It’s been only a year since 20-year-old Jaylen Barron nabbed the role of Zoe on the Netflix’s Free Rein, but the accolades are already pouring in. Not only is she quickly becoming one of young Hollywood’s premiere rising stars to watch, but she is also a recent Emmy Award winner.
The California-bred actress got her start in the industry as a model and, soon after, booked parts on a slew of Disney and Nickelodeon shows, including Good Luck Charlie, before landing a recurring spot on the Showtime dramedy Shameless. With both shows highlighting her versatility as an actress, it wasn’t long before Jaylen would be tapped to star in her first leading role.
We had the opportunity to get to know Jaylen a little better. Read on as we chat about her work on this breakout hit, as well as her personal style and top tips for textured hair.
HH: Can you tell us a little bit about Free Rein?
Jaylen Barron: Free Rein is a coming-of-age story about an American girl who goes to England for the summer and discovers she loves horses—especially one called Raven. The summer in England brings adventures, new friends and, of course, a love interest.
HH: So much of the story centers on your character’s relationship with her horse, Raven. Is it challenging working with the horses on the show, and what kind of training do you have to have to work with them?
JB: Horses are powerful animals with personalities, and they can decide at any moment that they don’t want to work anymore. Needless to say, it’s difficult and time-consuming—but we have the best horse masters, who train us and keep them happy and healthy, so it’s fun most of the time.
HH: So many young people have gravitated to this series. What do you want them to take away from watching the show?
JB: I just want them to have fun watching Free Rein, and if they can take something positive away from our adventures, then that’s great!
HH: The show has already won two Emmys. How does it feel to be a part of such a distinguished group of honorees?
JB: It feels wonderful, and I am honored to be part of this project.
HH: As a young actress coming up in the industry, do you consider yourself a role model? And what advice would you give to other young girls who aspire to become an actress?
JB: Being a role model is a huge responsibility. I think there are much better people we can look up to. [And as far as advice,] I’m going to say: Be good to yourself and follow your passion.
HH: Your Instagram is everything — you have such a great sense of style. What inspires your personal style?
JB: Thank you very much. I love fashion, and I don’t consider myself to be in any one style category. I feel fashion is so fluid and constantly changing, so I just buy what I like and put it together. If I love it, then it’s my style.
HH: What do you love most about your hair? and what are some of your main tips for ladies with naturally curly-textured hair like yours?
JB: I love that it’s so versatile! I can wash ’n’ wear or style.
HH: What is your day-to-day hair routine when you’re wearing it in its naturally curly state? and what products do you use to keep it healthy?
JB: I am constantly changing products — always in search of the perfect cocktail for my curls! Right now, I love Cantu products, and I usually wash my hair three times a week or so, depending on what I’m doing. I condition and hydrate daily. I let it air-dry to about 80 percent, then I use a diffuser if I’m going out. If not, I put it up in a protective style.
HH: Do you have any main tips for ladies with naturally curly-textured hair like yours?
JB: Wash regularly to stimulate the scalp, moisturize and hydrate your hair daily and, of course, drink lots of water.
HH: Any tips for when you wear it straight – what products do you use for your sleek look?
JB: I usually get my hair professionally straightened so that I make sure it’s not damaged. I don’t do it often enough that I have set products. I leave that up to my stylist.
HH: What are some of your skin and beauty tips for achieving that fresh-faced glow that you have?
JB: Always wash and moisturize your skin before and after makeup for a long fresh-face day. Keep drinking water, girls, and eating healthy. That’s the only way to have great skin.
HH: What advice would you share with others about confidence and self-esteem, especially if they are struggling in those areas?
JB: If you’re struggling with self-esteem issues, talk with somebody about your concerns—but I find that if you’re good to yourself and treat yourself with kindness, that positivity will shine through.