For the latest episode of our hit series Define Beauty—the second in a four-part editorial collaboration with Dazed Beauty—director and photographer Rhea Dillon explores what it means to plan and manage her hair.
While most hair adverts depict the natural ease of 'wash and go' white hair, Dillon conceives of an advertising landscape where non-white hairstyles are the norm, while also exploring the ways in which "the crown" she holds on her head is "laden with politics and societal pressures."
“It’s always been wash, detangle, deep condition, moisturise, comb through, and then on to style”
The London based director explains: "As a person with afro hair I can’t afford to not have it together. 'Wash and go' was never our thing—that shit’s new. It’s always been wash, detangle, deep condition, moisturise, comb through, and then on to style, And now with added ‘watch a million tutorials as your hair dries in impatience to then go back, wet your hair again and just style it like you always do. Now breathe.
"As much as we love the acknowledgement from the Natural Hair movement at the moment," she continues, "I feel there is so much more that needs to be unpacked, to be processed. This is a film that opens up the sensory experience of the hair ritual of a black person from start to finish. To provocatively push the audience to experience and therefore understand the weight of 5 little words: “Sorry, I’m washing my hair…”