Beauty Smasher

Meet The Hair Stylist Behind Michelle Obama’s Iconic Looks

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Michelle Obama Hair Stylist is Yene Damtew. As Obama walks out of the United States Capitol in a floor-length regal plum coat and flashy belt, her voluminous locks bouncing with every step.

She strikes the monochromatic trouser suit designed by Sergio Hudson, but the protagonists of the show were Obama’s hair: a silk iron so perfect as to generate thousands of shares on social networks.

In the midst of the inauguration ceremony, “laid,” a reference to Obama’s flawless hair, began trending.

Obama’s bonnet came courtesy of her longtime stylist, Yene Damtew, who has been on the former first lady’s glamor team since 2008. For her, Wednesday started off as a “typical work day.”

It wasn’t until a customer tagged her in a tweet about Obama’s hair that she got any idea how much the style she had resonated with people, especially women of color.

Who Is Michelle Obama’s Hairstylist?

Who Is Michelle Obama's Hairstylist?

Since Barack Obama’s run for president, Michelle Obama’s style has captivated the nation.

Both in the White House and outside of it, the former first lady’s fashion, hair and makeup have ranged from timeless to trend-setting, but always flawless.

For her statement looks, Obama teams up with her power trio: hairstylist Meredith Koop, makeup artist Carl Ray and hairstylist Yene Damtew.

“We’ve been called ‘the trifecta,'” says the team’s makeup artist Ray for Michelle Obama Hair Stylist.

In fact, this group of three makes sure that the star and executive producer of Waffles + Mochi (who just partnered with the Partnership for a Healthier America to deliver 1 million healthy meal kits to families across the country) always arrives with style.

Sergio Hudson’s look was for me synonymous with excellence, perseverance and, once again, confidence.

Having worked with Sergio on three projects now and hundreds of designers over the years, I find his work exceptional and understated.

For these big fashion moments, I try to reflect the evolution of Michelle and the general moment.

Michelle Obama Hair Stylist doesn’t always blend in, but when she does it’s magical.”

What Products Does Michelle Obama Use On Her Hair?

What Products Does Michelle Obama Use On Her Hair?

She Went Without a Big Chop Between 2008 and 2015, she stopped using relaxers, but she managed to keep hair that had years of relaxer damage. This alone is a strong indicator of keratin treatments, originally created to restore hair damaged by straighteners. (Her smoothing and anti-frizz properties were only discovered later.)

Her hair grows long without breaking (including previously relaxed parts). Keratin treatments are the most powerful means available to structurally strengthen (and therefore lengthen) hair.

Type 4 hair in particular has an inherent propensity to break due to the shape of its molecular bonds. Nothing counteracts this breakout as dramatically as a keratin treatment.

Her hair is styled quickly and with little to no heat (sees stylist comments below).

Your hair won’t curl, bouncy, or shrink (neither will bangs, the ultimate test) without relying on a heavy, greasy product;

As Michelle Obama Hair Stylist says her hair has a glossy sheen rather than a dull look.

The cuticle looks smooth instead of rough like in your first few photos.

Michelle Obama Hair Products

Michelle Obama Hair Products

It has a number of products and tools that I use depending on the look I’m creating.

Obama’s kit always has a good father comb, a rat tail comb, a solid snap comb, a Marcel gold supreme iron, and a flexible hairspray like Oribe Superfine.

DevaCurl, KeraCare, Aunt Jackie’s, Oribe, Taliah Waajid, and SheaMoisture are just a few of the brands you trust for all textures.

Obama’s look also had subtle highlights and a swooping bang that makes us reach for our rotating brush.

Who Is Yene Damtew?

Who Is Yene Damtew?

Yene Damtew is a stylist, salon owner, and educator based in the Washington metro area.

At 16, while doing hairstyling at my parents’ house in California, I enrolled in cosmetology school.

Six months after graduation, I packed my bags and moved to Washington DC to become a hairstylist for the Obama family.

This life changing position allowed me to take my skills beyond the chair, collaborating with makeup artists and fashion stylists for cover styling and entire editorial sessions.

My work has been featured in publications such as Allure, GQ and Vogue magazine, highlighting my “’Good Hair’ is Healthy Hair” philosophy with a modern twist that pleases a list of Hollywood and political icons.

With over 15 years of experience, I’ve done just about everything you can imagine in the hair industry.

In 2015, I received my Bachelor of Business Administration from Marymount University.

Shortly after graduating, I opened Aesthetics Salon, where I created a safe and inclusive community of world-class stylists who fully embrace the concept of connecting with everyday women by changing the narrative of the typical salon experience.

Do Hair Stylists Have Health Insurance

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only a small number of hairdressers enjoy permanent, full-time employment.

Most work part-time, on a contract or self-employed.

In addition to the lack of group health coverage, beauty professionals have physically demanding jobs and some can work in dangerous conditions.

As a worker in the beauty industry, you can search for alternatives to find affordable medical plans for you and your family.

Most of hairdressers are whether self-employed, small business owners, or part-time employees and contract workers.

They can use the federal government’s health insurance marketplace to apply for group health benefits.

The marketplace can also help individuals and families save money on premiums and out-of-pocket costs.

As with all part-time workers, contract workers, or freelancers, professionals in the beauty industry can search for plans on the government health insurance marketplace.


Obama’s hair was more than just looks. It was a celebration, “showing off” hair, in stark contrast not only to the modest bun Obama wore to Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony four years ago, but also to the scenes on Capitol Hill earlier this year.

During an inauguration ceremony that was meant to acknowledge the deep divisions that remain in this country.

As well as the hundreds of thousands of lives lost to the coronavirus in the United States, being able to gush over a coat or a blowout seemed like a brief respite.