Nicole Ari Parker is an accomplished actress who has appeared in media productions like Soul Food, Boogie Nights, and Remember the Titans. Parker has always been a visible figure in Hollywood, and now that she has started her natural hair journey, we had the opportunity to chat with her about her hair as well as the politics of natural hair in Hollywood.
Parker decided to go natural because she wanted her hair to come back. She stated, “I looked better with my own hair.” In regards to hair politics, she discussed the ways that many black women are socialized to “have a distaste for the way they look” because of the images that are circulated in mainstream media. She stated that “we need to heal as a people.”
Most importantly though, becoming natural provided more options for Parker, options that many black women are regularly deprived of in a culture where straight hair is the only texture emphasized. Parker stated that her natural hair finally became an option for her. Natural hair means a “love of the way your hair comes out of your head.” It’s about “loving and accepting.” She decided that her natural hair was “just perfect.”
Though Parker is beautiful naturally, she still faces obstacles with her natural hair in the entertainment industry. In Hollywood, she stated that having natural hair can be a “tricky situation” considering “Hollywood associates revolution with twists.” They have a “delayed sense of what’s real” so actresses who come to auditions with natural hair may land a job, but may be told later that they have to wear wigs or weaves which can be quite frustrating. Parker states though that natural haired actresses can still resist in their own ways.
In regards to women with natural hair who want to pursue acting as a profession, Parker states, “I would do the dance…show up the way you want to show up. There’s resistance–still show up, but be open.” She stated that it’s important to remain open about a potential role considering the character might end up having to cut her hair, and perhaps that might lead to a decision to wear a wig.
Parker states that her own children are natural and she allows them to choose how they want to represent themselves through their hair. In regards to her daughter, she stated that she “wants her to have options.” She continued to say, “With black girls it’s work. Little black girls need to be told by their mothers and their fathers that they’re beautiful and loved.”
We had a delight chatting with Parker and we would invite you all to check out her “Save Your Do” Gymwrap which is a product where you don’t have to choose between your health and hair. It keeps your edges cool as you work out so that you don’t have to worry about your hair being impacted by sweat. The Save Your Do website states:
“Save Your Do™ GymWrap is a stylish headband developed with a patented revolutionary ‘Edge Control Technology’ that minimizes sweat absorption through a unique blend of materials that allows heat to escape while letting cool air in. The moisture ‘wicking’ process occurs at the molecular level within the fabric resulting in drier flat hair!”
Parker is invested in health and hair, and we’re excited to see how her natural hair journey progresses.
She is currently starring in Murder in the First so tune in and support this natural-haired beauty.