Lion Babe’s Jillian Hervey on the natural hair movement + her new gig with Pantene

In need of some curly hair inspo? Look no further than Lion Babe‘s Jillian Hervey. The 26-year-old singer (and daughter of Vanessa Williams!) has just been announced as the newest face of Pantene. Joining the likes of Selena Gomez and Chiara Ferragni, Hervey is giving us life as the brand’s latest ambassador.

Read our interview with Hervey below, where we talk about her new role, and how she learned to love her hair.

On, what else, those curls
“It’s definitely a little bit ironic being known for my hair because as a little girl I had no idea what I was doing with it. I was insecure about it. I didn’t have as many references to curly girls, and I wanted to just fit in with all my other friends. [I wanted the] long, sleek look; and I wasn’t really sure how to make my hair look that way, or if I wanted to wear it curly how to even go about that. So I definitely struggled with just feeling not confident in my own hair and not being ready to show everyone my natural texture, just because there weren’t really people around me doing the same thing.

But as you grow up you get more comfortable with yourself. Being in New York, of course, was super helpful for bringing me out of my own shell, because now there were all these references all around me of women who were wearing their hair naturally and tons of different looks and vibes, that I just felt this was a great time to do it. It’s a really great opportunity for me to talk about being my authentic self, being natural and strong, and feeling beautiful and comfortable in my own skin. I’m really glad that my hair speaks that volume without it even having to say anything—you just see it and that’s the message you feel.”

Hair icons
“I love a lot of the ‘70s singers, Pam Grier from the Foxy Brown movie, Diana Ross, Tina Turner. They’ve always been able to embrace their hair, and they’ve never been afraid to take risks and go all out and make it thick, and fun, and a statement at the same time.”

Everyday routine
“I definitely do my own hair every day. I try to not overdo it and use too much heat. Heat really damages, especially curls—they really just need some moisture. I love to air dry my hair after I shower. And when I shower, I like to use the Daily Moisture Renewal shampoo and conditioner from Pantene. My curls feel nice and fresh and I don’t really have to put too much in after I wash it. When I’m doing a show or performing, that’s really when I’ll use heat and lots of hairspray, and there’s a lot of strain on it. So for every day, I just try to leave it natural.

Pantene’s 3-Minute Miracle Deep Conditioner is my favourite product, because it feels like you’re really getting a salon treatment at your house, and it is a miracle. It’s amazing that it’s only three minutes. It’s a complete transformation; your hair just feels silkier and stronger and it smells delicious.”

On her mom, Vanessa Williams
“My mom has always just been one of those people who handle adversity and challenges, and really everything, with so much grace and elegance. I saw it all the time. I might’ve been embarrassed of her when I was younger, but then you get older and you realize that you’ve taken in so much of how she handles things and what she does and how she’s been able to get through so many challenges, and that’s really the best lesson she’s given me—just how she deals with pressure and how she deals with everything, and how she’s always been super true to herself and that’s something that made her so legendary, so I try to definitely emulate that.”

Women of colour and hair
“I think for women, especially women of colour, hair has so much to do with our identity and our confidence levels. I’ve made a conscious choice after growing up and feeling insecure and trying to achieve this look that actually wasn’t me, where I’ve finally stopped relaxing my hair and went back to my natural texture. That made me feel like, this is the stuff that makes me feel the most real. When you’re the most natural, you can wake up and feel really confident in your skin and your hair.

Once you have that mentality you kind of start to see the world differently and people start to see you differently and you feel more powerful and sure of yourself, so that whatever challenges you face, you know yourself better. And I think that attitude will really shift things. When you feel beautiful and you know it makes you feel strong, that can just change your whole view of the world and then great things start to happen.”