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Singer Alycia Bella Shares How She Takes Care of Her Head-Turning Blonde Braids

Vogue Logo By Akili King of Vogue | Slide 1 of 5: Texture Diaries is a space for Black women across industries to reflect on their journeys to self-love, and how accepting their hair, in all its glory, played a pivotal role in this process. Each week, these women share their favorite hair rituals, products, and the biggest lessons they’ve learned when it comes to affirming their beauty and owning their unique hair texture. With her trademark waist-length blonde braids and effortless style, it might be a surprise to learn that singer-songwriter Alycia Bellamy—better known as Alycia Bella—hasn’t always felt at home with her hair. “Basically, my hair is super thick and curly. And when I was growing up, I had to choose between the Michael Jackson curl or the Snoop Dogg look,” she says, with a laugh. “I always wanted it to be thinner. It didn’t help because I went to a predominantly white private school. At that time, literally only European standards were enforced.” Bella, who has been expressing herself through music since childhood, searched for both her visual identity and her creative voice. With music—her new single, “Link,” was released today—she says “it took a lot of trial and error and experiences in my own journey and trauma...things that really, really helped me get deep.”  Her hair journey was one of trial and error too. “It’s been exhausting,” she admits. After school, she explored wigs: “I got a lace wig, and then I was like, first of all, it’s beyond high maintenance. And then I felt like a helmet head,” she recalls. She tried dyeing her wigs blonde—“I loved the color but not the wig, so I ended up dyeing my real hair blonde instead”—and hasn’t turned back since. More recently, she’s cut her hair off to grow it back out stronger and is rocking her blonde braids in the interim. “I’ve really loved them. I’ve had my hair braided for like, three years. I’ve been trying different [braided] styles, and I feel like it’s a great protective style.” Bella—who takes hair inspiration from Left Eye, Gwen Stefani, and Zoë Kravitz—gets her braids redone every two weeks by Lola, better known as @hairess_n_hollywood. She deep conditions her curls with Palmer’s Olive Oil packs, then uses Olaplex to maintain her color. To lay those baby hairs? She reaches for Eden’s Coconut Shea Control Edge Glaze. Wearing a do-rag every night helps “make sure everything stays smooth and moisturized,” she adds. Now, Bella is preparing to release more music. “I’m just excited for myself to accomplish something. And just getting my voice out there and letting people know what I’m about, and finding friends and new fans,” she says. New hairstyles might be in the cards too. “Maybe Bantu knots!” she says, before adding quickly: “But I’m still so attached to my braids.” Beyond her hair rituals, the rising star is prioritizing self-love with affirmations and a sonic practice: “I got a sound bowl. I create a morning ritual, I say mantras to myself like: ‘You are powerful, you are perfect, you are strong,’” she says. But her biggest hair and confidence lesson? “Trends are always going to come and go. Whether it’s your hair or anything else, don’t let the trends make or break you,” Bella says. “It’s okay to not let societal pressures tell you what you need to be doing. Just be an independent thinker.”

Texture Diaries is a space for Black women across industries to reflect on their journeys to self-love, and how accepting their hair, in all its glory, played a pivotal role in this process. Each week, these women share their favorite hair rituals, products, and the biggest lessons they’ve learned when it comes to affirming their beauty and owning their unique hair texture.

With her trademark waist-length blonde braids and effortless style, it might be a surprise to learn that singer-songwriter Alycia Bellamy—better known as Alycia Bella—hasn’t always felt at home with her hair. “Basically, my hair is super thick and curly. And when I was growing up, I had to choose between the Michael Jackson curl or the Snoop Dogg look,” she says, with a laugh. “I always wanted it to be thinner. It didn’t help because I went to a predominantly white private school. At that time, literally only European standards were enforced.”

Bella, who has been expressing herself through music since childhood, searched for both her visual identity and her creative voice. With music—her new single, “Link,” was released today—she says “it took a lot of trial and error and experiences in my own journey and trauma...things that really, really helped me get deep.” 

Her hair journey was one of trial and error too. “It’s been exhausting,” she admits. After school, she explored wigs: “I got a lace wig, and then I was like, first of all, it’s beyond high maintenance. And then I felt like a helmet head,” she recalls. She tried dyeing her wigs blonde—“I loved the color but not the wig, so I ended up dyeing my real hair blonde instead”—and hasn’t turned back since. More recently, she’s cut her hair off to grow it back out stronger and is rocking her blonde braids in the interim. “I’ve really loved them. I’ve had my hair braided for like, three years. I’ve been trying different [braided] styles, and I feel like it’s a great protective style.”

Bella—who takes hair inspiration from Left Eye, Gwen Stefani, and Zoë Kravitz—gets her braids redone every two weeks by Lola, better known as @hairess_n_hollywood. She deep conditions her curls with Palmer’s Olive Oil packs, then uses Olaplex to maintain her color. To lay those baby hairs? She reaches for Eden’s Coconut Shea Control Edge Glaze. Wearing a do-rag every night helps “make sure everything stays smooth and moisturized,” she adds.

Now, Bella is preparing to release more music. “I’m just excited for myself to accomplish something. And just getting my voice out there and letting people know what I’m about, and finding friends and new fans,” she says. New hairstyles might be in the cards too. “Maybe Bantu knots!” she says, before adding quickly: “But I’m still so attached to my braids.” Beyond her hair rituals, the rising star is prioritizing self-love with affirmations and a sonic practice: “I got a sound bowl. I create a morning ritual, I say mantras to myself like: ‘You are powerful, you are perfect, you are strong,’” she says. But her biggest hair and confidence lesson? “Trends are always going to come and go. Whether it’s your hair or anything else, don’t let the trends make or break you,” Bella says. “It’s okay to not let societal pressures tell you what you need to be doing. Just be an independent thinker.”

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