Tori Nichel, Designer And ‘Fashion Star’ Contestant, shares her natural hair tips.

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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.

Photo/Art: Raydene Salinas

Photo/Art: Raydene Salinas

“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.”

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