You may recognize Hayley Marie Norman from many places. As one of Hollywood’s familiar young faces, she’s appeared in print ads (Hennessy), film (Hancock, Norbit), and television (The Game, CSI: Miami). You may have also seen her on the hit TV show Deal or No Deal), where she quickly became the standout model for briefcase #25. These days she stars in Hello Cupid, a breakout YouTube web series. Read on to learn more about Ms. Norman’s hair, show, and advice for new naturals.
Have you always been natural?
I’ve been natural my whole life. It wasn’t easy, but now I can say I was lucky. Back then I hated my parents for it. They always encouraged me to keep my hair natural. And by “encouraged me” I mean they were just like, “We’re not taking you to straighten your hair.” So I kind of had no choice growing up. As I got older I came more into it and owning it.
I think it was my experience on Deal or No Deal that really made me start loving my hair. When I knew that I was really close to being chosen as one of the girls, I really thought they were gonna ask me to straighten my hair. I asked them about it and they were like, “No, we love your hair. Why would you straighten it?”
America responded and I started getting letters from a ton of people. That’s when I realized I wanted to be a voice for black women to know that you don’t have to change who we are and what you look like naturally to fit into society’s idea of what’s beautiful.
Do you have any particular products that you swear by? Do you have a routine?
Sometimes people think they have to put something on their hair to make it grow, but I think what goes into your body that what does it. I use and take a lot of natural things like coconut oil. I add it to my food, but I also use it in my hair. I use avocado and things like that.
Like I said, I try to use a lot of natural things. But I do love Wen. I think that it’s great. And I also love Kinky-Curly.
Tell us about your show, Hello Cupid, and your character, Robyn.
I play a character named Robyn. We’re sort of like the odd couple. My co-star, Ashley Blaine Featherson, is a little bit more conservative. I play the one that’s a little bit more of a free spirit. I told them [the producers] that I wanted to stay true to the integrity of the character.
I wanted to make sure that the storyline stays focused on the fact that we’re doing this social experiment about changing your [dating] profile photo from someone with darker skin to lighter skin and to see what the response was, but that we both come off as intelligent women.
Any advice for someone thinking of going natural or who just did the big chop?
The biggest thing I would say is kudos to you. Don’t get discouraged. Don’t listen to [negative] people. Keep going for it. And again I would stress that your diet has a lot to do with it and to use natural products.
But mostly I would just want to hug you and tell you that I’m so excited. I think that we’re all in this together changing society.
Originally published 5/2/13 on NappyHeadedBlackGirl.com.