From color to short cuts, braids and extensions, there is no hairstyle that LaWanda Pierre, up-and-coming hairstylist, cannot do. Originally born in Houston (with a stint in Atlanta in between), Pierre made Brooklyn her home at the age of nine and lived here ever since. Like most young black women in the 90s, she ran to the creamy crack (what some of y’all call a relaxer) from high school up until her early 20s. “Going natural was something I always wanted to do,” and since then, she hasn’t looked back.
Currently wrapping up Season 2 of Spike Lee’s Netflix series, “She’s Gotta Have It,” Pierre’s work with DeWanda Wise allowed her to do styles that may not have been possible on her own hair. “[Wise] is my hair muse because her character, ‘Ms. Nola Darling,’ is representative of the average woman I see walking down the block in Brooklyn.”
Coming from her shop on Fulton, she is appreciative to have worked with such “talented, humbled, smart individuals” like Wise, as well as John David Washington, who stars in Lee’s latest joint, “BlacKkKlansman.” Both Lee and Pierre emphasized the need to stay authentic to the ‘70s in the period-based film, which featured well-kept and styled, defined and perfectly round afros. To Pierre the afro is a symbol of blackness and pride: “the longer and bigger, the prouder,” a theme that rings true throughout the film.
When it comes to styling, the Brooklyn-based hairstylist loves to do it all – but she herself, prefers a ‘fro. Pierre is a big fan of scarves and quick wash-and-gos so that she has the energy to spend the day doing what she loves. But do not get it twisted; she is not a “natural nazi.” Hair is a unique medium of artistic expression, and whether you want to rock braids or bundles is your prerogative.
To the young girls that feel like the videos you are watching do not represent the hair you have, Pierre would advise you as she would any of her clients, “love your hair at any length, any texture. It’s your crown.”
Your 4C natural hair may not look like the 3C natural walking next to you, but it’s still beautiful. The naturalista implores us to switch up our hair as much as we want. Some days you might feel a sleek and classy look, and others you want a textured ‘fro or a twist out; let your hair capture the essence of black beauty – queens have different crowns.
Despite the recent attraction to her artwork, Pierre is not too Hollywood to still see us regular folk. Big on communication, she consults with each of her clients to guarantee that there is no mystery when it comes to a look they are trying to achieve. There iss something reassuring in knowing that someone is as invested in your hair as Pierre is. “No matter who you are, I want you happy when you leave my shop.”
I was able to secure a few tips for us naturals. She says, “use the proper products [Pierre will tell you her go-to moisturizer is a cream and oil mix]. You should look to those who have a similar curl pattern for inspiration. And finally, try different styles to see which works best for you.”
As for what lies ahead, you can find the Brooklyn-bred hair aficionado wearing multiple hats: a loving wife, a supportive mother, a hairstylist and shop owner in Clinton Hill, and a singer on the side. And who knows, maybe getting ready for her 3 o’clock appointment with Michelle Obama (her dream client). Wherever life takes her, we’re excited to see her artistry continue to grace the big screen and the streets of Brooklyn.
You can see more of LaWanda Pierre’s work in the new Spike Lee joint, “BlacKkKlansman,” in theaters now. To find a showing near you, check out the film’s website.