Shakira: Once you put bleach on your hair, ‘it just never shines the same way’

Shakira covers the latest issue of Cosmopolitan. She’s 44 years old and she still basically looks the same as she did twenty years ago. She doesn’t look “worked on” at all, although who knows, she could be. I think it’s probably just good genes and money. Shakira will have new music coming out eventually, but really she’s just on the cover of Cosmo to chat about her life these days. Weirdly enough, I found the conversation about her hair to be the most interesting part! Some highlights:

Her favorite philosopher: “Socrates, of course. I think asking questions is the most ingenious way to discover the truth—if there is any truth to things. There can be many truths, like two sides of a coin. I often try to apply that to the upbringing of my kids. I’m a tiger mom and a helicopter mom and all these different moms.

Her baby daddy: “My mind never stops. I dream about my kids. I worry about them constantly. I torture my poor husband. Well, he’s not really my…I don’t know what to call him! He’s my baby daddy. I torture him about every issue I see with my kids.

Feeling alone helps women take leaps: “Yeah, aloneness—I like that word—is necessary. You can’t create if you’re surrounded by people and stimuli all the time. You need to see yourself in the mirror at times without makeup. And in that vulnerability of your life, that’s when the most honest thoughts surface.

Losing her voice for a time: “Even when I lost my voice. In that darkest hour of my life, I realized how lucky I was. All those people gave me everything I needed to heal. And I healed. Contrary to what the doctors said. [I didn’t do the surgery because] It was too dangerous. I cried every single day while my voice was gone. I never thought how important having a voice was until I lost it. I never stopped thanking my voice when it was back.

Why she went blonde & why she regretted it: “I just wanted to see my hair a different way. I changed my hair many different ways throughout my career. I love dark hair. I sometimes miss my super-shiny black, dark hair. It never got to be the same because once you put bleach on your hair, it just never shines the same way. I read something, in a compilation of wise advice for young people, that said, “Use sunblock and do not mess with your hair.” I’ve messed with my hair too much. Right now, my hair is feeling good again because I’ve left it alone a little bit. I’ve been blonde for too long. But it wasn’t a calculated move. It wasn’t like, Oh, I want to reach the American audience—let me be blonde and let me get a pair of blue contact lenses and bleach my skin. I didn’t want to be white. I just thought my curls looked cool with a blonde, beachy style.

On Black Lives Matter: “You know, I’m a person who has felt prejudice herself. When I first crossed over to the American market, many magazines would put emphasis on the fact that I was Colombian. I was called the second finest export of Colombia. I guess they were referring to cocaine as the first one. I was like, Why are journalists asking me about drug trafficking? My country’s so much more than that. I feel really touched by everything that’s been happening with Black Lives Matter and proud of young people today—how they’re not willing to take the sh-t. That’s one of the advantages of technology. People can really speak up and be heard. I wonder sometimes what would happen if a media outlet said similar things about me today. Back then, the gatekeepers could get away with stuff like that.

[From Cosmopolitan]

About her hair… I never really thought about “oh, she went blonde to appeal to whatever demographic.” I thought she was just experimenting with her hair, like many women do. And nothing will f–k up a brunette’s hair more than years of blonde bleach. It’s a wonder she’s gotten any of her old color, texture and fullness back. As for her vocal issue – in 2017, she had a vocal cord hemorrhage which took a while to resolve, especially since she didn’t have surgery. Most singers do opt for the surgery and there have been many artists with good results from the surgery, although there are stories about singers losing their voices forever post-surgery (ahem, Julie Andrews). Also, I agree with her about the necessity of aloneness.

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Cover & IG courtesy of Cosmo.

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