Creator of ‘Rape in
 America’ Documentary Talks about Hair Care

Hollywood was abuzz with wonder when Selena Ramirez walked the red carpet at the 2013 Academy Awards, sporting her signature shiny auburn tresses. Ramirez was at the event for the nomination of her directorial debut “Rape in America” in the best documentary category. Last week we had the privilege of spending a day with Ramirez at Sally Hershberger Salon to see how she keeps her long locks in shape.


Beth Newell: So, you looked amazing at the Oscars and made a lot of “best hair” lists.

Selena Ramirez: Thanks. It was a real honor to be on the red carpet representing my documentary, which I’ve devoted two years of my life to making and feel so strongly about. Rape is still a very taboo subject in America and I want people to be able to discuss it more openly.

BN: It must have been hard on your hair, visiting all those different parts of the country and subjecting it to all the different weather conditions. At one point you were in the desert, right?

SR: Yes, we spent a couple of months on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation, where a repeat-offender rapist was never prosecuted because of a dispute over the jurisdiction of off-reservation law enforcement.

BN: That must’ve been so hard.

SR: Yes. The victims have spent years trying to get this to trial.

BN: I mean on your hair—all that dust and dryness. Did the reservation have anything in terms of hair-care facilities?

SR: Um, well I stayed with one of the Native American families. They had a shower and everything.

BN: So you didn’t have access to any hot oil or deep conditioning treatments?

SR: No.



BN: How did you get by?

SR: I just stayed focused on the task at hand, telling the stories of these women and the difficulties they’ve had in pursuing justice. The women were foremost in my mind because their stories are so tragic and compelling. It was encouraging to see the women of the community banding together to try to help the victims and bring the accused to trial.

BN: Did you get any cool hair care tips while you were there? Native American women have such beautiful, healthy looking hair.

SR: There’s a lot of poverty on this reservation, so that’s not really their priority.

BN: I bet they infuse their hair with wild herbs or honey or something they find on the land. Maybe some kind of DIY products. We’d love to get the recipes!

SR: I spent most of my visit talking about the rape and gender issues in the local community and researching legal options.

BN: Right, but enough about that. Let’s talk about you and your pretty hair. What are you having done today? Highlights? Soft curls?


Author’s note: At this point in the interview Selena brushed a lock of dark hair behind her ear and furrowed her flawless eyebrows, ostensibly considering the choice of high-quality products and services Sally Hershberger Salon has to offer.


SR: I think I’m just going to leave actually.

BN: Can I just touch your hair quickly?

SR: No.

And then she was gone. She strode away in a pair of fitted black pants with chestnut strands cascading down her back, determined to keep the formula for her silky tresses a secret … for now.