We know that when you’re looking to achieve a protective hairstyle, it can be scary to trust just any stylist with your mane. If you’re searching for someone who knows braids (and we mean, really knows them), you’re going to want to give Nastacia Crooks-Brady a call. Beginning her career as a natural hair stylist in Montego Bay, Jamaica, in summer 2012, Crooks-Brady is now the proud owner of Sevven Braid Studio in Clifton, New Jersey and specializes in versatile and creative braiding.
If you want to learn more about Crooks-Brady’s career, her go-to products, and even her worst hair habit, keep scrolling for everything you need to know.
HDC: Did you always want to be a hairstylist?
Nastacia: This may come as a surprise, but no. I didn’t always want to be a hairstylist. I actually wanted to become a nurse and signed up for school earlier the same year I started as a stylist. The plan was to just work at the salon temporarily so that I could save the money for nursing school.
HDC: If you could trade lives with any stylist, who would it be?
Nastacia: I really cannot think of anyone that I would readily trade lives with. I guess you could say that I love my life as it is.
HDC: What’s your salon nickname?
Nastacia: My clients call me “Nas.”
HDC: Worst hair habit?
Nastacia: Ok…this may sound funny but…sleeping without a bonnet. However, I advise all my clients to sleep in a bonnet or durag when they have a braided style.
HDC: The weirdest hair hack I know is _
Nastacia: Using mayonnaise with eggs and honey as a protein deep conditioning treatment.
HDC: My favorite part of styling hair is _
Nastacia: The finish and the client’s reaction.
HDC: If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only bring one hair tool, which would it be?
Nastacia: As a braider, this is tricky because there are two things that we cannot do without—conditioning gel and a good parting comb. Since I have to choose, I’ll choose the comb.
HDC: The hair product I couldn’t live without is _
Nastacia: Magic Finger Shine ‘N Jam for Braiders
HDC: Everyone should _ at least once in their life.
Nastacia: Travel outside of their home.
HDC: What’s the hair color you’ve always wanted to try but never had the guts?
Nastacia: I’ve always wanted to color my hair red but never got around to it.
HDC: Favorite shampoo?
Nastacia: I love the Biolage Colorlast Shampoo.
HDC: Favorite conditioner?
Nastacia: I love the Biolage Hydrasource Conditioning Balm.
HDC: What’s the key to healthy hair?
Nastacia: I think that the key to healthy hair is a balanced diet and good hair care regime, which should include a deep conditioning treatment to help retain moisture.
HDC: Favorite hair trend?
Nastacia: Knotless braids and stitch braids. Based on their popularity, I think they may very well be here to stay.
HDC: Least favorite hair trend?
Nastacia: Butterfly locs.
HDC: What is your favorite thing to do that client’s request?
Nastacia: I love to do the “Classic Six,” which is six stitch braids going straight back.
HDC: Before you were a pro, what is the biggest misconception you had about being a stylist/working in the hair industry?
Nastacia: I actually thought that you had to be perfect, as in knowing everything and being able to do everything. I’ve since learned that there is room to try things and keep improving as you grow.
HDC: What was your first job?
Nastacia: Working as a stylist at Naturally You Jamaica
HDC: What’s one thing people don’t know about you?
Nastacia: That I used to braid grass on my lunch break in kindergarten.
HDC: Do you prefer day one or day two hair?
Nastacia: Definitely day one hair— it has that fresh out the salon look.
HDC: How would you define your career in three words?
Nastacia: Exciting, Growing, Evolving.
HDC: Favorite song to play while working?
Nastacia: “Ravers Gas” by Ding Dong—a Jamaican dancehall artiste.
HDC: What's the biggest hair myth you've heard?
Nastacia: That Black hair doesn’t grow.