Neal Farinah On Grooming Beyoncé’s Natural Hair And Importance Of Braids For VOGUE
Beyoncé had us all shook on Monday when her VOGUE covers were revealed and she stunned in all her simplicity. You know what we mean — natural hair in braids, barely any makeup, a crown of florals… just effortlessly BEAUTIFUL! Now her longtime tress tamer Neal Farinah is speaking with Refinery 29 about his work with the Queen Bey for VOGUE, the OTR tour and more. Check out his quotes below:
On Working With Bey:
“This is my 13th year with Beyoncé,” Farinah, who’s currently on the OTR II tour with her, says. “She has given me an abundance of opportunity, and this just feels like another piece of cake.”
What a delicious piece it is too, right?
On Her Hair for VOGUE:
“She said she wanted to just be herself. She didn’t want to be overly made-up and done-up. She wanted to embrace femininity and just be free and set herself free. When I first talked to her, she said, ‘I just want my natural curly hair and a braid and to not focus on beauty so that women of color — of any color — can be free.’
“Since she is a Black woman, a legend, an icon, I knew that it would mean so much. If you think about Beyoncé’s life, every day you have someone on your face and hair. It was one of those moments where she was like, ‘I want this to be so easy and free.'”
It’s amazing how Bey really honed in on the importance of freedom. It’s something that we all need to embrace more.
On The Historical Importance Of Braids
“With the braids, it goes back to history. It was one of the easiest hairstyles for African-American women. What I liked about them, too, is that I knew this was a beautiful hairstyle, but I never realized how fashion-forward it was. It complements couture. It complements high fashion. It was just a regular braid, and it complemented every outfit.”
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SO MANY TIMES ONE IS JUDGED BY THEIR HAIR TEXTURE OR SKIN COLOR. I’M SO PROUD AND HONORED TO HAVE BEEN A PART OF SUCH AN AMZING SHOOT, BRAIDING THE QUEENS ALL NATURAL CURLY HAIR! NOW WHAT?! @voguemagazine #@beyonce #hairstylist #nealfarinahsalon #nealfarinahinc @nakiarachon Thank u for the extra hand 🤚
On Natural Texture Empowerment:
“It was very empowering to me. There are so many myths about African-American women and their natural curly hair. And there’s so much stigma behind it. Beyoncé being who she is, I think it really was an empowering thing to say, ‘Hey, you know what? It’s OK. It’s OK to wear your naturally curly hair.'”
It’s more than OK. It’s stunning and we’re glad that Bey is here to PROVE it…
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"I look at the woman I was in my 20s and I see a young lady growing into confidence but intent on pleasing everyone around her," says @Beyonce in our September issue cover story. "I now feel so much more beautiful, so much sexier, so much more interesting. And so much more powerful." Inspired by @Beyonce's words, 11 women share the advice they would give their 20-something selves; tap the link in our bio to read. Photographed by @tylersphotos, fashion editor @tonnegood, Vogue, September 2018.
On Grooming Products
“As one of her hairstylists, I never use much product because I want hair to be carefree. With the braiding, I just used a little bit of oil. [His own concoction.] That’s it — and rubber bands. Beyoncé has a really nice, full head of curly hair. It has a really beautiful softness. We semi-blowdried it and then braided it. She didn’t want much done.
“A couple of times I’ve put up a post about her natural hair and, of course, it caused a reaction. People didn’t want to believe it! But when you have an amazing hairstylist, we can take care of your hair for you. [Farinah said he’s been taking care of her hair with his own concoctions for years now.]”
We need some of Neal’s special juices and berries… What’s the recipe sir?
On Florals For VOGUE
“The one thing that Beyoncé always has is a team that works together. We sit together and talk with her, and we create presentations. She approves what she likes, and someone came in with this flowers idea, and she said, ‘OK, let’s try it.’
“It’s a moment. It’s embracing nature and beauty in one. It was about being free and natural and, of course, flowers are natural. They were real flowers! And I’m not sure how many there were, but it smelled so amazing. I know there were some peonies in there and lilies. The person who did the arrangement did an amazing job, and actually it wasn’t very heavy.”
It’s a gorgeous crown right? How many of you were surprised to learn that Bey went sans extensions for this look?
Hit the flip for some great shots Neal has shared of Bey’s hair