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There's no arguing that Taraji P. Henson is one of the most influential, in-demand actresses of our time. She's maintained a notable presence in Hollywood for decades and has stayed true to herself the whole way—a true feat in the entertainment industry. Throughout her career, it's been clear Henson has intentionally aligned herself with on-screen projects that stand for something (like The Color Purple) and causes that matter.
Regarding the latter, Henson has used her platform to amplify issues ranging from mental health (she launched the wellness-focused Boris L. Henson Foundation in 2018) to menopause. Most recently, the multihyphenate became an ambassador for Always Discreet's "I Wish I Knew" campaign. By teaming up with the brand, Henson aims to eliminate the stigma surrounding perimenopause and its symptoms. Ahead, Henson opens up about her experience with perimenopause, perspective on aging, and winter beauty essentials.
What made you want to work with Always Discreet?
Anyone following my career knows I'm a girl's girl, and I advocate for women. Mental wellness is very important to me as well. The Always brand has been a huge part of my life since I became a young woman, and [working with them] felt right. Anytime I can spread the word and help someone along their journey, I'm going to do it. This campaign is about getting the word out there when it comes to perimenopause. This campaign is urging women to speak up about perimenopause because then you'll know you're not alone.
How has your perspective on aging evolved?
I just decided to embrace it. My grandmother will be turning 100 in April, and through each decade, I've never her seen complain about aging. She's embraced life and everything that has come her way. Every curve ball that life has thrown her way hasn't broken her. I watch the joy my grandmother, mom, and aunts have while aging, and I've just decided to [be like them].
I'm also grateful for where we, as women, are today. We're starting to talk more openly about the things we struggle with, like menopause and perimenopause. That's all part of being a woman—be proud of it.
What’s one thing you’d tell 21-year-old Taraji?
I would tell myself to be prepared for perimenopause. Back then, all I heard about was hot flashes. So, I wasn't prepared for the mental impact of it. I wish I had known about it because I would have been able to understand what was going on instead of asking myself, What is wrong with me?
Tell me about your winter beauty must-haves from your haircare brand, TPH by Taraji.
During the winter, you need a good hair mask, and my Mask On Conditioning Hair Mask ($17) is my go-to whenever I'm getting braids or taking them down. I also love the After Dark Overnight Hair Mask ($15). I like to use this overnight mask when wearing my hair in a wash-and-go because it helps define my curls.
My new favorite products to use any time of the year are from the Strengthening and Lengthening Collection—I use the So Lengthy Hair Shampoo ($10), New Levelz Conditioner ($10), and Long Run Bonding & Strengthening Treatment ($12). Since I've started using this collection, the texture of my hair has improved, and my curls don't shed as much. Also, scalp care is a given for me. I don't even wash my hair without tending to my scalp first.
Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? What are you hoping to do this year?
This year, I'm just going to try to become a better human. I want to strive to do better and be better. I want to operate from a place of love, even when it is hard. I also want to stay off social media a bit more because it will drive you crazy.
Read the original article on Byrdie.