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.
Behind every iconic hair look is an incredible hairstylist. For singer Normani, the talent behind her sleek waves at the Soul Train Awards and the top-knot bun she wore for Variety’s Hitmaker brunch is none other than New Orleans-based Ashanti Lation. “Normani and her mom reached out to me because they heard I was known as a hair doctor in my area,” says Lation, who owns VIP Lux Salon & Hair Boutique and launched the product line VIP Luxury Haircare in 2009. “Normani really wanted to thicken her hairline and then she discovered my healthy hair drops.” But Lation’s passion for hair began long before she began working with big names: Starting in fourth grade, she would give her cousins makeovers. At 15, she began taking clients.
With a sensitive scalp and eczema, Lation also learned to do her own hair in part out of necessity. “It just made things a lot easier for me because I knew what was going to irritate me and what wasn’t,” she shares. “I have type 4 hair, too, which wasn’t always celebrated growing up, so it was definitely a process to accept it. But once I realized it’s the only hair that I’m ever going to have, it helped me love it.”