In kindergarten, I remember learning about the story of Samson. He was a Biblical character who wore his hair in seven long braids. One night, a woman named Delilah cut them while he slept and his world was forever changed. In short, his hair was his power.
Future's got way more than seven dreads — over 100, if you want a solid estimate — but his hair is almost as formidable. Whatever your opinion is on his music or personal life, you have to admit that the guy's got gorgeous locs.
To wit: Have you ever seen the man in concert? He'll start off modestly, with his locs stuffed into a brimmed hat or underneath the hood of a designer sweatshirt. But as the show progresses, he unleashes the beast, letting his hair fly around as he proceeds to turn up.
By "longtime" stylist, I'm not exaggerating — Future and Shekinah have known each other since their teenage years. "We're from the same neighborhood, Kirkwood," the Atlanta native reveals. "I started doing his hair when we were like 16-years-old when I did his first set of dreads."
Obviously, something stuck, as Future (AKA Super Future, BKA Future Hendrix, CKA Astronaut Kid...the list goes on) brought Shekinah along for the ride throughout his space shuttle to fame. They went from photoshoots on Peachtree Street to Paris Fashion Week, and everywhere else in between. While they were still in Atlanta's Zone Six region, Future's hair hung to his neck. Now, they're at the middle of his back, all thanks to her growing hand.
Even when his schedule is packed — which is probably happening now, as he currently holds the top two albums in the country, and has a national tour right around the corner — Future takes the time to see Shekinah for upkeep...sometimes as often as three times a week.
She washes his hair with Pureology's Hydrate Shampoo, and follows up with the brand's Hydrate Conditioner. Since his hair holds a lot of water ("Like a mop," she notes), she'll let it dry before twisting. After detangling with her own Shekinah Jo Moisture Infusion Leave-In Conditioner, she'll twist his dreads with a combination of Sulfur8's Loc Twist & Braid Gel and Ampro Pro Styl Protein Styling Gel.
Then, he'll sit underneath a hooded dryer for 30 minutes to an hour. Uhhh, sometimes. "Lately, he's been on his Hollywood stuff," she laughs. "He wants me to hold the blowdryer over his head. Girl, it's been driving me crazy!"
That isn't his only demand. When it comes to styling his locs, Future always has concepts in mind. Like, always. "He never actually lets me come up with my own styles," Shekinah jokes. "If I want to do something, he says it's too much. He never wants it to look too polished, either. He gets aggravated with me when I try and polish him too much."
Lately, some of his go-to's include his braids to the back. But sometimes he'll switch it up with a fishtail, or pile them up in a bun. "It all depends on his mood. He knows his angles and which way he wants his styles to be," she says. "But he loves those cornrows. Sometimes, they can cause too much pressure on his ends, but we make it work."
For Future and Hndrxx, the rockstar wanted to go lighter. Of course, he's not a stranger to dyeing (he went really blond in 2014), but worked with Shekinah to do something a little different. "We lightened his dreads for his albums about two months ago," she says. "Some are lighter, and some of the color goes all the way to the root. We just wanted to switch up the placement." To do that, she alternated with 20 and 30-volume formulas of Redken's Pro-Oxide Creme Developer, and used the brand's Highlift to get a contrast of color levels all over.
After Future's first stint as a blond, some could say that he, umm, inspired a few other musicians to take a walk on the bright side. Yes, there are plenty of Future copycats out there, but Shekinah would never dare to help their causes. "I wouldn't give anybody that look," she says. "No one needs to look like him. He's him. He is the Future!"
Yeah, Future may have his occasional quirks, but Shekinah insists that her resident superstar is still as humble and kind as the gangly 16-year-old she met years ago. "I've never seen a person work as hard as he is, to become what he is today," she muses. "He's more than a client. He's a friend. He's my brother."