Fashion & Trends

Stylist-Editor Alexander-Julian Gibbson on His ‘Free-Spirited’ Hair Journey and Embracing the Gray Beard

Photo: Courtesy of  RIOT MUSE and Hotel Zaza

Texture Diaries is an area for Black individuals throughout industries to replicate on their journeys to self-love, and how accepting their hair, in all its glory, performed a pivotal function on this course of. Each week, they share their favourite hair rituals, merchandise, and the largest classes they’ve discovered relating to affirming their magnificence and proudly owning their distinctive hair texture.

Before the pandemic, you would discover stylist and editor Alexander-Julian Gibbson throughout the world, jet-setting from New Zealand and Nigeria to Colombia and France. But being grounded hasn’t stopped his artistic circulation. Recent work has included styling singer Lucky Daye for a Flaunt journal unfold, actor Ashton Sanders for Highsnobiety, and Laverne Cox for her Paper journal cowl. “Having freedom is one of my favorite parts about what I do,” Gibbson tells Vogue over FaceTime. “It feels good to wake up one day and try something new. There are no limitations.”

Photo: Courtesy of  RIOT MUSE and Hotel Zaza
Photo: Courtesy of  RIOT MUSE and Hotel Zaza

That free-spirited nature has additionally been an enormous a part of Gibbson’s hair journey, although it took a while for him to start experimenting. “Growing up, my mother wasn’t trying to get me the nicest haircut; she was trying to get me the cheapest one,” he remembers of his childhood in Houston. “Being Nigerian as well, it wasn’t until later in life that I learned about the cultural significance of going to a Black barbershop in America. My mother was a single mother who would work long hours and I remember my second grade teacher, Mrs. Green, letting me stay after school with her and her daughter. They took me to get my first edge-up at the barber shop and my life forever changed.”

In highschool, his fashion rotation included flattops, mohawks, twists, and dye jobs. “I was really inspired by retro styles from the ’80s and ’70s. I always loved fashion but I couldn’t really afford to buy nice clothes,” he says. His hair turned the finest strategy to categorical himself.

Photo: Courtesy of  RIOT MUSE and Hotel Zaza

These days, he’s studying to welcome the grays. “I’ve always wanted grays,” he says. “My favorite X-Men growing up was Rogue. I just loved her white streaks.” But the stress of the previous years has meant the arrival of grays at a “rapid pace,” not simply on his head but additionally in his beard, which Gibbson says he wasn’t precisely ready for. “I’m definitely embracing it more and more and loving it,” he says. “I just wasn’t ready for them to come in this way. I’m figuring out how I want them to look and how to style them.”

To revitalize his hair, Gibbson turns to SheaMoisture’s avocado moisturizer, together with Adwoa Beauty’s leave-in conditioner and shampoo. He additionally does a hair masks utilizing Indian clay on his beard and hair. The OG Beard Soufflé from Soss retains his beard hydrated. To fight razor bumps, he swears by laser hair elimination in addition to SkinCeuticals’ brightening serums to fade darkish marks. He does his personal trims and line-ups in addition to trimming his personal beard at dwelling. “I stopped shaving it completely to avoid the razor bumps, but now I just love it so much beyond the medical reasonings. I don’t even know what I’d look like without a beard.”

Photo: Courtesy of  RIOT MUSE and Hotel Zaza
Photo: Courtesy of  RIOT MUSE and Hotel Zaza

Lately, Gibbson is feeling prefer it’s time to dye his hair a burnt orange shade for summer season. “Until then, I really just want to continue to embrace my Afro. Like a really nice, circular ’fro,” he says, noting Big Sean as an inspiration. “There was a point in time where society looked down on straight men taking care of their skin and hair. I feel like most of our introductions to self-care are through the desire to do it so that we can look good for women,” Gibbson notes. “Now I’ve learned the beauty of just doing it for myself. There’s no gender when it comes to taking care of yourself. Self-care is for everyone. Society’s projections don’t really bother me or faze me. I’m just here to be my best self.”

Photo: Courtesy of  RIOT MUSE and Hotel Zaza



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