HH: What do you love most about your hair, and can you share some of your favorite hair tips?
SM: I’m so thankful to have a thick head of kinky-curly hair! I love my texture and my ability to style it in so many ways. I’m always changing my look, whether it’s a twist-out or a pouf or a braided style, and it’s my texture that allows for the versatility. I’ve gotten a lot of great tips over the years… like using the LOC method for maximum hydration; and always using a heat protectant! I used to be terrified of straightening my hair, because every time I did, I would be left with straight pieces. But my stylist in New York, Noel (Noel New York Salon), got me using L’Anza heat protectant and Keratin Complex Thermo-Shine heat protectant. I’m obsessed with them.
HH: What is your daily haircare routine? What products do you use in your hair?
SM: I’ve recently started using L’anza healing moisture for my shampoo and conditioner, and the brand’s heat protectants whenever I blow my hair out. Since I’ve been filming in NYC, Noel’s really got me focused on making sure my hair has the right amount of moisture and protein. She likened hair to spaghetti: Not enough moisture, and it’s brittle; too much, and it’s limp. And she stresses a clean scalp. So I wash my hair every three to five days for growth, and I don’t oil my scalp. Everyone is different, but this works for me.
We also use protein treatments to help strengthen my hair during filming, because the constant manipulation can be damaging to my hair. When I’m styling my own hair, I use a leave-in by Eden Bodyworks, Jamaican Black Castor oil to seal the moisture in, and Miss Jessie’s Baby ButterCreme for styling. I love that stuff! It smells amazing!
HH: Who are some of your favorite hair inspirations?
SM: Instagram and Pinterest are amazing for coming across really bomb hairstyle ideas. I try and let my stylists do their thing, but I can’t relinquish complete creative freedom! To me, the hair is a major part of the whole production— makeup, nails, outfit, everything. I also think Teyonah Parris and DeWanda Wise are always daring with their hair looks, which is great to see!
HH: What is your personal beauty mantra, and which makeup products do you usually reach for when you want to glam it up?
SM: I love makeup! I’ve been playing in makeup since high school, although I used to do my eyes and lips only, no mascara or foundation! It took many years to be able to feel good about my own makeup skills. But I love when my makeup artists do a strong eye. My eyes are prominent, so I really like playing them up. My personal beauty mantra is more of a request: Please don’t cover my freckles! They are one of the things my husband loves about me—and I do too. Plus, if you can’t see them, that means I’m wearing way too much makeup.
What’s next on the agenda for you?
SM: I have a film, Jinn, that premiered at SXSW; I star in it and also helped produce it. It’s about a young Black girl navigating her senior year of high school after her mother (played by me) abruptly converts to Islam. It is the first feature film by Nijla Mu’min, a talented Black female director, and it’s got an amazing cast, led by Zoe Renee. I’m also getting into more producing and writing, with some projects on deck for 2019. And I get to join the second season of Marvel’s Iron Fist for Netflix.
Catch Simone in the second season of Luke Cage on Netflix beginning June 22.