Cover Story: Teyonah Parris Talks Natural Hair Journey & Beauty Must-Haves

Teyonah Parris X Hype Hair

Photo Credit: Drexina Nelson for Hype Hair

When you’re just starting on your natural hair journey, it’s good to have a few hair inspirations on hand to guide you. This is where fabulous naturalistas like Teyonah Parris come in.

A casual scroll down the Chi-Raq star’s Instagram feed is enough to inspire us all on the many beautiful ways that you can style natural hair. Simply put, her natural hairstyles are like works of art. Whether she’s sporting a beautiful twist-out or an elegant updo, her hair looks are always selfie-ready.

[SEE ALSO: Teyonah Parris’ Showstopping Hair]

Case in point: The exquisite palette of natural flair she’s showcasing in this exclusive Hype Hair photo shoot. In our in-depth interview, we chat with our cover girl about her exciting new project, and delve into her inspirational natural hair journey!

Hype Hair: For your latest, you’ll be playing R&B singer Miki Howard in Love Under New Management: The Miki Howard Story. How did you become involved in this project?
Teyonah Parris:  I got sent the script and was really excited by it. I just remember thinking, “Wow, this woman, Miki, she really goes on a journey.” You get to watch her have her dreams, then fall from grace and then have her find her way back to some sort of common ground with her own self. I just knew I wanted to tell this woman’s story. Then I spoke to Miki and was able to spend some time with her and that really sealed the deal for me. I said, “Yes, I want to tell her story.”

HH: When did your natural hair journey begin and what inspired you to go natural?
TP: I went natural five years ago. I did a transition where I cut off an inch every two or three months while wearing a sew-in. For me, it began when I realized that I had no clue what the natural texture of my hair was. I looked at another young woman and admired her hair. I thought it was beautiful. A friend of mine kindly and gently informed me that I too could have hair like that if I stopped perming it. So that was really a moment.

I got relaxers for so long. Since I was eight. I’d never seen or known my true hair texture as an adult. So it was a journey for me to find out what that was. I thought it was just about hair but it truly wasn’t. On that journey, I discovered I had some narrow ideas about what beauty really was and that I had been programmed to think that how I was born and how God made me and my hair, with the tight, nappy coils and big Afro, was not beautiful or acceptable or sexy. I had to confront those things and really deal with it. So it was more than just changing my hair. It was breaking boundaries in my mind and in my spirit of what beautiful actually is and could be and how it’s very unique to each of us.

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