Beauty

Yaya DaCosta’s First Primetime TV Role Is Big on Hair

ALLURE: Your character, Angela Vaughn, has a hair-care business called Eve’s Crown. As someone who has proudly been natural hair through your entire career in the public eye, I wonder if that was something that was appealing to you in taking on this character?

YAYA DACOSTA: Oh, yeah. My love for hair and natural hair care started as a child and was really solidified when I went away to boarding school at 13. I became my own hairdresser, as well as [the campus stylist] because we were in the middle of nowhere in Massachusetts, and there was nowhere for us to go

Certain people knew how to do hair; I would do it out of my dorm room. I always had my own hair done, and it was very expressive. I would be sure to complete all my homework and then work on a new hairstyle for the next day. I think freshman year, in humanities class at the end, they give everybody superlatives, and mine was “most hairstyles ever seen in one year.”

Hair is definitely something that I’ve loved my whole life. As I got older and started acting, I started working with Chioma Valcourt. I always go to her to prepare me for my roles. She does my weaves, my hair pieces and extensions, lots of red carpets — she’s my behind-the-scenes secret weapon and I show up on set almost ready. 

This show was my opportunity to say to her, “Hey, would you like to actually work on the set of this big project?” For both of us, it was an opportunity to do what we’ve always done, which is play, take risks when it comes to new styles, and be bold and expressive, but on a larger scale. I don’t know that we’ve seen a character have this much fun with natural hair on television, really. It is one of the things that attracted me to the role.

ALLURE: There’s one moment in an episode where you’re talking to Morris Chestnut’s character, Raymond Dupont, and you mention that “A Black woman’s relationship with her hair is generational. It’s personal, and it’s a lot more than hot right now.” Do you feel there are any parallels to the evolving conversation about “acceptable” ways for Black women to style ourselves right now?

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