I grew up as the only person of colour in my neighbourhood. At school, no one else's hair looked like mine, so I was constantly styling it to look like theirs. It took me until I was in my late 20s to love and appreciate my own hair. It was then that I started to experiment with it in natural styles, which incidentally now, is when I feel my most confident.
I didn’t know exactly what I wanted for my wedding to Idris, but I was adamant it had to be soft and romantic. My hairstylist Luana Babbi tried what felt like one hundred different styles on me until we both agreed on the final look. On the day, I went for two looks. One for the ceremony, and another for the reception. The first was loose around the front, and a low chignon at the back, and the second was half up, half down with glossy, undulating curls. We only had a twenty minute window between the two, so I had to choose something easily adaptable. Both styles made me feel like a princess, and I was so happy with how each complimented the femininity and flow of my dresses.
SABRINA'S WEDDING DAY LOOK I image courtesy of sabrina elba
When I’m feeling less experimental, or like my hair has been subject to a lot of heat, I’ll wear a wig. It took a while to learn how to make them work for me. I struggled to find a company whose wigs I liked, and often resorted to friends recommendations, but it’s such a personal thing - just because they worked for them, doesn't mean they'd work for me. I had to try so many on and take so many pictures of myself before I found any I liked. Nowadays when all else fails, I seek advice from celebrity stylist Nai’vasha. She always has something great up her sleeve, whether I want to spend $500 or $2000. I make my wigs last by treating them with the same reverence I do my actual hair, which means heat protector always.
My job means I’m often at events, and having to change up my look, which is where wigs come in handy. A favourite recent on the red carpet was my pink wig at the Met Gala. It was sexy and fun, and it made me feel like my alter ego had come out to play. That said, if I have the luxury of choice, I always prefer my natural hair.
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This has been in my shower for a very long time. It makes it feel softer and more nourished even before conditioner.
My hair is pretty dry from all the styling, so I need a heavy duty thirst quencher, and this does the trick while smelling great and refreshing my scalp with a minty coolness.
With UV protection and a heat protector, this is a great 2-in-1. It’s lightweight, there’s no sticky residue and I’m safe in the knowledge that I’m staving off some heat damage.
Matte might sound funny (who doesn’t want their hair to look shiny?), but when I’m on a red carpet and there’s a lot of flashbulbs, I don’t want a reflective glare. Texture wise, it’s quite heavy, but it’s perfect for sleeker looks where strays are non-negotiable.
This quite literally does everything, and it’s way less damaging that a standard blow dryer, probably because it cuts your hair’s contact with heat by around half (I’m sure there’s much more science going on behind the scenes, too.) Of the seven heads, my most used is the paddle brush one which straightens while drying. I love it!
I love my Aveda paddle brush. It gets through my thick hair without dragging it, and feels so good on my scalp. For flyaways and fluff around my hairline, I use pomade and a toothbrush. My mom taught me that tip when I was younger and I’m yet to find a better solution.
I’ve been taking this vitamin supplement for about 6 months now and have noticed such a difference in the quality, texture and length.
I see Dr Christopher Rowland Payne at The London Clinic for PRP (platelet-rich plasma, to you and I), which is basically the hair equivalent to a vampire facial. Helping to prevent hair loss and thinning, I started to see the benefits of three treatments (that lasted approximately 30 minutes each) after about 6 months. Overall, my hair is longer and feels thicker.