No one can deny the Real Housewives of Atlanta's influence on pop culture. Over the course of nine seasons (and counting), we've been gifted with unforgettable catch phrases ("gone with the wind fabulous"), over-the-top TV weddings and of course, epic reunion show battles.
As resident beauty queen of the Bravo series, Kenya Moore has contributed to plenty of those can't-miss moments, all while building her brand off screen. During a recent visit to ESSENCE offices, the former Miss USA not only gave her unfiltered opinion on the explosive season nine reunion, but spilled the tea on her collection, Kenya Moore Hair Care, as well.
True RHOA fans remember when Moore first announced plans for a collection during season five and now, the wheels are finally turning.
"I've always had this passion for hair care. It came from my grandmother who raised me," Moore told ESSENCE. "And she would always say, 'hair is your crowning glory.' So that kind of just stuck with me and she would always make sure we took pride in our appearance and presentation."
Although being a business owner has its monetary benefits, Moore emphasizes that empowerment is the backbone of her brand's philosophy.
"[It's] there to nourish and empower you to have a choice," she continued.
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"We love a wig. We love a weave...and all that stuff. But it shouldn't be a necessity. It should just be an accessory, if that's what you want. We want to be empowered to have a choice. If you want to rock your own hair, rock your own hair. But you shouldn't wear weaves and stuff because you're ashamed of your hair. It should just be a choice, not a requirement."
RHOA antics aside, Moore is also a treasure trove of beauty secrets. Modeling since her early teens, the TV star has curated her own set of beauty rules, all of which are surprisingly lowkey for someone who navigated the pageant world.
"If I wasn't here, I wouldn't even be wearing makeup," she told ESSSENCE. "I've had cystic acne since I was 13 years old and a lot of people don't know what that's even like. It's not a pimple. It's a cyst that's underneath your skin and it's very thick and you can't pop it and make it go away. You have to get them injected with steroids. Even when I won Miss USA, I had at least four of them all over my face."
And although she invests in a host of non-invasive treatments (chemical peels, laser procedure) to keep her skin in check today, she's learned to accept and embrace those "imperfections" just the same.
"It's what I have. It's what I'm working with. I don't care what anyone else thinks. If it bothers me, I'll do something about it. But I'm not going to do something about it because it bothers you. "
That same mindset is extended to her hair care regimen. Moore has always been proud of her lengthy locks (remember this PSA?) and credits a good old fashioned roller set for keeping them camera-ready.
"I love a roller set," she divulged during our Facebook Live. "You really should not put a ton of heat on your hair. A lot of companies market flat irons and curling irons at 450 degree heat. That's what you boil chicken at. You put chicken in the oven at 450 degrees."
She continued, "What do you think it's going to do to your hair? Of course it's going to break it off and dry it out and make it extremely damaged. We have to get away from the relaxers and direct hot heat and tension on the hair altogether."
Step away from the heat, ladies! Shop the entire Kenya Moore Hair Care line here and watch both Facebook live segments above.