Reposting for those that missed this one-
(the giveaway is closed, by the way)
Oh, and for the record, yesterday, on MHP, Nicole's hair was styled in a wash and go using mousse!
ORIGINAL POST 4/27/2012
Actress and former model Nicole Ari Parker is On the Couch! Best known for her roles in Boogie Nights and the Showtime series Soul Food, this fellow Nikki recently Big Chopped and is loving the versatility of natural hair. Enjoy!
CN: How long have you been natural?
I stopped relaxing my hair last summer. Kiyah Wright in LA does my hair and she's so good at it that I didn't even notice that 6 weeks...8 weeks... 3 months had gone by with no relaxer. She'd blow my hair out, flat iron it and I would go. I was also weaving at times, so I just didn't think about getting a relaxer. And then before I knew it, it was Christmas and my hair was getting so long that I was able to slick it back into a bun...then I bought a little friend to make my bun a little fuller [laughter]. I began to notice how beautiful my hair was at the root, and how soft it was. Also, my daughter is 7 and she's starting to really stare at Mommy and what Mommy does, and I wanted her to love her hair. So I slowly began trimming it.
I started wearing natural styles around February when I met Felicia Leatherwood. She helped me when I was still holding on to some of the length. She twisted my hair up into that wonderful chignon for the Essence Luncheon in February and also turned me on to SheaMoisture.
Street Car Named Desire opened on Monday and it's 8 shows a week for 16 weeks. I took this opportunity to really take care of my hair and start over. There's just something about playing this character of Blanche DuBois, as an artist, as an actor, I have to be myself 100% and bring everything that I have to the role. In every way, it was finally time to make that transition to natural hair. I went over to Hair Rules Salon on March 17th and Anthony Dicky chopped me up and started me over!
CN: That's wonderful! Congratulations on your Big Chop. You look stunning. How do you protect your hair while on stage?
The play is set in 1951, so I wear a wig.
CN: What rocks about natural hair?
My hair is just really loving being natural, being moisturized. Our hair is so much more versatile than what we give it credit for. We're raised to immediately straighten it, fry it and never take the time to learn to work with it. My hair can do so many more things now that it's natural- - I can wear it coiled, I can pick it out, or I can blow it straight. My hair will completely blow straight... who knew?! A little bit of heat and I have a pixie cut! And for those times when I do blow it out or flat iron it, I like to keep it that way for a few days because, you know, it cost 100 bucks... but I never miss my workout!
CN: Speaking of workouts, tell me about this 'Save Your Do' wrap I've been hearing about.
The idea came to me last year when I noticed a common excuse emerge among busy everyday women (myself included) about why they couldn’t work out: their hair. Hair is a serious issue for most of us women because after spending a ton of time and money to have it washed, blow dried, flat-ironed and curled, none of us want to sweat and mess it up all over again.
Considering my own transition to natural hair, during the conception phase, I knew I had to consider all the ways Black women wear their hair. I had to make sure that I included our sisters who have weaves in the back with their front edges out, my sisters who have lots of thick, beautiful natural hair, my loc'ed sisters, my relaxed sisters, even my sisters who don't care about their hair as much as they just want a good sweat absorber. It's a great option over having to wear a bandanna, baseball cap or doorag to the gym. I designed the band to include everyone and it comes in 3 different styles.
Prior to your work out, I encourage you to add a little product to your front edges, like a natural balm or wax and then tie the wrap on snugly. And like I said, in going natural, I discovered that you don't need a lot of heat. So even if I'm wearing my hair straight, after my workout, when I get home from the gym, if there is still a little moisture lingering, I can put the hair dryer on cool, just enough to lift the moisture out and then maybe bump it with the flat iron and go do what I have to do.
CN: What are your favorite hair products?
I'm in love with three major brands right now- Hair Rules Shampoo and Conditioner, Jane Carter Solutions, her mousses and her hair balms, and SheaMoisture's Black Soap Shampoo and Conditioner. They're all amazing! I rotate with those three and throw in in a little Kinky Curly Knot Today on my quick days.
CN: What does the future hold for your TWA?
My goal is to grow all the way out. I don't know how long it's going to take but I want the full actualization of the Afro!
CN: Anything else you'd like to add?
Yes, everyone please come see Street Car Named Desire. The play was written 65 years ago by the great American playwright Tennessee Williams, and has won a Pulitzer Prize. This is the first time that it's been done with a multiracial cast on Broadway, with African Americans in the lead roles. It's been done before off Broadway, but never before on Broadway, so it's kind of a little slice of theater history to be a part of. So if you're in New York and plan to visit, please catch the show!