Bun

The beautiful and talented Laura Izibor is "On the Couch!" Finally, right? This gorgeous and accomplished recording artist has opened for many big hitters, including Aretha Franklin, India.Arie, Estelle, Maxwell and John Legend. I caught up with her in the studio and she dished on her flawless natural curls—in the most amazing accent. It's not every day you talk to a Black woman with an Irish accent. Dope.

Her Hair Story

I’m mixed race—my mother is white and my father, Nigerian. My mother did an unbelievably good job considering I was her first child with thick, kinky, afro hair. To this day, she she likes me to keep it natural and hates when I do anything to it. I so appreciate that about her today, but when I was little, I thought it was unfair. Growing up I was made to wear it natural, and I really wasn’t fond of it because there weren’t many kids that looked like me at all. So I would keep it back in a really tight bun, which would somewhat pull it straight. I never wore it out.

When I became a pre-teen, around 12 or 13, I tried to embrace my hair and accept my individuality, and I began wearing my hair out and wild. But then, like that India.Arie song, I went and got it relaxed. I was about 13 and wore it relaxed for a couple of years. It dried my hair out terribly and was very difficult to maintain, so while growing out the relaxer, I got braids.

Around 16, I regretfully went down the Jheri Curl path, not knowing that I actually had my own curls. My hair was just dead from all the years I tortured it, and there was no discernible curl pattern. So, yes, I got a Jheri Curl and I wore it for like a year. Then I came to New York around 17 and met a friend who is still one of my dearest friends today. She’s from the Bronx and she just straight up said, "Girl, what are you doing with your hair?’ I was like, "What? What you talking about?" She said, "You need to get that grease out of your head! Come with me." So we set a date and she washed my hair and gave me a leave-in conditioner, saying, "Here's a leave-in conditioner. You already have a curl! This will help you moisturize and define it."

I was shocked, amazed, and forever grateful. I didn't know I had curls! What a surprise! From that day on I banished the grease, locked the Jheri Curl away, and just started rocking different variations of my natural hair. Sometimes I’d brush it out, or sometimes I’d define it. I love my hair now, and the millions of the things I can do with it.

Her Favorite Products

I don’t even know what I use, I just change all the time. I always use some sort of moisturizing leave-in conditioner while my hair is wet to lock in the curls. It's so cool—when I wet my hair, I get itty bitty little curls, like baby curls. Then I apply any leave-in conditioner, and either put the diffuser to it, or walk out the door and let it dry naturally. Very simple. I'm not one for spending a lot of time, and I don't braid or twist my hair. Any curl you see is just my hair. A lot of people don’t understand that you can actually do that —that you can put something moisturizing in your hair to hold on to your curls.

I've heard from many hairdressers that it's healthy to change your products now and again. And I do just that. But I find myself coming back to Miss Jessie's and Aveda. I love Aveda. They have a great styling creme which is nice for definition and hold. When I'm in a good hair cycle, I do my best to nurture my hair regularly and do lots of conditioning treatments. That's pretty rare, though!

Her Hair Regimen

When I’m in a full blown promotion tour, I wash my hair every 3-4 days to keep the curls fresh. But other than that, like when I'm home or on holiday, I don't wash it often—maybe once a week, if that. For me, washing as often as every 3 days wears my hair down and leaves me with split ends. Sometimes it's best when I just leave it alone.

Sleeping With Her Hair

I don’t worry about it. I know, I’m awful. I try to sleep in bonnets and scarves, but when I wake up the next morning, it's on the other side of the room. They drive me crazy, and in my sleep, I somehow yank them off and throw them across the room. I like the idea of a silk head wrap, and when I'm being good, I'll use one with great results.

On Being Curly

The versatility. I think it's nice that we can go back and forth. It’s kind of hard to create the curly look if you don’t have curls, but those of us with curly hair can easily wear it straight, and then rock curls the next day. That versatility is priceless! I go back and forth with my look. Last year I wore it straight a lot, and also bunned quite a bit. Curly hair is beautiful, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.