"This Rising London Track Star Has the Best Curls on Instagram"
"Now that the Rio Olympics have come and gone, fans are turning their attention to the next generation of athletic talent. And it would be hard for anyone to miss Ocean Lewis, whose stunning head of gold-tinged curls has caught fire on Instagram—whipping behind her on a run or wildly unfurled on the heath. Though she’s still in high school, the 17-year-old Londoner has unwittingly become a bit of a social media sensation—and she’s already been photographed by Adidas.
“Basically every single photo shoot has been from people DM-ing me,” she says of the dreamy work featured on her feed: shots of her glitter-streaked face in a music video or her teased-out tangerine mane matched to a marigold coat. Though Lewis appears wholly at ease before the camera, it’s a far cry from her day-to-day life as a rising track star, juggling four or five weekly sessions at Mile End Stadium in East London with coach Chris Zah, a routine she’s honing in the hopes of becoming a world-class sprinter. “That’s the dream—to be a full-time athlete,” she says. At the track, she sharpens her skills alongside Olympians with grueling 150-meter sprints and is one of the fastest in London. “Sometimes I wonder why I do it—I feel sick every session—but it’s all worth it in the end,” she says, laughing.
As for that head-turning hair, which she bundles into her signature high, scrunchied ponytail for meets, Lewis has shifted from ginger to platinum to gold in the past few years, always keeping the roots dark. “I went on holiday to Jamaica and got loads of natural blonde highlights,” she says. “I love my hair that color, just from the sun.” That easygoing approach extends to her daily regimen, too. “I don’t touch my hair,” she says, adding that she shampoos every five weeks and conditions every five days: “I put conditioner in it, I detangle it, and I’m good for the week—literally.” Often, she’ll let Aussie 3-Minute Miracle Moist conditioner dry into her hair overnight, which, she finds, keeps her curls more defined; a spray bottle filled with a water-and-conditioner mix acts as a quick texture refresher. “I prefer my hair to be really big,” she says. Lewis—and her hair—is well on her way"
Words: Monica Kim
Follow Ocean on Instagram: @oceanlewis