When Destinee Wray appeared alongside her mother in a TikTok video on May 14. 2019, one million viewers tuned in to the teen’s hilarious take on “curly girl” struggles. The viral video begins with Wray pulling out her ponytail, her sullen face foreshadowing the torment she is to endure. As a reworked version of “Buttercup” by Jack Stauber plays, Wray’s mother lip syncs: “Ah shit, here we go again.” Then, the clip transitions to her combing out her daughter’s hair as Wray grimaces.
As her mother brushes out and applies a spray product to Wray’s hair, both express moments of frustration when the hair becomes too difficult to manage. Their mock-frustrated expressions are amusing, making it impossible to keep a straight face while engaging in this comical process. The final moments of the video showcase Wray’s new hairstyle; a neat, high ponytail with her curls puffed out. Her mother and her smile, giving the viewers a satisfying ‘thumbs up’ to mark their success.
Becoming TikTok famous
Shortly after her May 2019 video was shared on the platform, Destinee Wray was catapulted her into the TikTok world. This is also where the hair and beauty influencer’s journey as a TikTok elite would truly begin. Though known for her popularity, Wray’s ability to relate to women and girls with curly hair draws people to her videos. Whether her videos are on hair tips, struggles or tutorials, curly-haired people from all races and hair types gain confidence and empowerment from Wray’s inspirational content.
Destinee Wray, known to her social media supporters as Draco Dez, has been creating content on beauty and hair since the age of 16. The Toronto native is currently 18 years old, and her fame has turned her into a sought-out influencer from hair and beauty brands alike. Hairfinity and Aussie are among these. Wray is best known for creating a niche platform on TikTok that specializes in giving advice on style, maintaining, and caring for curly hair.
Most popular videos
Wray has a collection of fun, energizing videos with millions of likes and views. Most of her followers are entertained by watching her colour her hair with wild hues and shades or watch as the dust of her Aztec clay mask— a favourite of hers— rises and falls before being applied to Wray’s curls. Of all her video content, Wray’s Straight Hairstyles on my Curly Hair videos take the platinum record home when it comes to popularity. In this video collection of 18-part clips, Wray chooses a straight hairstyle she wishes to try out and attempts to style it— without straightening her— to pull off a curly version of the look.
These TikTok videos have inspired so many creators to follow suit and style their curly hair like Wray’s. Her impact on the curly haired community, at large, expands far beyond race and hair type. Black or biracial women with 4C curly hair to white women with looser curls all take their inspiration from Wray by trying out these styles, making sure to tag her as they do.
The curly hair guru
Wray can also be quite the curly hair guru, advising girls on the types of products that maintain and moisturize your curls. She also excels at arming her curly-haired army with endless hair tutorial videos. Her Curly Hair 101 videos consist of basic hairstyle tutorials for girls who weren’t taught how to style their own hair.
Hair as an extension of you
Destiny Wray is on a quest to get her viewers to embrace their natural hair. Though she deals with unique hair struggles pertaining to her biracial background, Wray still faces challenges many women and girls of African descent must deal with when it comes to hair. In Black communities, many women and girls experience the pressure of altering their hair to meet Eurocentric beauty standards. As a younger girl, Wray herself faced many insecurities about her hair, going so far as to straighten her curls away. After growing tired of this internal battle, she one day made the irreversible decision to cut her hair and start wearing it naturally. She eventually grew to love and appreciate her hair, telling Elle Canada in an interview it was “an extension of her”. Today, Wray’s personalized videos continue to cater to the members of her digital community by not only offering the comfort of one day achieving their hair goals but inspiring them to love their hair as it is.
Tashon Daley | Contributing Writer