Sofia Richie Grainge on Being an ‘It’ Girl, Pregnancy Hair Loss, and Nexxus Partnership

Beauty

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It girl. An elusive and nuanced phrase yet an easily recognizable face. To say there’s a recipe for what makes someone “it” means you’re not paying attention. “It” can’t just be anyone; it’s a term bestowed by collective perception, not self-prescribed. The formula is as complex to crack as the TikTok algorithm, but the hallmarks are always evident. An “it girl” inhabits the minds of onlookers with an enviable lifestyle that straddles the line between attainable and aspirational. By today’s standards, her sartorial taste is cool, effortless elegance, and almost always repackaged as an “aesthetic”—who else’s South of France wedding rollout could inspire an entire “quiet luxury” trend? She offers glimpses into her life yet retains an air of mystery. She has influence, propelled by her millions of followers and brand ambassadorships. Not many have it, but Sofia Richie Grainge does—you know it, she sees it, and now Nexxus wants your hair to feel it, too.

In addition to adding “mom” to her list of titles, Richie is also the face of hair care brand Nexxus’s new Styling Collection, designed to help you replicate her iconic hairstyle or create your own signature style. If following every TikTok tutorial of her signature slicked-back bun hairstyle hasn’t yielded the results you desire, it turns out the effortless look demands the right technique and products. This line is your savior; the 11-piece set is powered by the brand’s innovative StyleProtect Technology technology to fortify the strands against any threats to your style (humidity, heat damage, we’re looking at you). It includes a bevy of formulas to take you from Sofia’s famous bun to beachy waves, including a blow dry frizz cream, three hair sprays, dry shampoo, hair oil, heat protectant, and more.

The crown jewel of the collection? The Slick Stick Strong Hold Hair Wax, a nod to Sofia’s iconic bun and undoubtedly the star of her beauty arsenal. As she navigates impending motherhood and her bustling career, Richie understands the importance of an effortless, low-maintenance routine—all made possible by her trusted Nexxus essentials.

Ahead, everyone’s favorite “it girl” dishes on pregnancy’s effects on her hair journey, healthy hair tips, and the genesis of her recognizable slicked-back bun hairstyle.


What was your relationship with your hair when you were younger versus your relationship with it right now?

My mom is Greek, so she has very, very long hair and has always been very anti hair dye—she’s all about conditioning treatments and masks. Growing up, I used to go with my mom to her hairdresser once a month and we used to do deep conditioning treatments. So, my entire childhood, I was very pro-health for your hair and all about having long hair. I used to cry when I would get haircuts.

Then, when I hit my teen years, I was so deprived of doing anything to my hair. I had girlfriends getting highlights and haircuts. I really went for it in a wild way, with probably not a great understanding of how harmful certain ingredients could be for your hair. So I definitely learned a lot in my teen years, experimented and played around, which has brought me to where I am now. I’ve been on such a serious health journey with my hair for the past five to six years, definitely leaning back on my mom’s [tips] and everything I learned as a child.

Now that you’re months into your pregnancy, is there anything interesting you’ve noticed about your hair—for better or worse—during this time?

Yeah, it’s interesting. When I first found out I was pregnant, my hair actually started shedding, and I was like, Oh, God, because everyone tells me that my hair grows so much. Here, I am having the reverse effect. Then, into my second trimester, that’s when I really started noticing new hair growth, thickness, and a bit of a shine, and I’m still experiencing that now. I’m definitely aware of postpartum hair loss and the journey that most women go down. I’m ready emotionally and all the things because it’s a part of being a woman, a part of pregnancy. I’m going to go down with a fight, using all of my treatments and oils and nurturing my hair back if I experience postpartum hair loss.

Speaking of, if you were to create a new mom basket using some of these Nexxus products, what would your new mom recommendations be?

I would say it’s super personal, because, for me, I can throw my hair into a bun in two minutes. When I think about my new mommy beauty routine, especially in the first six months of my child’s life, I’m probably thinking of what is my easiest, quickest go-to, something that I can throw up in two seconds. If I were to make a basket for myself, it would definitely be the Slick Stick, the anti-humidity spray, and an oil. I always use oil when I even do my buns. It would be what’s easy, what’s quick—that’s what I think of with early mom life.

a person holding a bottle of nail polish

Courtesy of Nexxus

During Hotel Nexxus, your stylist, Kathleen, demonstrated how to achieve your bun. What tips and tricks have you learned from her in all of the years that you guys have been working together?

I have to be honest with you. Before Kathleen, I didn’t even know how to do anything to my hair other than put it into a messy ponytail. She is my fairy godmother of hair. Not only that, but she’s also one of my very, very good friends. So, she’s taught me pretty much everything when it comes to styling my hair. When I first met Kathleen, I would say it was when my hair was at its worst. It was completely fried. I had a bob, I had hair extensions in that bob. It was a nightmare, and she guided me down the road of, “Let’s turn this journey around for you. I’ll come and do your hair twice a week, and you don’t touch it.”

She really helped me find a routine. Then, when I took the hair extensions out, that’s when the slick bun really started for me. There were so many uneven parts to my fried hair. Kathleen taught me everything I know, especially down to styling and heat protection, like if I’m going to blow dry, I have to use some sort of spray or cream that’s going to protect my hair from heat and humidity. She’s taught me, I would say, everything I know. All credit to Kathleen.

How do you just maintain the integrity of your hairline and restore your hair back to its health after doing the slicked-back bun so many times?

I would be lying to you if I said I didn’t notice the corner edges of my hairline thinning. I went to Kathleen, and said, “I am concerned about this hairstyle. It’s helping the overall health of my hair because of the products that I’m putting into it, but how can I keep the integrity of my hairline?” That’s when I leaned towards deep conditioning treatments, but mostly rosemary oils, coconut oils, and natural oils, and not making the bun as tight as you normally would. My buns aren’t actually as tight and slick to my head as most people probably think. So I’m mindful; I don’t tug, I don’t pull, and I definitely use a lot of deep conditioning treatments, especially across my hairline, to make sure that I’m keeping the integrity.

Nexxus Slick Stick Strong Hold Hair Wax

Slick Stick Strong Hold Hair Wax

Nexxus Slick Stick Strong Hold Hair Wax

Of all the products in this collection, which ones would be in your starting lineup? What do you feel like is the sleeper hit?

The current place that I am in my life right now, my bun is the hairstyle that I feel my absolute most confident in. That being said, I have been doing my slick bun pretty much, if not every day, every other day. I would say the Slick Stick is my number one. I would say that for the days that I wear my hair down and let it air dry, I will use the anti-humidity spray. Those are the two that I bounce off of the most.

I feel like the anti-humidity spray is vital, especially for me. I have very textured hair, so I can’t just air dry my hair and walk out the door. I definitely need something to help control. For me, that’s the product that maybe people may be looking past, but again, it’s really personal to your hair texture and what you have going on.

What do you make of the term “it girl” and the responsibility it holds?

I’m very flattered that people think I’m an IT girl. It’s a concept that I still wrap my head around, to be completely honest with you. But for me, knowing that people look to me for tips [makes me] really just want to work with brands that I genuinely use their products. I had a team meeting at the beginning of the year, and I was like, “I’m not really interested in partnering with brands that I wouldn’t go and tell my followers about in an authentic TikTok. It feels unauthentic to me and unauthentic to my brand.”

It’s about finding a balance where my followers feel like I’m still being real with them and being honest ’cause I think that’s how I connect with people on social media. They feel like I’m being honest with them. I’ve done a few partnerships this year, Nexxus being one of them, and I really am a fan of their products and have been for many years. It felt really true and authentic to my brand and to me, and it was something I was comfortable with sharing with my audience.

Trends are pretty much assigned to celebs, but if there was one trend that you could make yourself the poster child of, what would it be?

Whoa. Let me think. I can only really think of what I want to represent, and I think it’s embracing your beauty—the less is more approach. I feel like people connect with that right now. I don’t even think I’ve started it personally, but I’m happy to be on the bandwagon of clean, simple beauty.

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