Ursula Stephen is not just a celebrity stylist, she's also the Global Ambassador for Motions products. The well-known hair care company is more than focused on simply keeping your tresses looking great. It wants to fight the obesity epidemic plaguing the black community as well. When you consider that many black women choose not to exercise because they're concerned about maintaining the perfect hairstyle and don't want to "sweat it out," that's cause for concern! Ms. Stephen talks fitness, style tips and more in this exclusive.
Black Hair: Please talk about the factors that led Motions to sponsor the upcoming races in conjunction with Black Girls RUN!
Ursula Stephen: Most of the complaints I hear from women in regards to exercise is that it messes up their hair. They are always asking me for tips and product recommendations that can help to maintain their style through the sweat. The fact is, hair is really important to African American women and Motions knows that. The partnership just makes sense! Together, both brands can help to inspire African-American women to develop and maintain a fit lifestyle while keeping their hair looking fabulous!
BH: Do you have any style recommendations for women who want to maintain fit lifestyles? Any ideas for pre-, during and post-workout?
US: It really depends on what type of hair you have. For short hair, I recommend applying a moisturizing product such as the Motions Hydrate My Curls Pudding prior to working out and then wrapping a cotton scarf around the head, leaving the top exposed. The cotton will help to soak up the sweat - but don't remove it immediately after you work out…give it some time to dry. For long hair, I recommend wrapping the hair with a silk scarf immediately after working out. Shower and get dressed and then remove the scarf and comb out. Wigs are also great for girls who work out. Just get one that mimics your own natural hairstyle and wear one on days that you exercise - they can really help keep hair moisturized and conditioned too!
BHG: How do Motions products fit into a fitness-focused life?
US: Motions makes a wide variety of products for all hair types - natural, relaxed and in-between. Not only do they have great styling products to help maintain your style, but they have really great cleansers that work to remove dirt and oil without stripping the hair of its natural moisture. That's the trick for black women - keep it moisturized!
BH: What would you tell the woman who doesn't exercise because she's worried about messing up her hairstyle?
US: Get over it! Obesity is a growing epidemic among African American women and we really need to take the steps to turn that trend around. I think that's exactly what Black Girls RUN! and Motions are doing with their partnership. With a little time and effort, looking fabulous AND fit is a possibility. You don't have to sacrifice one for the other.
Do you hear that, readers? I'd like to thank Ms. Stephen for her candid answers! The fact is, we don't have to let serious health issues get the better of us. Obesity is often preventable, and along with it, a host of diseases. Don't let a hairdo stand in the way of better health! Along with Ms. Stephen, please check out my interview with Karen Smith, Motions' brand manager. Ms. Smith is actively involved in Black Girls RUN!, an organization committed to empowering African American women to lead full and healthy lives that aren't cut short due to obesity.