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Black Hair in the Big Leagues
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Black Hair in the Big Leagues

Author: Broadway Podcast Network

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Throughout Black Hair in the Big Leagues, host Salisha Thomas sits down with badass black women (and men) on Broadway and talks about all things hair. We are sharing secrets, swapping ideas, and talking about our individual experiences backstage, onstage and beyond. But that’s not all; there are women (and men!) who can speak on this topic in other industries as well and open the conversation about what it means to show up to work being black and “put together.”After every episode, you’ll have new ideas for your own tresses and leave feeling inspired and empowered no matter what color you are to stop fighting what makes you unique, to live your best life and to embrace yourself exactly the way you are.Part of the Broadway Podcast Network.

55 Episodes
SHOW NOTES: Christiani Pitts is an actress, singer, dancer and writer making her Broadway debut in A Bronx Tale, recently starring in King Kong on Broadway. Products used: Heat Free Hair (her pick for human hair), and Her Given Hair Talk about the current climate, life as a performer in COVID times, and her hair journey. Wearing a beautiful slicked back ponytail today on the show Christiani remembers a time in her life when her dad would take her to Stagedoor to interact with the beautiful women that looked like her. Now that she's where she wants to be, she likes to be the inspiration for the young girls who see her perform. Talk about the future of Broadway and the ways it will change after this time in the world. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
SHOW NOTES: Lilli is a tony nominated actress starring in Spring Awakening (OBC), Tootsie (OBC), Spongebob (OBC). She's in EVERYTHING off broadway and regional as well as on the big screen. She plays a recurring role in The Good Fight and amazes audiences everywhere she performs. She is just THAT good. Wig prep: Simple pin curls and a hair net. Around Tony season her hair was gorgeously braided so she changed her wig prep around the hair she wanted.  For a perfect hair day: Lilli will wake up early to fully soak and condition her hair and fully air dry it. Products:  -Tracy Ellis Ross Leave in conditioner and curl cream -Microfiber towel and satin bonnet -Olaplex treatment to refresh curls overnight Talk about Hair representation on the stage, embracing natural hair, and growing up with black hair. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
SHOW NOTES: Krystal is a singer, dancer, and actress taking leads left and right. She made her Broadway debut in Hair, starred in Big Fish and Rent as leads. She's appeared on television in person and as a cartoon voice actor, alongside many other off broadway productions. Her most recent role is Eliza in Hamilton, what can't she do? Talked about Krystal’s start in her career, going to school full time and auditioning to follow her dreams. Krystal likes to use her psychology experience to adapt in stage, using human behavior to create characters. Politics, 2016 election, advocacy, standing up for what’s right! Krystal’s life style: No drinking and very mindful in her eating habits. Lives a very sustainable life and focused on being her very best. Products: Pattern by Tracy Ellis Ross (very popular among the community!) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
SHOW NOTES: Taylor Iman Jones is a gorgeous actress, singer, dancer, and guitarist from the original cast of Head Over Heels, Scotland PA off broadway, and a tour of American Idiot. Right before the pandemic she was IN COSTUME for Peggy/Mariah in Hamilton in LA. She is coming into the new Devil Wears Prada on Broadway as the "Anne Hathaway", and is currently back in Hamilton! In the episode: Exploration of different curl patterns and types Products used: Pattern by Tracy Ellis Ross' curl cream, leave in conditioner, and gel Ouidad cream Wig prep: Very consistent with prep, one pin curl up center, two on each side, two on the back, and WRAP! Wig cap (or two for more volume) Being wigged is preferred for any and all shows by Taylor. Talk about changes in self through the pandemic, different ways to approach the industry after these times. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dear Evan Hansen's Ciara Alyse Harris joins Black Hair in the Big Leagues. Ciara is one of those freaks of natures that hop from College to the Big Stage. Yes, she's AMAZING. On the stage, but also, off the stage. She has a heart of gold and an awesome blog and podcast called Queen Made of Light. Follow Ciara on IG @ ciaraalyseharris or @queenmadeoflightthepodcast or Check out her blog at Follow host, Salisha Thomas @salishathomas or at And Follow Black Hair in the Big Leagues on Instagram @blackhairpodcast Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Artistic Director of Bay Area Children's Theater Khalia Davis joins this week's episode of Black Hair in the Big Leagues. A bonafide actress turned director, producer, and now artistic director, Khalia talks about taking action in the direction of your dreams, being a black woman in a space where not a lot of people look like her, and how she is standing in her truth to represent the underrepresented. Khalia's ambition and joy for life is contagious. Watch her Sunday Spotlight channel and follow her on social media. Follow Khalia on IG @khaliashd and check out for more info! Follow host, Salisha Thomas on IG @salishathomas or Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Four of the Original gangstas from Beautiful The Carole King Musical on Broadway come together to take on this episode of Black Hair in the Big Leagues hosted by Salisha Thomas. Yasmeen Sulieman, Rashidra Scott, Gabrielle Reid, and Ashley Blanchet join this panel on all things hair. This episode was recorded right around the time of the 2020 Presidential Election, so buckle up and get ready. They've got something to say. Follow the ladies on their social channels: Yasmeen Sulieman Rashidra Scott Gabrielle Reid Ashley Blanchet Subscribe to Black Hair in the Big Leagues on the Broadway Podcast Network and don't forget to rate and review on the platform you stream from. And if you love what you hear, support Black Hair in the Big Leagues on Patreon and earn free merch! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Cierra Jackson is a political and Pageant Queen POWERHOUSE. When we recorded this episode in the winter of the Pandemic, she was Miss DC USA. Since then, she has officially become the longest reigning Miss DC USA in the history of the pageant. She crowned the new Miss DC and has now become the new Miss Black International Ambassador!! She's a model, an entrepreneur, has an online jewelry business which you can check out at @cierras_corner. She started a program called She Should Run which encourages and equips women with the tools needed to run for political office. She worked in the White House during the Obama Administration, is a Spelman grad, has a consulting business, was Miss DC in the Miss America Organization, and is an overall gem of a human being! Watching her on that Miss USA stage with her natural hair is nothing short of inspiring. During this interview, Cierra talks about showing up as the Black woman she is in very corporate spaces. Follow Cierra Jackson on IG @cierradjackson and her website at Follow host, Salisha Thomas at @salisha and Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
SHOW NOTES Éponine in Les Misérables, Janelle Woods in Beautiful, Eliza in Hamilton Wearing natural hair all the time makes hair inherently healthier You can't wear it down/out everyday Ouidad Curl Creme (first) Ouidad Climate Control Gel (second) Only puts a little bit in hair because she wants hair to feel a little frizzy (doesn't want crunchy look) Deva Cut did not go well! Took too much off when she asked for a trim; TRAGIC! Ana Daniels (Hair Stylist) does a nice cut Half black (dad)/Half white (mom) Became conscious of what other people thought in middle school Standard of beauty in America is a white women with straight hair This is what she thought was beautiful, so she started straightening her hair Her mom/role model was white, so she wanted to look like that Realized to embrace hair in her first year of college Once she got to New York, she saw all the women wearing their natural hair and got excited Jen Waldman Studio (New York, New York) 4C (Color Conscious Character Creation) Class Reach Out by Molly Beck Reach Out Party People at her acting studio kept her going during the pandemic Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Amelie Book of Mormon Hairspray Tina on Broadway Co Creator of BOLD What is BOLD?  -BOLD is a nonprofit that shoots to BUILD UP BLACK WOMEN IN THE PERFORMING ARTS FOR THE RESTORATION OF CULTURE Broadway debut in Amelie was WILD for Destinee, but she thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Pandemic talk: Worries, stay-at-home experiences, and hope for the future! The black hair department has been great for Destinee, filled with educated and knowledgeable help! As a hard dancer, she’s learned that hair effects the performance aspects of theatre! (Dancing a wig off) Hair for Amelie was pretty simple, a basic high bun for most actors! Hair Journey: -Grew up getting perms at a young age, but her mom did braids for everyone in her community so she often wore braids! -In high school, she got her first sew in. -Started perming her hair in high school, but the natural movement started to happen (based on how expensive it was and what everyone else is doing around her) -Her true natural hair journey happened midway through school when she decided to make the big chop HERSELF! -By the time she was a senior in high school, she was rocking her natural fro! Destinee’s GO TO is a wash n go and some clip ins.  Products: Zuri natural star clip ins What is one thing Destinee is grateful for? -Her wonderful community! -The new iPhone update! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Laquet Pringle is no stranger to the Broadway Industry. She is a dancer extraordinaire, a veteran, and an educator. In this episode, Laquet keeps it all the way real with her authentic, genuine self. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jasmine Richardson has starred in the US tour of The Bodyguard opposite of Deborah Cox, on Broadway in The Book of Mormon and Getting the Band Back Together, and regionally in Dreamgirls, Memphis, and so much more. She is an educator, a mentor, a light in the darkness, and someone who you'd want to be friends with. Jasmin keeps it so real and has a heart of gold!! Show Notes: Created a space for kids of color to have access to mentorships. Hair and education go hand in hand! Pandemic talk: how we make do with what we have. Wig prep: Braided down or a two strand twist, usually “prepped” in every day life.  Curl Type: 4C Products: -TGIN leave in conditioner -Cream of Nature Shampoo -Pantene -Moroccan Oil Mask -ETAE conditioner Hair Journey: -Mom did her hair as a young girl, but it started to fight back so Jasmine started to do her own! -In middle and high school, she constantly permed it to make sure it stayed permed. -After college, she did the big chop and started her natural hair transition journey! Made her directorial debut this year! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Wonu Ogunfowora is a force to be reckoned with. Starring in a Bronx Tale, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, We Are the Tigers off Broadway, and in rehearsals pre-pandemic for the Britney Spears Musical: Once Upon a One More Time, she can do it all. She keeps it real. She's down to earth. And a dream to work with. Listen in on this Broadway star's journey and hair thoughts! Voted one of the sexiest women on broadway. The pandemic was tough, but Wonu balanced her life well and stayed safe all on her own. Talk about self-confidence, taking risks, and empathy. Hair journey: Has an interesting relationship with natural hair. As most young black girls, Wonu started perming and relaxing her hair early in life. Her last year in college she made the big chop! Been all natural since 2016. Texture education is important! Conversation about wig prep, and the way stylists have royally screwed hair up! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Salisha Thomas sits down with the one and only Todrick Hall to discuss his journey to stardom, and of course, HAIR! Todrick is a choreographer, actor, dancer, singer, songwriter and director, who first became famous as a contestant on American Idol before going viral with his online Disney re-working videos. He is an absolute trailblazer, and huge inspiration for people all over the world. Todrick slays the game on the stage and on screen, starring in Broadway shows such as Kinky Boots, Waitress, and Chicago. He has choreographed for Beyoncè and RuPaul's Drag Race, and he continues to amaze his almost two million follower fanbase day by day (or should we say SLAY by SLAY)? Follow Todrick Hall: @todrick Follow Salisha Thomas: @salishathomas Blog: Follow Black Hair in the Big Leagues: @blackhairpodcast Want some podcast perks? Follow Salisha Thomas on Patreon and support Black Hair in the Big Leagues to help keep us going. Part of the Broadway Podcast Network Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Danielle is a vocalist in theater and the music recording industry. She was in Beautiful on Tour, Memphis and countless other shows. Download Danielle's new hit single: PHOTOSHOP on all streaming platforms and follow her on IG @gimmesumm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
From the hit TV show Glee and currently starring in Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist on Hulu, Alex Newell is a force in every single room. Alex discusses advocating for oneself, starring on Broadway in Once On This Island, and gracefully explains a couple controversial topics. An outpouring vessel of love, a voice descended from the heavens, and a whole lot of personality, Alex Newell is truly from out of this world. Soak up some of his magic and tune in. From Hollywood to Broadway and everything in between and beyond, Alex Newell is a STAR. Follow Alex on IG @thealexnewell. Follow Black Hair in the Big Leagues on Patreon and on IG @blackhairpodcast. Follow Host, Salisha Thomas on IG @salishathomas Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Janeece Freeman Clark is an actor, director, producer, and the founder of Vanguard Theater Company which educates the youth and also has a HUGE mentorship program matching up each student with an actor currently on Broadway. She was in the Broadway production of Urinetown but truly has a heart for education. You'll leave this episode feeling like you want to go and make a difference in the world! Learn more about Vanguard Theater Company HERE. Support Black Hair in the Big Leagues on Patreon and follow on IG @blackhairpodcast! Follow host, Salisha Thomas @salishathomas on IG. SHOW NOTES JANEECE FREEMAN CLARK She is an amazing producer, director, and artist educator. In 2015, she confounded Vanguard Theatre Company (within the company there’s a mentorship program she works with) Urinetown on Broadway Started her natural hair journey in college and transitioning was very challenging for her because of the thickness of her hair. Braids were a go to during this transition period. It took her about 2 years and a ton of patience to go fully natural and remove past damage. Being natural was very important to Janeece so that her children could grow up with the normalcy of natural hair!  Talks about some sort of “Hair Program” within other theatre programs to teach about hair prep and wig prep for the stage! Important conversation about integrating black hair care and education into schools and programs. Is there a black women’s guide to hair care on the big stage? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Our BPN Podcasters bring you exclusive interviews with cast and creatives from In the Heights, in theaters on June 11 2021. Watch the video version of this event here: Interview 1: Daphne Rubin-Vega, interviewed by Salisha Thomas Interview 2: Olga Merediz and Jimmy Smitts, interviewed by Dori Berinstein Interview 3: Quiara Alegría Hudes (screenwriter), interviewed by Jesse McAnally Interview 4: Scott Sanders (producer), interviewed by Ruthie Fierberg Interview 5: Gregory Diaz, interviewed by Eli Tokash Interview 6: Melissa Barrera, Corey Hawkins and Leslie Grace, interviewed by Alan Seales For more info about these podcasts and over 100 more, visit http://broadwaypodcastnetwork online, or download our iOS app ( Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
She's a doula, a hair dresser, and a Broadway star. Harper Miles is down to earth and has many hidden talents. In this episode, Harpers breaks it down when it comes to Hair porosity, detangling, and finally reveals that YES, SHE BRAIDS HAIR! Follow her on IG @harpermiles Follow Black Hair in the Big Leagues on Patreon HERE! Follow Host Salisha Thomas @salishathomas SHOW NOTES HARPER MILES A member of the fabulous “Beautiful” tour, starred off broadway in “Bat Outta Hell”, and when the pandemic settles, she will star in the “Caroline or change” revival on broadway! As a kid, her mom styled her hair every day so she grew up around hair care/styling. As a braiding goddess and in order to help out with hair during the pandemic, she has helped tons of people style their hair! Although she’s not a hair stylist, she knows what works and loves to help out anyway. Her hair journey definitely had its ups and downs, from hating her natural hair growing up to learning to embrace and love it!  Products used: Alykai Moisture (black owned, available at Target) products: Oil, serum, leave in conditioner, and a hair parfait (her favorite product), Cream of Nature’s shampoo and conditioner,  Lock Method: Liquid (leave in), oil (sets), cream (seals it)! Is your hair low or high porosity? After dipping a strand of hair in water, if it: Sinks: LOW POROSITY! Floats: HIGH POROSITY! Wig Prep: Simply 5 corn rows all the way back! Good conversation about New York City reopening and what’s to come! A future full of ripped broadway performers trying to fit in year old costumes seems accurate. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Down to Earth, real, and hilarious, Leandra Gaston graced the halls of Beautiful the Carole King Musical on Tour before becoming a full blown badass in Tina: The Tina Turner Musical understudy Adrienne Warren in the Title role. She's the real deal AND since recording this interview has cofounded a whole company with former guest Deanne Stewart. Hand clap for Black Owned and Women owned. Follow @dearseptemberevents and @leandraellisgaston. SHOW NOTES LEANDRA GASTON The incredibly talented, and GORGEOUS Leandra Gaston: -dance captain for “Tina” on Broadway!  -training to be the dance caption for “Beautiful” on Broadway! Wearing her mid-thigh braids today She made a big chop, which turned out to be the turning point in her CAREER. Auditioned for Beautiful on Broadway 9 times, but the time her hair was chopped, SHE LANDED IT! Advice for women who just made the big chop: “Don’t be afraid of accessing freedom” The true crown is what’s inside! She is starting to grow her hair out for the first time since the chop, and she’s excited to let it do what IT WANTS! To keep her braids from getting ruined she wraps them at night in a braiding cap, then she takes 2 bonnets over the top for extra protection.  PRODUCTS USED: As I Am line Shea Moisture Shampoo Shea African Clay Deep Conditioner Green Olive Oil Restoration Conditioner Wig prep: She started with no hair, and her hair was growing out as the months went on during the run of “Tina” on Broadway, so the process grew! Started with glued lace and moved on to flat twists and corn rows! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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