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Hair Tip - Kelis: Curls Gone Wild


Kelis 1st Annual Video Game Awards Hosted by Spike TV MGM Grand, Las Vegas

Known as much for her gigantic head of stunning orange tinged curls as for her big voice, Kelis Rodgers (Kuh-LEASE) recently married her long time sweetie, rap star Nas, in a small private ceremony on January 10, 2005 in Queens, New York.

Nas and Kelis, who never tried to hide their relationship, met at an after party for the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards in New York. It was love at first sight. Nas proposed to Kelis at her mother's home on Christmas Eve 2002.

Note: Nas and Kellis were officially divorced in May of 2009.

The sexy Harlem born singer and songwriter (Born August 21, 1980) who has told the press in the past that at some point she "planned to quit her pop career to settle down and raise a family" has been busy with a variety of musical projects since the release of her last album, Tasty, at the end of 2003.

The sassy songbird teamed with Britney Spears on the 'Onyx Hotel Tour which ended in the Spring of 2004. The pairing of Kelis and Britney might seem a little odd except for the fact that both performers told the media that touring together "would be a lot of fun" and would introduce both singers to new audiences.

Besides touring with Britney, Kelis also teamed with her man Nas, at the end of 2004 on his double album, Street's Disciple. She also entertained the option to tour with Lenny Kravitz.

Kellis & Alicia Keyes Santa Monica, CA

Haap Media Ltd All Rights Reserved

Kelis had time to join Mary J. Blige and JC Chasez in the 2004 Gap's Winter TV ad campaign called How Do You Share It with Sarah Jessica Parker where the Sex And The City lovely bumped into muscians over the Holiday Season.

One thing is for sure, the lady has some of the most gorgeous curls on the planet. It's hard to believe that she had so much hair considering that when she was 13 years old Kelis shaved her head bald.

When her trademark big curls grew back, she dyed them a wild range of colors. At one point the song diva had Atomic Turquoise and then bright candy pink tresses, courtesy of her favorite Manic Panic hair dye.

Eric Von Lockhart, an award winning photographer who has shot some amazing images for in the past was fortunate to photograph Kelis some years back. Eric told me that not only was Kelis wildly talented, she had absolutely amazing tresses.

In the above images of Kelis, she was photographed wearing her naturally curly hair in a tighter ringlet curls, especially around her face. She also had her trademark vibrant reddish orange hue.

Although her style was more finished and defined that some of her earlier "out of control" big hair curls, she still looked amazing.

Don't Talk About Her Hair

Kelis Santa Monica

Not everyone loves her wild head of hair. Kelis, in an interview with VH1 in 2003 commented that everyone "has issues with my hair". She noted that people have certain expectations of who she is based on her look.

A new media report from October of 2003 claimed that Keils pulled out of a British radio interview because her hair was misbehaving. An insider claimed that "her errant curly locks refused to behave" and she was fretting that "her hair wouldn't sit properly" and according to the media reports, she was a no show.

Whether the story is true or not, Kelis is entitled to a bad hair day, just all the rest of us mortals. The eccentric songbird loves her hair and thinks "it's great, but everyone seems to think it should look a certain way". Regardless of what others think, Kelis deals with it and does it her way.

At one point, Kelis got frustrated that people only wanted to discuss her hair. She on the other hand, wanted to discuss her songwriting and her CDs. For awhile the songbird refused to discuss anything about her tresses.

Steal Kelis' Style - How To Do A Straw Set

Kelis and her big hair are always in hair fashion. Celebs have embraced the big hair trend as demonstrated by Gwen Stefani and Salma Hayek.

Kelis has naturally curly hair whic she encourages to go wild. Anyone with African American or natural curls with a super tight ringlet pattern could recreate the style that Kelis is wearing above with a traditional straw set using drinking straws. You can also use perm rods for looser curls.

Straw sets are a great way to eliminate the need for a lot of combing. It's also a great style to try while in transition from chemically treated to natural tresses.

Step 1: Shampoo and condition your hair with your normal products designed for your current hair type, texture and condition.

Step 2: Apply tennis ball size of mousse, gel or setting lotion.

Step 3: Start with a complete pack of plastic drinking straws (you can buy at the grocery store). Cut the straws to match the current length of your hair. The straw should extend approximately 1-2 inches below the ends of your strands.

Step 4: Separate hair into 1/4, 1/2 or up to 1" sections. (The smaller the section, the tighter the curl)

Step 5: Using end papers (available from any beauty supply location), fold paper over the ends of the hair before rolling with straws

Step 6: Carefully wrap individual sections of hair around the straw lengthwise to form natural spirals. Start at the ends of your hair and roll towards the scalp.

Step 7: Use bobby pins to anchor the new curl. Pin inside the base of the straw, lengthwise next to the scalp. For a tighter anchor, pin at the top and the bottom of the straw.

Step 8: Dry hair under hood dryer or bonnet dryer until 100% dry.

Step 9: Let hair completely cool before unwrapping the straws.

Step 10: Release curls by carefully unwinding the straw rollers from the hair. Go slow and unwind one rollers at a time.

Step 11: Apply a shine serum and carefully arrange new curls with fingers.

For this style you will only need to use your fingers to arrange or pick your hair. You may need to regularly spray your hair with an oil product to prevent it from getting to dry.

The Kelis look can also be recreated using a rod or spiral set, or possibly through a combination of braiding and/or twisting.

If you have naturally curly hair you can also try washing your hair with your regular shampoo and then applying moisturize. Towel blot and then shake your head front and back and side to side to let your natural curls take shape.


The hip-hop chanteuse was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2004 for Best Urban/Alternative Performance for her hit single, Milkshake.

The sassy performer was decked out in a gorgeous beaded flapper Elie Saab gown for the awards. She was quoted by MTV as saying "I just wanna be pretty and have fun". Sounds like something the fun loving star would wish for.

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- Revised Publication Date: 02/17/11

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