Off the Court with Alex Montgomery

Alex, can you tell us something, non- basketball related, that no one knows about you?
(Smiles) I like to do hair. I like to braid hair.

What styles can you do?
For braiding I can do designs like zigzags and criss-crosses. I have also done a weave or two in my day, mostly sew-ins.

So are you moonlighting as a hairdresser on the side? Is this a business- do you charge people?
(Laughs) No, it’s for free. I do it for fun. I did hair for little kids and my brothers when I was younger. We’d just sit in the living room. I’d sit on the couch and they’d sit on a pillow. In college I used to twist the dreads of some of the football players and gave Iman Shumpert a lineup when we were both at Georgia Tech. It’s just something I do in my free time.

Can you do your own hair or do you go to a hair stylist?
I can do my own. When I play overseas there aren’t many options so I put my hair in plaits. I seldom go to the hair salon but I’ll go for a wash and set. I try to avoid too much heat and the flat iron.

Who taught you how to do hair?
My mom did. She was a beautician. When we were younger people used to come to the house to get their hair done. I used to watch her and then practice on my dolls.

Is it hard to maintain your hair as an athlete?
It’s very hard! You sweat a lot as an athlete. So even if you do get your hair done, once you sweat it will start to curl up and you’ll lose the straightness and soft flow of your hairstyle. A lot of people end up using heat and blow dryers to freshen up their hair style but soon you’ll get split ends and damage. I know that for a lot of African American female athletes, many decide to get weaves and extensions. Weaves aren’t my style though.

Do WNBA players pay a lot of attention to their hair? Is this an area of major importance?
It’s 50/50. For our team, we kind of have a “throw on a head and go” type of team. We care more about appearances off the court that on it. When we’re on the court it’s nothing but business.

What’s your game day look?
I’ll wear a slicked back ponytail or a big poof-ball ponytail.

Which teammate's hair would you like to do?
Nicole Powell’s. I’d like to straighten it. Her hair is long and pretty- should be fun.

Ok, one final question, not having to do with hair.

You are Alex Montgomery of “Cookie Challenge” fame. How were you able to get a cookie from your forehead into your mouth without using your hands?!
HA! I don’t even know. It was my first time trying that during our team media day. Now I hear about it all the time. (laughs). People yell out, “I’ll buy you some cookies!”