Get The Look: Mara Brock Akil’s Poppin’ Curls

Mara Brock Akil
Photo Credit: Monae Everett

Crafting the perfect crop of kinks and curls is the holy grail when it comes to textured hair. So, we are always excited whenever we get intel on how our faves get their tresses slayed.

[SEE ALSO: Watch ‘Love Is_’ Star Michele Weaver Big Chop For Her Leading Role]

Enter celebrated producer and screenwriter Mara Brock Akil — the mastermind (and inspiration) behind OWN’s Love Is_ as well as Being Mary Jane and Girlfriends.


We most recently saw her rock an enviable crown of curls at June’s ATX festival and again at  the July Los Angeles premiere for Love Is_.  So, we reached out to Monae Everett, the celeb stylist behind her mane for those events.

Here she shares how we can get the look at home.

For starters, Monae recommends starting on dampened hair to revitalize your natural curl pattern. For Mara, she then used a curl-trifecta of products from Ouidad. She started first with the brand’s Advanced Climate Control Detangling Heat Spray ($24), then sprayed on the Mongongo Oil Multi-Use Curl Treatment ($35).

“I love sprays oils,” said Monae. “That way you know you’re using the right amount, because it’s very easy to accidentally put too much on. This sprays on and helps with even distribution.”

Mara Brock Akil
Photo Credit: Monae Everett

She followed up with Advanced Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel ($75) and applied using the “rake and shake” technique.

She then diffused hair using her BabylissPRO hair dryer to set and dry hair.

“My cheat after that is to go through and curl each piece with my Hot Tools Professional 1/2 inch marcel curling iron,” shared Monae. “I curl small sections in different directions which adds to the fullness and makes sure that the curls do not collapse on themselves and fall flat.”

After letting curls cool, she recommends picking out using a wide-tooth comb just at the root for volume and finish off with a holding spray.

“Since Mara loves soft and touchable curls, I use a spray that holds without making the hair stiff. Try Oribe Superfine Hairspray — it holds the shape while allowing her to curls to bounce throughout the night and fall back into place.”

BONUS: To tszuj up her look, Monae added a side braid and pancaked it, teasing it out for a wider and fuller look. We love how it highlighted her patch of grey hairs for a sassy and bold look.

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About The Author

Stephenetta (isis) Harmon

isis is a music, hair and communications junkie. founder of Sadiaa and editor for HypeHair.com.