Early this year, hair rules salon partnered with Enjoilux to their Short Hair Don’t Care runway show. One of the models who represented hair rules was Latresa Baker, an upcoming actress whose confidence and joie de vivre shone even more after getting her big chop. She is a true ambassador for natural hair and for hair rules, and her journey is quite an inspiring one.
How did you discover hair rules?
I discovered hair rules through Enjoilux. They were seeking hair models for a promo video they were filming for the Short Hair Don’t Care runway show. I had previous modeling experience but had never been a hair model.
Tell us a little about your journey to natural hair.
At first I was just into it because natural hair was trending. I tried letting my relaxer grow out, but I couldn’t get through that very awkward stage.I was terrified of the big chop. Finally, I got to a point in my life and career where I decided to take a stance, conquer my fears and make decisions that were fulfilling to me despite what the industry or anyone else thought.
With that decision came so much freedom! Somewhere along the way, the opportunity to get a big chop presented itself through a makeover segment I booked with Tha L. Spot show on BRIC tv. It was the perfect start to a new journey!
What led you to do the Short Hair Don’t Care runway show? How was your experience?
When I quit my bartending job a year ago to become a full time artist, I made the firm decision to take risks. After being cast in the promo video, I later saw the casting for the actual event. I was excited for another opportunity to get back on the runway and I was glad I was cast again!
SHDC was an awesome experience I’ll never forget. I had my hair dyed lavender, which was a huge change for me, but Amber did not steer me wrong. The color was a hit! Dickey gave me a fierce cut. It was also the first time I’d ever had a makeup artist use the airbrush technique. It was a fun experience with Melanie, not to mention she does Erykah Badu’s makeup!
At the event I met a ton of new people, modeling a fabulous pink skirt and found an amazing new salon who are passionate about what they do. I totally support women making boss moves so I would be remiss if I didn’t shout out Alaina and Debbie of Enjoilux for throwing such a beautiful, successful event celebrating short hair and women!
The relationships that have blossomed from participating in the SHDC runway show are totally priceless!
How has being short and natural helped you personally? How has it helped you in your career?
Cutting my hair was so refreshing. It was a nice change from the straight relaxed hair that had been hiding my face since I was 12 years old. Also, I hit the gym hard a few times a week so being short and natural has been extremely cost effective. I longer have to worry about sweating out that $100 relaxer I just got. Being natural is so much easier to maintain and style. If I cut it low, I have the flexibility to let it grow out as long as I want before getting it cut again and it still looks cute and curly! Oh, and thank God, I no longer have to wrap my hair with a scarf to bed every night.
What’s your advice for those who aim to go naturally curly?
Just do it! Go for the big chop! Why not? You’re only going to keep talking yourself out of a great decision to embrace the beauty of your natural hair. Yes, it is a process, but learning how to care for your hair is totally worth it! I recommend going to a trusted natural hair salon so that you know you’ll be in good hands. You’ll also take away a couple of hair care tips with you to start your journey.
What have you learned at hair rules and what’s the best thing you like about the salon?
I color my hair often, which again, is new for me. I’ve been lavender, copper, pink, and now blonde, so I would have to say that the best thing that I’ve learned is to make sure that I thoroughly condition and moisturize my hair every single day to keep it healthy and strong. The thing I like best about the salon is how friendly the staff is. They are attentive to every single client that walks through the door. They are personable and knowledgeable about hair care, texture, the industry, and what the most fashionable hair trends and colors are. From the salon, I don’t make it back to my apartment without getting handful of compliments along the way.
What is one hair rule you would never break?
Using a non-suds, sulfate-free cleanser on my hair—I will condition and moisturize daily. I really love my short, natural hair!
For Latresa's latest projects, follow her Instagram @latresabaker.
Interview and photos by Jesse Alvior (Instagram @FtoDelancey).