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.
In The Tomorrow War, a sci-fi action film that premiered on Amazon last week, Jasmine Mathews plays Lieutenant Hart, who in her words is a bad ass, vulnerable yet powerful soldier from the future who is trying to help prevent the extinction of humanity. For Mathews, whose previous credits were all in TV, her film debut means all those years of dreaming, hard work and sacrifice are truly beginning to pay off.
The vinyl sound just hits the soul differently. You can Anita Baker me any day. #FollowYourJoy.
Mathews remembers wanting to pursue acting from the age of two, when she started playing dress up and trying on different characters. (Naturally, as a fellow Houston native, one of my favorite people to play was Beyonc, she remembers.) So the challenge for me wasn't figuring out what I wanted to do with my life, because I've always known, Mathews says. It was not allowing other people to project their opinions and fears onto my dreams and pull me away from my destiny.
Mathews's love of shapeshifting extends beyond her passion for acting and into her daily hair looks, which range from fierce afros with face-framing twists to one sleek, waist-grazing braid. Mathews sees her hair as a physical symbol of her self-love journey, she says. Mathews got her first perm at the age of six. I was hooked the moment I saw the reveal, she remembers. I quickly grew to understand why the women in the salon called it the creamy crack', she says with a laugh. Attending a predominantly white private school, Mathews adds that she was so scared of my hair returning back to its natural state because to me it meant that I wouldn't be as accepted or as beautiful.
The possibility of freedom that comes with learning brings me so much joy. You can find me buried in a book or in the sun, sometimes both at the same time.
When it came time for college at Spelman University, her approach to hair care began to change. Here I was at the epicenter of higher learning for Black people, surrounded by all of these beautiful women with curls of confidence, fros of courage; crowns that Queen Elizabeth herself couldn't steal even if she tried, Mathews reflects. She decided to grow out her perm her senior year, the same time she was crowned Miss Maroon and White. I was in the spotlight a lot and received a lot of backlash when I decided to wear my hair in its natural state. I was told to put a hot comb to my hair, and I did, she remembers. My belief in how beautiful I was, no matter the state of my hair, wasn't strong enough yet. Her decision to do the big chop came after graduating. There was something so freeing about starting over, she says, although the process wasn't easy. I remember a family member made a comment about my hair looking like a used q-tip.' I didn't know what hurt worse, the comment or the fact that even in my own family, my natural hair was not accepted, which meant to me I wasn't accepted because my identity and sense of beauty was so intertwined with my hair. At that point, Mathews had started acting, where she got feedback from auditions like, she's great but she needs a makeover, she recalls. She got a weave, but says she was conscious that the desire for it stemmed from a fear of being rejected. I was lettingthe projections of other people run my life.
In 2017, Mathews decided to wear her hair however she pleased. The day I vowed to rock my hair however it wanted to naturally be, was the day I took back a part of me, she says. The part of me that was so desperately looking for acceptance and approval. The part of me that was led to believe that beauty comes from the outside instead of within.
'This book is like a cheat code to manifesting your reality. Say it with me, I am wealth. I am abundance. I am joy.' 10/10 highly recommend.'
Plant care is much like hair care, it requires deep listening, patience, consistency and loving communication. #ProudPlantMom'
Black women are Mathews's constant source of inspiration. I'm just in awe of how we fearlessly and fiercely wear our hair as a tool of self-expression and freedom in a world designed to oppress us daily, she says. There's so much creativity, boldness, confidence, and uniqueness in the way Black women choose to wear their hair.
Her weekly Sunday hair ritual includes washing, deep conditioning, and finger detangling, all while playing the soothing sounds of musician Londrelle. A lightweight eave-in conditioner from Innersense follows. She also reaches for the Authentic Beauty Concept line, especially their Hydrate Lotion, which keeps my water-loving hair moisturized for longer, she says. I find that this extra time and attention to my crown coupled with the self-loving and positive affirmation music at the start of every week sets me up for success, she says. Plus it just makes me feel good.
'On the back of every Innersense bottle is an affirmation. One of them says, I am in harmony with the flow of my life.' Ase!'