Style & Beauty

Tori Nichel, Designer And 'Fashion Star' Contestant, Shares Her Natural Hair Tips

It all started when I moved out to New York...

We can't remember what we saw her first: Her amazing curls or her genius yellow-on-green coat and scarf combo. Either way, Tori Nichel, designer and upcoming contestant on NBC's "Fashion Star" was too cool to not flag down for beauty street style.

"My hair was always straight, shoulder length -- I relaxed it for years," Tori told us. "Then I moved out to New York, and I was like, 'Oh my gosh, I look like every other black girl.' I just wanted a little more style and personality to my hair, so I cut all my hair off and grew it back as an Afro. My goal was to block somebody in a movie theatre, and I did just that at the first 'Sex And The City' movie! I've had my Afro for nine years, and I think it's my signature. It's harder to maintain than people think, but the most important thing is keeping it moisturized. Oil is a little too heavy for my hair, so I use a moisturizing lotion."

When it comes to de-stressing, Tori had some choice advice. "Working in fashion, I have a lot of friends who have to have the latest thing -- bag, shoes -- but when it comes to their body or their health, they refuse to spend money on treatments. I get a spa pedicure every other week. It's the frilly, pretty polish that people see and give me a hard time for, but everything else is so relaxing and soothing. And as a New Yorker, we're on our feet everyday -- I can walk around all day when I keep my feet healthy. About five years ago, I started getting a massage once a month. It's good for your whole being. Those are my two other beauty things that you don't see everyday, but keep me well-balanced -- it's about preserving and maintaining."

beauty street style Photo/Art: Raydene Salinas

Want more HuffPost Style beauty content? Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram at @HuffPostBeauty. (For everything else check out our main HuffPost Style Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram @HuffPostStyle.)

Do you have a style story idea or tip? Email us at (PR pitches sent to this address will be ignored.)