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.
Amira Rasool’s eye for curation is made apparent through her online concept store, The Folklore, which spotlights bright clothing, eclectic accessories, and nourishing beauty products from Africa and its diaspora. “I love that I get to travel around the world and collaborate with amazing people,” says Rasool, who has spent the pandemic living in Atlanta. She applies that same creative and exploratory mindset to not only her sense of style and business, but also to her beauty and hair care. “I get about 60% of everything in my wardrobe on my travels. I travel to East Asia a lot and always pick up great pants, tops, hats, and beauty products,” Rasool says. “When I am traveling in Africa, I pick up most of my statement styles from local designers that I work with and some that I don’t. I like to think of my fashion and beauty style as being a mixture of the aesthetics and styles I witness when I’m in urban cities in Southern Africa and East Asia.” She also takes inspiration from the likes of Solange, Angela Davis, Kathleen Cleaver, and Toni Morrison. “I also feel like every African or African American studies historian or professor that I have ever come in contact with is always super fly,” she says. “It’s like yeah, we’re about serving the people but we can also serve these looks at the same time. I’m like that too.”
Growing up, Rasool had a curly afro that she preferred her parents not to brush. She was an athlete who spent much time outdoors, so washing her hair regularly was a necessity, though having to detangle “always felt like a nightmare,” she recalls. In middle school, Rasool decided to get a perm against her parents wishes. “I thought I looked cuter with straight hair, probably because that’s what everyone else had, and I also just did not want to worry about detangling again,” she says. But after consistently heating and coloring her hair, Rasool began to notice that her hair was increasingly damaged. Her sophomore year of high school, she grew it out. “I became all about embracing my natural curly fro and fell in love with box braids. I finally had products that would enable me to do my own natural hair so that really helped too.”
Some of those product favorites include Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave in conditioner, which Rasool loves for detangling. For washing and conditioning, she uses Camille Rose’s Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse and Moroccan Pear Conditioning Custard. When it comes to styling, Miss Jessie’s Pillow Soft Curls “definitely lives up to the hype,” she says. She’ll also mix Jamaican Black Castor Oil with a lighter oil to stimulate hair growth.
Once her products are applied, Rasool typically does a two strand twist before putting on her bonnet. “I usually do this on Sundays. I take it out Monday, and pull the big coils apart so that my hair looks more full,” she says. “I stretch out the strands a bit, and then just wear it as a fro.” For the remainder of the week, she wears a bonnet each night and sprays her hair with a mix of water and leave-in for moisture. “Sometimes if my hair is feeling dry I add a bit of oil. Then I just repeat the process. I go to the hair salon once every six months for a trim since I’m still not comfortable doing that myself.”
As for what’s up next for Rasool? The Folklore has a dozen new brands coming to the site, and Rasool is hosting their first livestreamed shopping event this month. When it comes to her hair journey, she’s looking at trying bantu knots soon. “The bolder the better,” she says. “I have learned that people are going to look at you and judge you regardless. Worrying about how someone will judge the hair growing out of your scalp is a losing battle.”