Top of Mind
Rituals with... Diarrha N'Diaye-Mbaye
By Crown Affair
Meet Diarrha: the Bushwick dream and beauty founder of Ami Colé; the clean beauty brand made to celebrate melanin-rich skin. We love Diarrha for her vulnerability about what it’s like to be a founder, and her emotional openness around her hair and rituals. In this T.O.M., Diarrha divulges how her newfound relationship with her hair makes her feel bountiful and limitless; with a radiating positivity and style we all could learn from.
- Where do you live and what do you do?
I live in Bushwick, NY, and I am the founder and CEO of emerging beauty brand, Ami Colé.
- How would you describe your hair?
My hair is a recent friend of mine. She's fully transitioned from relaxed to ever-changing 4C, low-porosity hair. My hair is demanding– time, product, energy, arm muscle strength– but she's beautiful to me.
- How does your hair make you feel?
Bountiful. My hair's thickness and versatility remind me that I am limitless. My hair can hold braids, weaves, combs, and so many stories & secrets. I feel proud when I finally nail a hairstyle and understand her (my hair's) language. It took some time to get here.
- Have you always felt this way about your hair or has it changed over time?
Nope. It took some time for me to grow a relationship with my hair. Prior to transitioning to all-natural, my hair was always managed by someone else; usually my Dominican hair stylist every other week for a "wash and set". And when I have braids, my mother or one of her hair stylists would braid, twist, or weave my hair.
It took some alone time with my hair – in the shower and beyond – to have this relationship. We're in a good place now. So much so, when I go to stylists I remind them how my hair wants to be treated, for example detangled from the tips down to the root vs. from the scalp to tips.
- What is your current haircare routine?
Oh boy. Do we have time? It all starts with wash day. This happens usually on a Sunday when I've mentally prepared for the start of a new week.
I start by sectioning my hair into 4 parts. I like to use clips or scrunchies to hold but not pull my hair. I brush through each section with the intention of detangling. When my hair is super dry, I use oil during this step. I then step into the shower and wash my hair by section. I stretch my hair downward to focus and massage my roots clean and treat my scalp – shampooing like the commercials leaves my hair tangled and shrunken.
After shampooing, section by section, I condition. I let my conditioner sit in my hair while the steam works its magic. It's a golden moment for low-porosity hair. While it penetrates, I usually treat my body to a scrub. I then take my Crown Affair Comb No. 001 to comb through my conditioned strands from root to end. This comb has fallen so many times but never broken (we're friends).
After all this, I apply a leave-in conditioner and oil immediately before my hair shafts closes – this locks in the moisture and oil. I usually stretch my hair with an amazing blow dryer brush from Amazon. When it's dry, I add oil and styling butter to twirl or braid my hair. When it's twist out day, I undo my twists to reveal and fluff my fro. This happens every two weeks.
- What other rituals do you lean into the most?
Laughing. Talking to my boyfriend. Catching up with my best friends. Using my Calm App to meditate in the mornings. Playing with beauty products.