If there’s anything actress KeKe Palmer knows for sure, it’s hair care. Growing up with family members knowledgeable about hair maintenance and styling, the 21-year-old picked up a few tricks and along the way. Here, she dishes on what works for her strands, and why she relaxes her hair.
ESSENCE.com: What's your daytime and nighttime hair routine?
KeKe Palmer: When my hair is long, I brush my hair in a circle and put my scarf on. When my hair is short, it's pretty much the same thing—except I oil it. I grew up around women who were into hair, so I've always been very into taking good care of it. If I'm wearing extensions, I wash it every couple of weeks or every three weeks, depending on how much product I've been putting into it.
ESSENCE.com: What's your number one hair tip that you've learned over the years from the women in your life?
Palmer: Pay attention to your body. A lot of times when people get weaves, they stop paying attention to their hair, because they say, "Oh, it's not my hair." You have to really pay attention to it, especially when you remove weaves. And, if you have a relaxer on the shorter part, make sure you oil it at night or else you're going to be messed up.
ESSENCE.com: Do you have a number one hair tip for women who are just going to be in a lot of heat and humidity this summer?
Palmer: I like doing a curly or wet style. If you have extensions, make it a curly style. That way, you don't have to worry about whether the weather is going to get you. Don't go against the weather—go with the weather. If it's humid, make your hair frizzy.
ESSENCE.com: You've been rocking the pixie cut for a while now. What hairstyle can we expect from you next?
Palmer: I love the pixie cut. It's going to be pixie for a while. It'll be pixie and long back and forth. It'll be back and forth because of my show. If [you see me in a pixie] that's me loving it. When I have my long hair, it usually has something pertaining to my new show.
ESSENCE.com: Is your hair relaxed now?
Palmer: Yeah, I do have to have one in the back of my head. I can't grip it with a flat iron, so I have to relax that part of my hair. I was definitely scared at first, because you have to really pay attention to your hair. I don't relax the top part, because [relaxers] make my hair very, very flat, and I actually like texture to my hair. I like leaving the top part of my hair natural because it leaves more flexibility.
ESSENCE.com: What's your preference? Relaxer, or no relaxer?
Palmer: My preference would be to have no relaxer, but it's just impossible with this hairstyle. For the type of style I want, I need to relax it more to get my hair straighter in the back for my hairstyle.