Billy Porter Reveals The Oil Treatment that Keeps His Natural Hair Hydrated

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

If his red-carpet history is any indication, Billy Porter's dedication to aesthetics is nothing to be diluted or meddled with. Jaws drop across the nation at his fashion theatrics, whether that's in the form of a tuxedo-ballgown hybrid, a glittering red suit with legs wide enough to stop traffic, or — his most iconic look to date — a gilded catsuit, complete with golden wings, as seen at the 2019 Met Gala. Anywhere he goes, every choreographed step is a statement. Every intricately placed bead or sequin tells a story. Every flounce of a cape sends a message.

With such a knack for theatrics, of course, comes a meticulous beauty and grooming routine. We asked Porter to give us a taste of that routine, and he revealed to ishonest the last product he pumped to the last drop (his favorite hair oil), the bath product he uses most (a shower gel), and his current beauty obsession to make his skin glow.

BILLY PORTER: "Moisturize, honey, moisturize."

B: "A Kevin Murphy hair oil. I’ve been trying to find products that work for natural hair."

B: "In the morning, I wash my face in the shower. Sometimes I use the Art of Shaving regimen. After an astringent, I take an ice cube and close up my pores, then I put my moisturizer over that. Sometimes I do it [again] at night. But I’m a little lazy at night."

B: "Kiehl’s. SPF 30."

B: "About four to six weeks. We didn’t have a lot of lead time, but that’s enough."

B: "Fearless. Fabulous. Zero fucks."

B: "I would say my grandmother and my great-aunt Dorothy. They had so much style. And my grandmother sewed. She would get the Vogue patterns. She would get the high-class patterns and make that stuff herself. We were shocked. And also: Black church is a fashion show. Aunt Dorothy said: 'Save your money and buy the quality. You don’t need 10 things; you need one thing that will last. Take care of your stuff. Spend money on shoes.'

B: All the looks that Lola [Porter’s character in Kinky Boots] had.

B: "My body wash. I generally use Molton Brown."

B: "I would like to push the envelope with the haute couture stuff that you don’t see outside the runway."

B: "My massages. They’re very expensive. Intense, like a sports massage, not a spa massage. [And they last] two hours at a time."

B: "RuPaul is the queen. I’ve known him forever. Shangela [Laquifa Wadley]. Marti Gould Cummings. I remember when he put on his drag for the first time. Sasha Velour. I’ll think of more."

A: Current beauty obsession?

B: "Herbivore oils. There’s this blue Herbivore Lapis Facial Oil I was using on Pose. I was left with a glow. CBD don’t do shit for me. But CBD oil on the face? There’s something about it. It brings my face to life."

A: Please finish this sentence: I feel most attractive when I'm...

B: "...living in the fullness of my authenticity."

Read more on: hair, skin care


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