Kelis has always been a beauty and fashion trendsetter. So, it's no surprise the singer-songwriter shows up in an eye-catching ensemble for our interview. When I sit down to speak to her, I immediately notice her bright pink jumpsuit and space-like Chanel sneakers. Her beauty look? Pink lipstick and Senegalese twists.
There's a lot of ground to cover during our chat as the multi-hyphenate has had a dynamic career. At 14, Kelis' vocal talents earned her a spot at the prestigious LaGuardia High School. From there, she climbed the ranks in the music industry, with five songs landing on the Hot 100 list and her hit single Milkshake reaching over 200 million streams on Spotify.
Over the last few years, she's embraced a much slower-paced life than the music industry offers. She moved to a sprawling farm in California with her three children and spends her days caring for animals and growing vegetables. She's also tapped into other passions like cooking and creating beauty products (her brand Bounty & Full offers hair and skincare essentials).
As Kelis has evolved, she's undoubtedly learned a lot about wellness and beauty. And during our conversation, she was eager to share her perspective on both. Ahead, read everything Kelis had to say about hair care, self-care, and everything in between.
The One Thing That Changed Her Relationship With Her Hair as a Teen
"My hair fell out when I was 12 going on 13 [because my mom gave me a Jheri curl]. I was forced to shave my head, which was a real awakening. I was terrified because I always identified with my hair. But I realized that even though I identified with my hair, I felt super empowered. I didn't know I would feel like that. When you're 13, it's a formidable time. You're impressionable and want to be pretty. But I was able to own my shaved head and lean into it. That moment framed everything else for me."
The One Thing She Learned About Her Hair as a Young Musician
"When you're in the business, you're working with different hairstylists all the time for shoots. And everyone is concerned with your hair at that moment. But what about when I leave, and my hair looks crazy? Early in my career, my hair was fried, and I didn't know if it would ever recover. So, I started researching questions like, How do I make my curl pattern consistent? How can I color my hair? I was learning how to maintain my hair when I wasn't working. So, when I was working, I already knew what to do and had a regimen that worked for me."
The One Piece of Hair Advice She'd Share
"I love weave and switching up my hair. I'm not the kind of person that thinks everyone has to wear their hair natural. If you want your hair laid down and flat, that is how you should wear your hair. But it should be because that's what you want, not because you feel like you get a better response from people that way. I think we don't do enough self-work. We don't ask ourselves, Why is it that I feel this way? For women struggling [with their hair], I think we have to ask ourselves hard questions and accept the answers we give ourselves."
The One Hair Product She Swears By
"I swear by my Bounty & Full Hair Growth Elixr. Amidst all this life chaos, I felt my best when I started making my hair products. I started producing on a larger scale when I was pregnant with my third child because my hair was struggling. The hormonal changes were crazy. I had no edges—it was just a tragedy. So, I started deep diving into natural hair growth stuff."
The One Ingredient She Loves
"I'm obsessed with mushrooms right now. They have so many things they can do, which is so good for the soul. My natural curls love the Bounty & Full Mushroom Plum Whipped Split End Hair Styling. It moisturizes and hydrates, which is important considering how often I color my hair."
The One Product She Can't Go Without
"I can't go without the Bounty & Full Clarifying Charcoal Facial Cleanser. I love a wonderful organic and natural face cleanser that gets deep into my pores to clean them out."
The One Product She Hopes Never Gets Discontinued
The One Thing That Keeps Her Feeling Hydrated and Refreshed
"The Bai Watamu Strawberry Watermelon drink. You're supposed to drink gallons of water, but realistically, I cannot do that. So, I drink this whenever I need an afternoon pick-me-up. It's great because it has plant-based energy and is a great source of vitamin C and antioxidants. I'm always either on stage sweating or the farm sweating, so I want to rehydrate and replenish."