By Onicia Muller
Caribbean-born model/actor/dancer Kyle Patrick was spotted performing at the Pornceptual stage during Amsterdam’s MILKSHAKE Festival. The multi-genre dance music festival promotes diversity, respect, and the freedom to let Ones’ guard down- regardless of sexuality, gender, or race. He’s statuesque; having the right balance of leanness and sculpted muscles. His dark skin is just as interesting as his ever changing looks. See why Kyle Patrick is this week’s naturally glam pick!
Where are you from? Where do you live now?
“Sunshine City! Sint Maarten: the friendly island.” Demonstrating the powerfully impressionable radio jingles of the time. At the moment I call Berlin, Germany home. I’m just one drop in an ocean of young artists who’ve come to the ‘NYC of Europe’ to discover themselves while learning to surf in this wild turf. Though dance still makes up the most of the work I do, ‘freelancer’ is a commonly accepted job title- one that suggests an association with a multi-disciplined, often art-related field of work.
What’s the best and worst thing about living abroad?
I’d have to say that the worst thing about living abroad is being invited to go swimming in a natural body of water. My years of being a Caribbean boy have spoilt me rotten when it comes to “beach” visits. I simply cannot truly enjoy much less than the pristine water and fine, sandy beaches found all around my tropical home. That said, the best thing about living abroad is the ease of travel between wildly different countries and cultures. So an equivalent beach-vacation isn’t too hard to find.
What inspired your current look?
I’ve been natural for as long as I’ve lived in Europe — which is over a decade now. The honest answer to what’s motivated my go-to look: sheer pragmatism. I’ve always wanted to have long hair. Not entirely sure why. Part of it is definitely rebellion which started against my parents, but then later developed to have further-reaching implications. Throughout my life, I’ve discovered that I love to question traditions — to kinda make sure we still need them. I was taught, growing up, that if I don’t keep a groomed appearance, I would have lots of trouble being successful in life. My older brother told me over-and-over again that cornrows — the only socially acceptable way for a boy to wear his long hair in the Caribbean during the time of my youth — would never be accepted in the workplace. “If you ever want to be taken seriously, you must keep your hair cut low and your edges sharp!”
As I’m not an actual rebel, I at least tried to incorporate that last part in my own hair journey once I moved away from home to attend university. But being a student, suddenly on my own, I quickly found ways to cut corners in order to make ends meet. The soft-edged afro is low maintenance and essentially free. My go-to look was born! I went on to have a very successful career too-boot! Albeit on a technicality, I’ve disproved the myth that black boys with nappy hair won’t be taken seriously.
What hair products or accessories do you use?
I’ve tried quite a number of different afro haircare lines. Currently, Cantu is my brand of choice. Their shampoo, deep-and leave-in conditioners work wonders! Additionally, I use tea tree oil to treat my scalp and roots. Daily water spritzes round off my regimen. If my hair is braided or I’m wearing some other protective style, I wear a silk cap to bed.
How do you stay fit?
Dance is deceptively strenuous. Having made performance art my career, it’s my work that keeps me fit. That and raving.
How has being natural influenced your self-esteem?
The low-maintenance, low-cost aspect of keeping my hair natural has allowed for a carefree attitude to seep into the far reaches of my life. Not having to stress about money, time and excessive effort invested in my hair prevent feelings of entitlement to compliments or acknowledgment from developing. I feel empowered just as I am which in turn makes it easier for people around me to accept me.
What’s been the best part of your natural hair journey or your hair journey in general?
Being able to transform my appearance has been the most fun so far. To have even the ones closest to you taken aback by the impression of a new hairstyle is a thrilling delight!