Our “How I Shop” series documents how prominent figures buy clothes. It can be a social experience, and a deeply personal one; at times, it can be impulsive and entertaining, at others, purpose-driven, a chore. The same goes for beauty — and there’s a whole lot to unpack in the way we discover, test and purchase hair, skin, makeup, fragrance and wellness products. Now, we’re delving into all of it with “How I Shop: Beauty Edition.”
Turns out that Tony-nominated, Juilliard-trained actor Shalita Grant has more in common with Sherry, the fan-favorite character she plays on Netflix’s “You,” beyond an affinity for a #justwokeuplikethis fresh-faced skincare routine.
For one, they’re both sharp entrepreneurs — although, I’m sure that the self-aware, reflective and charmingly genuine Grant would not use that hashtag. (The Madre Linda mom-fluencer, however…) In “You,” Sherry, the founder of the “Heart-Shaped Mistakes” empire, would presumably have a whole content operation dedicated to beauty, with tutorials for, say, smudge-proof makeup tips for a swinger meet-up. But the actor, whose prolific acting resumé includes Shakespeare on Broadway and other beloved on-screen roles like über-chic lawyer (and Alexis Rose-level vocal fry aficionado) Cassidy on “Search Party,” is starting to expand her own brand.
Launching in November, Four Naturals treats and nurtures type 4 hair types, like Grant’s, while making a societal (and industry) impact. The plant-based line debuts with two products: a henna mud mask (to restore curl patterns, improve moisture retention and cover grays) and a cassia-based deep conditioner (to repair and hydrate curls). The core of Four Naturals is in the name: The line uses all-natural ingredients and traditional practices found in India and North Africa — all heavily researched and sourced by Grant, who grew up with two generations of hairstylists in her family.
Grant’s impetus to start Four Naturals came from a disheartening and very personal professional experience. While playing Agent Sonja Percy on “NCIS: New Orleans” for three years, her hair became drastically damaged through regular straightening and application of disparate extensions for differently textured hair. As many other Black talent have experienced on productions (and in the fashion industry), the lack of textured haircare education and respect from styling teams and producers had emotional health and self-image ramifications on Grant, too. Eventually quitting the show — and left with traction alopecia — Grant felt galvanized to make difference for herself and people with type 4 textured hair, in and outside the business.
“I realized that it’s about more than fucking hair — this is assimilation. This is my life-force. This is about limitations,” she …….