One of our favorite pastimes is ogling over pictures of gorgeous natural hair… mostly random divas on Fotki and hair blogs, but other times, natural hair celebs. Whether it’s for inspiration, motivation, or finding the nerve to transition or chop, we often look to these idols to remind us just how beautiful natural curls can be.
I’ve been a member of the virtual natural hair community since 2005, and I’m more than aware of who the ‘popular’ idols are (the celebs you see over and over again in everyone’s Fotki). Bre Scullark is definitely among the favs. I’m sure you remember her from America’s Next Top Model Cycle 5- – hair was RIDIC! I tuned in that season just to watch those curls… plus she was hilarious and very down to earth. She’s since appeared on later Cycles of ANTM, episodes of the Tyra Show, and ripped countless runways. She’s been in more commercials and campaigns than I can name. She’s becoming a super model in her own right!
Bre has recently Big Chopped to signify a new beginning. Last week, she took a minute from her busy schedule to chat On The Couch! Here’s what she had to say:
On her hair story…
I’ve been natural much of my life. In middle school my mother began relaxing my hair to thin it out because there was so much of it, and therefore deemed ‘unmanageable’. The problem was that the relaxer only changed the texture… it did nothing for the thickness. I wore it permed for about a year, and then slowly transitioned, chopping off a little bit at a time. By my sophomore year in high school, I was completely natural again.
On embracing her natural hair…
I didn’t always like my curls, mainly because I was the only one in middle school who had this hair texture, and so much of it. I remember my classmates used to make fun of me and call me mop head! All the other girls had straight hair, and I wanted that too because in my mind, that’s what pretty was. Pretty meant you had really manageable, silky straight hair- – I wanted that so bad. And even though my hair was long and healthy, no one really acknowledged it because it was very, very curly. I vividly remember my feeble attempts to make it silky and straighter- – I’d apply petroleum jelly (don’t laugh!), brush it through, and then braid it up. That obviously never worked out- – I just looked bad.
It wasn’t until college that I began to appreciate and enjoy my hair. In high school I abused it– I would color it a lot , straighten it every single weekend, I cut bangs… you name it, I tried it. Then I went off to college and couldn’t do that anymore- – there were no salons around, and I had no choice but to embrace it.
During my first years in college, I wore a bun religiously. I remember one day I took it down, and my next door neighbor in college said, ‘You have beautiful hair!’ And I responded, ‘No, it’s too much, it’s too thick’. And she said, ‘No really, you should wear it out and curly more’. So I did just that, and received a great response. I had never looked at my hair in that way– as beautiful. It was different for me, and just the beginning. I began wearing it out more and more, big and wild! I also feel that people were becoming more accepting, despite the fact that I was the only natural on campus (that I knew of). Almost everyone had a perm!
On her ‘long and curly’ ANTM hair…
While I was on Top Model, I’d always have my hair in a bun. I’d wash it maybe once a week, bun it, and every once in a while, when the weather was nice, I’d wear it out curly. I remember Tyra telling me, ‘Stop this. You have beautiful hair, please wear it out!’. So that’s when I started washing and conditioning it more often (sometimes 3 times a week). Even after the show, whether at home, for shoots, or working with Tyra, I continued with that regimen. I’d wash, condition, grease my scalp, gel, and just go!
On greasing her scalp…
You know all the old school products– Don’t Be Bald, Doo Gro, etc.? They worked out really well for me, LOL! I would take one of those and mix in a little olive oil and grease my scalp. I now use Indian Hemp. Love the stuff!
On growing and maintaining long hair…
I’ve never had a problem growing my hair, it’s usually pretty resilient. Last year was the first time it has ever broken off. Before then, I had colored it many times over, heat styled frequently, stripped it platinum blonde… and it suffered no damage. My hair is tough, very, very strong! But I think from working so much and having to do so many campaigns, it just couldn’t handle the stress. Now that I’ve cut it all off, I have virgin hair again. It’s growing back twice as thick as it was before…it’s almost frightening!
As far as growing and maintaining long hair, I think it really is about knowing your hair type, knowing what works for your hair, and being consistent in whatever you do. There are models out there with beautiful hair, whatever the texture, it’s beautiful, healthy, and strong. Some of them swear by salon products, while others rely on old school eggs and mayo treatments. Figure out what works for your hair, and just be consistent. I’ve seen women complain about their hair not growing and breaking off in places, and when I ask what their routine is, they don’t have one. Find a routine and stick to it!
Also, I know so many women who have beautiful hair that just never seems to grow. I feel that their hair is being traumatized from excessive heat and roll brushes. It’s nothing more than a quick fix… it’s not maintenance, and can be quite damaging.
On her ‘long and curly’ staple styles…
I love a bun! It’s so funny that I cut my hair off, because buns were truly my staple style. I love to see a woman with her hair pulled away from her face. Gorgeous.
I would usually opt for a middle part, and slick the sides back into a pony tail. I’d then wrap it around itself and pin it into a huge bun. I kept that look. I also did a lot of messy buns, usually worn high on top of my head. I would literally get up in the morning and go.
I also did a lot of wash and gos. I’d shampoo, apply conditioner, rinse (because if I didn’t, I’d get white flakes) apply gel, and go. I’d let it air dry throughout the day. My curl pattern is strong and becomes super defined as soon as the water hits it. Wash and gos were very easy for me.
On her current routine…
I don’t have to do much of anything… my options are a bit more limited now. It’s grown out to a really cute length from when we first cut it, and I love it! After washing and conditioning, I just use a leave-in conditioner, grease my scalp, and go. I don’t even use gel anymore. My virgin hair is growing in so nicely, I can’t even tell you how thick this Afro is on my head!
On her must have products…
I love, love, love Mixed Chicks! I love anything that is cream based, like Neutrogena’s Deep Conditioner (it’s cheap and easy to find) and I love olive oil too… I add it to all of my conditioners, and leave it in my hair.
–Mixed Chick’s Gloss and Shining Hair Serum (adds sheen to hair without weighing it down. I apply it to wet, dry, or damp hair.)
–Mixed Chick’s Leave in Conditioner (I leave this in my hair, in place of gel)
–Mixed Chick’s Detangling Deep Conditioner (I leave this in for 15 minutes)
–Neutragena’s Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask
-Extra Virgin Olive Oil
-Eco Styler Gel (for when I was long and curly)
On being natural…
I find that with natural hair, you have more manageability as far as maintaining the hair. It’s a lot healthier, a lot stronger, and honestly, internally you just feel better. In the media, we portray ourselves to only be beautiful if we look a certain way. But the most beautiful thing about our culture is that we have versatility! You can be anything you want to be, and look however you want to look. With that said, being natural just gives some kind of an internal boost– it’s refreshing to have natural hair and just say, ‘I’m beautiful the way I am’. And it truly shows…other people pick up on it too.
As afraid as many of us are to go natural, the minute we step out of that box and do it, people are like, ‘whoo, you look so much better like this! I love this look on you! It fits your personality… who you are’. I feel like all along we’ve been trying to be someone else, something we are not. Now that we are coming into ourselves and genuinely accepting ourselves for who we are, everyone else is accepting us too.
On others embracing their curls…
The most beautiful thing about life is stepping out of your comfort zone. Change can be scary. It doesn’t always mean better, but it’s not always bad either– change from negative environments, change from negative relationships, change from feeling ugly or inferior. Accepting your natural curls allows you to look at yourself in a better way, a different and more positive way.
Thank you for all the wonderful comments! I was very nervous about what everyone would think of my new look, so the positivity that has poured out is much appreciated. Know that I’m going to be on CurlyNikki.com reading, watching, and cheering you all on. I love you guys!
CONTINUED SUCCESS IN WHATEVER ROAD YOU CHOOSE TO TAKE. YOU REMIND ME OF MY GRANDDAUGHTER
Sad she's not natural anymore 🙁
(Wale- Lotus Flower Bomb Video)
Loved the long hair, but you are absolutely rocking the chop! So sad to see Bre leave this cycle of ANTM so soon…call the cops! 🙂
i just love this site more and more everyday 🙂
Bre is so pretty and she looks great with short hair too! She was so funny on her cycle of ANTM.
I love Bre! I can't believe she cut her hair off! Long or short…she is absolutely gorgeous! I will have to add mixed chicks to my list of products to try! 🙂
she was always my favorite top model 🙂
OMG I love Bre! She is def. one of my all time hair idols, long or short…people sometimes say I look like her 🙂 and often scour the net looking for a style of hers to replicate. Her short do is amazing…much success to her!!!!
I thought greasing your scalp was a #naturaldon't because i never read about anyone else doing it. My hair won't grow and feels dry if i don't grease my scalp. Thank You so much for showing me that I'm not alone.
That was a great interview!
You're interview is so inspiring. I'm going to share this with my 14 yr old daughter.
You're haircut is stunning!!! 🙂
Short hair or long.. its beautiful! You couldn't pay me to cut my natural hair if it looked like yours Bre! LOL But kudos to you for wanting to look different.
I loved you on ANTM! You so beautiful! You really see your face more!
Your curl definition is nuts, I'm going to look into Mixed Chicks. I already use Eco styler, it's my favorite gel, and it's cheap.
I missed this yesterday, so glad to see you on CurlyNikki! I loved you on ANTM. Congrats on your big chop, you wear it well!
Beautiful hair bre. You look stunning with the short cut! Thanks for sharing your story with us.
I always was gaga over her amazing hair!!
Def. speaking the truth on those old skool products…my mom grew my hair soooooooooooo long w/ grease only.
Wearing a bun is every New Yorker staple hairdo 😉 so I know what she means lol.
I agree with "Anonymous". Bre looks FIERCE with short hair. She could tear up any runway in the world. The new cut highlights her facial features.
Fab interview! Even though my hair is just starting to graze APL and it has taken me FOREVER to get it to this length, I have been thinking about cutting it off. I'm glad to see that with Bre and others this trend is popping up more. I think now that I know how to take care of my hair, growing it back wont be such a big deal.
Bre I have always loved your spirit, determination, beauty and most of all that HAIR girl! That short cut looks absolutely fierce on you and brings out the structure of your face.
Keep doing you because I wouldn't want you any other way 🙂
Great interview! I am so happy that Bre is doing well in the modeling industry! She is one of my favorites from ANTM.
I've always loved Bre's hair on ANTM. I'm learning to love my curls, so it reassures me to read that she didn't embrace her curls at first either.
And she looks great – hair, no hair – still beautiful.
CN, your the ish for this one! I've been waiting for to hear about her regimen for ever, I'm not surprised by her product choices either. I love eco styler! Bre you're beautiful!
Stunning results. Who cut your hair, and did they do it wet or dry? Do you ever miss it?
Gorgeous hair, great interview.
You've got me wanting to cut! I've been thinking about it for a while now. My hair is nearly waist length (3b curls) and I'm getting so bored with my styling options. You are an inspiration, thanks for the interview!
I 'heart' Bre. You hurting em girl, that short cut is FIERCE!
"stepping out of your comfort zone". I like that and couldn't agree more. Once you get the guts to do it and really wear it with confidence, no one can stop you. I big chopped 2 weeks ago and I feel like a new woman! Thanks Bre!
You should've won season 5, i was praying you would. You were my favorite, for obvious reasons! Wishing you continued success!
Beautiful cut! Congrats on your big chop 🙂
Great interview! Bre is gorgeous and I agree, pics of her buns would be awesome!
This interview was super great and I can't thank Curly Nikki for all her hard work in making this website so special. I've been on it at least twice a day since I went Natural in January 2010 and I've never been dissappointed. Not even on weekends lol. Thanks so much Nikki for never letting us down especially during such a special time in your life (baby). Would love to see more pics of Bre with the Bun and Curls. If that's what looking matronly and boring means then "Bring it on!" lol
Great interview, and she looks beautiful!
Nikki, I was one of the ones that sent a request for this interview, and all I can say is thank you. This was awesome. Bre is my idol and nikki you rock!
Go Bre! You look grogeous with long or short hair. Do ya thang!
Excellent interview! Happy to see Bre is doing her thing!
Bre was my absolute fave on ANTM. I was so happy to see a natural chica doing her thing. I love that she uses Eco Styler gel, that's one of my go-to products.
I LOVE her curl definition. Wish mine was like that.
Great interview Nikki and Bre!!! Bre you r hair is gorgeous and so are you. No mattr what you do to your hair you will still be gorgeous!! Thanks for coming through and chatting with us.. I have been waiting for this one!!
I'm feelin the short hair more than the long hair .. It does the same thing a bun can do for her face except amplified to the max !! 🙂
Great interview! Bre's great and her hair is amazing. Buns are a great way to show of the face. Thanks for the interview!
Great interview! Bre is beautiful – short hair or long!!!
Someone has already said what I was going to say, but Imma say it again,
"She is beautiful with or without hair".
And let me add—from reading this article, she is just as beautiful inside as she is outside.
Blessings to ya Bre and Curly Nikki!
Is it possible to see pics of her throughout the years i.e. a little girl or in college? That would be great! Great interview and thanks for sharing Bre.
i am going to stick my neck out there & admit that i am not a fan of her short hair. she looks matronly & boring. JUST my opinion
I enjoyed reading this. Great pix and hair. Continued success to you, Bre. 🙂
Love it! Bre, you look beautiful.
Love The Interview, Bre Could Be Shaved Bald And Still Be Beautiful & Stunning!
She is gorgeous with or without hair.
Peace, Love and Chocolate
Great interview! She is beautiful and that hair; long or short is simply an accessory! Love it!
Very powerful statement about change. It's not always bad. Going natural was one of the best things I could've done, and I was definitely scared and apprehensive. You go BRE! We need more role models like you. Thanks CN!
Excellent interview! Bre is gorgeous either way, and I agree about the buns and showing your face. I love buns too!
Bre looks beautiful! Great interview =)