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Emily Ratajkowski on the History of Her Hair

The model and face of Kérastase reveals her favorite hair, skincare, and makeup products.

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Arnold JerockiGetty Images

My hair has been pretty much the same my whole life. I’ve never even colored it. It’s super straight and fine, but there’s a lot of it, which means bad things can happen. When I was younger, it was always tangled, probably because I was always moving around and getting rambunctious. My mom and I would get into these hair wars; that’s what we’d call it. I’d have these crazy little knots and she’d spray them with detangler to try and brush them out. I remember the bottle having little sea creatures on it.

Her hair was the opposite, really thick and curly. I wanted what she had, and she wanted what I had. She had been into the Beatles and would iron her hair straight, but I thought her curls were always so chic and cool. One time, when I was about 14, I tried to give myself layers. My dad had haircutting scissors—he cuts his own hair—and I went into the bathroom, took the scissors, and just went for it. It was bad. So bad.

Soon after that, I started modeling, which was how I learned to care for my hair. I’d watch the experts and pick up things. I’m really good with makeup now, but styling my own hair? It’s been a journey. I can’t see the back of my own head! I don’t know what I’m doing! I recently gave my best friend a bob. After the first chop, I was like, “Oh my God, what have I done?” But luckily she wasn’t in front of a mirror, so I just kept going and it looked really good in the end.

And there’s always wigs if things don’t work out. One of the hairstylists I work with, Jennifer Yepez, gave me the best advice: Take care of what you’ve got and use wigs when you need to experiment and get that urge to do something different. I wear them all the time and people don’t realize it. I wore one to the Tony Awards this spring. Every time I do it, people are like, “Oh my God, you cut your hair!” I’m like, “Nope.”

But I still have this deep want—need—to go crazy and get the teenage years out at some point, since I never got to dye my hair green or anything. And I’m always up for a dare. Well, I would be if I didn’t have a hair contract with Kérastase! So, it’s going to look like this for a while.

This story appears in the November 2019 issue of Marie Claire

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