“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.”