As beauty and fashion editors, we’ve seen some impressive heads of hair, but few are more astounding than Instagram star, and Guinness World Record holder for the highest high-top fade, Benny Harlem and his daughter, Jaxyn (Mom Kourtney’s got a pretty impressive mane, too).
At 9 years old, Jaxyn, the youngest member of the Harlem family, has been growing her hair since birth, and it’s paying off: She’s already modeled for Teen Vogue and Vogue Brasil and earned 85,000 Instagram followers.
Aside from being a “professional children’s runway coach,” Jaxyn also seems to have a budding and promising career as a motivational speaker. New York magazine’s The Cut recently caught up with the youngster, and she had some sage advice for her peers:
“I’d like to say to other young black girls that if some days you wake up in the morning and don’t feel like getting out of bed, get out of bed! Make yourself do it,” Jaxyn said.
OK, so maybe a few of us older black girls need to hear that on a sluggish Monday morning, too. But what we were really wanting to know is, what does the Harlem family do to grow such luscious locks?
“It’s a very spiritual thing,” Jaxyn said. “We grew our hair just by our thoughts, and by believing in our thoughts.”
Yeah ... OK. We wish it were that easy (pun intended). Instead, we’ll rely on father Benny’s description of the family’s hair-care plan to Paper magazine in 2016:
I mean we have a regime. We wash our hair every week. We make our own shampoo and stuff like that, which consists of natural [ingredients like] coconuts and certain berries and things. I think it’s really just what most people do to their hair. [But we also] take care of [our] bodies. I think a lot of it is positive self-image and great thinking. What we consume in our minds and our spirits has a lot to do with our hair as well. People might not believe it, but I really think that’s the truth. Of course, take care of yourself, take care of your hair, wash your hair. Really, I’m not going to make up some elaborate thing. Other than the castor oil and coconut oil that we use, there’s really no secret.
OK, so clearly we’re not putting enough positive energy toward these edges. But if the Harlem family hair-care plan feels too unattainable to be true, they’ve launched their own hair-care line in February. (No official website or customer testimonials yet, but apparently they’re selling out!)
So will the Harlem Haircare Solution be a hit? Time—and tresses—will tell. And while we don’t see ourselves rocking 2-foot fades anytime soon, there are still some serious #HairGoals going on here. So we were compelled to dig up a few more details from one of the most famous heads of hair on the ’gram. As Benny generously told i-D magazine:
There are so many secret hair regimens I’d like to share on the subject of growing and maintaining healthy lively hair, but one of the key elements of growth and maintaining is moisture! Here are five tips that may help you get your hair goals.
1. Know your porosity.
Understanding your hair type is the most important thing in maintaining healthy hair and creating a healthy hair regimen. Low porosity means it is hard for your hair to absorb moisture. Normal porosity allows just the right amount of moisture to come in and go out. High-porosity hair is more susceptible to moisture; in other words, it lets in too much moisture. There are two easy tests to identify your porosity:
- The float test: Place a strand of your hair in a cup or bowl of water and observe the strand. If your hair floats, you have low-porosity hair. If your hair sinks, you have high-porosity hair.
- The slip ’n’ slide test: Run your fingers up a strand of your hair, starting from the end and making your way to the root. If your hair feels smooth, then you have low-porosity hair. If you feel little bumps while you slide, you have high-porosity hair.
2. Consume a ton of water, and use a ton of water.
Practice using water mixed with your preferred oils to moisturize your hair. This is especially important when washing and preparing for any protective style. You can also add in essential oils to this mixture for a fresh and rejuvenating scent.
3. Add deep conditioning.
Do this at least twice a week.
4. Use a sealant daily.
This will help seal in moisture to your locks, whether it is wash day or not. It also adds moisture and nutrients to hair when used daily.
5. Refrain from using heat on your locks.
There are many ways to style your natural hair with no heat, including cool methods to straighten and curl hair.
Now, this is a routine we can handle. Oh, and one more thing, as Benny Harlem told Paper: “In our home, we have a rule that we don’t let people touch our hair. We don’t do too well with that.”