By Erin Reimel. Photos: Getty Images.
Yara Shahidi isn't your typical 17-year-old. Look beyond the fact that Michelle Obama wrote her a college recommendation letter and that her style is way cooler and more put-together than ours was, well, now, and there's her refreshing approach to beauty—both in the way we talk about what's considered beautiful and how we take care of ourselves. "I feel like it's no big surprise to anybody that traditional beauty standards are very Eurocentric, which do not reflect nearly the majority of our society," Shahidi told Glamour in our America, the Beautiful package. "So rather than trying to base them off one type of person, it’s about redefining them by not defining them."
Now, in a new interview with Byrdie, the part Iranian, part African-American teen is opening up more about self-care and self-expression; starting with how she treats those gorgeous curls of hers, something she once hid for various acting roles.
While Shahidi liked trying new styles by straightening and curling her hair, the damage was too much, she says, noting that she's been heat-free, with the exception of a bit of diffusing after a shower, for over a year now. "So, last year, last summer, I cut off a total of six inches to just help get rid of the heat damage. In many ways, I’ve been transitioning ever since then," said Shahidi. "I’ve been able to have so much fun with [it]."
To keep her curls hydrated, her favorite deep conditioner is the Mielle Organics Babassu Oil & Mint Deep Conditioner, which is filled with organic oils and fatty acids that help lock down frizz and leave curls strong and soft. Bonus: It's only $14 at Target,, a pretty awesome deal compared to other more expensive organic and natural brands.
The rest of her hair routine is equally as affordable and chemical-free. “It’s just important to make sure you treat your body right," she says. "Whether it’s with almond oil or vitamin D or coconut oil—whatever it may be. Making sure that your products don’t have too many chemicals in them is part of caring for your body.” She loves almond oil to add even more hydration, and she uses Ecoco Style Gel (it has olive oil in it, so it's more hydrating and less sticky) to keep her hair in place. "It’s not always about the most expensive product, but the most efficient," she says. Truth.
This story originally appeared on Glamour.
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