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Pride Portraits: Grace Shush reveals how hair equals self expression

“Please welcome to the stage all of my insecurities,” writes Timothie Grace, AKA Grace Shush as they are known to their fans. It might come as a surprising sentiment from the trans, non-binary, bearded beauty, who is star of Channel 4’s Digital Drag Queens, Miss Sink The Pink 2018 and our JWC Pride Portraits series.

We caught up with the drag star behind the show and asked what hair freedom means to them, discovered the connection between their natural strawberry blonde hair colour and confidence, and why wigging it is sometimes the only way. 

 Their Instagram feed shows a quilt of colourful and seemingly confident, glossy hair selfies, but one we can all relate to. With their hair colour ranging from pink to grey, it's inspo for the rainbow-coloured hairstyles we’re donning in tribute to Pride. And this year’s theme of Allyship, with a focus on how we support the LGBTQIA+ community is also apt, as Timothie reveals how support has worked for them. "The way I look has always been such a negative and it's thanks to the people around me for pushing me out of my comfort zone THAT HAS TOTALLY CHANGED."

Q: Name a time your hair has given you confidence?

A: "I say a lot of my power lives in my hair. My hair IS my confidence. I couldn't possibly name just one time!

"This wig was a gift and I get the most compliments from it. I just pop it in a bag, throw it on, and BOOM. GLAMOUR!"

Q: What does hair freedom mean to you?

A: "I always used to have my hair shaved as a child, and was told I couldn’t grow it. All I wanted to be was Daryl Hannah in Splash. So now, as an adult, it means the world to have the freedom to let my locks flow!" 

"I love this picture because my hair is effortless and does most of the work! My hair extensions here are by Milk and Blush."

 

Q: If your hair had a personality what would it be?

A: "Free-loving beach babe. Textured and wavy. Did I mention DARYL HANNAH IN SPLASH?! "

Q: Does your hair colour change with your emotions?

A: "I have coloured my hair EVERY COLOUR EVER! But that was while I was finding myself. One day I shaved my hair off entirely, and then let it grow. I rediscovered my natural blonde colour underneath in the process. It had been so long since I had seen it, and I felt like I had finally found myself. Now, no matter how I feel, I would never change my colour. It's my natural beauty!"

Q: What role has hair played in your identity? 

A: "When I was an art student, my hair reflected whatever I was feeling at the time. My thoughts were, it will grow out! But now as I identify as trans, non-binary, I feel my hair is a nod to non- conformity. It helps me to break down gender norms, whether that’s a 70's fringe or a 50's set.

Q: What are the positives and negatives of wigs?

A: "No negatives here! Wigs can save time and allow you to express yourself. I’m really into trashy wigs that cost no more than £15. They give me the chance to get creative and see what I can do with them. I don't believe that wigs should be used to hide something. We should all work on our own self-discovery as all hair is beautiful."  

"Every single person makes fun of this wig. But I love it, like I LOVE IT, if Pat Butcher was a little bit more glam!  

Q: Is 'natural' hair sometimes enough?

A: "YES! Plus, if you don't style it very often, when you do it becomes more of an event. Hair is so transformative! Just the way it moves once styled makes you feel gorgeous and special. 

As I’ve grown older, my natural hair has started to wave and become curly. Here is an image that shows the start of that. Kat De Rozario from Josh Wood Colour has been my go-to for wave advice

Q: What's your go-to hairstyle?

A: "I have a heated brush from Revlon that gives me the easiest and nicest blow out. It’s a game changer. 15 minutes and I'm out! Here's a picture of my hair looking sleek and gorgeous, thanks to my round brush."

 

 

 

Q: Who do you look to for hair inspiration?

A: Daryl Hannah, obviously. Not really now, just from Splash. Kat from Josh Wood Colour is my go-to for advice, and (she will kill me for saying this) I have this friend, Haf who had the most naturally glorious hair. It just kills me! I love a fringe so much! 

View this post on Instagram

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A post shared by Hâf Gibson (@hafgibson) on

 

Keep scrolling for more of our Pride Portraits series, showcasing the individuality and passion of people who do things their own way.

Featuring: Cazaleon, Margo Marshall, Tommy Titbits, Tegan, Vittorio Franco, Daniel McBride, Sorcha, Grace Shush, Joseph and Benjamin Butch.

Creative direction by expert stylist Kat De Rozario, photos by Giovannny Estrella Talentti, makeup by Gemma Tyler – and colour and styling by the  Josh Wood Colour team.

 

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