Actress. Mom. Wife. Business Woman. Nicole Ari Parker became a household name in her role as Teri Parker in the TV series, Soul Food. Today, her reach is far beyond acting. Not only is she on the small and big screen, but she also serves as an advocate for health and wellness in the black community.
Save Your Do
Years ago, Nicole Ari Parker noticed that her desire to maintain her hairstyle interfered with her workout regimen. She tried every headband on the market, but none of them worked. So she designed her own. Seventeen prototypes later, Save Your Do was born. With it, we can take a small step toward improving health and wellness in our communities. And ultimately improve quality of life. Messing up your hair is no longer an excuse.
But what exactly is Save Your Do? Save Your Do is a patent pending gym wrap with “edge control technology”. It wicks away moisture, keeps your hair flat and most importantly — saves your style. The band comes in three styles: narrow band, wide band and a full triangle — depending on your preference. This holiday season, you can purchase one of the holiday gift sets to help you accomplish your New Year’s goals. (If you are interested in purchasing, you can find it at select Walmart stores, Walmart.com, and on the Save Your Do website.) One of BHM’s staffers tried out the Save Your Do gym wrap. You can see the review here.
On Natural Hair
Nicole’s focus on health and hair doesn’t stop there. Years ago, Nicole Ari Parker embraced her natural hair texture. But she faces challenges just like the rest of us. “[Between] being natural — and it’s in a middle stage — so with the shrinkage, I’m in a not quite glorious afro. I’m in the middle newscaster afro from 1976,” she says, jokingly. With her job forcing her to use a flat iron for certain roles, her hair is taking a beating. But in between roles, she leans on protective styles. “My hair loves cornrows,” she explains. “It grows like crazy. And I think it’s because I can get the products right on the scalp.”
Natural hair also transcends onto images of media and beauty. She says, “In the beginning it was hard to break out of what is beautiful, what is pretty, and what is sexy [even]. Even as a grown up, I realized how much my self-love was polluted by images. I thought I was above being brainwashed by the media. When I did the big chop, it was great. But as it grew and it started to be itself, I realized that I had to adjust to a new concept of beauty. And I’m so glad I did, because what I’ve noticed is my daughter’s self-esteem has gone through the roof.”
Sophie’s Voice Foundation
Nicole’s daughter is the inspiration for the Sophie’s Voice Foundation. Originally founded to educate parents and provide resources on Spina Bifida, it moved into research on prevention and treatment. In fact, the foundation recently made a donation to Emory University’s School of Medicine for Spina Bifida research. Today, it has evolved into a foundation that educates on health and wellness in multicultural communities all over the world. With education and awareness, we can eradicate the diseases that are killing us… diabetes, high blood pressures, stroke, etc.
You can see Nicole Ari Parker on NBC, in her new role as Secretary Justine Allenford on NBC’s Revolution. When asked about her role, she jokingly says, “In terms of her hair, that’s a light blowout with a soft curl pinned up to minimize the heat usage.” She continues, “In terms of the character, you don’t know whether she is on the good side or the bad side. She represents the new government that has emerged from the shadows. The government has been absent for 15 years. They went underground and now they’ve emerged.”
You can also find her and husband, Boris Kodjoe, on the “Real Husbands of Hollywood”. “It’s like a dream come true”, she explains. She is not only with friends, but she gets to see her husband be his funny self. Hint Hint…. You may see her and Boris Kodjoe on the big screen together again soon. In the meantime, check her out on NBC’s Revolution on Wednesdays at 8/7 c. and on BET on Tuesdays 10/9c. And don’t forget to check out Save Your Do. Ten percent of proceeds benefit Sophie’s Voice Foundation.