Meet Nigella, the mastermind behind AFRA, fine art and hair objects
Welcome Nigella! How has your 2022 been going?
Hi! It’s going great! I feel like I’m finally feeling back into my creativity.
What’s something you learned about yourself in the last year?
I learn to trust my thoughts and creative ideas … to trust myself more.
What attracted you to hair and beauty originally?
Growing up, it was my cousins who introduced me to braids, locs and other natural hairstyles. They used to babysit me and I was just the curious child wanting to know how to naturally style hair because I’d watch them do friends and family members' hair. Before I knew it, it had become our thing.
What’s a project you’re most proud of?
All my projects really, I can’t pick just one! I never tire of seeing my crazy ideas come to life – it really does just blow my mind.
What’s your beauty regimen like? How do you unwind after a long day?
I unwind with a hot shower, face mask & and then my skin regimen. I start with removing my makeup, then start my double cleansing skin routine before soaking in a hot bath with a hydrating face mask. Following with a warm steamy shower followed with a cozy fit for bed.
What’s the best beauty advice you’ve picked up while working as a hairstylist over the years?
The best beauty advice I’ve picked up is to press in the foundation, my girl Alana put me on. I feel like I’m better at doing my natural makeup. I’m always surrounded by the best in the industry, so I observe and pick up so many amazing tricks on how to execute the perfect natural glam for me.
Your brand AFRA was recently profiled in the NYTimes. Your work aims to break down barriers of colorism within the hair and beauty community. Can you talk to us more about that?
Thank you for bringing that up, that was such an amazing moment! I still haven’t wrapped my head around being in the New York Times! As to barriers I am trying to break down the basic acts that shouldn’t exist within the Black community from a beauty perspective. My goal is to open up everyone’s minds to uncomfortable topics that are important to Black culture. Black hair plays a huge role in the way we view ourselves in today’s world. I want to get my message across whether it is through design, beauty or fashion. As an artist I want my art to be the conversation starter about Black beauty and haircare. It should be understood, it should be celebrated more. It's an extension of our people. I think it should be praised and not suppressed.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration every day from my peers in the industry. I love how beauty has transformed. I also get inspired by lifestyle, travel, home decor, art, and new spaces.
What are your top five must haves on set?
Pick, edge control, braiding pomade, hairspray, a universal leave-in that works for all hair tips.
What’s one thing you would tell a 21-year old Nigella?
Girl, don't stress you’re going to make it! Oh and I love you! xx
When do you feel most beautiful?
I feel the most beautiful when my hair is laid! My hair looks completes me & my look! If my hair is not done it’s a hat day for me. I love an excuse to put on a fly hat, cap or a fly bucket. It solves all my bad hair days.