Shad Moss (Bow Wow) has been gracing our screens for years and is one of the few artists who has managed to transcend generations of fans with his music, film, and business ventures. As a multihyphenate artist, we’ve gotten to grow with him as he transcended from rap artist to actor, dad, and an established celebrity who never disappoints. He is not only recognized for his talent but his signature hairstyles that have transitioned from braids to fades and everything in between as he has graduated into different eclectic styles that are emulated by his fans. He now enters the haircare space with a new partnership with Kiss Colors that innovates and upgrades the classic durag and brush for men and women. We sat down to chat with Shad about his haircare journey, haircare inspirations, and this new collection.
What was your relationship with your natural hair growing up?
My relationship to my natural hair growing up to be truthfully honest and you guys might find this kind of hard to believe, but I was actually terrified of hair. I remember it very clearly because my mom was a single parent and I’m sure other single parents can relate to having to take their kids everywhere they go. My mom had to go on Saturdays to get her hair done and I’d have to be in the salon with her all day and just watching the hair on the floor would terrify me. Even when I used to get my haircut, watching the fall and hitting the floor just terrified me. So that was my first introduction to the natural hair experience and now throughout the years, you guys see me grow it out and wear so many different styles. I remember at the BET Awards, I straightened my hair by perming it so at this point in my career, I’ve pretty much-done everything under the sun when it comes to my hair.
Once I reached a certain age, it really became important to me to always be fresh just knowing that my job requires me to always be either in front of a camera or public places. It came down to just my grooming, wanting to feel good inside, look good, and accurately represent my brand. I have a unique relationship with my hair and I love the versatility of it, how it represents who I am, and how I’ve evolved in my career personally and professionally. I’m about to chop it off but I had grown it out for the Millennium Tour and wanted to bring back that nostalgic look. You know, everybody was coming to the show with airbrush T-shirts and Air Force’s and our old memorabilia. For me, that was a moment in time and I wanted to grow my braids back just for the fans and just for the tour. But now the tour is over and now it’s time to get back to business.
Did you have any men whose hair you aspired to emulate or have?
It’s a no-brainer, Allen Iverson. Growing up as a shorter guy and (AI) was considered a short guy for the NBA at 5’11-6 ft. I looked at him as a God to me growing up and I was fortunate enough to not only meet him but have a relationship with him even to this day. I would watch every game and observe how his braids are and then tell my stylist I want it just like this. On my first album (Beware of Dog) I’m wearing the number 2 jersey and I’ve got the fishbone braids, that Allen Iverson invented. I never really looked up to rappers like that because I didn’t have to, Snoop Dogg was it for me, and he discovered me, so I didn’t have to really look any further I always looked outside of my peers.
Why did you choose Kiss Colors for a haircare partnership?
They’re the best and from the moment they found me It was just an organic relationship. I’ve managed to maintain my hair throughout the duration of my career whether it’s braids or wearing a durag which has been an essential tool for when I’m traveling or at home. The durag has always played a special part in my life and I know that goes for a lot of athletes and rappers as well. When the opportunity presented itself, it was just perfect and I went into the mindset of why not become the king of the durags? If this partnership didn’t come together, I would still be going to Walmart and buying them, so why not have my own line and tack on something different?
From a business standpoint, I look around and I’m trying to find avenues that I can dominate where there is no competition. In my industry, you’re always going to find popular business ventures like a clothing line, liquor or nightclub and that’s cool because it plays a part of our lifestyle, but I’m looking for the untapped market. The hair business is an untapped market, like when no one has done it and now you starting to see you know a lot of other artists are now starting to dibble and dabble into it slowly but surely.
Working with KISS Colors worked so well because we have great communication and respect each other’s ideas. I’m very hands-on with the product, it’s not like they just plaster my face on products and send a few tweets. I was really in Walmart last week just to watch the placement of the product in the stores to see how we’re moving and what’s selling. It’s the perfect marriage and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What was the collaboration process like with Kiss Colors?
For me to push a product or stand behind the product I gotta like it and I have to have used it before I meet the company and negotiate any deals. There’s never a time I go to the store and I see something and I have to call the company asking “Yo, what is this?” “How come this wasn’t sent to me or run by me?” Everything is designed and reviewed by me and I’m a big advocate for I need to like it in order to promote it. There are billions of other people in the world with different hair needs and when I have questions or concerns about an item that is created, they do a great job of educating me on the purpose or need. Everything that you see in the collection will have some review and feedback from me. For example with the brushes, I’m rubbing them, I’m testing them and I’m like, oh, it’s too hard. I like the brushes soft as do most men because it’s better on the waves and grooves on our heads.
Even with the twist king brush, I wanted to consider doing something that’s never been done before that would be durable, won’t break up your toiletry bag, or get in the way of your toothbrush and your cologne. Truly speaking, it is changing the game, everybody online, all I see on Tik Tok like is everybody talking about the Twist King brush that’s one of our hottest products. We gonna cook up some more things for the future.
How do the Twist King Premium Dense and Curved Twist Sponge help with your day-to-day styling?
In the past, when I had my twist, I mean it was an essential tool for my daily routine because it was perfect for on-the-go styling. Whether you’re heading out to a meeting or lunch and don’t have the time to be in the bathroom for a long time you can use a little gel or grease, twist your hair and go. I don’t need a haircut. I’m ready to go.
Each product that we have is a representation of me like the brush for when I have a short haircut, Twist King for my twist, and of course, the durag could go for the waves or the braids. Our products are unisex and I see so many women who have short haircuts, and waves, and they use durags and the Twist King for their twist. Even though it’s presented as a male hair accessory line, I’ve seen a lot of beautiful women who have short hair and have success using these products. Guys, women, and kids, if you need this product, then it’s for you.
What is a valuable lesson you learned about taking care of your hair?
Your hair, it tells your story is a representation of who you are. I am and I’m always have been in the public eye being seen at events. It’s just always important that my hair is right and it’s done, but you know I’m at home, it’s okay to have our lazy days or weeks where you take a week off. You gotta let the hair breathe and feel free.
I never want to be one of those artists or celebrities that gets to 41 years old and my hairline is receding and I can’t grow my hair. I’ve been blessed enough to not put a lot of chemicals and wild things in my hair over the years. It’s pretty much just been wash and shampoo, conditioner, and maybe a styler. I’ve never really been big on going overloading my hair with chemicals or products that could damage my hair. My hairstylist are usually braiders and barbers and they’re always making sure that I have the right products to go on my hair, whether that’s for growth or vitamins.
Do you have any hairstyles from the vault that you look back on with love?
I’m fortunate that I haven’t had to look back on a compilation of bad hairdos that I cringe at or don’t like. The only time I had a questionable style was for the “Let Me Hold You” video when I had the beads which I requested from my hairdresser Chantelle at the time. That’s probably the only thing that comes to mind if anything close like damn might not do that again.
You can shop the latest from Shad Moss (Bow Wow) and Kiss Colors today!
Check out: 38 Photos of Twisted Hairstyles for Men