The trick Kerry Washington uses to protect her 'real curls,' according to her hairstylist

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Long before Kerry Washington became a household name thanks to her leading role as the always sophisticated Olivia Pope on Scandal, I knew her as a baby-faced actress in 2000’s coming-of-age drama Our Song. I particularly connected with her character Lanisha’s lush curls. My natural hair looks exactly the same after a fresh shampoo and deep-conditioning treatment, so it was a pretty big deal for me to see this on film while I was rediscovering my own natural hair texture.

Fast-forward 17 years, and Washington’s look, both on- and offscreen, has evolved dramatically. But after chemically straightening her hair since she was a young girl, the 40-year-old says she is “getting to know my real curls.”

Becoming a mother also inspired Washington to give up relaxers. She told Allure for her November cover story, “I have children and I want them to know that their hair is perfect as it is. They don’t have to change it or straighten it. They can, but they don’t have to.”

So how does Washington constantly switch up her ‘dos without compromising the health of her hair? Clip-in hair extensions are the trick to protecting her “real curls,” according to the star’s stylist, Takisha Sturdivant-Drew.

Sturdivant-Drew has cut, curled, and cornrowed Washington’s locks for 14 years, creating some of her most iconic looks yet. Hair extensions were used for various styles, from her pretty-and-punk Met Gala purple hair and voluminous kinky Emmys curls to her most recent razor-sharp bob haircut.

Watch the video above to learn all of Sturdivant-Drew’s tricks and tips for hair extensions that you can easily try at home.

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