Makeup Artist Bob Scott on the Magic of Changing Up Their Hair

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Texture Diaries is a space for Black people across industries to reflect on their journeys to self-love, and how accepting their hair, in all its glory, played a pivotal role in this process. Each week, they share their favorite hair rituals, products, and the biggest lessons they’ve learned when it comes to affirming their beauty and owning their unique hair texture.

Bob Scott discovered their passion for makeup at the end of high school, after they discovered the Pixiwoo Youtube channel and “watched every single video.” They grew up in Miami, borrowing pencils and lipsticks from their sisters until finally buying tools of their own in 2010. In the years since, Scott, 30, has painted the faces of Padma Lakshmi, Aurora James, and Amandla Stenberg. “I’ve worked with people who I, at 18, never dreamed I’d be in the same room with much less be allowed to touch their face,” Scott says.

Scott’s own next-level makeup and hair looks—from their signature spiral curls to sleek cornrows—are equally worth noting. “I can’t say I’ve ever disliked my hair, but looking back I realize I was always either keeping it low maintenance,” Scott says. Usually that meant buzzing it off.Scott grew their hair out From 6th until 10th grade, Scott grew their hair out, but they admit they “didn’t know how to live up to what having long hair required of me then,” they say. “I’d get confused for a girl regularly, but also get compliments on my curl pattern.” As a competitive swimmer, they also struggled with chlorine damage. “I didn’t know where to go for a cut other than a barber shop. I took the clippers to my hair at home one day, when I needed something of my own to control.” When Scott moved to New York, they began to explore their hair, from cuts and colors, to relaxers. (“The relaxer was a big mistake,” they say.)

Over the last couple of years, Scott has focused on growing their hair out.“ I still grapple with growing it out, but I embrace how it makes me care for myself in a different way, daily, and I wish I could have embraced my femininity when I was younger and cared for that part of me when I felt it was being teased,” Scott reflects. “It’s been hard to wait these four years for my curls to reach the end of my neck and get through the awkward phases. But I love my hair. I just miss throwing in a bright color and then cutting it off and doing it again!”

For hair inspiration, Scott cites Snoop Dogg, Rihanna, Andre 3000, and Janet Jackson. “I went red in 2017 and I brought my colorist the Velvet Rope album cover as inspiration,” they recall. Sometimes, though, beauty revelations arrive on the street. “Anyone I see with a cool cut or color, I always make a mental note of, so that I can try it later,” Scott says. Amidst experimentation, Scott says keeping a low-maintenance routine is essential for them.. “I don’t shampoo my hair unless it’s absolutely necessary,” they say. Shea butter is a must every couple of days, in addition to sesame oil every now and again, plus detangling at least once a week. They deep condition every two weeks with Hi Pro Pac. “They have the best masks in my opinion. Then, I’ll cleanse my scalp with an apple cider vinegar rinse and scrub my scalp with a massaging tool.”

With work being so unpredictable amid the pandemic, Scott says they’re excited about dedicating more time to their own creative endeavors. “For a while I was taking all the work that came my way, and that served me well, but now I’m ready to steer the boat a bit more.” That also means trying out different hair styles. “I want to get my arm strength and dexterity up and get better at self styling, but otherwise I’m looking forward to getting the sickest and coolest braids I can from other talented people,” they say. After all, the biggest hair lesson they’ve learned is “it always grows back, so have fun with it!”

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