This week’s Pomp and CURLStance brings us the uber-talented photographer Gabriela Herman. Hailing from New York City, Gab shares with us the history of her fiercely fabulous curls and the starring role they take in her photography. Ever since Gab shot photos of me, I’ve been excited to feature the curls and the girl behind the lens!
Read on for the full interview!
C: Tell me about your curly hairstory.
G: I’ll start off with a story. in the second grade when it was my week, everyone in the class made a book for me titled ‘You Are Special’ with each kid writing a sentence about me. the typical line would be something along the likes of ‘you are nice’. I’ll never forget this one kid though who wrote ‘you are special because of your exotic hair do.’ You got that right kid!
The Herman Family: (from L to R) Gabriela, Talia, Paloma, Niko, and Jeff
My hair has been a blessing. I’m very proud of it. I don’t hide it in the shameful way many curly-haired folk have been known to do. To date I can say that I’ve only straightened my hair a handful of times in my life. And when i have done so, it just doesn’t feel like me.
A few pain in the ass things about my hair: the uninvited dreadlocks that occasionally appear, the shedding, the stickiness factor in the hot summer sun, getting hair caught in the randomness of places and all the untangling!
That being said, I wouldn’t be me without my head full of curls!
C: Can you tell me about the role your hair plays in your photography and how that relationship has developed over time?
G: I’ve noticed more and more that my hair it taking a forefront in my self portraiture, though this isn’t something that’s being done consciously. Thinking about it now, I often use my hair to cover my face. to hide my physical identity, yet by doing so, my hair becomes my identifying factor. I don’t usually like to have my face showing in my self portraits. I’m not sure why. I guess because I don’t want the image to me about me, Gabriela Herman, specifically. But because of the unique nature of my hair, the photos are clearly all still me and no one else. My hair and my photography is definitely an area yet to be fully explored, but I will get there!
C: When and how did your “learn” how to do your hair?
G: After sporting a wild main all throughout elementary school, I think I realized around 7th grade that combing my hair is a terrible idea. All combing it does is increase the volume tenfold. I haven’t owned a brush ever since. What I do now is when I’m in the shower I’ll simply untangle it with my fingers
C: What’s your current regimen and what products do you use now?
G: I use very little products. My one savior has been Biolage’s detangling conditioner. I have never found a product that works such wonders in my hair. I recently learned not to shampoo every time I shower. sometimes I will put a leave in conditioner post shower. Thats pretty much it. Low maintenance I am
C: Any tips/tricks/techniques you’d like to share?
G: Wish I had some!
C: If you could use three words to describe your hair, what would they be?
G: Fabulous, unruly and to bring this interview full circle, exotic!
Gabriela + her sister Paloma