Dutch godess and Givenchy it-girl, Imaan Hammam, is making a name for herself in the fashion world, fast. Known for her roster of luxury runway and campaign credits, such as as Victoria’s Secret, Versace, Chanel and Dolce & Gabbana— we wanted to learn more about the curly headed beauty.
Known for as her larger than life curls, Hammam admitted that when she started modeling she loved straightening her hair, but her career began to take off when she started to embrace her natural curls. Since her glow up, her & her luscious natural curls have graced the cover of Vogue, a few times over.
Below is an expert republished from Glamour Magazine by Hammam herself, speaking about her curls & how she grew to love them.
“When I was a kid, growing up in the Netherlands, I actually didn’t know what to do with all my hair. I had so much of it, and it was hard for me to manage. Most of the time I had to ask my mother to help me out; she would brush it and style it into a bun. Around age 10 or 11, I found photos of my mom when she was younger and saw that she had an Afro. (She’s from Morocco, but she and my Egyptian father raised me in Amsterdam.) I thought, Oh, maybe I can just do that; I don’t need to brush my hair. My mom’s been my hair icon ever since.
At school, though, when I wore my hair big and natural, some of the kids would make comments about its size. They even bullied me a little, saying I looked like a sheep. It didn’t bother me—this was my mom’s hair!—but it could be kind of stressful: If I was having a bad hair day and my mom wasn’t around to help, I would sometimes be late to school. By the time high school came around, I saw that a lot of girls in my grade were wearing their hair straight. Nobody had big, groovy curls like mine. It felt kind of strange but also kind of cool; I didn’t look like anyone else. This was also when I started doing my own hair.
I first started modeling five years ago, and the stylists would try different things with my hair, but ultimately it would always get straightened. It wasn’t until I did a shoot with Vogue last year that I got to wear my natural hair. I think it opened people’s eyes: Like, “Maybe we don’t have to spend three hours straightening her hair; we can just leave it like this.”
I admit that I like my hair straight as well: With it, I feel older, even sexier. It’s like I’m telling a story about someone else. But when my hair is big, I feel super-confident and carefree and my personality comes through; it actually makes modeling easier. A lot of photographers love my natural hair too, and the majority of my recent shoots, like the Givenchy campaign, were with my curls. Something about that just feels really good—like the real me.”
Did you like The Curl Diaries? Let me know who’s curls you want to learn more about!