Let’s be honest: swimming for Black women has always been tricky territory because of our hair. For Keshia Knight Pulliam, star of the new reality show Splash, there hasn’t been much time to lament about pool hair between the rigorous swim and diving training she’s endured for the show. We caught up with Pulliam to find out how she preps her hair for the pool, what advice she’d share with women about choosing health over hair and an exciting new beauty project she’s developing soon.
ESSENCE.com: On your new show Splash, you spend a lot of time in the pool. We have to ask, what have you been doing to your hair throughout training?
Pulliam: That’s actually the most frequent question I’ve gotten. (Laughs). Girl, I just jump right in. I throw it in a ponytail and kept it moving. The funny thing is, people only know me for having straight hair for work, but I live in Atlanta where it’s hot and humid in the summertime. So when I’m home I wear my hair natural. My hair is naturally curly, I don’t have a relaxer. I just use really good products because at the end of the day, it’s all about keeping your hair hydrated and making sure when you get out of that chlorine you wash your hair. No matter what your hair looks like once it’s wet, it’s about embracing it and loving yourself for you and all that that entails.
ESSENCE.com: What are some of the products you use to keep your hair moisturized and healthy?
Pulliam: You know what products I do like? Miss Jessie’s. They have this really really great hydrating curl conditioner that I like to use. I also like to mix stuff up with it though, so I’ll use the Miss Jessie’s products and put some raw coconut oil from Whole Foods and other stuff in it. Another passion of mine is absolutely haircare and I’m in the process of creating my own haircare line.
ESSENCE.com: That’s exciting to hear! Tell us a little bit more about your line and what inspired it.
Pulliam: As a Black woman trying different products and figuring out what works best for me, the one thing that I realized is that hair brands lump us together as having “black hair” but all black hair is not alike. We cross a spectrum more than any other ethnic group and our hair has always been about looking like someone else’s instead of embracing what God has given us. For me it’s about healthy hair. I’ve met with a few companies about developing my own haircare line so I’ll be making more decisions on that really soon and I’m really excited about it. For me it’s about the quality of the product. I would not sell anyone anything that I wouldn’t use or buy myself.
You can catch Pulliam working her moves in the pool every Tuesday night on Splash on ABC.