You may have seen Ghanaian, Pakistani-born, Harlem-based actress MaameYaa Boafo in the hilarious and highly addictive ‘An African City’ webseries, in numerous TV commercials, or currently receiving rave reviews in the off-Broadway hit ‘SCHOOL GIRLS; OR, THE AFRICAN MEAN GIRLS PLAY.’ Find out how MaameYaa keeps her hair close-up ready, and the song that best describes her natural hair journey!
|Photo: Ofoe Amegavie|
How do you maintain your hair as an actress?
I don’t do anything different to my hair based on my profession. Other than the fact that I wash and trim my own hair, I would say that I probably have the same hair regimen as other natural girls – i.e. twisting it before going to bed, wearing a silk or satin scarf as a wrap to protect breakage, doing a hot oil treatment, etc…
What products do you use on your hair?
Mostly shea butter and Jamaican castor oil
Do you change your look depending on the role/audition?
Regarding auditions, it depends on the role and the character description. Regarding productions, sometimes I’ve been asked to keep my hair as is or they will have a hair dresser to style us.
|MaameYaa in ‘School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play’|
What went into the hair choice for the play ‘School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play?’
As a young girl, did you wear your hair short and natural?
No I did not, I had long hair that my mother permed because it was easier for her to manage when we were living in Europe. I went natural in my second year in graduate school; one day I just decided to cut it all off while washing my hair.
What’s the best part about wearing your hair natural?
That it’s all mine- that I don’t have to dread doing a perm touch up or worry about a track showing from a weave. Since becoming natural, I’ve discovered that I’m tender-headed so with the exception of big box braids once in a blue moon, I prefer to wear my hair as it is, or sometimes I’ll cornrow it and wear a natural looking wig.
Has having natural hair contributed to your self-esteem in any way?
I think India Arie said it best “I am not my hair” so when I first did the big chop, and saw how people negatively responded, I had to make the choice to stay confident with my decision.