Australia’s first Herbal Essences ambassador announced

Herbal Essences is excited to announce its first ambassador in Australia, 24-year-old Gamilaraay woman, musician and creator - Thelma Plum.

BD spoke with Plum, who is set to inspire a new generation of women to embrace authentic and natural beauty. She shared all things hair, pressures on social media and representation of Black and Indigenous People of Colour in the beauty industry.

Congratulations on being named Australia’s first Herbal Essences ambassador! How does that feel and why did you decide to partner with the brand?

It feels really exciting to be Australia’s first Herbal Essences ambassador. The brand has been a staple on my bathroom shelf for years so it's really surreal for me!

The partnership came as Herbal Essences launches its new bio:renew Potent Aloe collection created using real botanicals and one of my personal favourite plants, Aloe Vera. 

What do you love most about the bio:renew Potent Aloe Collection? 

I love the smell, it’s my favourite thing. I literally just washed my hair with smells so good.

The collection is also full of sustainably sourced Aloe - I am a huge Aloe fan and love the moisturising benefits. I also have super thick and curly hair so it makes it feel so soft and nourished. 

Tell us about your hair - how do you usually style it and what products are must-haves in your collection?

The Potent Aloe and Eucalyptus Shampoo and Conditioner variant is my go-to in the shower.

Usually my hair is very thick and gets quite curly and unruly, I like things that can tame it down a little bit.

I try not to straighten/curl my hair or use too much heat on it, but sometimes in my job I have to have my hair styled, so it’s good to have nice products that I can use when I'm at home. It's also good to know I am using clean products that don't have any nasty chemicals in them! 

What is your beauty philosophy?

I'm a big believer in whatever works for you, is beautiful. I feel like with beauty, we can make up our own rules...and that's the beauty of it.

I know what works for me, so I just listen to myself, my skin and my hair - and that's how it's always been! 

With face filters and pressure to conform to specific 'beauty standards' on social media, how do you think young girls can embrace authentic and natural beauty?

Some of these filters are scary, but even I get a bit caught up putting filters on my face. I find that they are all based on European beauty standards (a little nose and things), so I don't love them.

I think it's really important for everyone to find their own version of beauty inside them. 

As an Indigenous Australian woman, how do you feel Black and Indigenous People of Colour are represented in the beauty industry and how would you like to see this shift moving forward?

When I was little there was absolutely nobody that I can think of that looked like me represented in mainstream Australian media, but I think that’s changing now and that’s important.

I’m glad that people like me and other First Nations people are visible now and while it’s great, there is still a long way to go.

It’s amazing that young kids can see people like me on ads because it took me a long time to teach myself that I was beautiful enough. I would see beautiful blonde girls, and they were gorgeous, I even wrote a song about it - but it wasn't what I looked like and I didn't understand why there is no one who looked like me - it was very confusing as a child.