous.

JET: How did you get started in the hair care profession?

Karim Odoms: My mother was a single mom so I would help get my little sister ready for school in the morning. I realized I really enjoyed doing my sister’s hair so I started sneaking and playing with her doll babies. I would also prepare her for her class pictures. I realized it was something that came naturally and I continued in that direction. I got started at the age of 14. I went from being the neighborhood hairstylist to progressing and expanding.

JET: When did you link up with Tia Mowry?

KO: I went hiking one day here in Los Angeles at Runyon Canyon with some friends. I met a makeup artist and photographer by the name of D’Andre Michael. We were just talking about the business and work. We exchanged contact information and two days later he called and asked “Are you available to do Tia Mowry’s hair?” At that time, my schedule was completly open so I said, “Of course!” I went to go style her hair for an episode of Tia & Tamera. Everything went great and we’ve been working together ever since.

JET: What’s the chemistry like between you and Tia?

KO: Some days I’ll go in and ask her if there’s anything in particular she wants done to her hair, but most of time it’s a collaborative process. I’ll feed off of her energy, but sometimes she’ll say, “Go ahead and do whatever is on your mind, Karim.” However, if there’s a day where she has something in mind, I’ll follow her lead and feed off of her energy. A lot of the time, working with the reality show or certain program, I’ll present her with a vision board that displays a certain look, color or cut. We’ll go over what her stylist is thinking about and her makeup choices.

JET: Who else have your worked with?

KO: Alicia Silverstone, Garcelle Beauvais, Tika Sumpter, Taryn Manning of Orange is the New Black, Lisa Raye, Lady GaGa’s video for “You and I,” Laurieann Gibson. I didn’t work directly with her, but I was involved in a project featuring Queen Latifah.

JET: What’s one product that must be on deck when working on Tia’s hair?

KO: Having a detangler is a must.Whether [your have] natural or relaxed hair, a detangler gives your hair a lot of body. Tia uses a Moroccan detangler or Suave for Kids Detangler, which is less harsh on the curl pattern of her hair.

Tia Mowry Karim Odoms

Photo Credit: Twitter

Check out more Karim’s must-do’s for your ‘do below:

1. Snip, Snip!:
This is something that a lot of women stray from, but I’m really big on hair trims. I know the perception is “I don’t want to cut my hair. I want to let it grow out,” but I’m very strict about hair trims because it allows the hair to grow out to maintain its shape. When you’re growing the hair as well as trimming it, it adds to the allusion of different haircuts and looks.

2. Deep Conditions are a Must:
I’m very big on deep condition treatments. Moroccan Oil, along with the Beta Carotene treatments are two of my favorite damage remedies. Even if your hair isn’t damaged, I’m in favor of conditioning treatments where you’re sitting under the dryer with the cap on. Moroccan, Argan and Coconut oils are what’s in right now to keep the hair quenched with all the nutrients it needs. A lot of times when we think of oil sprays, we think of our hair being weighed down. But in reality, depending on the proper usage, these treatments allow the hair to have a beautiful shine and it grows your hair in the process. These oils should be in every woman’s closet right now. You should do a treatment every two weeks.

3. Less is More:
Think of beautiful styles that require no heat. Applying heat isn’t great all the time. Sometimes washing, conditioning and pulling back your hair is enough.

4. Don’t Rush. Pre-Dry:
Always pre-dry. When your hair is natural, as opposed to sectioning off in fours, combing the hair out thoroughly. Hold the hair either straight out at a 90-degree angle and take the blow dryer and just apply it. Sometimes with natural hair, there’s a lot of combing and brushing but pre-drying allows the hair and cuticles to not be roughened and damaged. It also cuts down time and heat application.

5. Teamwork Makes the Dream Work:
Always listen and consult with your stylist before making any changes, cuts or doing anything by yourself. Always listen and trust your stylist. It takes two. It’s a team.