If Justine Skye’s going to do one thing, it’s switch up her hair. I mean, here’s a list of some (yes, some) of the styles she’s rocked this year alone: long brown hair, Bantu knots, box braids, natural curls, blonde waves, a sleek bob, a braided ponytail, straight-backs, and a silk press. And all that change, amidst a year full of it, is actually what makes Justine feel the most in control. She ditched her signature purple hair after going through a traumatic experience, and she hasn't looked back. "Every time I change my hair, I fall in love with that new style and it’s super empowering for me," she tells Cosmo.
Even though you might think that experimenting with all these different shades and styles would cause a bit of an identity crisis, all that shape shifting has only led Justine to find her most authentic self as a woman and as an artist, while also marking the beginning of a new era.
Her latest hair color choice? Brown. "Honestly, I needed a hair change for this new album, this new stretch of my career, which I’m so excited for." Ahead, I got to catch up with Justine over Zoom for all the deets on her hair, her self-care rituals, and the one skincare product that's completely transformed her skin.
Cosmo: What was your relationship like with your hair growing up?
Justine Skye: My hai r was always naturally curly, and that’s how I wore it when I was younger. I kind of let it do it’s own thing; I wasn’t married to any products growing up because I was just trying to get the hang of it. Then, when I was 17, my mom let me dye my hair purple. My hair was purple for a while—and that was the beginning of a lot of damage for my hair.
Cosmo: What was that process like for you?
JS: Bleaching just strips your hair of everything—its color, its oils, everything. My hair became really dry and I dealt with a lot of breakage, especially in the front of my hair. It’s what caused me to start getting weaves—obviously for length, but to also get my hair back to a healthy place.
Cosmo: I know you had purple hair for a while—did you feel like it started to define you?
JS: Oh, absolutely. I was definitely the purple girl. It was a little bit annoying, but I did love it for so long. The real reason as to why I stopped was because I went through something pretty traumatic in my life, and a lot of women, myself included, tend to go through a hair change in order to give us a different feeling.
It was really hard to keep up with that hair too. It also really just bled on everything. I couldn’t wear white clothes, I couldn’t wear light-colored clothing. I didn’t know how to dress with it.
Cosmo: How do you feel now that you’ve ditched the purple?
JS: I feel like I’m growing up. That was a part of my past, so I kind of just needed a change. My hair's brown now. While preparing for this new album, I was going for that monochromatic look—I wanted my hair to blend in with my skin. I’m still trying to find that perfect shade. Honestly, though, this last month, me and my stylist have gotten close to that color.
Cosmo: Why do you want that monochrome look?
JS: Space and Time is the name of my new album, which is coming out next year, and the brown hair fits the vibe of the music. To me, it's my version of platinum blonde, because it just blends in with my skin pretty well. And honestly, I needed a hair change for this new album, this new stretch of my career, which I’m so excited for.
Cosmo: Have the hair changes had an effect on how you see yourself, especially now that you’re an independent artist and no longer with a music label?
JS: I definitely feel a lot more grown with this hair color. And a lot sexier too. But also, for me, it’s definitely empowering. Every time I change my hair, I fall in love with that new style and it’s super empowering for me.
Cosmo: When you switch up your hair, do you switch up your routine as well?
JS: Not necessarily. That's why I love Waterless Dry Shampoo and Dry Conditioner so much. It’s the most versatile product, since you don’t need to wet anything. Washing my hair all the time isn’t good for me. It’s also very time-consuming to have to wash your hair all the time.
Cosmo: Right—it’s like a whole day.
JS: Exactly! Whereas if I have my Waterless Dry Shampoo or my dry conditioner—which is actually the dopest thing I’ve ever used because I’ve never seen a dry conditioner before—it really refreshes my hair for the day ahead.
Cosmo: When you have a protective style in, how do you take care of your hair underneath?
Cosmo: What are some lessons you’ve learned this year about self-care and self-love?
JS: Oh my goodness. When it comes to self-care, I’ve perfected my skincare routine. The one product that I’ve recently fallen in love with is the Wishful Enzyme Face Scrub. It’s the best thing I’ve discovered during quarantine. My absolute favorite, though, is the Clinique 3-Step Kit. They have a cleansing foam that I use to wash my face, and they have a toner that I use afterwards, and then I layer on their hydrating moisturizer.
I just started using the Wishful Rose Hip Oil, and I really like it. It smells great and it leaves your skin brighter. Plus, it leaves your skin hydrated.
Cosmo: How has it made you feel to invest more time in your skincare?
JS: It’s definitely made me feel more together. And to touch on self-love, this time I feel like has allowed all of us to really think about and see the company that we keep. Like, who we kept in touch with during this time, who was there for us during this time. So I definitely lost a couple of friends, which is crazy because we can’t even go outside.
This time has allowed me to tap into what I really want my sound to be, who my friends really are, and my happiness. Like, what do I want in life? All I know is that 2021 is going to be a very busy and exciting year—I feel like for myself and for so many other people. We've all worked so hard this year because what else could you do?
Cosmo: What are you most excited about for next year?
JS: My album, my album, and, uh, my album.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
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