Acclaimed actress, comedienne, and fellow curly, Wanda Sykes took some time out of her busy schedule to chat with CurlyNikki and offer her curly hair tips, favorite products and amazing career. Enjoy!
On her curly hair state of affairs:
Wanda Sykes: The state of affairs? At this moment, everything is nice, peaceful and harmonious in my hair world. Everybody’s getting along [Laughter]. I just had it done last Friday, my stylist Lisa Deveaux, did a nice deep conditioning treatment and straw set for me that should hold up for a week to ten days. I'm in a good place with my hair right now.
A couple of weeks ago my stylist was out of town and one of my best friends was here visiting and did some twists for me — she flat twisted my hair. She did about four, and although it took my hair forever to dry, I really liked the look. That, and the French braid-outs. It’s a good tip that I picked up from your website as far as what to do when you can’t get to your stylist for a full, clean straw set, but need to look presentable. The twist and braid outs look really nice and are a great option.
I told my wife to watch what my friend was doing and was like, I'm going to need you to learn that [Laughter]! We haven’t tried yet, but I'm like, if you f*ck up my hair, there might be a problem. I’ll let you know how that works out [Laughter]. I’m like, how can she not know how to braid, they call it French braid and she’s French. Come on, you should know how to do this!
On hair mishaps:
Sykes: My family recently got back from France. We weren't in Paris, we were, like, way out in the country, and I was really serious about rationing out my products. It was hot and a little humid, but not too bad, so every morning I would have to wet it and apply my products to wear it down.
For, like, the first two hours, you know, when your hair is still a little damp, it’s nice, but as it begins to dry, it starts creeping up and it gets tight. You know, like when your hair wants to make a fist or tries to stand up and testify [Laughter]?! I would then put a little more product in it to keep it moisturized and soft, but it was funny because I had to ration it, thinking, “How many days am I going to be here? How much product do I have left?'
It was ridiculous and I knew I wasn't going to be able to find Mixed Chicks over there. It turned out okay though, and I ended up using a lot of headbands and hats.
On her favorite products:
Sykes: Besides the Mixed Chicks, I'm still loving Fast Food and a curl definer called Recoil both by AG. I also enjoyed the samples you sent me last time and find that, right now, the most important thing is keeping the moisture in my hair. My hair is very dry and has the tendency to soak up water and products, so I'm still looking for that perfect moisturizer.
On the NaturallyCurly community:
Sykes: Be patient! Wearing your hair curly is a commitment. It’s trial and error, and you have to find what works best for you. I'm telling you, once you can get into a groove and you know what works, it'll be such a time saver. When I go to get my hair done, or when I twist or braid it myself, yes, it takes a while, but the style lasts a while, and I don’t have to go to the salon that often. It’s a huge time saver, and it’s just easier.
On making others laugh:
Sykes: I noticed that I could make people laugh in junior high. Before, I would say things and would end up either getting a beating or put on restriction [Laughter]. I had all the right premises, but I just didn’t have any punch lines. So, it wasn’t until junior high that I was like, hey, OK, now this is funny. We’re laughing!
After college, I was working a regular job, bored to tears and I knew that there was something else for me to do. And, something just told me to write down some jokes. I did and entered a talent contest I heard about on the radio. I did some stand up and everything just made sense from that point on. I’ve been doing it since 1987, almost 25 years now!
On Unforeseen Challenges:
Sykes: I think my view, on life, is that there are always challenges. So there wasn’t anything that I didn’t expect. The most challenging part for me is the travel - to have to get on the plane, and be to this place by a certain time. And that’s the thing, I’ve never been good with time, and I’ve never walked into a meeting and not had to say, “Oh, sorry I’m late!” That’s my opening line — I think when I die I’m going to put that on my casket. I’m going to make sure the coffin shows up a half hour late to the funeral. It would be very appropriate.
On new projects and upcoming tours:
Sykes: I've been on vacation and enjoying family, but now it's time to get back to work. I'll be kicking off my tour in Hawaii next month. For dates and times near you, check out WandaSykes.com. You can also check me out on "Ice Age 4."
Want to see what other celebrities are saying about their curly hair? Read all about Rosario Dawson's favorite products!
Read CurlyNikki's original interview with the Queen of Comedy, Wanda Sykes.