Kat Graham Opens Up About Her Natural Hair Journey During Quarantine

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Kat Graham has been getting her hair done by professionals since she was 9 years old. “My mom couldn’t really do my hair [growing up] so she’d just drop me off at the hair salon,” the Vampire Diaries star says from her Atlanta bathroom. But since the start of the pandemic and its shelter-in-place orders, Graham has been finding joy in doing her own hair and makeup.

“When I first wake up, the first thing I want to do is my eyebrows,” Graham says with a smile. She starts off by shaping them with Anastasia brow gel, followed by L’Oréal’s Unbelieva-Brow (which keeps them in place even through her daily workout). Now, for cleansing time: Aveeno’s makeup removing wipes ensure any excess dirt gets removed, while Dior’s Oil Cleanser goes the extra mile to deep clean. She follows up with Dior’s Capture Youth serum for moisture. 

While all of the skin-care goodness soaks in, Graham focuses on her hair. For the past four months, she says, she’s “been very careful to not use [direct] heat on my hair.” The result is a cloud of healthy curls, which she shows off proudly. “It’s been really therapeutic for me to wear my hair really, really big,” the star says. “So let’s get it big!” Graham proceeds to pick it out while it dries. “Afro hair is not something that Hollywood has ever necessarily embraced,” Graham shares. After years of perming her hair and wearing wigs and weaves for roles, Graham says she hopes to play a character she actually looks like. 

Graham’s quarantine hair journey was partly inspired by her hairstylist, Rachel Lee. Before quarantine officially began, Lee gave her Cantu’s Avocado Leave-In Conditioner. “It’s almost like she knew I was going to be on my own. And I’ve never had to be on my own with my hair before,” Graham says with tear-filled eyes. “This was the product that really helped me figure out that my hair will work with me, if I don’t give up on it.” She then slicks her curls back into a bun with Briogeo Curl Cream, the second holy grail product that has transformed her relationship with her hair. Otherwise, it’s all about oils: Manuka, Argan, and Black Rice are her favorites, along with her own concoction of Mustard Seed oil and Jamaican Black Castor. “You only need a little bit over spots that have given you trouble,” she notes.

Now, on to makeup: Graham does hers so that it lasts all day– and takes a layered foundation approach to ensure it does. “We women have hormones. Our skin changes. Sometimes we have dark spots and light spots.” Dior’s Skin Correct foundation, L’Oréal’s lightweight foundation and Fenty’s Match Stix do the trick to shade match the nuances of her skin tone. After concealing, she contours her nose with a technique she learned from her days performing music in West Hollywood drag clubs. Her liquid blush from Benefit gives her a rosy glow while still allowing her freckles to shine through. Next, it’s her favorite part:  Doing her mascara. “To the point where I ask to do it myself when I’m on set,” she says. A flick of shadow from her favorite Dior palette, a swipe of lipgloss, and a swoop of the baby hairs helps to tie everything together. “Hopefully you guys have enjoyed my self-care routine and have learned a little bit more about my journey,” Graham says, glowing. “I love you guys.”

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