The absolutely beautiful and multi-talented actress T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh did me the honor of granting me an interview. Where I got the chance to ask her questions all about her gorgeous natural hair and beauty. I remember first seeing her on "In Living Color," where at the end of the show she was there dancing and having fun with the cast in all her natural glory! Then later as Raven Simone's mother on the hit Nickelodeon show, "That's So Raven." She wore her hair in all different natural styles, mostly the twists. She exuded confidence then, as she does now. In this interview she is candid and frank, read below....enjoy!
First I just want to say thank you! It is so nice to finally get a chance to interview you; I have admired your beautiful hair for years. Thank you much.
1. Approximately what is the current length of your hair, and what style do you predominately style it in for day to day wear? I actually just cut my hair last week, so it’s not quite shoulder length. Recently, I’ve been wearing it braided flat to my head, then out for a few days before I wash it again.
2. What is your maintenance regime? Honestly, I’ve been neglecting my hair recently while I do lots of grunge work around my house and yard. J But now I’m getting back on track, starting with a fresh cut during the new moon (to encourage growth), and a deep conditioning and message. When I’m good - I massage my scalp and lightly oil my scalp and hair every day; wash, condition, and braid my hair every week; deep condition it once or twice a month; and trim it when needed during the new moon.
3. What products work for you and why? My current favorites are anything by Heavenly Healing and Niyat because they are all natural products that are good for skin and hair. One of my hair rules is that if I wouldn’t put it on my face, I won't put it on my hair.
4. How hard has it been to wear natural hair in the entertainment industry, and has it prevented you from obtaining acting jobs? Are you kidding me? Luckily, my first television series was one in which I wore lots of wigs and it didn’t matter to the show how my real hair was because you only saw it when we were all doing our own thing. I’m sure I’ve missed a lot of work because of my hair (more than one casting director has told me so) – but obviously not enough to make me run out and slap some lye on my head.
5. Who has instilled that great sense of self-esteem and pride that you embody? Wow. That great sense of self-esteem and pride is truly a daily effort on my part. I was raised by grandparents who did not value the nappy head as I do, so I’m thinking this sense of self must have come from genetic memory. It was fueled though by my first trip to Africa where I saw not only the Black people who looked like me and everybody I knew, but those who had straightened their hair trying to look like us (because they didn't realize that we were trying to look like the white people who made us think there was something wrong with how we looked in the first place).
6. Have you always worn your hair naturally? Please. I sat right in front of that hot combed kitchen stove, dreading singed ears like most girls of my generation. I didn’t get a perm until college and I didn’t keep long after that. It’s been natural (with two unfortunate exceptions that I detail in my book) for more than twenty years.
7. How do you care for your skin as well? When I’m good, I wash with warm water, rinse with cool or cold, tone (my face) and then moisturize and apply sun block. I also have a spa scrub at least once a year – but I mean to do it once a quarter. I also have a paraffin wax tub for my hands and feet. I don't use it as often as I thought I would when I bought it.
8. What advice do you have for our readers in regards to natural hair care? If you wouldn’t put it on your face, don’t put it on your scalp or hair. If you’re new to being natural, have patience. Treat your true hair like a new love interest. Take time to get to know your hair - respectfully and with kindness. With a bit of effort you’ll probably find that you’re a great match. Any whatever else you do, visit my website, www.tkeyah.com and order an autographed copy of my book, Natural Woman / Natural Hair: A Hair Journey, with Simple, Step-by-Step Instructions for Taking Care of Your Natural Hair. :)
Thank you; it has been truly an honor! You’re very welcome.
Please visit her website to get a copy of her book, Natural Hair: A Hair Journey.