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Hair Diaries: Chris Kaysee on Dismantling the Beauty of Her Upbringing

“Don’t stand out too much. You will be bullied for being different, and you already look different.”

This was the message that Asian American content creator and oVertone superfan Chris Kaysee was taught at a young age. Not standing out became a priority for Kaysee and her deep fear of rebelling against the traditional ideals of her parents kept her safe in her comfort zone. As an adult, Kaysee has embraced her culture and individuality as a Phillipino American through her hair, rocking the boat with bold color and radical self-expression.

In this chapter of Hair Diaries, we explore how Kaysee’s hair journey was more than just a cut and some color, but the catalyst for an intimate piece of self-expression that completely revolutionized her life. Join us as we delve into intersectional inclusion in the beauty industry, how color impacts self-expression, and how Kaysee has aligned herself with her hair breathing strength, confidence, and vitality back into her own life.

“All you want is to be accepted, and that starts with accepting yourself first.” — Chris Kaysee.

1. How do you want to see the beauty industry grow to become more radically inclusive and intersectional?

I love seeing more models of various ethnicities, skin colors, and body shapes come into the scene. I would love to see more products those models can use – more hair products for textured hair and more colors/shades of makeup for darker/deeper skin tones.

2. When did you first start changing up your hair or feeling it as part of your overall style/identity?

I started playing with hair color in my teens, only to be reprimanded by my mom (angry Asian moms are NOT fun to be around, lol). I only fully started embracing having “fun” with my hair now that I’m an adult.

3. Who are some of your hair/beauty icons? What do they represent that makes them so influential to you?

Michelle Phan will always truly be an icon to me. She was one of the first Asian Americans I was exposed to through the media. Seeing her excel as a beauty influencer and businesswoman allowed me to dream big and see that career as a possibility.

4. What is your day-to-day beauty routine? What are your essentials, and what makes them a staple for you?

Daily I use the Cleanser, Toner, Serum, Eye Cream, Moisturizer, and SPF – and for my hair, I use Moisturizing Oil and Leave-in Conditioner Spray (Also dry shampoo for the in-between hair washing days). The brands of these products often change because I love experimenting and trying new products, but I’ve followed this care formula for a long time. What makes me keep a product as a staple is if I notice that it does something “extra” for my skin/hair/body that I haven’t been able to achieve through other brands/products.

5. Where do you find hair and style inspo?

Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and TikTok (in no particular order)

6. How does hair impact your self-expression?

My hair allows me to challenge the “rules” I’ve been taught throughout my life. “Don’t do this,” “If you do this, you’ll be seen as bad,” “Do this, and you’ll be more attractive.”

7. Is there a certain hairstyle that makes you feel your best?

Any that fits the mood/activity I’m doing at the moment!

8. Anything else you’d like to share regarding your hair journey?

It’s come a long way for me and my hair! But I’m grateful to have this opportunity to express myself and inspire others by using their hair as a source of self-expression and “rebellion,” in a sense.

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