Crown Affair Founder Dianna Cohen Treats Her Hair Like a Houseplant
It starts with a friendly chat.
Published Aug 2, 2020 12:00 AM
Dianna Cohen launched her hair-care brand, Crown Affair, just five weeks before the pandemic put the country on pause. The newly minted CEO, who learned the ropes of the direct-to-consumer model during stints at Into the Gloss and Away, was grateful, at least, that she got to meet some of her customers before the lockdown. “We had just a little bit of time in the world to connect with our community and host activations,” she says. And she’s still looking on the bright side: “People are reorienting how they take care of themselves at home,” she says. “Brushing my hair is the most cathartic thing for me—it’s borderline meditation.”
Cohen’s love of hair maintenance is well documented—she started a Google doc of her own routine a few years ago that rapidly circulated among women in search of good hair days and led to the founding of her company. The brand now offers a few curated essentials: wide-tooth detangling combs, a bristle brush many have called a dupe for the much-pricier Mason Pearson, a simple hair towel, and a best-selling oil that works for all hair textures. “My whole philosophy is very much the no-makeup makeup version of hair care,” she says.
After spending a month back home with family in Florida, the Forbes 30 Under 30 alum is back in the New York apartment that she shares with her fiancé, embracing even more rituals that help keep her day balanced and her mind sharp. “I have a couple of things that I have to do every day just to be a human in the world,” she says, laughing. Here, she shares her full wellness routine.
Write it out: I use the Five Minute Journal—it’s quick and a very easy way to keep me accountable, without having to feel like I have to do three morning pages if I wake up late. I got one as a gift from a friend, and now I’m on my second one—it’s one of my favorite gifts to give other people, too. When I was home with my family, I’d extend the practice and ask them, “What are three things you’re grateful for today?” I also have a Word doc that I use as a journal with a more open structure—I write in it three times a week and always ask myself the same questions: Did you meditate? Did you practice Italian on Duolingo?
CBD ease: My friend Verena von Pfetten has a company called Gossamer, and she just launched two tinctures. One is called Dawn and it’s for the mornings—you just put it under your tongue, wait 30 seconds, and it gives you a really nice focus. I’ve been using it for a week now and I’ve noticed a difference.
Roll on: I like to foam roll for at least 10 minutes a day, if not 30. I’ll do a workout here and there, but I’m more about stretching. It helps me feel connected to my body. While I’m stretching, I love listening to a podcast. I used to listen to them on my commute, so my foam rolling routine has made up for that. My favorite podcast is called Poetry Unbound, and it’s by a theologian named Pádraig Ó Tuama. I also listen to The Science of Happiness by Dacher Keltner, Armchair Expert with Dax Shepherd and Monica Padman, The Daily, and 3rd Ritual’s new podcast.
Comfy clothes: I love Lunya and I love Eberjey—I wear them to death. I’m also a big robe person. I live in my Parachute one. I wear a lot of Outdoor Voices, too—its biker shorts are nice if I’m doing something around the house but not totally ready for bed.
Wash it off: I always like to have a shower at night, no matter what time it is—I have to be clean before I get into bed. I love Necessaire’s bergamot body wash, and Flamingo’s Shave Gel is the best I’ve ever used. I wash my hair every four days and always rinse it cold to keep it smooth. I switch up my shampoo and conditioner, but I really like Christophe Robin and Oribe. We’re launching a hair mask in August that I’ve been using consistently twice a week—sometimes I’ll even turn the water off and let it soak in as I shave. Once a week, I’ll do a hair scrub, too. I never go to bed with wet hair, so our towel is a lifesaver. After I take it off, I comb my hair, apply the oil, and let it fully dry.
Crown ritual: When my hair is dry, I brush it with the boar-bristle brush every night, which helps to move the natural oils from my scalp down the strands. I also swear by brushing your hair before you wash it—not only does it detangle it but it moves debris and any dandruff or build-up, which makes it easier to wash. I also give myself a scalp massage every night with a comb and the pads of my fingers—I’m a weirdo who believes if you treat your hair and talk to it like you would a plant, it will really love you back. I read somewhere when I was very young that scalp massages stimulate growth, so I’ve been doing it every night for a long time. I do it for about two to three minutes, and I have a little hourglass next to my bed that helps me keep track—it’s much nicer to look at than my phone.
Skin saviors: I love Drunk Elephant—the vitamin-C eye cream is my favorite, and I use its Protini Face Moisturizer. I also use Biologique Recherche P50 toner almost every day. My cleanser is the really simple Cerave one that your dermatologist recommends, like, “This won’t kill you.” I also use a gua sha on my face with some jojoba oil, and I just got a De La Hart lymphatic drainage tool, which I’ve been using when I get out of the shower, along with Necessaire’s lotion. I use it to brush my skin to promote circulation—I’m very into those kinds of massaging rituals.
Pro probiotics: I’ve been taking Seed since it launched—I swear by it. I accidentally forgot to bring it on vacation a year and a half ago, and I was like, “My body is changing.” I take Lypo-Spheric vitamin C as well.
Sleep sanctuary: My fiancé is the one who really transformed my view on my bedroom—that it should be a space with no TV and no computers. We have our phones because we’re human, but we try to keep it as low-tech as possible. We have two small marble side tables from ABC Home where we keep just a lamp and a clock. We sleep on Parachute linen sheets and silk pillowcases.
Required reading: I try to read every evening to create a separation between being on my phone and going to bed. Even if it’s only eight pages or so, that helps me shift my headspace. I’m currently reading The User’s Guide to the Brain—I’m a big fan of science writing. I’m also reading The Hidden Life of Trees, which has been beautiful. At the end of the day, after running a business and managing people and working on everything, it’s really nice to learn something new.
Lights-out around midnight; wake up around 8:30 a.m.
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