In a series exploring the complicated relationships we, as women, hold with our hair throughout our lives, All the Pretty Birds introduces ‘Our Hair, Don’t Care’, an installment series of women we love sharing their personal beauty journeys.
Meet Sai De Silva
Based in New York City, Sai De Silva got her start in the content creation world with her blog Scout the City, named after her young daughter. Sharing her fabulous outfits, daring style and signature curly ‘do – she garnered a loyal following across her platforms. Since then, she’s branched off into creating Youtube content and just recently was featured on Vogue with her beautiful children. As an Afro-Latina woman growing up in NYC, we wanted to know more about her natural hair journey and the politics of learning to love your hair.
ATPB: Growing up in New York, what are some of your standout memories around your hair and hair rituals as a young teen or child?
Sai De Silva: I mostly remember going to school and feeling different from the other girls. I changed schools several times because my family moved around a bit, but no matter where I ended up I felt like I didn’t quite fit in. That being said, I still have good memories from my school days and I think the whole “fish out of water” experience was something I had to go through in order to embrace diversity and celebrate myself today.
ATPB: As an Afro-Latina woman, did you ever feel pressure to abide by certain hair ideals throughout your life?
SDS: Absolutely! I used to straighten my hair every single day. I never liked the way my curls looked and it was never an option for me to go out in public with my natural hair. Straight hair was cool and I felt like I had to conform to that standard of beauty at the time.
ATPB: In your professional career, you’re known for having voluminous gorgeous hair – what prompted you to wear your hair naturally?
SDS: I started wearing my hair naturally after my daughter, London, was born. I couldn’t bear the thought of this beautiful little girl growing up hating her gorgeous curls so I ditched the straightener in order to lead by example. Kids pick up on how we feel about ourselves and they know, even from a young age, when our words and actions don’t align. I’m so proud of my curls now, and ironically, they’ve become my signature trait as you mentioned.
ATPB: Do you have any hair mistakes or regrets?
SDS: I definitely regret straightening my hair everyday for such a long time. Not only did I damage my hair, but I also discounted my natural beauty. The straight hair fad was just one of those phases I think I had to go through though. Like acid wash jeans.
ATPB: Your daughter, London, wears her curly hair natural too! Do you have a specific wash day routine for her? What are some of your favorite products to use?
SDS: Yes! Wash day is a big ordeal around here. London and I both use Oribe shampoo and conditioner, which is fabulous for curly hair. Then, I typically use a deep conditioner from Briogeo. I’ll massage an oil onto the scalp next to give her curls a shiny, non frizzy look. I love the Aceite de Moska by Ceremonia, which is a newer brand by a good friend of mine. Finally, I use the Qhemet Biologics Moringa Tree leave-in conditioner, and finish with a styling cream by Briogeo called Curl Charisma. I have a whole arsenal of styling tools to help me brush through her hair and then I let it air dry. When it’s cold out, I’ll use a Dyson Hairdryer and I just passed the baton to LS so she can start diffusing her own curls. She has to learn!
ATPB: How has your hair care routine changed over the years?
SDS: I follow the same routine for myself as I do for London for the most part. The biggest factor that’s changed is the type of product I use now. I really look for quality hair care products that are gentle with hair and have good ingredients. I still get a blowout once in a while, but for the most part I wear my hair naturally and am much more low maintenance.
ATPB: And finally, who are some of your hair inspirations?
SDS: Beyonce’s hair is always amazing and I love Whitney Houston’s big curls from back in the day. I’ve also always had a huge girl crush on Julia Roberts! Especially, in her role as Vivian in Pretty Woman. Not to mention the iconic curls of Carrie Bradshaw! Straight, curly or somewhere in between, every type of hair is gorgeous. It’s fun to play with your locks and style them in different ways, but I think natural beauty is always the most flattering and you really stand out when you own it.
All images via Sai’s Instagram
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