Teyonah Parris is known for being a breathtaking Naturalista who embraced her hair well before being natural became common in Hollywood. But the actress said it wasn’t always easy, especially when it came to figuring out how to style and care for her type 4 curls. Speaking during a refreshing conversation presented in partnership with My Black is Beautiful at the 2020 virtual Essence Festival Beauty Carnival, she had some advice for ladies getting reacquainted with their natural curls, coils and kinks for the first time in years.
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“I would say definitely try to find someone whose hair texture is closer to yours and just play,” says Parris, who is an advocate for how-to videos. “And honestly even if you don’t want to do that, just wash your hair and go in the world, or your living room, with it like that. And do not change it. And when you pass the mirror instead of saying ‘Oh my God I look crazy,’ speak affirmations to yourself, [say] you look beautiful.”
Parris cited incidents of her friends, who are now at home with their natural hair due to COVID-19 salon closings, saying that they look “like a hot mess” with their natural hair—she thinks they look cute.
“We’re just not used to seeing ourselves in our natural state,” The Photograph star said. “So even that will be revolutionary for women to just wear [their] hair in the house and be accepting of it.”
Parris, who has been natural in Hollywood for nearly a decade, has been a source of inspiration for other stars such as Naturalista Danielle Brooks, and for non-celebrities alike. She understands that everyone’s journey is personal and she’s been generous with the details of her own process of going back to natural—the great, the bad, and the moments of not wanting to leave the house. So she speaks from a place of knowing and she continues to inspire women to just love who they are with no alterations.
“When you pass the mirror speak positivity over yourself,” she finished. “Speak love, beauty and affirmations over yourself because it’s simply we’re [just] not used to it.”