Cover Story: Draya Michele Discusses Her Blossoming Empire

Draya Michele X Hype Hair September 2019
Photo Credit: Bonnie Nichoalds

HH: What is your signature nail style? 
DRAYA: I’m loving our Apres Sets, which are essentially high-quality press-on nails. They come ready to go in a perfect length and shape, so it’s just a matter of setting each nail and painting them. I stick with the same length and square shape but change up the color and design based on what I’m feeling. 

HH: You’ve practically built an empire by relying on your digital marketing savvy. What advice would you give readers who want to make their mark online and become influencers like you? 
DRAYA: Honestly, I have been successful in being myself. I was an early mover in recognizing the power of Instagram and social media and was able to capitalize on it early on. I have fans who have been rockin’ with me for 10 years. They’ve seen me grow in terms of celebrity but also in maturity and life—as a parent, a business owner, an actress, an influencer. I came a long way. I came from humble beginnings, but I never switched up my character. 

HH: Let’s get into your hair and beauty regimen. Fans love your signature black tresses. How do you keep your hair healthy and photo-ready? 
DRAYA: I try to keep my hair and skin as low maintenance as possible by focusing on the overall health of both. Unless I’m going to an event, I don’t put heat on my hair and I style it minimally—either leaving it natural or slicking it into a sleek bun. I use a mask weekly but other than that I just wash and condition normally. 

For my skin, I get monthly facials to help with the texture, elasticity, cell turnover, etc. My daily skin routine remains pretty much the same—SPF, serum, toner, moisturizer, eye cream. But I’m big on switching up my products based on what it needs in terms of moisture, pigmentation, inflammation, and to make sure my skin doesn’t get used to the products I use. Right now, I’m loving Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 by Supergoop, Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream Hydrating Moisture by Peter Thomas Roth, FlashMud Brightening Treatment by GlamGlow. 

HH: What has been your relationship with your hair over the years? 
DRAYA: When it comes to beauty in general, and specifically hair, I get bored really easily so the option to switch it up with hair extensions and different styles keeps me from doing anything too drastic (outside of my impromptu blunt-cut earlier this year). When it comes to big events, I try to choose styles that are outside of my norm, never an untested look, but something interesting using extensions or braids or foil. I don’t think I’ll ever stop playing with different styles or extensions. It’s important for me to be innovative and have fun with it! 

HH: What are your must-have hair and beauty products? 
DRAYA: Some of my favorite classics are The Mane Choice Peach Black Tea Hair Mask, Moroccan Oil Curl Cream and Miss Jessie’s Edge Control. 

HH: What is next for you? 
DRAYA: Ultimately, I want to empower and inspire through my work and platforms. I am always looking for new opportunities and projects to grow professionally as an actress and a dbusiness owner and influencer. I am so fortunate to have worked with so many amazing brands and companies who are leaders in their industries and are constantly looking to improve in areas of diversity and inclusion and have a deep interest in what minority women like myself bring to the table. I have some exciting collaborations coming up and will be expanding my content to YouTube so be sure to follow me for updates! 

Credits: Photographer: Bonnie Nichoalds Styling: Shatora Adrell // Glam: Britten Faith

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