Marsai Martin on Her Love for Trying Out New Hair Trends: 'It's the Leo in Me'
Marsai Martin is all about trying new things with her hair, but she's quick to admit that it doesn't always go according to plan.
"The Leo in me is always wanting to try different hair trends and see what I can do — really just putting my hair to the test," she tells PEOPLE exclusively. "Sometimes it just doesn't work out like that. It's me and my hair always arguing, trying to figure out what's the best way to go through it."
She says the real crux of the problem is figuring out how to try fun, new things with her hair — like flaunting her baby hairs or trying different braid patterns — without damaging it. That's where Carol's Daughter comes in. The haircare brand, which recently brought on the Black-ish star as its ambassador for the new Born to Repair collection, has been part of Martin's routine since she was a child.
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"Everyone knows Carol's Daughter," she says at the event in Brooklyn, N.Y., celebrating the new collection. "It's been in my life ever since I was little, so it just made sense. I've been trying to figure out the perfect connection to hair for years of who I would want to collaborate with. Being able to have some familiarity with a line and a brand that is so empowering to young Black girls — or any girls — around the world is really dope."
She continues, "Connecting to something like Carol's Daughter and being able to say that I've known about it and tried all the products for years is something that's very authentic and real."
The brand, which was founded 30 years ago by Lisa Price, has always focused on nourishing and protecting hair, which is what Martin loves about it so much.
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"In the industry that I'm in, they don't tell you the ups and downs, the trials and tribulations that your hair goes through doing red carpets and all types of public events," Martin, 18, says of her work as an actress, constantly sitting in someone else's chair to get her hair done. But making sure to nourish her hair with Carol's Daughter helps keep damage at bay and protect her hair's texture, no matter what it's being put through from one project to the next.
"Being able to stand by a brand that is all about protecting your hair, whether it has damage or whether it's just dry, or even if it's the most moisturized hair in the world, I feel like it's just for everybody," she gushes about the brand. "It's meant to protect and that's what I love the most about it."
As the ambassador for the Born to Repair collection, Martin got an early look at the products and has already added a couple of them to her regular routine. She highlights the Reviving Oil and Defining Cream as her early favorites. She tells PEOPLE that even though her hair routine changes day to day, a leave-in cream is always included.
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"It's a lot; I'm not even going to lie," she says with a laugh, referring to her haircare routine. "My routine varies, but I always like to make sure I put in some type of leave-in cream or conditioner to make sure my hair's moisturized."
Martin adds that she loves the mornings when she takes out her twists and has exactly the hair she envisioned. "Sometimes they're nice and popping and they smell good!" she says.
Figuring out her haircare routine, though, involved getting to intimately know her hair — and her skin — and coming to terms with the fact that not every product will work for her. Instead, she's come to learn that products designed for her hair texture will benefit her in the long run and keep her hair healthy.
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Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty
"Growing up, I thought as long as my hair was washed with any type of soap, I'm straight," she tells PEOPLE. "But that was not the case, I learned that very quickly. You have to get to know products before you put them into your crown or put them into your skin, because there will be repercussions."
Martin says she'll continue to put hair-loving ingredients into her strands, especially as she plays with new hairstyles — including for some upcoming events that she doesn't want to give away.
"Girl, it's Taurus season, baby," she says of the hair ideas she has on her mind. "I gotta figure out my outfit before I figure out the hair. I have some award shows coming up that I'm still plotting, so I can't spill all my tricks yet. Just know I'll be using Carol's Daughter."