Celebrity Chat: Hunnie Brasco of L.A. Derby Dolls
Photo courtesy Jess Reynolds
L.A. Derby Doll Hunnie Brasco is a joy to watch on the track. She’s strong, fast, and passionate. At the time of this writing her team, Tough Cookies, is undefeated and headed to the finals December 7th. Hunnie chats with us about her hair journey, how it changed her, and the similarities between roller derby and locing.
How long have you been natural? Did you transition? If so, how?
I started my loc journey in 2006 after mostly wearing braid extensions for about 5 years. I think I got my last relaxer in 2000 and I just could never keep up with it, especially since I like sweating and being active. I had wanted to loc for a few years before I actually took the plunge but I was scared of the permanence, the perception, and the unknown. After doing exhaustive research, I decided to go for it. I wish I had done it years earlier.
What is your hair routine? Do you have particular products you swear by?
I am right in the midst of changing up my hair routine. I had a baby almost 3 years ago and have been doing roller derby for almost 2 years now. Both of these things have wreaked havoc on my hair, and I am learning how to revitalize it.
One of the biggest things I’m noticing that my hair needs is longer intervals between retwisting and more and more moisture. I love the Aveda Brilliant line and Kiehl’s Olive Fruit Oil Deeply Repairative Pak. I recently found an illuminating YouTube channel called GrizzleRocsLocs and I am now trying her mixture of jojoba, tea tree, Jamaican black castor, and peppermint oils. My hair was very thirsty!
How did you get started with the Derby Dolls?
After watching a friend skate in Ventura County, I decided to look for local leagues. I knew I wanted the exhilaration of skating on a banked track, and luckily I found the Los Angeles Derby Dolls. I showed up to the Fresh Meat tryouts and, once I was selected, began the lengthy process of becoming a legitimate roller derby player.
Photo courtesy Danny Ngan Photography (Seattle, Washington)
What do you enjoy most about roller derby?
It’s actually interesting how similar the loc journey and the roller derby journey have been for me. Making the decision to loc my hair was terrifying. Once I finally did it, I became very self-reflective about society’s expectations of my femininity and ethnicity. Over time, I felt illuminated and empowered, like the weight of someone else’s expectations had been lifted off of me.
Roller derby has been very much the same way for me. I feel even more self-aware and empowered. Additionally, I’ve got a great sorority of strong, creative, and inspirational sisters that surrounds me. There is something electric about the sport and culture of roller derby that can only be understood if you are part of it. It’s life changing.
Any advice for new naturals?
If you are thinking about locing your hair, just do it. It is the most freeing thing you can ever do, especially as a black woman. I have converted several friends at this point, and none of us are looking back.
Photo courtesy Vegas Shooter Photography (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Find out more about Hunnie Brasco and the L.A. Derby Dolls online.
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