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Curly Nikki

Exclusive- Macy Gray on her Natural Hair

By January 27th, 202123 Comments
Exclusive- Macy Gray on her Natural Hair

Yesterday, my harassment of persistent correspondence with Macy Gray’s ‘people’ finally paid off. Nearly two years after my first request, she’s finally On the Couch. Score one! Macy, a Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter and actress, represents the natural hair vanguard. Rocking her natural coif from day one, she’s appeared in a number of movies including Training Day, Spider-Man, Scary Movie 3, Lackawanna Blues, Idlewild and For Colored Girls. Read on to learn about her hair care routine, favorite products, and thoughts on the natural hair movement.

CN: What’s your hair story?
MG: I’ve had it relaxed. I’ve had a weave and all that, but I always come back to my natural hair because it’s my hair and I like it. I like the way it feels, especially when I don’t have a bunch of stuff in it. I’m not a ‘get up two hours early to do my hair’ kind of girl. So, it just works for my lifestyle. I have really, really thick hair and it can be a lot of work, but I wear it.

Exclusive- Macy Gray on her Natural Hair

CN: You seem very comfortable with your hair. What about the industry?
MG: Ever since I got popular, a lot of people have told me to change my hair up, straighten it out, or suggested that I change my look. I’ve tried it, but I always go back to my afro. Sometimes, I feel like I’m not keeping up with myself [laughter]… like, maybe I should do something different now, but I always feel funny in like a press and curl. I got a weave for the first time back in 2007 for my big album release… it was for the red carpet. I had it done on a weekend, took 8 hours. No lie, it was out before the end of the week. I just hated it. Every time I touched my head I felt like crying. I guess I just didn’t like touching my head and feeling hair that wasn’t mine. During that time I tried press and curls and wigs as well, but I always went back to my afro. I don’t mind wigs, I think wigs are fun, but I don’t wear them that often.

That’s probably the last time I’ll do something to my hair I think.

Exclusive- Macy Gray on her Natural Hair

CN: What’s your current styling routine? Favorite products?
MG: So Redken is great. There’s a Redken heavy cream called Smooth Down Butter Treat. It’s really good for Black hair. I’ll condition it in that for like 10 minutes. Then sometimes, I’ll use American Crew, Citrus Mint Gel, it’s the only one I use. I love it because it’s not flaky and doesn’t contain alcohol. So I’ll use that and I’ll do medium sized voodoo knots, about 15, and let it dry and it’ll be very curly. If you let it air dry it can take all day, so sometimes I sit under the dryer for like an hour and a half. It comes out great and it stays for a few days. Braiding it is a lot quicker though… cornrows. The curls are a lot different and I like that look too.

For wash and wear, I use Paul Mitchell Instant Moisturizer. It puts a really nice sheen on my hair. I also love Doogro because it doesn’t smell and it doesn’t make my hair greasy. I only use it on my scalp and a little on my ends.

I don’t do anything at night, I just sleep on it.

Exclusive- Macy Gray on her Natural Hair

CN: Do you color?
MG: I color my hair a lot. It’s colored right now. I get it done professionally and I don’t even know what they use.

CN: Notice any differences in your color treated hair?
MG: It’s a lot dryer. You have to really keep it moisturized when you put color in it, but I think that’s anybody’s hair. It comes with the territory.

CN: The best thing about being natural?
MG: It’s beautiful. It’s you. You’re cool with what you got… when I see people that have natural hair, that’s what I think of them. As women we’re so socialized. We have to look a certain way and do all these things to ourselves. So I think you have to have very big balls to just be yourself. Black hair is very beautiful, it’s incredible. No one else has it but us. What’s more amazing than that?

CN: What do you think about this natural hair revolution? Lots of people are going natural and staying that way too…
MG: I think it’s awesome and speaks to the fact that we’re all evolving, which is a big deal for a woman. We have so many rules from birth; keep your legs closed, don’t fart in public… guys do all of that. So I think when you get to the point where you’re okay with what you have and you follow your own rules, I think that’s an enormous step just for yourself, personally.

Exclusive- Macy Gray on her Natural Hair

CN: What are you working on? How can the CN community connect wit you?
MG: My album is coming out in March and I just did a movie called PaperBoy but I don’t know when it’s coming out. Check me out on my website, Facebook and Twitter!


  • Anonymous says:

    Macy Gray is gaw-geous!

  • MommieDearest says:

    Great interview Nikki! Macy is one of my favorite artists. I love how she shoots from the hip and says what she feels: "I guess I just didn't like touching my head and feeling hair that wasn't mine." This is exactly why I haven't and don't EVER plan to wear a weave. Gotta love her for that, LOL!

    BTW, I really appreciate that you are doing more interviews with naturals over 40. Keep them coming. Old chicks rule! 😉

  • Barbara Naturally Speaking says:

    Great interview! I love her hair! Natural hair is truly beautiful!

  • Anonymous says:

    Thx for this article, I love Macy Gray her personality and style is so real and raw. Very rare now.

  • ebonyrose31626 says:

    Great Interview, I love Macy Gray's hair and music.

  • Bridget says:

    Great interview! My favorite comment that brought a huge smile to my face is "Black hair is very beautiful, it's incredible. No one else has it but us. What's more amazing than that?" Awesome!

  • Anonymous says:

    That's because Macy's not psycho about length retention!

  • fuzzypuff says:

    I love how she said she does nothing to her hair at night LOL My type of routine!

  • Tonya says:

    Nikki you are ON IT this year! First Corinne Bailey Rae now Macy Gray, I love it! Keep it up! I loveee reading about celebs' hair stories. And to see that those two have the simplest routines, I'm definitely toning it down a bit.

  • Anonymous says:

    @anon 1:02. That's what I thought too. voodoo = bantu. Please correct me if I wrong. *Although I know the CN community needs no invitation*

  • Anonymous says:

    voodoo knot = bantu knots (?)

  • Anonymous says:

    hope i don't tick off any macy gray fans by what i'm about to say but…i don't think she's no longer comfortable in the skin she's in. i believe she truly loves being natural, but she seems to be conforming to society's european standards of beauty with her straight hair look & her nose (i hardly recognized her). i know she's coming out with a new album and is in a tough industry where image is everything…so i guess her 'balls are not so big' cause she's not being herself. *just my opinion*

  • Anonymous says:

    I enjoyed this! Nice photos.

  • Caray says:

    I love these interviews CN… keep them coming!!

  • Beauti says:

    Great Interview CN! I have always loved and admired Macy Gray. I have most her albums and can't wait for the new one in march, her hair inspires me and I love how bold she is! Way to go Macy!

  • Gigi says:

    I love Macy, I will never forger her on DWTS – her comments were outrageous and hysterical. But, what are voodoo knots that she refers to?

  • Anonymous says:

    I decided to go natural in May 2011. I had transitioned for about 10 months. So when I decided to cut off my relaxed ends and wear an afro my white co-workers had a hard time accepting the new look. There's one that constantly calls me Macy Gray. It would offend me but after reading this article I will never be offended again.

  • Anonymous says:

    I really don't listen to her music often but I've always admired her laid back personality and honesty. Growing up, I remember she was the constant butt of jokes because of her hair but I'm glad she stayed true to herself. -"Black hair is very beautiful, it's incredible. No one else has it but us. What's more amazing than that?"

  • TiAnna Mae says:

    Cool! Good job, Nikki! Great interview! I love the way that Macy is unapologetically, Macy. True icon!

  • fabwtalk says:

    Great interview and my fav comment from Gracy, "So I think you have to have very big balls to just be yourself." Love it!

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow!! That's great that you were finally able to interview her!

  • Anonymous says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE Macy Gray…and I totally relate to everything she says about wanting to feel/wear HER hair. It's one huge reason why I've never worn a weave or wig of any kind. I'd much rather wear my own "nappity nap naps" than any kind of fake hair.

    My hate of the Wayans Brothers began when they went in on Macy's hair during the MTV Video Awards some years back. She gave them the finger! I was so proud.

  • Chardae says:

    I love her hair color. Dyeing dries mine out something serious, so I'm staying away from it (for now). Macy's candidness on societal standards does it for me. Wearing my hair straight makes me feel like it doesn't belong to me. I can't even imagine if I had a weave.

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