Amina Mucciolo talks new project that focuses on women of color who have unicorn hair
If you’re the type of person who instantly gets gut feelings of happiness whenever a picture of a unicorn cake or a Lisa Frank sticker collection appears in your Instagram feed, you’re probably going to want to start following Amina Mucciolo. From her dreamy rainbow hair to her penchant for all things pink, the blogger, designer, and founder of party decor brand Studio Mucci is basically the magical human embodiment of a cotton candy wonderland.
Amina’s love for color and energetic personality can be contagious — looking through her photos, it’s hard not to feel immediately inspired. Luckily for us, Amina is generous with her shiny outlook on life and uses her social platforms to spread fun and positivity. Most recently, she decided to incorporate her love for colorful hair into a meaningful project called Unicorn Curls. The focus of the project is to bring more images of brown girls with rainbow hair to the mainstream. Awesome, right?
We had the pleasure of chatting with Amina about the Unicorn Curls project, her beauty secrets, and what she’s looking forward to most in 2017.
HelloGiggles: Can you tell us about Unicorn Curls?
Amina Mucciolo: This project has kind of been in the back of my mind for a long time. When I first started dyeing my hair, I was speaking to my own style and trying to express myself, and that led me to do yarn braids. When I started doing those, I got a lot of attention and I think it’s probably the thing I’m most popular for, even beyond the work that I do. So many women of color started coming up to me or reaching out to me through social media saying that they’ve felt like either A: they’ve always wanted to wear their hair in different colors, whether it be braids or extensions, or B: that they do wear their hair like that already.
Just just the sheer amount of energy that I got from other women really inspire me. Rainbow hair is not a new thing, it’s everywhere and such a huge trend right now. When it comes to hair or beauty, I just think that it’s really important for there to be representation for all kinds of women. And I think this trend isn’t any different, so that’s what I am focusing on with this whole Unicorn Curl thing. There are so many women of color who love rainbows and happy things and mermaids that totally relate to this aesthetic. They just don’t really have a voice, you know?
HG: You mention that this hair color trend isn’t anything new, which is accurate. Punks and goths have been dyeing their hair for decades. Why do you think this particular trend hasn’t really gone away?
AM: I think if you look around, you can see this with other trends too. It’s a great time to be alive for me because it’s such part of my aesthetic. These days, you can just go buy a rainbow backpack from Forever 21 and its like nothing, but I had to really search for that kind of thing before. It’s the same with junk food becoming a bigger part of pop culture and the retro vibe with Lisa Frank and all that stuff. I honestly think that it’s a way for people to laugh and feel good about something. People really need that right now and that’s why it’s not going anywhere. I think it’s going to become more mainstream as time goes on.
HG: What do you want to see happen with Unicorn Curls?
AM: Honestly, I just want to have the conversation out there and for it to keep going. I started a Tumblr where I can post photos that I see of women on the internet. Ultimately, I’d like other people contributing to that and I want to grow that movement. The whole goal of it is have a conversation and for there to be a source. When I first got this idea, I had spent so many hours online on Tumblr just looking for inspiration, and of course there are pictures of Nicki Minaj with her wigs and stuff, but there weren’t a lot of black women who had pink or colored hair. I just want there to be a place for women who want inspiration and can find different styles to show their hairstylist. So they can feel more confident and say, “look how beautiful she looks. Look how cool she is. I could do that too.” That’s really my goal, just to increase that visibility.
HG: How did you transition from your signature yarn braids to the hair you have now?
AM: For this hair, it took a village. People think that I DIY’d it and I so DI-didn’t. I was wearing yarn braids off and on for years, and every year I take them out for a while. This time, to stay inspired by the whole Unicorn Curl thing, I decided to try a style similar to what my natural texture would be if it was like really big and really long. In order to achieve that, I worked with a bunch of people who I knew on Instagram. I worked with Shelley Gregory, who’s a colorist based in from Las Vegas and is known for doing this rainbow hair thing.
She bleached my natural hair and the extensions that I got and has this technique where she colored different pieces. I used all Pravana products and the extensions are from this brand called Heat Free Hair which specializes in extensions for women with natural, textured hair. We all kind of like collab’d on making this hair a reality. So, this entire weave I have is all clip-in, none of it is sewn, and it’s not a wig. One thing that was really important to both Shelley and I was to maintain the integrity of the texture, which is a problem that you run into when you have curlier, kinkier hair. When you bleach your hair, it usually strips the texture. Because of this, we decided to let the hair dictate where the color goes. So instead of the usual pastel colors I wear, these are darker and a little more toned down.
HG: If you were to describe your personal style as the love child of two different people or things, what would it be?
AM: My own personal style is so much of a reflection of my mental and emotional state, but if I think about it, I could probably say Willy Wonka and a Care Bear. Those two are pretty much my gods.
HG: You’ve worked with clothing brands like Torrid and Modcloth, have you ever thought about starting your own line someday?
AM: I would love to. I really have so many ideas. It’s just a matter of time because designing your own line is such an undertaking. And I’m a perfectionist so I really want things to be right. I want to learn as much as I can, so by working with a lot of clothing brands I’m finding out as much about the industry as possible. I don’t want to be an influencer who just jumps into something and puts my name on it — I really want to know what I’m doing. I think that’s definitely in the future for me, so I’m just in the process of learning and also finding the right partners to work with. I love fashion and I think that there is a space for me and for what I want to see in fashion that isn’t represented yet, especially for all sizes.
HG: Who are some people who have inspired you?
AM: As far as fashion and style is concerned, I get inspired by things that are fictional, not necessarily people. I like cartoons, particularly My Little Pony, Care Bears, all of those cartoons that are nostalgic to us from the ‘80s that are making a comeback right now. I think if you’re an adult, there’s pressure to put away childish things and to not embrace some of the things that you’re encouraged to embrace when you’re a kid, like imagination, creativity, being playful, laughing, joy. I get a lot of inspiration from those things.
HG: You’ve talked about battling depression and your journey to self-acceptance. What would you like to tell someone who’s going through the same thing that you wish someone had told you?
AM: There are two things I wish someone would have told me. Whatever you’re going through, whether it’s a difficult time or depression, it’s not permanent and moods change and things change. And even when you’re dealing with depression or mental illness, which I deal with, just to know that if you could focus on making it through that moment, then you’ll be OK. The other thing that is really important is to know that you’re not the only one. It’s so isolating to deal with depression and to deal with mental illness. Even though things are getting better in our society, there’s still such a stigma attached to it. I really think that when I was a teenager, if I knew there were other teenagers and just more people dealing with the same stuff that I was dealing with, I probably would have had an easier time. As corny as it sounds, you’re not alone. I feel like this should be repeated and shouted from the rooftops because you just can step outside of your door and probably find someone who can relate to your experience and is going through it themselves.
HG: Is there anything that you’re totally obsessed with right now?
AM: I just consume so much! I’ve been into a lot of music and like the rest of the world I’m obsessed with Solange’s latest album. I think I’ve played that so much that even my dogs know it now. And I’m in full holiday swing, so my entire universe especially for the past month has been Christmas, Christmas, Christmas.
HG: What is your beauty regimen is like? Any secrets you can share with us?
AM: As far as my makeup, I wear glitter pretty much every day. My favorite thing right now is glitter tears. Glitter is such a cool thing in makeup where even if you make a mistake, it still looks dope — no one can really tell that you messed up. And there’s so much pressure to look perfect ‘cause there are so many people that are at professional level! As far as my actual skincare, I’ve been using Kate Somerville and those products are amazing. I’ve been using Exfolikate — I have really dry skin and this basically gave me new skin. So I live by that one.
HG: What are you looking forward to in 2017?
AM: Oh god, everything. I can’t wait for this year to be over. Well, I’m turning 35 in 2017 so that’s exciting for me. As I’m getting older, I feel like I’m getting better and I feel younger. It’s this crazy thing. I love being in my ‘30s. Also, I’m just super focusing on my health, both mental health and physical. Of course, whatever I do in my life I always talk about in my work and all of my platforms, so I’m excited to talk about that and share that with everyone. I’m forever trying to find that balance that I think we’re all looking for, that work-life-balance. That’s that’s my quest for 2017.