Dara Reneé‘s best friend is her hair, but it took awhile to get there! The HSMTMTS actress sat down with J-14 to talk about her natural hair journey, her exciting new partnership with Pantene and so much more! Keep reading for our exclusive interview.

“Well, first of all, I’ve been using Pantene since I was little, I’ve been using the Gold Series,” Dara gushed to J-14 of the iconic hair brand. “During the pandemic, I was really experimenting with my hair [and] using different colors and seeing what breaks my hair and what doesn’t. And then Pantene, shout out to Pantene, they were like, ‘Hey, queen,’ and I was like, ‘Hey, queen.'”

Leading to the perfect partnership, per Dara, who reveals that she “really loves” that the company is for “all hair textures,” has “reasonable prices” and not only all that, but their products “smell delicious”!

And if you love changing up your hair color, like this reporter does, then Dara recommends using the Pantene Pro Miracles infinite length shampoo— as it “helps with breakage” and “strengthens your hair.” Something that’s especially important for the Disney actress, who often sports different hairstyles and wigs while on set.

“On so many sets, you have to wear wigs or you have to wear your hair braided or you have to do certain styles that really puts a strain on your hair,” she revealed. “This [product] has really, really helped me maintain my curls and also keep the nutrients in my hair. And another product that I absolutely love would have to be the Pantene Miracle Rescue Deep Repair conditioner.”

As Dara is known for rocking her natural locks on and off the red carpet — something she says has been a “journey,” especially in the entertainment industry.

“It’s been a journey because especially in the beginning, natural hair wasn’t always accepted,” the Descendants star began. “We’re still working on that with the C.R.O.W.N. Act, and fighting for people to wear their natural hair to schools or to jobs. So I did get a lot of unnecessary backlash on my natural hair, not only in front of the camera, but also behind the camera.”

She continued, “It took me a while to even jump into the industry because I was wearing my natural hair. A lot of people were like, ‘You have to straighten it,’ or ‘You have to do that in order to book jobs.; And finally, I booked Freaky Friday and I got to wear my natural hair and then High School Musical, and I got to wear my natural hair.”

“My hair is kind of like my best friend,” she concluded. “Some days we don’t get along. Some days we do.”

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