Laura Harrier On Learning How To Take Care Of Her

“When I was little I lived in Chicago, and then later my family and I moved to a suburb just north—Evanston, where Northwestern is. Right after high school I moved to New York to go to NYU, but then I started working, so I ended up not going to school. It wasn’t that crazy of a transition, weirdly. I always wanted to be in New York—it was never a question. The first time I came here I was like 12 years old, and we were visiting family in Jersey. I was with my mom and my brother, and we drove through the tunnel and got out in midtown. It was so gross, but I was like, ‘I’m home!’ I just knew I was going to live here.

I like makeup, but I feel like I was always more into skin and hair stuff. I was pretty lucky growing up, skin-wise. I think it was really mostly hair—growing up mixed and having a white mom who had no idea what to do with my hair. It was a struggle and I had to figure it out by myself—I was always trying to read and do research. My dad’s side of the family lived really far, so there wasn’t anybody around to teach me. When I started modeling, my hair died—literally all of it fell out—and I didn’t know how to take care of it. [Certain on-set hairstylists] just do not know what they’re doing with black girls’ hair. That’s when I started watching YouTube videos and reading Into The Gloss, so I could try to do it on my own. What helped the most was learning to be more vocal at work and not let people burn the shit out of my curls. Olaplex…

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