How This L.A.-Based DJ Cares for Her Natural Hair

For Ladyrednails (AKA Tiana Warren), playing music isn’t just a job, it’s a way to make the world a better place. You’ll find the DJ, model, host, and voice actor spinning house music at events and venues around Los Angeles. An advocate for women’s empowerment, she’s also the founder of Ladies First, an annual project that for the past three years has provided homeless women in Downtown L.A. and Skid Row with feminine hygiene supplies. We chatted with her about her career and her secrets to beautiful natural hair.

How did you get into DJing? I started in radio in 2013 – no experience, walked in as an intern, and I fell in love. Prior to that I grew up dancing – I danced for 16 years – and my love for music is literally the foundation of who I am. When I started working at the radio station, I learned engineering, microphone skills, and hosting. It was just a matter of time before someone said, “Hey, when are you going to jump on the turntables?”

I was initially very scared because it was something I’d never done before. As a birthday gift, I got a Serato DJ controller, and from there it was a lot of fun, practice, sharing with friends. In 2016 I got my first gig on New Year’s Day, and I’ve been DJing for the past two years.

What types of music do you like to play? I love playing house music because to me it’s an opportunity for people to be free – dance however you want to dance, move however you want to move. If you really listen to house music, most of the time what they’re talking about is love. I’m smiling right now because that’s what I want people to experience – I want people to be in love with the music and themselves and dancing.

What does your hair routine look like? I wash my hair probably twice a week, so maybe every four days. I wash, I condition, and I’ll use either Whipped Curls or Advanced Climate Control gel and Hi-Defining Custard. And I just put that in my hair and I go. I don’t normally have time to diffuse or make it all cute and perfect. I just put in the product and let it air dry, and throughout the day I’m scrunching it and fluffing it so the volume can really come into play. I’m a really quick, easy, on the go girl when it comes to my hair.

How do you refresh between washes? At night, I have a silk scarf and I wrap my hair up in a pineapple style. When I unwrap my hair in the morning, I put a little bit of Mongongo Oil or Restore + Revive Bi-Phase in it. I shake it out, put a little water in there, and my curls snap back – so happy, so vibrant. I’ll add a little bit of the Shine Glaze, and I’m good to go.

What do you like best about wearing your natural texture? I love that it’s just so easy. When I was growing up, it was always a struggle of “what am I going to do with my hair?” Either my mom was putting it in individual braids, or I would have to go to the beauty salon every two weeks and straighten my hair. I don’t put heat on my hair anymore, and with that, it allows me to be able to work out – I don’t have to worry about sweating my hair out. I literally could jump in the pool if I wanted to. I can do whatever I want because my hair is in its natural state and it’s happy, and I’m happy, and it just works.

And on top of that, we’re really in a revolution with our hair within women and particularly women of color, where we’re embracing ourselves. And when women decide to go natural, or when I decided to stop straightening my hair, it was a process of figuring out: okay, what products work for me? What products don’t work for me? Should I wrap my hair, should I not wrap my hair? It really took something for me to embrace my hair and all the ways of it, and just falling in love with it. I have a community of women around me who are also going through that same journey, and we embrace each other.

Catch up with Ladyrednails on Instagram or via her website.

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