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Rituals With... Lissie Chappell
By Crown Affair
Meet Lissie Chappell, a longtime New Yorker currently overseeing Communications and Partnerships at CUUP. As a friend of Crown Affair, Lissie is known for her natural hair and exceptional length—we sat down with her to learn more about the rituals surrounding it. Read our conversation for her daily approach to haircare and how her rituals have shaped her—and her hair. This is Rituals with...
- Tell us about you!
I am a deeply curious, passionate, welcoming, working New Yorker!
I grew up in the DC area and spent four years at college in New Orleans, which very much informed my young adulthood.
I have worked in Brand Communications & Marketing for nine years. After culinary school, I started in Hospitality Comms & Marketing for restaurants, chefs, hotels, cookbooks and products. Then moved into fashion, lifestyle and wellness brand work.
- Can you explain your relationship with your hair? How has it changed over time?
As a '90s kid, I went through the blunt bangs and bobs before age eight. Since then, my hair has always been long and mostly untouched, loving and celebrating its natural state with low maintenance, nourishing care.
I grew up very active, playing a ton of sports and dancing. I wore my long hair up most of the time, and still do. I’ve found the longer it is, the easier it is to maintain and just throw into a ponytail, bun or braids.
I never put heat on my hair, not even blow drying. (With the exception of occasional straightening in the early aughts, fueled by Avril Lavigne’s ’02 debut, of course. My friend Kelly used to meticulously straighten our hair on an ironing board with a clothing iron. What a time!)
I approach my hair like I approach all grooming—with intuition and just doing what feels good when I feel like it. I like to keep things simple, in a culture that pushes a ton of products and problems on people. I started cutting my own hair when I moved to New York nine years ago. Other than shaving my armpits for comfort, I let all hair on my body and face just grow and chill!
- How would you describe your hair type?
Thirty inches, wavy and light brown. It’s definitely thinning by the year, which is natural with age and stress. I embrace the shape, texture and oil each day brings. It truly looks different every day.
- Give us a rundown of your current haircare routine.
Shampoo and condition two to three times a week. I use the Crown Affair Renewal Mask once a week.
When I get out of the shower, I rustle hair in a bath towel, then wrap in the Crown Affair Towel and wear around the apartment for an hour. Brush root to end with a small round cushion brush, then part my hair and comb through left and right sides with a fine tooth comb.
If I shower at night, I will sleep with it damp. If daytime, I will clip into a bun and let it dry there. The only clip I use is a specific medium size jaw clip that holds my hair into a sort of figure eight swirled chignon. I have two in my apartment and two in my bags at all times!
Once hair is dry, most of the time I put nothing else in, but occasionally use Crown Affair's The Oil.
I mostly wear my hair up throughout the week, sometimes letting it down. The look I’m seen in most of the time is a slicked back bun or ponytail. By day three, I use a small boar brush to tightly slick back oily hair, making sure my part is straight, with a fine tooth comb. It’s all about the right comb, brush and technique for a tightly affixed clip or elastic.
Part of my process that feels very ritualistic is cutting it. I trim my hair two inches with shears, four times a year. I turn on a podcast and clip it into four sections, then smaller sections within that. I sit cross legged on a towel on the floor and intuitively cut layers in upwards motions, with more layers and feathering around my face.
- What other kinds of rituals do you do regularly and why?
I ebb and flow in and out of some rituals. In modern life, it often feels impossible to maintain consistent routines and rituals around demanding work and unrealistic expectations. I try to balance nourishing, soothing and healing rituals with self compassion, as I’m not able to do all the things I’d like to. Self compassion is a ritual in and of itself. Checking in on yourself, understanding your current state, how you can best support and champion your needs. Or just rest and pick it up tomorrow, next month or next year.
Currently, the rituals I practice most are:
Water: My most consistent ritual is drinking around two liters a day. I drink water from my Berkey filter, chilled in glass bottles in the fridge.
Matcha: After eight years of a beloved coffee addiction, I quit end of last year to try to start developing new habits. It’s sort of a challenge I put on myself as I’m working towards other health changes. Walking around the city with an iced coffee is one of my favorite rituals. I plan to bring it back at some point, but for now iced matcha is my morning ritual. I drink Sokuchouzan Matcha Tea from Tea Dealers on Ave B - store it in the fridge, froth in cold water and serve iced.
Herbal Tea: At night, I have one or two cups of loose tisanes from Tea Dealers or Culinary Tonic Bags from Five Seasons TCM.
Cooking: One of my biggest passions since I was a little kid. Living in New Orleans, culinary school and working in hospitality solidified this ritual in my life. Cooking is a calming, fun, safe space for me.
Skincare: I have used LESSE’s Ritual Serum since Neada Deters launched the brand in 2018. It’s my most consistent skin ritual and soothes my rosacea. My morning & evening ritual is slowly applying the oil serum, holding my face in my hands in malasana squat position.
Gua sha: I hold a lot of tension. My favorite tools for face and body are the Bloodstone Mushroom & Pro Nephrite from Cecily Braden. Face Gym’s Weighted Ball is also great. I’d like to finally get a massage gun soon.
Acupressure: At the end of the day, my body craves lying flat on a yoga mat. I lie on my acupressure mat and head rest every day for around 30 minutes.
Yoga: I crave heat and sweat, so I pair my personal practice at home with hot yoga classes at a neighborhood studio.
Infrared Sauna: I have been consistently going for six years and used to go three times a month. Lately I have been going around once a month. A 30-50 minute session is one of my favorite feelings in the world. Similar to yoga, it centers me and feels like home.
Walking: This is a daily ritual that also feels like a New Yorker’s lifeblood and home just as much as an apartment. I like the deliberate ritual of a walk for errands, long walk home from work, or spontaneous walk to meet someone.
Biking: I started biking when the pandemic started, and now CitiBike is a big part of my day. I bike to commute and aimlessly around Manhattan for pleasure.
Dance: I dance in my apartment to '90s-2013 tracks. My friends Lauren Gerrie & Marisa Competello teach MOVES class—always a beautiful respite and community to reconnect with. Another friend Eva Alt also teaches a lovely Ballet class for all levels.