This post is part of an ongoing series called Fur We Love, where we focus on people's relationship to their hair and the routines they've built around haircare. This week, we talked to Ella Pavlides, a Fine Art Photography graduate from Camberwell College of Arts in London and freelance photographer who will be embarking on a sustainability and preservation project in Fiji in the coming months. We discussed pre-Raphaelite women, ringlets, and how her relationship with pubic and armpit hair has changed over time.
What are some of your haircare and grooming routines for hair allover?
My two major routines that are key to looking fly are: colouring my brows and then shaping (never plucking or threading just shaping) them with brow gel—doing my brows are one of those things that regardless of whether I’m wearing make up or not I’ll do—they’re a staple part of my look.
Every three days, more or less, I’ll wash and condition my head hair using Cantu shampoo and conditioner, post wash I’ll brush through Cantu Moisturising Twist & Lock gel to get those curls absolutely tight and ringlety...if I don’t keep to this routine or if I use a different kind of hair product my hair gets super frizzy and the frizz always gives me a look of stress and disorganisation...not the one.
I like to trim my bush and pits from time to time too but they don’t get much more attention than that!
What hairstyles makes you feel the most confident?
Either my most natural one; hair down post-wash or hair up with strands at the front, framing either side of my face :)
Was there ever a time you didn't feel comfortable with your head or body hair?
When I was first seeing guys in my early teens I definitely used to feel self conscious of my pubes, leg and armpit hair but now I would never shave and I actually prefer how it looks this way.
What's one trick that always works for you?
Brushing my hair in the shower—there’s no other time I can do it and it ensures my hair is detangled and smooth for my post-shower care. Dry brushing is a no go.
I’ve also recently discovered that my hair is far better suited to soft water rather than hard water (hard water has high levels of naturally occurring calcium and magnesium). Some of my best hair days have been when I’m staying in places where the water is soft, which sucks, because London has some of the hardest water in the UK!
How has your relationship to your hair changed over time?
It’s pretty much stayed the same—I’ve always loved my hair! but these days I have to do more to keep it in control.
Do you have a hair icon / someone in your life you look to for inspiration?
I look to the women in the Pre-Raphaelite paintings, they are my absolute icons! When someone tells me I look like a Pre-Raphaelite woman, it’s the ultimate compliment.
What do you love the most about your hair?
Being ginger and curly! My hair is so intrinsically part of my character, it’s how people know me and I always feel like i stand out from the crowd, I wouldn’t feel like me without it.