ALLURE: Before stay-at-home orders, did you get your hair done professionally? If so, how often and what was your go-to style?
ARI BINES: Right before the stay-at-home order hit in New York, I got my hair done in February professionally by this group of Black hair specialists called The Coily Collective. I’d still been on my natural hair journey before letting a pro step in and help me realize everything I was doing wrong in my hair routine. My go-to style was space buns or an Afro before that.
ALLURE: What was your relationship with your hair like pre-COVID? Did you enjoy or hate the process of doing your own hair?
AB: My relationship with my hair was experimental. I didn’t care if it was healthy or had hella split ends. I still wanted to be natural, but it was updos and "manageable" Afros. But I didn’t really hate doing my hair, it was just an extra step that I threw together without proper management.
ALLURE: Have tutorials on YouTube been helpful to you at all as you attempt styles?
ALLURE: What do you most enjoy about doing your own hair? Do you feel more connected to your Blackness?
AB: There’s so much pride in doing your own hair. It’s work and it takes time and care, but the end result is always worth it. You get to see time and again the versatility of what it can do and the history behind every cornrow. I definitely feel more connected to my Blackness because I’ve never had to sit with this one factor of my Blackness for so long. And now that I do, it’s not something I’d ever let someone try to take from me like I’ve seen in hair discrimination
ALLURE: What’s the first style you want to get once this its over?
AB: As a Black girl, it depends on what season it is when we get out. But if it’s [sometime in the] summer, it’ll probably be box braids.
ALLURE: What have you learned about your hair during this time?
AB: Don’t settle for discomfort in your hair-care routine. Nourish your scalp no matter what. If it feels itchy, do something about it. Nowadays, if there’s not a solution on the market, you can find one on YouTube or TikTok.