Lauren Ridloff Knows the Importance of Deaf Representation in Beauty

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Lauren Ridloff, of Marvel's "Eternals" and "The Walking Dead" fame, can now add "beauty brand ambassador" to her long list of accomplishments. The actor was recently announced as the new face for the custom hair-care brand Prose's latest launch the Custom Styling Gel ($25), and she sat down with POPSUGAR to discuss what this partnership means to her, as well as what it means to represent both deaf and Black people in the beauty space.

Ridloff's relationship with hair is deeply personal and stems from both her experiences she's had as an actor and her love for her hometown. "When I think of the types of brands I like to support, what's important to me is that the products they create are clean, natural, socially responsible, and that they also have a 'less is more' approach to their ethos," Ridloff tells POPSUGAR. "Prose uses natural ingredients, and one of the things I love the most is that they create the products right here in Brooklyn, where I'm from."

Her experiences with hairstyling on set have also allowed Ridloff to start advocating for herself while at work, which is another reason Prose was the right partnership for her. "I was shooting for Marvel in London, and they connected me with this wonderful woman who did my hair and my makeup, and she worked so hard," Ridloff says. "But at that time, when we first started, it took about six hours to do my hair. I just accepted that. I didn't know I could ask for somebody that had specific experience with my kind of hair."

She decided to build her own glam team that not only knew how to work with her hair texture, but also kept her product preferences in mind. "Now, I have to work with somebody who has experience with my curls as well as someone who embraces the idea of curls and all that comes with them," Ridloff says. "I also need people who are willing to work with natural products. I rely on my glam team so heavily for their recommendations because I know the products will work."

For me to step into this space and talk about my experience as a Black and Mexican biracial person, I am claiming that space for other Black deaf people and Mexican deaf people to talk about their experiences as well.

Beyond that, Ridloff says this partnership feels particularly important as someone who is a part of the biracial and deaf communities. "It means so much to me because for so long, I have felt like when we talk about anything that has to do with the deaf community, it comes from a white person's perspective, gaze, and experience," she says. "So for me to step into this space and talk about my experience as a Black and Mexican biracial person, now I am owning that space and claiming that space for other Black deaf people and Mexican deaf people to talk about their own experiences as well."

When it comes to deaf representation in the beauty industry, Ridfloff recognizes there is more work to do. "Accessibility is key in this industry," Ridloff says. "For influencers and brands alike: if you're sharing tips and creating videos, caption your content please. That's truly one of the best ways to be inclusive." Another step toward inclusivity that Ridloff recommends? Diversifying your social feeds. "Other things that people can think about are following deaf influencers," she says. "There are some amazing deaf influencers out there in beauty, fashion, and even advocacy spaces that are teaching so much."

Whether it's on the big screen or on Instagram, expect to see a lot more from Ridloff in the coming months. In the meantime, you can see her as the stunning new face of Prose's Custom Styling Gel to get your fill of the star (because seriously, we can't get enough of her).