Curl Talk with: Azalea Danes

Saving the earth is a full-time job, but you can still look great while doing it. This month, we sat down with climate change activist Azalea Danes to chat about how she’s working on making the world a better place and how to keep your beauty routine eco-conscious.  Read on for what she’s working on how she’s juggling collage, climate change, and discovering her curls.

What current projects are you working on?

I just started my freshman year of college remotely, but in terms of advocacy work, I’ve been doing a lot with my organization TREEage. Last week we launched a campaign called The Hive, which is a network of NYC students in high school and college who are passionate about advocating for climate justice in NYC, specifically through advancing legislation on a state and city level. It’s been really exciting to see students who had previously not been engaged in the climate justice movement join our trainings and learn how to organize their school community as part of a greater network of students.

How did you get involved with TREEage? (Danes is the organization’s Director of Communications)

I started organizing climate strikes in the spring of my Junior year of high school, so almost a year and a half ago. In preparation for the September 20th strike, a few friends and I founded the NY Climate Coalition, which was basically a network of different youth organizations in NYC fighting for climate justice. We recruited my friend to join strike organizing, because he had a ton of experience working with political campaigns, and a few months later, he founded TREEage! I was organizing with Fridays for Future at the time and then switched to organizing with Extinction Rebellion Youth before finally finding my home with TREEage as the Director of Communications. The political sector has always been especially appealing to me, and watching TREEage come to fruition has been an awesome experience.

What’s your go-to hair styling routine right now? Do you like to wear your natural texture?

To be honest, I don’t really have one. I’ve been cutting my hair myself since I was 12 because I’ve always been insanely busy and my short hair is always just easier. I tend to just wash it twice a week, sleep with it wet, and put in some argan oil if I’m feeling fancy. I wake up with it in 15 different directions and crazy curls, so I generally stick it in a ponytail because I don’t know what to do with it and I can’t stand hair in my face while I’m working.

Has your relationship with your hair changed over the course of your life?

My hair straightener and I had an intense relationship in middle school because my hair was long and huge and difficult to manage. I’ve had green hair, pink hair, and blonde streaks, all results of impulsively dyeing it in the bathroom, but being a redhead has always been central to my identity. I’ve come to terms with my hair, although I definitely should start having a professional cut it rather than me and my fabric scissors.

How can someone keep the climate in mind when buying hair products?

The biggest things are limiting the number of plastic containers you buy, reusing bottles until you recycle them, and making sure as much as possible that you use products that are ocean and coral reef-friendly.

What does beauty mean to you?

To me, as much of a trope as it is, beauty is about doing whatever it takes to make you feel badass, whether that’s totally natural or full-glam. Sometimes a good winged eyeliner and a blowout help. My parents are fashion designers, and I’ve grown up with beauty and fashion looming in the background, but my mom has always stressed the importance of the basics: sleep, diet, and exercise (Though disclaimer, I’m definitely not great with balance). If I feel good on the inside, I feel beautiful on the outside.