After a lifelong, frustrating relationship with her curly hair led actress Tanya Wright to cut it all off, it dawned on her that she had never really mastered her hair in terms of care and maintenance at any point in her life. The thought later evolved into a fixation, and the Orange Is The New Black star found herself delving deep into hair education—researching all things hair, and eventually discovering its connection to spirituality.
She later linked up with a chemist to create her own hair care line called HAIRiette. The new line is coupled with a book and blog where Wright shares lessons that she’s learned from her hair, how she applies those lessons to her everyday life, and how it all strengthened her relationship with God.
Hype Hair got with Wright to talk about HAIRiette, get some hair advice and tips and more.
Hype Hair: Tell us a bit about your hair care line, HAIRiette, and what inspired you to create the line.
Tanya Wright: I felt like I had a unique voice to contribute to the world of hair from what I had already seen or heard online and on social media, and that I had a unique perspective on hair care in terms of ingredients. HAIRiette is made from a fruit—it’s called kokum butter. It’s a fruit from India—it looks like a little apple. It’s in the Shea family, but it’s actually more moisturizing and hydrating than Shea. And, Marula oil, which comes from a tree in West Africa, and it’s a very dry, lightweight oil. It gives the hair a really nice, high-gloss shine.
HH: What are some of the products that you carry?
TW: I worked for a while with my chemist and we came up with a formulation and we launched the brand with three products: the co-wash, it’s a creamy conditioner and wash in one; the curl cream, which moisturizes, defines and shines the curl; and the oil blend, which is a great all-purpose moisturizer and you can use it on your scalp, your ends, and you can even use it on your body.
As part of the system, you also get a copy of my book I Found God In My Hair: 98 Spiritual Principles I Learned from…My Hair!
HH: The book’s subtitle is intriguing. Can you talk about some of these principles?
TW: When I was doing the deep dive on all things hair, I realized that my relationship with my hair was teaching me a lot of things about life. My hair was teaching me a lot about patience. My hair was teaching me a lot about resilience. My hair was teaching me a lot about shedding, and that shedding is a natural part of life. Sometimes we have to let go of things to make way for the new.
So, I kind of stumbled on the idea for this book by accident. I had no intentions of writing a book…and certainly not a book like this. But I thought it could be really helpful to people, and people seem to really enjoy it. Each chapter is sort of like a journal entry about a certain principle and what I’ve learned and how I’ve been able to apply it to everyday life.