Navigating the beauty standards we’re faced with every day is tough. But some of us have set a new standard. From embracing their own uniqueness in the workplace to learning to love their natural selves (gray hairs included), here are three such women. Read on as they share how their hair is a reflection of their true personality.
How to Embrace Your Natural Hair: 3 Women Share Their Story
Lauren Is Ready to Rock Her Grays
Lauren Gniazdowski is a VP of content operations who firmly believes that if you’re true to yourself and put those vibes out there, you’ll get them back in return. “Everyone from my mom to my work wife knows I’m an art nerd who takes hip-hop dance classes and still crushes on Uncle Jesse circa 1997. I aim to keep it real, always,” says Lauren.
“And to me, being authentic means being consistent in who I am in all situations—with my coworkers, my friends, my family. So it’s no surprise to people when I take myself on a solo yoga retreat for my birthday or need 15 minutes for a group discussion about Beyoncé’s Homecoming the morning after it was released.”
It’s also no surprise that Lauren is embracing her grays and letting her hair’s natural color do its thing. Her layered mane is peppered with gray highlights that she keeps looking bright by washing with Aveda Shampure Nurturing Shampoo, which is silicone free. It cleanses without weighing hair down or causing buildup, and the natural oils leave hair nourished longer—not to mention smelling divine.
Shani Isn’t One to Shy Away from Natural Texture
Whether it’s professional or personal, Shani is a big believer in fearlessly approaching challenges—which is a necessary mind-set in her day job as an art director. She’s learned to trust that everything she needs is already inside her.
“I’ve never defined confidence as being the loudest or the most extroverted person in a room,” says Shani. “To me, confidence is knowing who I am, knowing who I want to grow to be and standing up for my own convictions along the way.”
“Being confident is not just being comfortable in my own skin, but being unapologetic in my decisions, knowing I’m choosing to design a life that’s best for me.”
And when it comes to her curls, it’s no different. “My freshly washed natural hair is a mix of 4A and 4C curls. I usually wear my hair styled from twist-outs, which makes it look like 3B or 3C,” she says. Shani uses products that accentuate her hair’s texture, like Aveda’s Be Curly Curl Enhancer. The key is the wheat protein blend, which helps intensify curls and tame frizz by expanding when hair is wet and then retracting when it dries.
Experimenting with Color is Angela’s M.O.
Self-expression comes naturally to Angela Johnson, whose finger is always on the pulse of new styles, products and trends as a director of e-commerce strategy. “I invest a good deal into my hair because someone once said to me, ‘Your hair is something you wear every day,’” says Angela. And to her, hair is an extension of her look and equally as important as the outfit she puts on.
“My hair helps me feel put together. When other people take notice or recognize me by my hair, it’s nice to know they are appreciating the time and effort that I put into getting it that way.
“I color my hair pretty regularly, about every four to six months or so, and I have gone through a few iterations. My natural color is a medium brown, but I’ve colored it different shades of brown, black and blonde over time. Now I’m experimenting with highlights and lowlights to bring the color closer to my natural shade, but with more interesting dimension to help me stand out.” And because of all the color treatments Angela’s hair has seen through the years, products that nourish her hair back to health are an important part of her routine. Take Aveda’s Damage Remedy: It’s a leave-in treatment that protects from heat styling and reduces breakage by 90% in just one week.** It’s also made with macadamia, a conditioning oil that helps smooth the hair’s surface, and soy, which helps nourish the hair.
**When used daily, in a repeat grooming study vs. non-conditioning shampoo.