Tag Archives: thandie newton’s hair

Proud Pony

Post by Thandiei
Since I’ve allowed my natural hair to grow I’ve had the best time busting ‘down looks’, ‘up-do’s and everything in between.

At the Creed Premiere in London last month

At the Creed Premiere in London last month

Textured haired is a joyous world of opportunities – and it starts with confidence and pride; because Baby, big hair gets a big reaction! So get ready for centre-stage attention, and warm up the high beam smile to match.

A simple pony tail can be the chicest solution to a dramatic, eye-catching, killer look. Right now I’m loving the drama of pulled-back hair and giant, curly ponytail. And when it comes to ‘human hair’ wefts, the options are potentially, well, huge!
So here’s how…
You Will Need – hair wefts, needle and thread (colour to match your hair colour), good scissors, toupee clips (also known as weave clips), curling irons, large ceramic plate, clothes hanger (with skirt clips).
 The first step is to purchase good quality human hair that matches your own in texture. My go-to store in London is PAK.
The key is to buy single wefts. You can always double them for extra volume, by stitching 2 wefts together. You don’t want a lot of thickness at the root, so double thickness is the most I go for.
indian-virgin-remy-human-hair-wefts-straight-12-inches-2darkest-brownThe hair usually comes in long strips, which you can cut to your desired width. For this look I prefer placing smaller pieces here and there, rather than long strips from ear to ear.


I cut these pieces about 6 inches (15 cm) wide, and sewed 2 together to create the thickness I wanted. Stitch the second piece ‘just below’ the stitching of the first weft, to avoid the final weft becoming too bulky at the root.

Next, stitch the toupee clips (below) along the weft – one at each end, and one in the middle.

Weave (toupee) Clips

Weave (toupee) Clips

Make sure you place the clip’s ‘teeth’ towards you (obvious, but if you’re distracted it’s easy to do it wrong!).
I used straight hair which I home permed myself (using Boots brand home perm kit and perm rollers from Sally.) The perm is a looser curl than I wanted for this look, so I boosted the bounce with curling irons. For a curly look it’s always better to have permed the hair pieces ( or buy them already curly), as using irons on straight-to-curly isn’t as stable (the curl can drop quickly, especially in damp weather, or a sweaty club!).

Tools of the trade

The double pronged curling iron I’m using in the picture, was a gift from my long-time friend and hair hero Kerry Warn. He  got them from his favourite supply store in Paris (see below). But there are great irons out there, like this one  from hottools.com which you can order on-line, or buy from a good beauty supply store (see below).

Always protect your skin with tongs!

Always protect your skin from hot tongs!

But please be careful – and always create a place where the hot irons can lie away from anything that will burn (like wood, cloth, your skin!). A large ceramic plate will do. A millisecond burn from one of these things is NO JOKE, especially on dark skin where the mark will stay for months, even up to, or more than, a year. You can see that I covered my legs with my bathrobe when I curled the pieces.


A good tip I dreamt up recently, is using a coat hanger with skirt clips and hanging the weft between the clips.
Place the hanger on a low hook. It keeps the weft secure, and makes curling easy.
Before.  After.

Before. After.

Picture_14The other option is to use dress pins to secure the weft on a polystyrene head-shaped wig stand (available from beauty supply stores) and place the shoulders of the stand between your knees while you curl.

Styling IMG_0080

For this low pony tail look, I placed the hair pieces in the lower back section of my hair.


I created partings and clipped the pieces along the parted section, close to the scalp. I don’t back comb, because my natural, curly hair holds clips very well.
But if your hair is wavy, you might need to gently back comb along the part, to give the clips some purchase so they don’t slide out.


The pieces added length and a ton of volume to my pony tail (the bigger the better!). It’s amazing how much hair you might need, to achieve a dense, luxurious curly ‘do’. Especially if you’re being photographed – because as soon as a flash hits curly hair the volume is reduced by being able to see ‘through’ the hair.
So, be bold and stuff that barnet with pieces, you won’t be disappointed with the results.IMG_0075
Once the wefts were in place, I pulled all the hair into a ponytail. The great thing about textured hair is that it ‘hides’ clip in wefts beautifully, so once the wefts are prepped, it actually takes very little time to be out the door with this look.
The best kind of hair band for this much volume, is the ‘bungee band’Picture_5.  Once you’ve gathered the hair into a ponytail, hook one end and then wrap the band around and around, secure the other hook when you’ve wound it as tight as you can.
Keeping the ponytail tight adds much more drama to the volume of the pony. I also use a little Tancho hair wax to control stray curls and give extra sheen.


Caring for your wefts is easy. Use a spec of gentle shampoo to wash them, brushing as you go (I use a Tangle Teaser), and a little conditioner on the ends. Rinse. You can even put a dab of serum on the ends if they’re looking dry and split (‘human hair’ wefts behave as natural hair does, and get damaged over time, so keep them nourished).
Lay them flat on a towel (or hanging in the hanger clips!) to dry.
In my 'proud pony' & off to do press for Rogue in Cannes!

Proud of my Pony in Cannes 2013! Make up here by Kay. Vintage dress from The Gathering Goddess, clutch Lulu Guinness.


Other great Hair and Hair Tool supply stores:
New York:
721 8th Avenue
New York
NY 10036
tel: +1 212 757 0175
Various branches around Manhattan
Los Angeles:
12640 Riverside drive
Valley Village
CA 91607
tel: +1 818 655 9933
11252 Magnolia Blvd
North Hollywood
CA 91601
tel: +1818 760 3902
5270 Laurel Canyon Blvd
San Fernando Valley
CA 91607
tel: +1 818 769 3834
Kerry Warn’s go-to Paris supply store:
17-19 Passage de L’Industrie
75010 Paris
tel: +33 1 448 3500
Atlantic Road, Brixton.
London SW9 8JL

Mini Tenugui Wrap

Post by Thandie

I’ve never felt entirely comfortable ‘wrapped’…except at night, when I wear a scarf around my head to keep hair off my face. It’s something I strongly associate with my Mum who did the same. But during the day? God knows what the nuns at my school would have said if I’d arrived ‘wrapped’ – they might have called the police – heh heh.

Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie and Zadie Smith

Ntozake Shange, Maya Angelou, Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie and Zadie Smith

Most women in my top 10 admiration list have featured head wraps – Chimamanda, Maya, Zadie, Ntozake – and they look divine.  I guess I don’t feel confident enough to pull it off. But in life I DO use my hair like it’s fabric…I’ll roll it, pile it, bunch it, fold it… and this week I happened on my first casual DAYTIME mini wrap!

I love these Tenugui’s – Japanese towels – they could have a multitude of uses.

Tenugui cloths


When I saw them I bought a bunch for my night time head wrapping.  The gorgeous prints are to dye for (sorry) – in beautiful, natural pigments.

I’m drawn to the blues – indigo, denim, cornflower, powder.

And this ‘mini wrap’ is the simplest solution on a dodgy hair  (alarm-clock-didn’t-go-off) day.


Tenugui cloths



How to get Thandie Newton’s H


Step 1Step one

Throw in a few braids.

Step twoStep 2

Wrap your Tenugui around the back of your head, enfolding your braids, with the fabric ends roughly where you want your ‘knot’.

Thandie’s How to do a Tenugui Hair Wrap!

Step three

thandie's tenugui hair wrap

Thandie's Tenugui hair wrapThandie's Tenugui hair wrap

Literally tie a knot (if your hair is short your Tenugui will provide enough length)

Step four

Tuck the ends in (hair and Tenugui) and arrange the knot to your liking.

And that, is IT! So cute, and a subtle variation to the full wrap and pile of fabric. This feels more like a hair ‘accent’ or accessory, and I really like seeing the braids bound together with the fabric, rather than completely hidden inside it.

Also, you don’t need to buy authentic Japanese Tenuguis – any fabric will do! The dimensions of a Tenugui are typically 35cm by 90cm.

The key is the size -35cm by 90cm. But if you love Tenugui’s like I do you can order on line, or there’s bound to be a store near you if you bounce into Google. I did a quick search and I like the look of ones at Rikumo.


I would LOVE to see your variations on the mini wrap theme – instagram us pictures at thandieandkay!

My first daytime mini wrap!

My first daytime mini wrap!


** **

Thandie Newton’s Hair

Thandie Newton's blogI bought my Tenuguis at Tortoise 1208 Abbot Kinney Blvd. Venice, CA 90291


Happy Wrapping!

Big Bushy Hair

Post by Thandie.

thandiekay.comThis is about hair and healing. If you’re featuring kinks you’ll acknowledge that the two often go together. We’ve already devoted many pages to the theme here at ThandieKay – and doubtless there’ll be many more to come.

I went to an all-girls boarding school between the ages of 12 and 18. We wore a tidy uniform, and the hair discipline was similarly straightforward. Especially the ‘straight’ part. I was a dance student and half of every week day was spent throwing down shapes, so my hair was pulled back in a bun or braid. The weekend was where we got to express ourselves with clothes, hair and make up. It was showtime. And the parade took place in the dining hall. Lunchtime in the canteen we’d watch from tables as girls rounded the corner to select their plates, while revealing who they really were.

It was always more delicious than the food. Dozens of revelations – “Did you see so and so’s OUTFIT! So and so looks fierce with eyeliner! So and so kills a JEAN!”

I was very shy about my appearance (Anika and I talked about hair issues growing up in a previous Post here). But finally at about 13 I braved the canteen with my loose hair.

It was big, it was brown and it was bushy. I had no reference points for hair like mine.

I don’t think I’d ever seen another person with big bushy hair; only me. Subsequently, wearing it free put me in a profoundly fragile space. I guess I thought I was safe in my boarding school environment.


Must be the season of the witch.. Kate Bush

As I walked self-consciously along, selecting food items, the matron on duty – Miss O’Donohue – saw me and commented loudly “Thandie Newton, you look like a WITCH!”  I felt as though I’d been slapped in the face. The room went silent. I was surrounded by a sea of eyeballs. The humiliation was intense.

I didn’t have the self esteem to deflect the easy attack, instead I took the comment and internalised it. I had made a stupid mistake – my hair was a catastrophe, and I should have known better. No more bushy hair for me.

Until about a year ago. Accidentally, and exhaustedly, after having our 3rd baby, I found that keeping my curly hair curly was one task too many. Even hair washing was an alien concept. The most I could manage was scooping my barnet up into a scarf, or a tie. Until one day, without thinking, I took a brush to it (I know – a brush!) … And magically there it was – a wild mane of glorious fuzz.

Frizz glorious Frizz

Frizz glorious Frizz

Big and fluffy like cotton flowers, soft and airy like a cloud. It was beautiful.

And, it was everything I’d understood to be wrong.

Every curly haired person shudders at the word ‘frizzy’.We’re the ones who run gasping from rain like the witches we are.

If you’ve got curls you want them articulated and defined – NOT brushed into a botch of follicle fuzz.

And yet here I was questioning, why? My halo of brown was ROCKING – it was huge, and amAZing! It’s also what happened to my eldest daughter’s hair when it was loose – and she loved it. So too my youngest who would actually ASK for her hair to be loose, so she could enjoy her “curly cushion” as she called it.

Frizzy Thandie in Isabel Marant800So, on a recent shoot for Porter magazine, celebrating my collaboration with Kay Montano I decided to celebrate La Frizz, to great effect.

I’ve never felt more gorgeous in my life, nor more intensely me. In fact, I’ve been wearing my hair frizzy for 6 months or so – it’s my current favourite style option. I feel strong, beautiful, fuzzy and free.

Yes, frizzy hair is bold. It’s the afro of the Naughties – who’s with me on this? It’s wild…

and something which is no longer taboo. Talking of taboos, let’s go back to Miss O’Donohue – the woman who helped me lock up Rapunzel for all those years. How do I feel about her comment now, or her? Well, who knows her motivation for saying such a thing – and I feel compassion for her; choosing to hurt a young woman. How sad to be the bringer of shame and distrust. She died soon after – no husband, no children and a 40 a day cigarette habit as her only friend. Who knows what sadness darkened her journey to that point.

So to her memory I say “The fear that caused you to recoil from me is no longer present in my body; the buck stopped with me. The world is a better place Miss O’Donohue – if you were here I’d help you, and we’d encourage the damaged child inside of you to come out and play”.

Funnily enough, I was talking to my dear friend Eve Ensler recently, about witches – Joan of Arc, and all those girls burnt at the stake. Bold, uncompromising women; feared by the status quo for revealing the wild magic of the unknown universe. Sounds like the woman I’m striving to be. So, thanks for the compliment – I’m proud to be a witch.

                                                             The Frizz Gallery

The Frizz Gallery

Clockwise Top Left: Esperanza Spalding, semi-frizzcurled Donna Summer, Maria (Sonia Manzano) from Sesame Street, Susan Sarandon in The Witches of Eastwick & Donna Summer


The Frizz Gallery

Clockwise Top Left: Chaka Khan, Grace Coddington, Jerry Hall, Marsha Hunt & Chaka Khan

The Frizz Gallery

Solange Knowles, Kate Bush, Donna Summer & Chaka Khan

The Frizz Gallery

Esperanza Spalding, Jerry Hall, Chaka Khan, Solange Knowles, Chaka Khan

 Editor’s Hair Note:


Boucleme founder Michele brushed out her curls for our #frizzchallenge

Thandie’s been loving eco-certified Boucleme hair products.

Designed for the drier, more fragile nature of afro and curly hair, Boucleme is sulphate & silicone-free & not tested on animals.

Despite her brand being about curls, she agreed to do our instagram/twitter #frizzchallenge (right) ! Thanks Michele!


Perfect DIY Blowdry

Post by Thandie

Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith

I stopped chemically straightening my hair 4 years ago. The final release from relaxing addiction came when my friend Zadie Smith said “But if you want to wear it straight you just blow it out, right?”.

Zadie is mixed heritage and makes hair wrapping, natural, or a smooth blow dry look effortless. Of COURSE I didn’t have to chemically straighten my hair to create the perfect blow dry, or any other style for that matter…

But when I was a teen, years of hair horror growing up amongst stPhilomena_posterraighties had driven the desire for flaxen hair deep into the marrow of my wishbone. I not only wanted straight hair, I wanted the straightness growing from my ROOTS.  I mean, how bonkers is it that at 5 years old I took my ‘fro to a Catholic school run by Irish nuns – women who barely even HAD hair under their wimples (Did you see the movie ‘Philomena’?). And there I was with hair like a wild bush of virility – the nuns must have been salivating with desire to punish that Bantu ‘fro into submission. I’ve chuckled to myself about how my black presence in the school gave the nuns the missionary vibe they were famous for overseas.


‘Once we’re conscious of the story behind our discomfort, we can reject that story and be free. And then we can have it all, and love it all’

Thankfully a degree in anthropology, Toni Morrison and Buddha lead me out of the darkness, and I’ve come to realise that my desire for straight hair was a desperate desire to be ‘normal’, to be loved.  I wanted to melt my curl, my fuzz, my brittle, kinky, messy, awkward, eye catching, different, sigh-worthy, brush-hating curl away forever.  Once I’d christened my head with poisonous dollops of Lye, I could be closer to God. And I spent the years that followed fearing water like the witch that I supposedly was – never swimming, never laughing in the rain, never going too near a sneeze for fear of the fuzz  revealing me as a charlatan.  I was like Daryl Hannah in ‘Splash’, terrified of her tail-turning legs and Tom Hank’s shame.  I smile as I write – the crazy, ego drama of my hair is a long way past – and so is the pain. The pain of a little girl, with beautiful hair that should have been wild and free; like bird wings, or tall grass, or kisses. I’m making up for it now – seeing my daughters’ hair rave all over their happy heads, and me having FUN with my curls for the first time in my life.

And here we are – a blow dry is no longer a necessity for me, or a style to make me ‘normal’ or ‘better’. It’s one of many looks that I have fun achieving – it’s artistry, and a celebration of the medium that we all have growing out of our skulls. Let hair be our yarn, our weaving materials, our feathers, turban, crown. Let hair bring us closer to God, not further away.

Step 1

Thandie w towel-pap bkgrnd

Pre step towel-wrapping

After taking my hair to Hair Heaven I wrap it in a towel for a while. The extra heat from the towel further softens my hair, and leaves it damp rather than wet. Less wetness means less time under the heat of the dryer – and make no mistake, heat on the hair is not a good thing.

Obviously your hair texture will determine how you straighten your natural hair. My hair is very curly, but soft enough to blow-dry straight quite easily. So, I don’t need to spend long with the flat-irons – in fact I could get away with just using the hair dryer (but I wouldn’t achieve the nice shiny finish that a flat iron gives).


Step 2

So, to protect the hair from the damaging heat I always put some sort of lotion through it. Depending on time of year, and climate you will need to figure out what you need. If my hair is in need of extra volume I’ll use John Masters – Deep Follicle Treatment and Volumizer, or Aveda’s – Volumizing Tonic spread evenly through. Also a good serum on the ends is a must – at the moment I’m using Giovanni’s Eco Chic Hair Potion. This step needs to be done quickly – it’s important not to let your hair completely dry before blow drying – in fact I always have a spray bottle filled with hot water nearby in case I need to re-wet the ends.

Hair4. 800

Tangle Teezer



Hair3. 800

John Masters Organic



Giovanni Eco Chic

Step 3

A good hair dryer is obviously important. I love GHD‘s tools, used throughout this Post. Always start with the hair that’s most kinky, or that dries the quickest. I always start with my hairline. Don’t rush this, and be patient. Section a piece out from the front, and always put the hair not being worked on back into a twist (to keep it damp). Take your front piece, gently brush it through (I use a Tangle Teezer) and then with a round brush, brush it FORWARDS over your face, following with the hairdryer a few inches behind the brush bristles. Repeat this until your section is dry, paying special attention to the ends.  I always blow dry the hair on the front half of my head FORWARD because it makes the hair fall much more naturally around my face. If you blow dry it BACKWARDS, away from your face, it gives an 80s crest at the hairline, straight out of The Cosby Show.

My Blowdry tenchnique

My Blowdry technique

Step 4

I flat iron each section after I’ve blow dried it. Sometimes I’ll add a little extra serum on the ends before I hit it with the devil’s paddle – my daughters are always aghast when they see the plume of smoke twirl away from my hair – “It’s just the product” I reassure them.

Flat Ironing

Flat Ironing



The reveal!

The reveal!

Step 5

For styling I always use Tancho Lavender Hair Wax – a little warmed up in my fingertips to smooth down fly-aways, seal fluffy ends and give the hair a bit more ‘weight’. It’s also great for accentuating a bend. I tend to use the wax a bit like moveable hair spray – it’s brilliant stuff.

Final Smooth with Tanchi

A Final Smooth with Tancho

And there it is –  the perfect DIY Blow Dry for a rainy day…  NOT! : )

And there it is –  the perfect DIY Blow Dry for a rainy day…  NOT! : )



Thank You Billie Scheepers for your beautiful photography! billiescheepers.com

Hair by Thandie, assisted by Ayo Laguda

Make-Up by Kay


The Curl Rules by Ojon’s Jennie Roberts

Posted by Kay


At work with Jennie

Thandie and I have worked with hairdresser Jennie Roberts many times over the years, and I’ve always admired her well-maintained, tight and beautifully conditioned curls. I bumped into her the other day on the 1st floor of London’s Corinthia Hotel, amidst the flurry of a press junket we were both working on – and her curls looked particuarly good. Unlike Thandie, I’ve been behind the scenes all my life, so am no pro when it comes to my own hair. I still struggle with getting my wild froth into smooth curls.  So, I had to ask her how she did it.

She was also raving about Ojon (she’s now an ambassador-on meeting her for the first time I took one look at her and said ‘oh my, it’s Mrs Ojon’),

Then Jennie told me that Thandie modelled her hairstyle in ‘Run Fat Boy Run’ on Jennie’s actual hair!

So it was all too good not to share….


Jennie’s curl rules..

“I have naturally frizzy curly hair that needs some smoothing out in order to create the perfect curl.

My ritual starts with Ojon Damage Reverse Shampoo and Conditioner.

Once I do the initial brush through of my wet hair, I then start to layer the various products that give me perfectly smooth curls. An important ‘rule of curl’ is that I never brush my hair again once the layering starts as this tends to pull my curls straighter instead of bouncy.


Thandie in Run Fatboy Run

















After shampooing, I smooth  Ojon Rare Blend Deep Conditioner through my hair-this helps to keep the cuticle tightly closed and weighs down my hair just enough to hold the curl in place.

After this I then use a small dollop of Ojon Pro Fade Glossing Cream, I have coloured hair so this protects the colour and also smooths the cuticle for a perfect curl.

The final layer of product is Mousse. This seals in everything and really smooths the cuticle for frizz-free curls.

Throughout my hair ritual,  I keep in mind my objective- and that is super smooth curls, The Curl Rulesso remember this when handling your hair-don’t ruffle or rub- or even towel dry your hair.


Drying hair for the ‘perfect curl’

This particular method of application should be used on hair that is very wet and just hand-squeezed dry. Hair can either be left to dry (handle as little as possible whilst it expands and only touch hair from underneath, so not to effect texture), or dry using a diffuser.

Gently place hair in diffuser without moving around, just have patience and let each section dry before moving on and make sure you dry the roots too-this gives it lift.

About once a week I’ll use the Damage Reverse Restorative Treatment for added smoothness.


Jennie’s Curl Recipe



Apply to dry hair and leave for at least half an hour-longer if possible. Wash out and style as normal. This will leave your locks smoother and super shiny.

When my curls are past their best and need wetting to revitalise the texture I wash with the Ojon Co Wash.

This is a great product if you need to wash hair that’s not dirty but just needs to be restyled. Great for in-between regular shampoo as it’s a gentle cleanser and will condition hair with its coconut derived base.”

See Ojon’s US website and UK website

Follow Jennie on twitter and instagram

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