During the pandemic, we’ve all been living through our screens, absorbing what society perceives to be beautiful, and in turn, sharing the version of ourselves that we think is beautiful. But our relationship with beauty and how we choose to express it is much more complex: It's a connection to your culture, a coping mechanism, a lifestyle, or a work of art. In our first season of Beauty Out There, in partnership with Ulta Beauty, we’re meeting four LA locals whose looks and rituals are as personal as they are powerful, proving that beauty can be a conduit to the most authentic and confident version of yourself.
Feeling free is a running theme in Julienne Brown's life. Whether she's cooking off-recipe or jotting down song lyrics in her journal, the self-described "free spirit" and Los Angeles-based musician, fashion recruiter, and all-around creative likes to forge her path only in ways that feel most authentic to her. This mindset is especially true when it comes to how she chooses to wear her hair.
"I've wanted locs ever since I was a little kid," she recalls, noting how her mother would never allow her to wear the style growing up in Michigan. After she moved out of the house to go to college, she started wearing her hair in twists which — while attending music festivals — eventually turned into locs on their own. To her, they became a form of rebellion against society.
"My locs represent my choice to be the truest version of myself. For far too long, Black women have been under pressure about their hair," Brown says, having personally experienced microaggressions regarding her hair at previous jobs (which is part of a larger cultural issue around hair-based discrimination in the workplace that movements like The Crown Act are actively fighting back against). "Locs lifted that pressure for me. I no longer care what my hair 'should' look like."
Now, at her dream job as a recruiter for fashion and creative roles, she makes her own schedule and embraces her individual style, all while following her passion as a singer-songwriter working on her next EP.
While locs represent freedom for Brown, they also symbolize commitment — not just in a long-term sense (she plans to wear them for life), but also as a daily form of self-care. "When I’m taking care of my locs, I am the most connected to myself," she says. "It's a meditative experience."
When it comes to her loc routine, Brown's philosophy is less-is-more. "I try to use organic, healthy products," she says, mentioning rose water and lavender oil. She'll do a wash day every two weeks, along with a detox treatment every three months. While she likes to keep it simple, occasionally she'll style her locs into pigtails or wear them in braids for a few days to give them a curl.
"My locs are a record of who I am and where I’ve been," she says. "They carry my history."
Watch the entire video above to learn more about Brown, her loc routine, and her personal style.