Introduce yourself, what do you do?
Hi! I’m Elle Osili-Wood, a television presenter and poet. I initially started out working in politics, then realised I preferred reporting to campaigning. Since then, I’ve done all sorts of work, from red carpet reporting to reading the news. I’m also a performance poet, writing and performing whenever I can.
What’s your favourite thing about your work?
I love the power both television and poetry have to share stories. Both my parents are brilliant storytellers, and so I grew up with a real appreciation for just how engaging and inspiring a well told story can be.
Are you natural or relaxed (is that your natural hair colour and texture)
I have incredibly thick hair – my hairdresser always jokes that I have the hair of three women – and although I’m mixed race, I wasn’t lucky enough to get the looser curl mixed girls often get. As such, I’ve been relaxing my hair for as long as I can remember – it just makes it so much easier to deal with. I also have a half weave, to keep the bulk of my hair out of the way and add length.
What are your go to products?
I absolutely love Luster’s You Pro Vita Polish, a professional styling product that is sadly getting harder to find. It’s an incredible humidity resistant hair polish, and as it’s infused with aloe vera and and coconut oil, it smells gorgeous. Although Luster’s say it can be used on wet or dry hair, I usually only use it right before I blow dry, as otherwise it can feel a little greasy. I honestly swear by it – it really does protect from frizz and gives a beautiful shine to your hair.
What is your all time favour hairstyle?
I almost always have my hair down in loose curls, unless I’m filming outside and it’s windy – and even then, it’d have to be a hurricane.
What are your 3 top hair care tips?
- Avoid bleach. I went through an ill-advised blonde phase (thanks Beyonce), and am still paying for it. I think Afro hair is just too delicate for that kind of extreme colour change.
- Protective hair styles are a godsend. After the bleach, my hair was so brittle that I lost inches of it from breakage. Swapping to a partial weave has enabled me to keep it nourished and safely tucked away while I regrow!
- Don’t be lazy. Afro hair is a lot of effort, and when I was younger, I often couldn’t be bothered to give it the attention it needed. From shaving my head to avoid painful brushing (yep, really!) to not wrapping it at night, I was really lax about hair care. Now I’m meticulous about looking after it, and the difference is unbelievable.
Do you have a hair routine?
I brush, plait and wrap at night, then in the morning, I brush it out and use a little Vitapointe before blow drying or straightening my actual hair, depending on how frizzy it is. Usually the overnight plaiting will have given my hair waves, but if not, I’ll loosely curl with my straighteners, and then I’m good to go!
Describe yourself in five words?
Creative, curious, ambitious, reflective, happy.
What helps give you inspiration/motivation?
My parents are hugely inspiring to me; both of them are incredibly intelligent and driven, and their life together has been full of adventure. As I said earlier, they’ve got heaps of interesting stories to tell, which I love – if I’ve got half as many by the time I’m their age, I’ll be happy! My husband is also a daily source of inspiration for me. He is hands down the cleverest, funniest, kindest person I know, and being married to him has helped me grow in so many ways. His support and encouragement genuinely make me feel like I can do anything.
Aside from people, I’m always pretty inspired after watching Def Poetry Jam. It’s a spoken word show from the early 2000s, featuring people like Mos Def, Erykah Badu, Kanye West, Kent Foreman, Louis Reyes Rivera… I could go on all day! The pieces performed are absolutely incredible, and watching such powerful, emotional, beautiful work always leaves me with a head full of ideas.
What are the top three things on your bucket list?
I don’t really have one – I tend to try and do something as soon as I realise I want to!
What made you laugh this week?
Playing Cards Against Humanity with a big group of friends. It’s always hilarious, if uncomfortably so.
Please see her link to her blog and any other contacts