Lupita Nyong’o begged her mother to allow her to straighten her “kinky hair” when she was a child, because she didn’t like the texture
The 12 Years a Slave star reveals that she wished she had longer and fuller hair, like other girls she saw at school.
“I didn’t love my hair when I was a child…,” she tells Allure magazine.
Lupita asked her mother if she could undergo a chemical treatment to “relax” her hair, but mum said no, even though her own hair had been.
“She felt that that was a decision I could come to when I was maybe 18,” she says. “Around 13 or 14, I had such a rough time with being teased and feeling really unpretty.”
However, the actress’ father eventually stepped in and convinced her mother to let her relax her hair and Lupita began to feel more confident about it – and experiment
“I felt so much better because it was easier to tame,” she explains.
“All the girls in my class had their hair relaxed. Very few had a natural kink, so I felt a lot more acceptable.
“The upkeep of relaxed hair is a commitment,” she adds. “It took styling it once a week and then having it retouched once a month. I remember doing crazy things like sleeping with my head above the headboard so that my curls wouldn’t get messed up for the next day!”
However, after years of high maintenance, Nyong’o decided she was ready for a drastic change and cut all her hair off.
“My dad joked, ‘Why don’t you just cut it all off?’ and a few months later, I thought to myself, ‘Why don’t I?’ I went into the hair salon, and I said, ‘Let’s cut it off’,” she continues. “It was almost a dare to myself: ‘Can I live without hair..?’ It was so scary but so liberating because I went completely bald.”
Lupita has since learned to embrace her hair and it is now the longest it has been in several years
Her hairstylist, Vernon Francois, has also given the star pointers on how to manage her long locks.
“He’s been so helpful, helping me learn how to maintain my natural hair texture,” she adds.
“Now I love my hair. I love it because I’ve also been able to really embrace the stuff it can do. It’s like clay in the right hands. Clay can be dirt in the wrong hands, but clay can be art in the right hands. Being able to have that kind of playtime with Vernon to create different things has inspired me.”
Author: Cover Media