Hype Chat: Tati Gabrielle On Embracing Her Natural Hair (& Playing With Color)

Tati Gabrielle

Actress Tati Gabrielle is a star on the rise in young Hollywood. Tati stars as Prudence on Netflix’s The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina which premieres Oct. 26. We also know Tati for her role as Gaia on The CW’s The 100

We had the opportunity to connect with the California native on how she got started in entertainment and, of course, get the deets on her hair and beauty must-haves!

Hype Hair: Tell us a little bit about how you got your start in the entertainment industry.
Tati Gabrielle: Funny story, actually. As a kid, my mother always called me a drama queen. So she had me audition for the theater at Oakland School for the Arts. I initially wanted to be a visual artist, so I agreed to the audition on the basis that I could also audition for the Visual Arts program. It just so happened that on the day of my auditions, I forgot my sketchbook and could audition for the theater division only. It was rather serendipitous, because I was accepted into the theater program and ended up falling in love with the craft. By high school, I knew that acting was what I wanted to pursue as a career—and my father used to work in the entertainment business, which pushed me to move toward film/TV. I liked the idea of reaching a broad or international audience and being able to touch as many people as I could with the stories I am able to aid in telling.

HH: You’re in a new Netflix series, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Can you tell us about that?
TG: It is a horror drama created by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who is also the creator of the hit show Riverdale, based on the recent Archie comics of the same title.

HH: Andy your back on The 100, as well?
 I just started back shooting season six of The 100 on The CW. I play Gaia, daughter of Indra, a Grounder who is the Flame Keeper of the Grounder faith and protector of the Commander.

I also just landed a role on a new Disney animated series The Owl House, created by one of the animators of Gravity Falls, Dana Terrace. I voice a character named Willow.

HH: What inspires you in life and in your career?
TG: People and our potential or capacity to make change, evolve, learn, grow and love—as well as nature and how it reflects life. I’ve always been fascinated by human nature and its tendencies, which is one of the main reasons I chose the arts—it’s a medium to make sense of ourselves as humans and to connect to one another in a way that simple conversation never could.

HH: We loved the long, highlighted silky locs that you wore before for your character on The 100. How long did it usually take for you to have them done?
TG: Those faux dreadlocks, were actually for my first season on The 100—and then for season five, it was cut and bleached platinum. The locs took no more than about five hours and were done by my fabulous friend Effie (@hairbyefemeh on Instagram) and once done, I’d leave them in for about a month or so before having them redone. For The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, I have my hair in a two-tone vintage finger wave. Which only takes about an hour. I do the front myself, and the hairstylists do the back for me.

HH: And you play with color a lot. Were you always this experimental with your hair color?
TG: Yeah! I dyed my hair red for the first time in high school (I begged my mom) because I wanted my hair to reflect my style and who I am—which is a very eclectic, eccentric, free-flowing person. So as I’ve gotten older, I’ve just carried on with that.

HH: What are some ways that you protect your from damage after having it colored?
TG: Still kind of figuring that out, actually. I definitely do a lot of conditioning, both when washing and as leave-ins. I’ve also started using anti-breakage serums and oils. And getting it cut regularly really helps. So yeah, it’s an ongoing learning process.

HH: When wearing your hair straight, what is usually the styling technique that you use to get it silky, and what products do you use to maintain the look?
TG: I actually haven’t worn my hair straight in a couple years. I’m really embracing the natural look and styling it in that way.

HH: Can you tell us a little bit about your natural-hair journey?
Oh, it’s been a struggle. I straightened my hair for most of my life and started playing with my curls only about five years ago. I had to learn a lot. Bantu knots became a staple for me to lock in moisture when I had my big curly ’fro, which has always been a big issue for my hair. Then, when I did my semi-big chop and dyed it blonde, I had to learn a whole other set of moisture hacks and styling with short hair.

HH: What is your general day-to-day hair routine, and can you share some of your favorite hair-care tips with us?
TG: I take the minimalist approach when it comes to my day-to-day routine for my hair. I try to resist putting too much product in because of the buildup—and it seems to keep my hair healthier that way. I condition my hair almost every day or every other day and use a co-wash once a week or as needed, instead of shampoo, to avoid drying my hair out too much. And I always make sure to put a leave-in for moisture.

HH: What hair products are your current favorites to use for your natural hair?
I really love DevaCurl No-Poo and DevaCurl Ultra-Moisture Conditioner. But the It’s A 10 Miracle Leave-In has been my life—it truly brings my hair back to life from the bleaching and keeps it soft. Then, on days when I want my curls to pop, I like to use the Design Essentials Almond & Avocado Leave-in Conditioner combined with Mixed Chicks Leave-In Conditioner.

HH: Who are some of your favorite hairspirations?
TG: Vintage hairstyles are a really big hairspiration for me. I really like the idea of combining old with new. I love jazz singer Joyce Bryant’s hair, and her contrast of a modern, funky style with a vintage hair look is super dope to me. Rihanna has also been a big inspiration for me, with the way she is constantly changing it up and playing with colors.

HH: What are some of your favorite makeup products to use when you want to glam it up and when you want a simple, more natural look?
TG: So I’m really new to the makeup scene, but I’ve learned a lot while working on the set, via the makeup artists. I’ve recently fallen in love with the Soft Glam palette by Anastasia. I use it for nights when I want to get a glam eye look for a night out. I also love the Smashbox X VLADA Petal Metal Prismatic Pearl Highlighter. It’s kind of fluorescent and is just amazeballs. For a natural look, I do just that, keep it natural. If I’m not going out, most of the time I go with no makeup. I like my face the way it is.

HH: What is your skincare routine, and what products do you love?
I have really sensitive skin, so I love more-natural products. Lush is my spot! I use the Ultrabland Cream Cleanser and Tea Tree Toner daily. I’m also a really big fan of using face masks. I often use straight Manuka Honey 12+ or 14+. I just smear it all over my face and leave it on for about 20–30 minutes about twice a week. It really makes my skin glow and, surprisingly, clears up any acne I may have. Lush also has a really nice honey mask I like to use on occasion called Brazened Honey.