How My Natural Hair Helped My Acting Career: Scherrikar Bell Tells Her Story
When it comes to show business, there’s no doubt that every actor or actress must meet the expectations of whom they’re working for. That includes talent and appearances.
Oftentimes, actors and actresses are asked to change their look, whether or not it agrees with their natural style. While it’s a commonly-heard story that the entertainment industry doesn’t prefer natural hair, it’s not the case for everyone.
Meet Scherrikar Bell, a British actress whose natural hair helped her career.
By: Elizabeth Toy
Scherrikar’s acting career began at the age of 21. She went to an open audition on a whim for the West End play, “Oh What a Lovely War!” and landed the role as a comedic soldier. At the time, she was also studying at University and though she never saw herself as an actress, the role changed her mindset and thus, her dream to become a professional actress was born.
I talked to Scherrikar about her career and her relationship with her natural hair.
Q: How did your interest in acting develop?
Well I always loved watching movies as a child. I grew up watching Die Hard, Rush Hour, and Disney movies on repeat! I loved the escapism effect it had on me. I would re-eanact scenes with my siblings and cousins and perform it to our imaginary friends. (We were way too shy to show it to our parents!) It is only now that I am older I realize that I was “acting” from a young age, but at the time, it was just a way of having fun.
Q: What productions have we seen you in?
I have guest-starred in Netflix’s comedy series, “The Increasingly Poor Decisions Of Todd Margaret,” Bridget Jones’s Baby, British Soaps, EastEnders, and BBC One Doctors, as well as some commercials for HSBC and Soap and Glory.
Q: What was your relationship with your hair, growing up?
I was lucky that my mum was a hairdresser! I relaxed it when I was around 13 years-old and would often wear it in camerows (a.k.a. French braids) or in a ponytail. Others accepted it because it was fashionable at the time.
Q: What are you hair struggles?
I definitely have days where my hair feels dry and dull. I just wash it, condition it, and that usually does the trick. The worse is when it rains! I always have a spare umbrella in my car handy.
Does your hair suffer from dryness? Check out How To Use Aloe Vera For Thirsty Hair
Q: When and why did you decide to attend your auditions and jobs wearing your natural hair?
I took the initiative myself. I was at a stage in my career where I felt stuck and I felt I was not progressing at the pace I was used to. I looked around me and saw that most of the actresses of color who were on TV had minimal makeup on and wore their hair in a natural state!
I wore my as a way to feel socially accepted and somewhat glamourous, and so removing it was a huge step. Now I look back and I wish I did it sooner. It was so liberating to walk into an audition as my true self.
Directors and producers love my natural hair. It makes my face stand out more and also adds variety to the characters’ looks.
Thinking about getting braided? Learn how to prep your natural hair for braided styles.
Q: How do you maintain your natural “Afro” look?
Every night before I go to sleep, I camerow eight braids into my hair. I also use coconut oil every other day on my scalp and hair. It does wonders! It keeps it soft and smelling nice.
Q: What hair advice would you give our readers?
Don’t use heat on your hair! After washing my hair, I never blow dry it. I let it dry naturally and pat it down to avoid damaging my hair. I also never use hair gel or straighteners on my hair.
To keep my Afro curls looking tight, I camerow and take them out just before I am about to go outside and I don’t comb out the curls. I just put my fingers through my hair and style my Afro using an Alice band (a.k.a. headband) or small clips.
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