For Ravyn Lenae, working on her latest EP, Hypnos, is 2018 The follow-up to s Crush,
was a four-year journey. “I feel like I have to shed a layer of myself to create the work I do,” she said of the song collection, which includes hypnotic ballads like “Skin Tight,” starring Steve Lacy , as well as “Inside Out” and self-love odes. “I’ve grown a lot personally, emotionally and musically,” said the Chicago-born, Los Angeles-based artist. In parallel with this self-expansion has been the continued evolution of her signature crimson lengths.
Growing up, she was experimenting with her hair when she wasn’t listening to Minnie Ripperton, Janet Jackson or Brandy, Lenae. “I’ve been through a lot of phases; I remember always wanting to keep my hair like this,” she says, pointing to the beads in the braid. “I have a lot of respect for Alicia Keys,” she added. At the age of , Lenae participated in her first hair show. “I have a giant mohawk head with an orange tip – it’s crazy!” she said. “I think it’s really important to me to see how much beauty and creativity black people bring to the world from such a young age,” she said. “Having that rep was really important to me.” Later, in sixth grade, “I started wearing it more often, naturally, without heat,” recalls Lenae. In seventh grade, her signature red color entered the equation. “My grandmother used to help me put red shampoo in my hair,” says Lenae, who was originally inspired by singer and hair chameleon Kelis. “Hair and beauty have always been my creative focus,” she adds. “Even though I’m not making music, hair is a way for me to express myself outwardly and to show what’s inside me,” she says.
Besides her beauty idol, Lenae credits most of her confidence in experimenting with hair on the Internet. “I think we underestimate the impact that online representation has on us,” she said. “It really helped me.” To this day, Lenae still enjoys recording records, watching YouTube tutorials, and styling. “Doing my hair has become a therapeutic process for me. It’s time for me to connect with myself.” These days, when she’s not busy doing shows, she likes to tie her hair up at home. “I do a lot of twists and braids with the help of Creme of Nature Conditioner,” she says. It’s going to dry out,” she said. She also regularly uses Mielle’s Edge Control Gel and Curls’ Blueberry Mint Scalp Oil. When she’s busy traveling, she likes to wear wigs. “It’s hard to maintain healthy hair if I always have to style or color it, so they really give me the flexibility I need,” she says.
is releasing new music, touring with Omar Apollo, and exploring new After an exciting year with hair and more, Lenae continues to use self-care to develop confidence and stay in her power. “I’m learning the importance of trusting my own opinions and ideas,” she said. “I feel like, as women, we’re told to be softer. But expressing yourself isn’t a bad thing. I feel most empowered when I’m in the position to steer my own boat.” Here, Lenae offers an intimate Take a peek to learn about her redhead’s tendencies and versatility.