Christina Anderson-McDonald, Model

Christina Anderson-McDonald

“Short hair…the biggest myth is that it’s easier, or when you have the Afro, it’s easier. But it’s so, so much work—it’s still so much hair! I used to have really long hair, and then I did this box cover for a relaxer, in South Africa, and it became so damaged that when I came back to New York I had two hair consultations and they both said, ‘You have to cut it all off.’ It was so short that if you had ten guys in a room and me, I’d have the shortest hair of everyone. [Laughs] I was mortified. I mean, it’s really crazy how much your hair defines you or can be like a blanket for you or an identity. Because sometimes I have the Afro, some days I straighten it, some days I wear a really long wig; I’ve had extensions, and sometimes people don’t recognize me from day to day, because I change it day to day. My wig is so good—I got it at Hair Town in Philadelphia—that one day this woman said to me, ‘Wow, your hair is so beautiful,’ and when I told her it was wig, she said, ‘I’ve worked in the wig department for Cirque du Soleil for eight years and I would’ve never known.’ I love having that versatility. I love having that long hair to whip around when I’m dancing. But naturally, like this, it does what it wants to do, and it’s really temperamental with the weather, as any curly hair is. I usually comb it with a wide tooth comb, preferably wood. I actually cut it the other day…I cut it myself! I just thought, instead of putting bobby pins in it to create a shape off my face, I’ll just cut it into a shape that flatters my face. I mean, we spend the most time with our hair, so we kind of know what will look best, right?

In terms of hair products I love anything with a lot of moisture. I think Moroccan Oil is really good; I do lots of hair masks. I like to use the John Masters Organics line because it doesn’t have any alcohol in it….it’s so hard to get away from the cetyl alcohols that are in everything. When it’s curly like this I use his pomade which is great, and when I’m straightening it I use his de-tangler. I also like it because sometimes products for ethnic hair have a very strong smell; his products aren’t specifically for ethnic hair but they work for me and don’t have that smell.

For my skin, I do believe less is more. I have really sensitive skin and I use Cetaphil; everything else is too aggressive. And I change my pillowcases really often. There’s a lotion from Sephora I really like, First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Therapy, and I also love Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Light-Weight Body Lotion. I fill in my brows because a lot of makeup artists have told me that a fuller brow is more youthful. I’m obsessed with eyebrows—I do everyone’s eyebrows. I have a really good eye for doing it—even guys let me do theirs! I make it look really natural, just a little shaping to make the eyes pop. I used to carry around a little eyebrow brush to keep them brushed up until someone told me you can just put a little hairspray on your finger and run it over your brows and they’ll stay in place. The hair is a frame for the face, and the eyebrows are a frame for the eyes so it’s important they really pop. Today I penciled them in with just a regular black eyeliner pencil; I think it’s a really strong look.”


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  • Gemma

    She's positively radiant! I love John Masters Organics too, their shampoos, conditioners and stylers have changed my hair for the better...definitely one of my loyalty brands.

  • kelly

    great tips! she's gorgeous and i adore your blog!

  • Janelle Andrea

    She's absolutely gorgeous! I have serious hair envy.

  • cococollage

    Hey, thanks for featuring someone with a Fro'.
    Its crazy how identical mine and Christina's stories are. I also ended up with a GI-Jane buzz cut a few years back, only mine wasn't brought on by chemicals; I wasn't using any. I was actually wrongly diagnosed with Male Pattern Baldness by a few so-called professionals, luckily they were just really bad at their jobs. I did my homework, and found out it was the result of 6 or so hellish months of prolonged stress.
    Biggest cliche incoming, but there's really nothing like near baldness to make you redefine beauty and change your lifestyle. It was scary as hell, and yes I did feel 'naked' without hair, but I got the heck get over it and 3 years on, I feel a little like Wonder Woman..minus the cape maybe.
    I was afraid Moroccan Oil might be a no-no for super sensitive skin, but it seems its time to take the leap.

    • Cat


      Thanks for sharing your story. I am completely relating to it at the moment.

      My hair has been falling out in chunks lately. I am crying over it. It's a been a stressful summer due to back-to-back foot fractures. I have been in a cast on my right leg for 85% of the summer and along with normal stress (job security, family fights and ex-boyfriend drama). Anyway, I am looking into getting that hair vitamin that has been referenced by some of the people profiled here. And also exploring a new way to de-stress.


  • kate

    haha it is funny to hear her say short hair is just as hard - i always had this picture in my mind that you wake up wash and go, but i guess it still requires styling.

    would love to see her many other hair looks.

    and eyebrows - I'M OBSESSED too!

  • Ashley

    It's so good to see advice from someone with curly, or coarse hair. I find that there is often not enough advice for Africans, African-Americans or Caribbean people. This was a very helpful article.

    The I on Fashion

  • Amelia

    she's so gorgeous i love her hair and eyebrows!!!! what amazing skin

  • Melanie

    She is so right about the pillowcases... I find fresh pillowcases are often the receipe for a fresh complexion.

  • JM

    I had a short afro and it was easier! It was the easiest hairstyle I've had in my life. You wash, you condition, you brush, you go. So simple it could be done without a mirror.

  • Cat

    She is a beautiful girl. Love her for loving eyebrows. If your eyes are the windows to your soul, then the eyebrows are the curtains. ;)

  • David


    She's gorgeous! :D

    Have a Good Day!


  • Lena

    She is fantastically gorgeous and down to earth and I love her tips!

  • Elspbeth

    She looks lovely. I have really short hair that Im trying to grow and totally agree that it plays such a role in defining who you are, it's good to know others feel the same way.

  • Laura

    this girl is gorgeous!! i love what she says about eyebrows... i always fill mine in when i want more of a pop. i don't let anyone do mine because i feel like i know just where/when to pluck!

  • Antoinette

    I really loved that you featured her on your site. She's very pretty and I love her hair. And her skin is amazing!!

  • chic noir

    Very good interview Emily.

    Ladies invest in satin pillowcases. They are excellent for women with 3+ hair types but they are also good for the skin.

  • Fiona

    She has a great look! I'm impressed she cut her hair herself, too - whenever I try to do that, it looks absolutely rubbish.

    I think she's mixed up with her alcohols, though. Cetyl alcohol is an emollient that is great for the skin (and hair). Ethyl alcohol is the horrible drying one, to be avoided at all costs.

  • Disneyrollergirl

    Gorgeous, gorgeous hair and... teeth! I wish I could find a magic product for my eyebrows... I might just resort to Pritt Stick

  • Dana

    Ah, it's so great to see more women of color on this site. Her answers were genuine and it was interesting to see what products she used. It'd be nice to see a top shelf of a woman of color ;)

  • Lisa C

    What a gorgeous woman...and a tactful one, too, not to mention the product that features her on the box but RUINED HER HAIR!

    Thanks for crossing the color line again, ITG, and featuring both Caucasian and African-American hair!

    Now excuse me while I go change my pillow case...

  • dana

    Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love her and she has a 'fro like me! great job!

  • Michelle

    Thanks for featuring someone with a Fro!!!! I'm rocking a Fro now. Good to hear advice about other products that can help with my hair. Very refreshing to read!

  • The Editor

    She has a wonderful spirit, and great her, Love the versatility and how shes not hung up on any stereotype about hair, though I've never seen her without a fro.

  • Ali

    Just wanted to say thanks ITG for sharing with us the beauty secrets of women from all backgrounds! so refreshing.

  • Kristen Stewart

    I just cut my hair into a TWA (teeny-weeny afro) and I love it, but it does put your face front and center, so I have to step up my makeup game. I like the way she does it!