A: My name is Andrea Lewis and I’m from Toronto, Canada. I’m an actress, singer and a writer.
Tell us about your new web series “Black Actress”.
A: “Black Actress” is a scripted web series following the character “Kori Bailey” in her trials and tribulations of pursuing an acting career as a black woman. Each episode features an interview testimonial with a celebrity black actress telling a little bit about their own story in the entertainment business.
What did you set out to achieve in creating a series like “Black Actress”?
A: I created the show for a few reasons. First, I wanted to celebrate black women and actresses and showcase our diversity and beauty in a way that I don’t get to see on TV and in film. I also wanted people to see a new POV of a black woman and see us as “normal”. We’re funny, vulnerable, scared, passionate, we’re just like everyone else.
Do you have anything in common with the character “Kori Bailey”?
A: The character “Kori Bailey” is in a very desperate and insecure place in her life and career in the show, and I was once in a place just like that, so I can definitely relate to her. All of her experiences in the show, good and bad I have experienced in real life or have a friend that has, so there’s definitely a little bit of me in “Kori Bailey”.
Will we see any other familiar faces in the series?
A: There’s a lot of familiar faces in the show! As I mentioned every episode features an interview with a celebrity black actress like Tatyana Ali, Naturi Naughton and many more, and there are cameo appearances from Tristan Wilds, Melanie Fiona and super model Damaris Lewis. The show has a lot of really great guests!
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
A: I’ve always been natural. Thankfully my mom doesn’t know anything about relaxers so the conversation never came up in my house. But I went through a period where I straightened my hair all the time and had some serious heat damage and my transition back to health was basically the same process of transitioning out of a relaxer. It took love and care and leaving heat alone and it wasn’t until I got my hair back to a healthy state that I started to just let my hair be, and wear it in its natural state.
How would you describe your texture?
A: I’m never able to go with the charts because whenever I see them, the pictures that go with the numbers all look a little different and it’s just so hard for me to tell. But my hair is basically fine, I have a lot of hair, but the strands are fine. It’s very soft and can easily be manipulated and will shrink up in 2 seconds with any hint of moisture or humidity.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
A: I keep my hair fairly simple and I often wear it down. I use Mixed Chicks Leave-in Conditioner and/or Kinky Curly Knot Today and a little bit of coconut oil. And I treat my hair on a weekly basis with Mixed Chicks Deep Conditioner. That stuff is great! My shampoos change all the time. I just look for sulfate free, but I haven’t found one that I stick with. I like the Shea Moisture Shampoo and right now I’m using Moroccan Oil Shampoo. But for the most part I do a lot of wash-n-go’s. After washing or wetting my hair, I put product in, let it air dry, and go. I used to frequently do finger coils or ringlets on my hair when I was obsessed with perfect looking curls, but now I don’t care and I appreciate the “wild” look.
What does wash day look like for you?
A: Wash day is my hair treatment day! I detangle with organic coconut oil and put Mixed Chicks Deep Conditioner on my hair, leave it on for 30 minutes then shampoo it all out. I wash my hair either once a week or every two weeks depending on how busy I get. Like I mentioned, even though I have a lot of hair the strands are fine, so luckily my wash/hair treatment day doesn’t take me all day, but I love it because I enjoy taking care of my hair.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
A: I’m a wash-no-go type of girl and I usually do it the night before I have somewhere to go, so I guess that makes it a wash-n-night type of style lol. I pineapple it once it’s dry and go to sleep. The next day it’s quick and easy for me to shake it out and go, and make this look last a few days. But if I’m really in a bind then I love a big messy bun with a scarf. I swear adding a scarf to anything will make it better, especially your hair.
How do you combat shrinkage?
A: I’m big on using my fingers as a pick for my hair and I find that helps with shrinkage. My hair has a ton of shrinkage and it could be down my back straight, but at my chin when it’s curly lol, so if I don’t pick it out as much as possible I’ve got nothing! I also use the pineapple to help with my shrinkage. After I’ve applied product I let it air dry and then pick it out. I put it in a pineapple for like 20 minutes and then I’m good. A little more length, and lots of volume.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
A: The front of my hair requires the most attention. It’s very sensitive to everything, especially heat and it’s naturally a looser curl pattern than the rest of my hair. I once had heat damage and this area took the biggest beating. It took me awhile to get the front of my hair back to a healthy state and its natural curl. For a long time the front of my hair was practically straight and I’d have to manipulate it as much as possible to get it to match the rest of my hair. It was a lot of work.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
A: Do: Use a little coconut oil on your hair if you have a texture similar to mine and Do use water, your hair loves and needs water, the more the better and the quicker it’ll grow!
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
A: Don’t use a lot of heat on your hair, it’ll ruin it! And don’t take your hair for granted, it’s beautiful and uniquely yours.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you and catch up on what’s going on in the world of “Black Actress”?
A: Yes to catch up on all things to do with myself and “Black Actress” just go here:
Black Actress Trailer: