Meet Soraya: Australian-Trinidadian artist and visionary, who is curating a creative movement that encompasses her passion for visual art, kinesthetic movement, modelling and cultural diversity.
Through her brand, she hopes to promote a message of authenticity, love, light and a positive evolution of the universal consciousness at large.
We asked this creative queen to share her hair journey, care routine, and cultural experiences.
I haven’t felt the pressure to straighten my hair so much in the Australian [modelling] industry, more so the depth of ignorance regarding natural hair.
Particularly when I was younger, I would find that I would always end up with a picked out, 70’s-esque afro! Even if all of the other models had beach waves. I always appreciated that they didn’t try and make me conform, but it’s also saddening that hair professionals have asked me to do my own hair, due to their lack of know-how.
My experience in the US was different. I was signed to NEXT Miami for a year and my agents appreciated my natural hair, and I worked with hair professionals with the correct know-how.
During this time however, I cut my hair and coloured it, and I felt the pressure from my agency to stick to one look, which felt stifling in a creative sense.
My routine is simple, and I try to stick predominantly to natural products. I oil my scalp a few times a week with castor oil/coconut oil.
I use black soap as a shampoo and try to only shampoo when needed. I use Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie as a conditioner and leave-in and I’ll grab my edge control/gel if I want to be super fleeky haha.
I like to wrap my hair a lot as well, as it’s in an awkward phase. I try to wear a silk scarf every night before bed and will use scarfs to set a sleeker look at times.
I am yet to visit Trinidad, which is where my father is from, however I try to embrace my natural beauty in all that I do and being authentic to who I am is always a priority. Especially when it comes to my body. I’m still developing my curves, and the more my hips grow, the more I realise the modelling industry needs to stop pushing for an unrealistic body size from models.
Even when I was a full time college athlete, training every day, eating a vegetarian diet, my hips were still too large according to my agency. I don’t ever want to conform to their ridiculous expectations, even if it makes my journey harder.
I also feel somewhat disconnected to my roots due to growing up in Australia, and I think this is the reason I have such an affinity for different cultures, which I express in my art, style and modeling. My father is Afro and Indo Caribbean and I particularly see these flavors being outwardly expressed in my art, despite me not growing up with these influences.
Watch Soraya’s video for more about her unique hair journey: