Tinashe Opens Up About Embracing Her Hair: "It's Been a Learning Process"

This singer's look is as much a form of self-expression as her music.

Astrid Sterner

Personal style is a huge part of being a creative person, artist, and entertainer. I'm always switching things up and embodying new personas for music videos, songs, and performances. Some days, I'll have a bit of '90s grunge or dominatrix going on; others, I'll be relaxed, laid-back, and natural. I get inspired by traveling and seeing the locals' looks in the new places and cultures I visit. And I travel a lot: Just recently, I went to Malaysia, Taiwan, and South Africa. I've also found inspiration in Dubai, London, and Paris.

My hair is also a big part of my self-expression. It represents who I am and where I come from. I have a naturally tight curl pattern that allows me to have a wide range of hairstyles. When I get out of the shower, I can enhance the curls, make the hair loose and wavy, or style it sleek and straight. It's a way to channel my moods day-to-day.

But figuring out how to work with my hair has been a learning process. When I was younger, I didn't have a role model, because no one in my family had my hair type. I didn't know how to style it. Now, girls have the Internet and YouTube. You can research your hair type and find people who are similar and learn from them. It's something I never had.

"When I was younger, I didn't have a role model, because no one in my family had my hair type."

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Eventually, I taught myself by observing other people. I've gone through a lot with it, and gotten more comfortable experimenting as I've gotten older. I've tried all sorts of colors and textures—blonde, red, black, brown, straight, wavy, and curly—and I still make major changes probably twice a year. I'll just get this feeling that I need to try something new. Deep down, I would like to cut it really short, but I haven't had the confidence yet—maybe someday.

The only downside to experimenting is that I do a lot of heat styling, and that's definitely not the best for your hair. Plus, mine is on the drier side anyway. To counteract that, I try not to shampoo every day. I'll add in a lot of oils to moisturize it, and I'll use John Frieda's Frizz Ease line to get my strands smooth so I don't have to run a hot iron over them a million times.

Right now, it's super trendy to rock your natural texture or color. So what I would say to people is to own who you are. I love it when girls embrace the things about their hair that makes it unique. That's what I'm trying to do.

Design by Monica Park, Photos Courtesy of Companies

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1. "It's hard to maintain a steady skincare routine because I'm always traveling. But I try to wash and moisturize every night, and wear sunscreen. This one smells really nice and isn't heavy."

AVEDA Daily Light Guard Defense Fluid Broad Spectrum SPF 30, $42.

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2. "My everyday look is relatively fresh, with just a bit of foundation, lashes, and definitely brows. This is the best brow pencil."

CHANEL Crayon Sourcils Sculpting Eyebrow Pencil, $29.

BUY IT: Chanel.com.

3. "My favorite way to experiment with makeup is doing something fun on my eyes, like this blue eyeshadow. I'm much more of an eye girl than a lip one."

MAC COSMETICS Eye Shadow in Atlantic Blue, $16.

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4. "I've been using this line since I was a little girl; it helps keep my hair looking healthy."

JOHN FRIEDA Frizz Ease Extra Strength Hair Serum, $10.

BUY IT: Ulta.com.

This article appears in the August 2017 issue of Marie Claire, on newsstands now.

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