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Natural Hair Care Tips from Actress T'Keyah Crystal Keymah


(Tracy E. Hopkins) You may recognize her from the '90s sketch comedy show In Living Color, as Bill Cosby's daughter on Cosby, or Raven-Symone's Mom on That's So Raven. But T'Keyah Crystal Keymah is just as recognizable for her trademark twists.


Everything She Wants chatted* with the natural hair pioneer via email about how her hairstyle choices affected her career, her product picks and her book, Natural Woman/Natural Hair: A Hair Journey.

Everything She Wants: Back in the ‘90s not many black actresses wore their hair natural. Were you overlooked for roles because of your hairstyle?

T'Keyah: Sure. I missed out on things because of my hair (which no one knew how to style at first, so I did it myself). I even had casting directors suggest that I "do something with it." Gratefully, I worked steadily enough that I was never tempted to trade my twists for more opportunities. [But] I've always been fine playing characters that don't wear their hair naturally. I just take issue when a character's hair symbolizes poverty, ignorance, or ugliness. To that end, I, regrettably, had my hair pressed for a role that was less than Image Award worthy. Ruined my hair, but I made my little point.

Everything She Wants: Tell us about your natural hair book.

T'Keyah: Thankfully, the climate has changed drastically since my early days in television. I'm very proud that so many women credit me as their natural hair inspiration. [And] I'm working now on the second edition of my book, Natural Woman / Natural Hair (out in January 2017). It will have new styles and incorporate the things I’ve learned, some from fans of the book, since the first edition.

Everything She Wants: What are your favorite hair products?


T'Keyah: I like hair products that are free from chemicals, dyes and mineral oil. As I say in my book, everyone should experiment to judge which products work for you. I keep a small bottle of olive oil in my cabinet, as well as tea tree and rosemary [oil] for my scalp, but I always moisturize with a water-based product before locking moisture in with oil.



*A portion of this interview originally appeared on Codeblack Report.

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