An Interview With Ariel Meredith
Meet Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, Ariel Meredith. Originally from Louisiana, this leggy beauty has done it all from walking the runways of New York, Milan and Paris to campaign adverts for well known names like D&G, The Limited, CoverGirl eye wear, and American Eagle Outfitters. You don’t often see models with long healthy natural hair, so Ariel’s locks stand out among the rest. Read her interview to find out more.
Your hair is so beautiful! How long have you been natural and what was your inspiration for doing so?
Thanks so much! I’ve been natural almost six years. My inspiration was simply embracing my natural hair. I wanted a change, something new and more than anything I wanted to be chemical free.
How Would you describe your hair?
I have sm/med sized curls that would probably be considered type 3c. After doing the big chop I had a big fro that I loved, but as my hair started growing longer the extra weight caused it to start growing downward. No complaints though, it’s all apart of the journey!
As a model, it’s hard to transition from relaxed to natural without losing your hair or jobs in the process. How did you manage to do it successfully without breakage or heat damage?
At first, I tried working with my own hair during the transition process. I would bring clip-in hair pieces to work with me so hairstylist had the option of blending them, but the constant heat and hairspray were too much. All the wear and tear from photo shoots and runway shows started to take it’s toll. My hair was breaking off faster than it could grow.
I ended up getting sew-in extensions. My main concern was getting my hair to a healthy state and I realized that the sew-in was a chance for me to give my hair a break while it was growing out. I transitioned under the sew-in for about a year.
How do clients prefer you wear your hair for work?
It varies, some clients prefer it strait while others like to curl it. Most clients didn’t mind the extensions but it could be very limiting when it comes to styling options. When it came to clients wanting a high, sleek, flat ponytail – reality hit (again) and I realized I no longer needed the extensions. I was a little apprehensive about working with my own hair because I didn’t want to damage it. But I took the risk because I wanted my clients to have options when it comes to my hair. Variety = happy clients.
What’s your go-to style when you’re not working?
When I’m not shooting I usually wear my hair in a high bun or I wear a bun-out (kind of like a twist out but with a bun.) During the summer I take advantage of the warm weather with wash and go styles.
Any advice for those thinking about going natural?
Natural beauty shines brighter than any chemicals one could possibly use. It won’t be easy at first but give it a fair chance. Hey, that’s what life is all about – taking chances! Experiment with the natural beauty God gave you and I guarantee you will be pleased with the results.
Well said! Thanks to Ariel for a great interview. Follow her on instagram and twitter @ArielMeredith
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