Meet the new face of 2013’s ‘Fro Fashion Week: Chrisandra Wells. Makeup artist, model and muse, Chrisandra is creating a new way for locs and natural hair.
Tell me about yourself.
I am a makeup artist and a work on a lot of fashion shoots. I saw the search online for ‘Fro Fashion Week. I had a chance to be a cover model, and they were looking for someone for the summer. They had visuals for the summer, and they wanted the makeup to look like the ‘80s. I said to myself, I can do this one. I styled the makeup myself. Thando Kafele did something asymmetrical with my hair. Gregory Hudson shot the photo for me, and did an edgy look for the shoot. I was excited. I wrote in and got in a submission. They said, “I nailed it.”
How long have you worn locs?
Since the end of December 2000, about 12 years.
Tell me about your loc journey.
It’s been fun. Sometimes my hair has been so long, it hurts my neck, and when washed, then I can feel the weight. I have different options—a braid out , curly hair and a really pretty pin up for a shoot that looked nice.
I liked the way locs looked—especially when they’re gray. I’m not gray yet, but I wanted it now. It felt like something right to do. It fits my personality.
What have been some of the reactions to the loc’d look?
Initially I had twists, so it looked similar to other styles I’ve worn. My Mom didn’t say anything about it, but she said that I would never going to get married with locs. People have been taught locs aren’t very classy or sophisticated. I decided, I’m going to wear them, and I’m going to get them styled. I saw a lot of fashion. I saw Thando Kafele. He does a good job with my hair.
What products do you recommend?
I like the Jane Carter Solution products, especially the Nutrient Replenishing Condition and the Nourish and Shine for day-to-day care.
Do you see a lot of locs in the industry?
I see agency boards, and I don’t see any locs. I don’t see a lot of African-American models, either. What’s going on? The media represents many people. Clients are asking for more Black women on their sites. It’s frustrating. We should live in a world that doesn’t promote one kind of look. There’s a plus-size model, Nikea, in Baltimore. Another model, Jezzy, has locs. People say her hair is different. I knew I wanted to get into modeling. I believe that if my hair were straight, I would have more opportunities, but I don’t feel I should change myself. Things happen for a reason. I stay strong in myself, and I don’t worry about what happens.
What’s your best advice?
Go start those locs. There’s that stage when, at first, they’re springy, and there’s a lot of sections. Then, there’s an awkward time, where some locs are sticking just straight up. You’ve got to work through that stage. I tell people to enjoy each stage.
What are some of your loc tips?
Don’t wear your locs in a style for too long. To switch things up, I try temporary colors. Also keep your hair moisturized, and wrap your locs up at night. You should also protect it. I see a lot of people with locs not as strong at the hairline, and there’s a lot of breakage on the side. I do not do a lot of ponytails. Manage stress in your life, too.
‘Fro Fashion Week is in Atlanta, this February 24-March 2. Go to http://frofashionweek.com for details and tickets.
‘Till next time,
Loc’d Life Magazine