The confidence to color outside the lines—artistically and beautywise—stems from the spirit of her family. “Despite not seeing that much representation in the beauty space on television growing up, my parents really reminded me that I was beautiful and that my chocolate skin and my kinky coils were my superpowers,” explains Normani. As a young kid, she recalls staying up late the night before school to lay on her mother’s lap and get her hair braided. “Sometimes I’d fall asleep, and she’d prop me up, do one side, then flip me over as I slept and do the other side,” she says with a laugh. “I’d wake up, and it would be all done.” It’s these special times centered on hair and family that are cemented in her memory. “Having bonding moments like these with my mom is super special to me,” she continues. “I could go to school and not necessarily see myself, but still feel proud of me.”
During her Fifth Harmony days especially, Normani was constantly changing her hair. “I was the daredevil in the group,” she says, noting she wore her hair short, long, textured, straight, blue, and red. “I would just get bored quickly.” The biggest risk she took during that time? “I tried to rock a pixie cut, and it didn’t quite come out the way I thought it would,” she admits. “But I think I’ll be in a place soon where I might want to try it out again.” Today she also wants to explore more braided styles inspired by one of her greatest music and beauty idols. “Alicia Keys has always inspired me,” she says. “I think that was the first concert I ever went to. I loved the different patterns she’d create with her hair and the beads she’d add to it.” Another above-the-neck muse is Naomi Campbell, whom she paid homage to on Halloween in 2020. “Growing up, my mom would always call me baby Naomi,” she says.