Precious Lee Details the Hair Drama That Comes With Modeling
We love anything pertaining to Precious Lee, the model whose Lane Bryant commercial was deemed too hot for TV. So when we gave her the opportunity to talk about anything on her mind and she picked hair drama, we were all about it.
Read all about her experience with modeling as a woman of color re: hairstyling, and keep scrolling for an exclusive photo shoot.
Tell us about your hair — texture, length, what you love about it, what you hate about it.
My natural hair is thick and brown but I dye it jet black and straighten it often. When I’m in between styles (I frequent a bob and long waves) I love that I can wet my hair and wear it cropped and wavy. I can do so many things with my hair as long as it’s healthy—which can be hard thanks to my job. As a model, my hair is constantly being fried, dyed, and laid to the side, making it tough to avoid split ends and breakage.
How old were you when you realized that being a woman of color changes the way people perceive your hair? Was there one event that made you realize this or was it gradual?
My father is a salon owner with 50 years of experience, which means I grew up without ever having negative views of black women’s hair. My dad’s business was making all types of hair beautiful. It wasn’t until I began modeling that I had to deal with negativity directed at my hair because of the lack of diversity in the industry. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some amazing hair stylists in this industry, but there aren’t enough stylists that have experience with black hair in fashion. I’ve had so many crazy things done to my hair—that I’d rather not relive. Now when I come into contact with some that are intimidated by my hair or don’t know how to do it, I speak up. I’ve also started to come to work with my hair done.
What are some of the comments people make most frequently about your hair on set?
Everyone I work with regularly loves the fact that I know so much about my hair. Some people are great at asking questions on how to style it and even ask me to show them. I’ve been wearing it longer lately with extensions and have been getting good feedback. It’s all about changing it up! I literally can’t keep the same style, I get bored too quickly.
What are some misconceptions about WOC hair in the fashion world?
The biggest one is thinking our hair is difficult to style or manage. Or that all women of color have the same texture. We have long hair, short, kinky, wavy, red, brown—the list goes on. People often judge what they don’t understand. That’s why I like talking about my hair with stylists: so we both learn something and ultimately get the look the client wants. Next, I would love to see people in fashion to take the time to learn more about our hair and our skin.
What do you want girls with hair like yours to know?
Its your hair, wear it how you feel the most beautiful at that time. Always speak up for yourself when faced with negativity and know that at the end of the day, your opinion about your hair is the only one that matters.
Model: Precious Lee @ IMG
Photographer: Fumie Hoppe
Stylist: Beth Hitchcock
Hair and Makeup: Amy Chin
Photo Assistant: Ian Hoogenboom