Black Women Making History: LEAH DAUGHTRY

Making history is never easy… But to be a black woman making history, the odds are forever in your favor. Leah Daughtry is proof.

As a pastor and motivational speaker, Ms. Daughtry is the first to have surpassed her peers by becoming CEO of the National Democratic Convention twice – first in 2008 and most recently, in 2016. It is her hard work and superb upbringing that has created a phenomenal, superwoman, one that seamlessly balances regular salon appointments and lunch with Barack Obama here in Washington, D.C.

In the midst of it all, Ms. Daughtry assures that accomplishing her goals was not easy but certainly not impossible. She is always pleased to share her story and lend a few words of advice. And quite surprisingly, the answer to her success is fairly simple: stay in school.

Tell me a little bit about what you do…

I am the CEO of the 2016 Democratic National Convention. And I am also the pastor of House of the Lord church in Washington, D.C.

How would you explain your day-to-day activities as CEO?

I am responsible for all aspects of the planning and execution of our party’s’ nominating convention that will occur in July of this year in Philadelphia.

Was there ever a point in your career where you felt as if you were incapable of getting that CEO position before it started to fall into place? Did you ever feel doubtful?

No. I was raised in the church and raised by strong parents – my dad and my mother, who helped all of us to recognize what our gifts, talents, skills and abilities are and how to maximize those… and then go after things that allow your capabilities to shine. Once [it] was settled in my head that this was something I could do, then you just give it all you got.

This is the second time that I’ve been the CEO. I was the CEO for the 2008 convention that nominated Barack Obama. So, I’m the first person in our party’s history to have held this position twice.

Daughtry Caraway Moore Brazile Flournoy

What is it like being so close to the President?

(Laughs) He is a wonderfully smart, wonderfully gifted, and compassionate human being and it’s been a real pleasure to have watched his presidency unfold from the time he announced he was running for President until the time that he won. These last seven years in the White House has just been enormously gratifying and I’m thrilled to have had a front row seat to history.

How can young, black women aspiring to be great reach your level of success?

Well first, study hard, stay in school, maximize your education. Those are the practical tools – you’ve gotta hone your skill sets and that starts by completing your education or always being in a mindset of learning. There’s always more to learn – whether you are in school or whether you’re in the workplace. When you get to a point where you feel like you know it all, then it’s time for you to retire or you’re in the wrong business.

Second, find women who inspire you. Find people who are doing what you wanna’ do, who have skills that you wanna’ have, who have accomplished things that you wanna’ accomplish and model yourself after them. Attach yourself to them and learn as much as you can. Expose yourself to different people, different experiences. And that doesn’t require money, it doesn’t require a lot of resources. Go to the library, get on the metro, go to a museum – it’s important to always be in a state where your mind is growing and has more to learn. That sort of exposure helps in your career.


Winterize Your Hair!

As the winter season is quickly approaching, the temperature has already begun to drop, leaving beauty lovers everywhere saddened with the terrible results of dry skin and hair.

But here at Cole Stevens, it’s our job to make you feel absolutely beautiful year-round. Harsh winter? Well, we have intense treatments. Crazy breakage? Let’s try an insane cut. Say goodbye to dreadful winter hair for once and for all because this year, Cole Stevens is “winterizing” your adored tresses.

Read more about the 5 Must-Have’s to Winterize Your Hair this season:

Scalp Renew Dermabrasion Treatment

Have you ever experienced a facial for your scalp? Well, wait no longer! The NIOXIN Scalp Renew gently exfoliates while regenerating and revitalizing to promote a healthy scalp… Just like a facial.

WHY? Are you a product junkie? Obsessed with at-home hair remedies like coconut or olive oil? This cooling treatment will deeply remove follicle-clogging sebum and environmental residue.

CS Alert: Product buildup on the scalp can continue to collect dirt as it clogs the pores, causing a host of issues like bad hair days, poor scalp and hair loss.

NIOXIN Scalp Renew

Luxe Oil Intense Treatment

Cole Stevens CEO, Diane Cole Stevens, says “This treatment instantly restores and reconstructs hair to an improved texture, leaving it so soft!”

WHY? Brutal winter weather can lead to weak, damaged and dry hair. The Luxe Oil Intense Treatment deeply moisturizes.

CS Alert: This treatment is great for all hair textures.


Get a Trim.

Don’t let a trim scare you. If you want long, beautiful hair, a trim is your best friend. Don’t believe us? Come on in!

WHY? When hair becomes dry or damaged, the hair shaft splits at the ends.

CS Alert: Waiting too long for a trim or cut can lead to a more drastic cut. If you are growing your tresses, get a trim every 6-8 weeks. A great trim can help add body and fullness. For curly hair, a customized trim for your unique curl pattern is also highly recommended.


Reconstructive Elixir (Sold Separately at Cole Stevens)

We know how much you love your essential oils… and we don’t want to take that from you! Wella’s Reconstructive Oil promotes hair growth and lightly moisturizes. And guess what? It includes some of your favorite go-to carrier oils.

WHY? This leave-in treatment will nourish, smooth and protect the hair shaft from dryness and breakage.

CS Alert: Enriched with Argan, Jojoba and Almond oil, use everyday for 30 days to nourish your hair for winter.



It’s time to treat yourself to an early Holiday gift. Say yes to color! The winter season calls for a bold fashion statement. Let your hair do the talking!

WHY? Why not?

CS Alert: Balayage brightens the skin by adding a color to strengthen and beautify your hair. Finish with glossing the hair for ridiculous shine.


Color for the World!

IMG_6179It’s a new year, and you are looking to change up your look a bit but have NO idea where to start. The task deems even more daunting for women of color as questions of our hair’s strength and durability begin to circle our minds.

Hair comes in many shapes and forms; from wavy to kinky and everything in between. Texture, formation and other curly-girl concerns need to be taken into consideration when color is being applied. It is important for your well-educated colorist to know the full history of your hair, (i.e. Has your hair ever been chemically treated? Has color ever been applied to your hair? What type? When? And by whom?), to ensure a positive, time-saving and safe application.

So, you’ve arrived to your appointment, excitement has settled in and is quickly turning into anxious energy. Relax you are here to be pampered! To ease your mind a bit our Lead Colorist, Michelle Sadler, has answered 3 of the most important questions that you should arm yourself with to make certain your color goes off without a hitch:

  1. What color do you think would look nice on me? “What I usually do is take a look at your skin tone and eye color to create a formulation that is as unique as you!”
  2. What is the maintenance involved with my desired look? “It depends on how quickly your hair grows and its natural state. For example, women with more than 50% gray will need a color retouch every 6-8 weeks. For women that do not have a concern for gray coverage, may opt for a color pattern that only needs maintenance three times per year.”
  3. What home care will I need? – “Currently my favorite shampoo and conditioners are from the Wella Care & Styling Brilliance and Enrich lines. These products are infused with Apricot Oil & Orchid Extract that help to maintain the overall health of your hair. A key ingredient of Brilliance is Diamond Dust, perfect for adding shine and moisture, while preventing your color from fading and shifting.”

Now that you’ve educated yourself on hair texture and consultation advice, here are a few more things that you should do before you show up for your COLOR appointment.

1. Come to the salon with your hair free of anything that will delay your appointment or inhibit color services:

  • Braids and twist should be removed prior to arrival.
  • Hair typically worn in a natural style should be detangled prior to arrival. Doing this can reduce the salon time by 50%.
  • Hair with product buildup such as coconut oil, olive, and heavy brown gel prohibits the stylist/colorist to see tonal value of natural hair color.

2. For first time color application, it may be a good idea to allow the stylist/colorist to finish with at least a blow dry. Because hair looks darker when wet, you will most likely be unable to experience the true and end results of your new fabulous do’ without it!

Check out a few more of Michelle’s favorite products for color treated hair below:

wella products color of the world


Michelle Sadler is the Lead Colorist for the Color Bar at Cole Stevens Salon. She has over thirty years of experience with coloring all hair textures. Michelle stays current on industry trends through research and education. Her clients are her biggest inspiration as she uses skin tones and eye color to formulate one-of-a-kind looks for each of her guests.

If you would like to schedule a consultation with Michelle, please call us at 301.345.0033 or email us at 

Nioxin Design Principles at Premiere Orlando

Diane Stevens attended Premiere Beauty Show May 31-June 2 in Orlando, Florida with Nioxin Design Team presenting products and design principles on stage. Nioxin Top Artists, Diane and Vinnie Ferrara break down two looks in this video from Modern Salon.

Nioxin is the #1 stylist-recommended thinning hair brand in the U.S. and has a range of products and treatments for thicker, fuller looking hair. For more information go to

Modern Salon is an industry leader in beauty resources through step by step education, creative inspiration, and media. For more information go to

Diane Cole Stevens About Hairdressers at Heart

Hairdressers at Heart is an initiative of Procter & Gamble to “empower stylists throughout their careers.” As the CEO of Cole Stevens Salons, and Founder and of The Cinderella Foundation, Diane and her staff of stylists will participate in the Wella “Supports Your Cause” competition to help amplify their contributions to charity of their choice within the local community. Here, Diane speaks to Maggie Mulhern from Modern Salon about her pillar for the Wella Hairdressers at Heart program.

Q&A: Color and Damaged Hair

Question: If you are interested in color but your hair suffers damage from it what alternatives do you have if you still desire color?

Michelle Sadler, Master Colorist at Cole Stevens Salon, says:

Color alone is rarely the only factor that causes hair breakage. Often time chemical smoothing treatments along with permanent color can often cause hair to become weak and fragile. Also, damage such as high heat from the flat ironing and improper blow drying can contribute to damage.

A wonderful alternative is Wella Color Touch. It is ammonia free and is a great alternative to create desired results without damage or breakage.

My advice is  to have an in depth consultation with a color specialist along with your stylist to determine a great color for you, maintenance requirements, and areas of concern.

Do you have a question or concern about your hair? Send them to and have them answered personally by a Cole Stevens stylist.

Your Hair & Exercise: You’re Going to Sweat!

by Diane Stevens

After a great workout with my personal trainer, Kuti, I feel great; but my skin feels sweaty and dirty.  So I head straight to the shower. What about my scalp? Isn’t my scalp an extension of the same skin on my face? Yes! What does the salty sweat do to my scalp and hair?

Before we get started, there are some hair FACTS you should know about the structure of your hair. Hair has strengths and weaknesses and the more knowledge you have about your hair the healthier your hair and scalp will become. Hair is composed of keratin, a sulfur-rich protein that provides the hair with the strength it needs to withstand flat ironing, blow drying, combing, brushing, and chemicals. Each strand of hair emerges from a tiny tube-like pit in the skin called the follicle. At the base of the follicle is the papilla, the hair’s source of blood, oxygen, new cells, and other nutrients. The cells multiply in the papilla and become an individual hair with three separate layers..

The outer layer is the cuticle and its main job is to protect the inner layers from moisture loss; just inside the cuticle is the cortex which contains the pigment that gives your hair color; and the innermost portion is the medulla and its small core of cells run the length of the hair shaft.

So the question is what does salt and sweat do to my hair and scalp? Let’s start with what happens to the scalp. Your scalp naturally produces sebum from the sebaceous glands. In fact, sebum is responsible for keeping the skin and hair moisturized. On silky, straight hair, the sebum travels down the hair shaft and many people with straight hair have to shampoo every two days because the sebum makes their hair look oily and limp. Not so much with African-American hair. The sebum is unable to travel down the ridges of the curly hair shaft and the oil remains at the root area. Then, add in the factor of environmental residue–dirt likes to collect more dirt. This is one reason why many clients have aging skin-scalp and dermatological issues because the pores and follicles become clogged. For my African-American guests that work out frequently, we schedule an in-salon treatment called Nioxin Scalp Renew every 6-8 weeks. This treatment is a scalp treatment that gently exfoliates the scalp, removes build-up around the hair follicle and helps regenerate the scalp. (If you’re not close to one of Cole Stevens Salon locations, go to to find a Nioxin accredited stylist in your area.)

Now, what does sweat do to the hair? The sebum cannot travel down the hair shaft to protect and moisturize the strand, and to add insult to injury, the salty sweat travels immediately down the hair shaft to the porous ends and causes the hair to become dehydrated, dry and brittle. This causes damage and can shorten the life of the hair strand.



I always do my cardio workout and intense workouts on early Friday morning and early Saturday morning (which causes me to really sweat). Then I have my salon experience at CS on Saturday and my hair is hydrated, bouncy, and beautiful. I do low impact workout Monday and Wednesday and I use 2 two pumps of Sebastian Liquid Gloss or Wella Mirror Polish from mid shaft to ends to protect my hair from any salty sweat.

One fact is your hairstyle will change when you sweat. Wearing your hair in a straight style and expecting it not to change when you sweat is unreasonable. Prior to your workout, apply two pumps of Sebastian Liquid Gloss or Wella Mirror Polish to the hairline, root area, mid shaft to ends, then pin curl hair. Wear a cotton sweatband to absorb sweat around hairline–such as Save Your Do Gymwrap. Leave hair in pin curls until hair is completely dry. Products with light amounts of avocado oil, shea butter and/or jojoba oil are also recommended.

The best quick fix would be:

1. Cleanse, optimize and treat with Nioxin System 5 (, which has Smooth Plex, a unique blend of Kukui Oil and silk amino acids, gives hair moisture, shine and smooth control.
2. Treat hair with Nioxin’s Diamax hair Thickening Xtrafusion Treatment at roots (8-10 pumps)
3. Use Nioxin Silk Elixir as a leave in conditioner and smooth hair into a ponytail (even add a bun or draw string ponytail).

Stay away from pure olive oil, pure coconut oil and other pure form kitchen oils and home remedies as they are not water soluble enough and over time build up a filmy residue on the hair and will quickly attract environmental residue and dirt. When guests come into the salon with this build up it is impossible to remove in one salon visit and hair remains dirty.

Rather than always wearing your hair in a straight style, opt for a style with more texture. Flexirod sets, perm rod sets, two strand twists can hold up better throughout the week. The images below are of flexirod sets done by Renee Williams and Camille Austin, Senior Stylists at Cole Stevens Salon.

Braids are hot this season! The newest way to incorporate the braided texture is with a smooth, clean texture on top, very deep side part, and the loose braid low around the hairline. Use Nioxin Silk Elixir to smooth hair with a blow dryer. Before braiding, apply 2 pumps Sebastian Liquid Gloss or Wella Mirror Polish to the hairline, root area, mid shaft and ends, the loosely braid on both side and create a chignon or braid in back with remaining hair. Products with light amounts of avocado oil, shea butter and/or jojoba oil are also recommended.


Your Hair & Exercise: A Word from Our Trainer

Clients often ask Cole Stevens (CS) stylists, “What do I do to my hair if I want to work out?” Well, we sought one of the best trainers and Diane’s personal trainer, Kuti Mack, to encourage your fitness pursuit without letting your hair hold you back!


with Kuti

As a Personal Trainer/Nutritionist, when I’m acquiring new female clients (ESPECIALLY women of color) I often get challenged by them about being able to exercise regularly while maintaining their hairstyles. So I figured that I’d share with you what I find myself constantly telling them…

I GET it. I truly do. As a man that truly appreciates a well groomed woman, believe me when I say that the benefits of exercise outweigh the hassle of keeping that new hairstyle that you spent good, hard-earned recession-era money on. Why look good, but be unhealthy? You can fix your hair MUCH faster than you can your health and if your BODY looks good, you can get your hair to catch up. If your hair’s whipped but your body’s not healthy, TRUTHFULLY your priorities are out of whack. Heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol are amongst the controllable life threatening conditions ESPECIALLY for women of color that nutrition and exercise will help you correct or avoid altogether. (Now, morticians do great hair from what I’m told…but why find out the hard way, dig?)

Research at the Mayo Clinic quickly points out at least 7 major ways exercise improves your life. See for yourself: Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity . If you’re worried about your hair after benefit No. 6, I can understand…lol!

Remember: there’s NOTHING you can’t do without a lil’ planning. Wrap or put your hair in a ponytail before you workout; manage your perspiration with a towel or headband during the workout; allow your hair to dry post-workout then style with the appropriate products recommended by your Expert Stylist at Cole Stevens. You can also speak to your Stylist about what sorts of hairstyles as well as which conditioning and washing regimens are best for YOU to keep your “wig tight” while you’re getting your “body right”!

At the End of the Day, a healthy lifestyle leads to healthy hair…not the other way around.


If you have questions for KUTImack you can contact him!

FALL Back in Love with Your Hair

It’s that time again. The leaves are changing colors. The temperature is dropping. Cole Stevens Salon welcomes back clients who went on “straight-hair hiatus” for the summer and rocked their beautiful wash-n-go styles. With the change in seasons, and more and more women concerned about their textured coils, the best, Diane Cole Stevens, wants to hear from you and personally give you answers!

All of the questions and answers women of color have been looking for will be right here! Answers for the RELAXER hair cult, answers for the NATURAL hair cult–talk to us! We have solutions! Email your questions to

Diane, and her team of expert stylists will address hair breakage, including around the hairline; thinning at the temples and the crown, design principles, and products for thicker, fuller, denser looking hair using Nioxin. And much more!