Tamron Hall: ‘Running Wild’ Is Reason I Wore Curly Afro on ‘Today’

Tamron Hall and Bear Grylls scale a canyon wall on "Running Wild With Bear Grylls." (Photo: Duncan Gaudin/NBC)

At the start of Tamron Hall’s two-day adventure on “Running Wild With Bear Grylls,” her hair, though covered in dust from scaling the Pink Cliffs of Utah, is straightened, similarly to how she dons it on the “Today” show.

However, by the next morning, there’s a slight difference: her locks have been transformed into tiny, loose curls.

Regular "Today" viewers have seen Hall sport this 'do before. Back in July the Emmy Award-nominated journalist wore her hair in its naturally curly state on air for the first time ever. Though Hall often wears this curly look off-camera, she credits her “Running Wild” experience with why she initially debuted the style on “Today.”

“I brought with me one of those portable Butane curling irons and Bear mocked me and said we could use it to set on the camp fire. And if I had used that curling iron, it would have only fused the dirt into my hair so there was nothing I could do. So I just wore it natural,” Hall shares with XFINITY CelebrateBlackTV.com, adding that she washed her hair with water from Grylls’ canteen. “There is no straightening your hair in the wild.”

She says her arms were “shredded” and she was so “black and blue” from her wilderness journey that spending two hours to straighten her hair for TV wasn’t an option.

Tamron Hall and Bear Grylls pose on "Running Wild With Bear Grylls." (Photo: Duncan Gaudin/NBC)

“When I went to work a few hours after seeing Bear I didn’t have the physical energy and emotional energy to deal with my hair, to straighten it for the expectation some people may have for what I should look like. It’s my hair and they’ll live with it,” Hall tells XFINITY CelebrateBlackTV.com.

Hall, who also hosts MSNBC’s “News Nation” and “Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall” on Investigation Discovery, says at the studio, she washed her hair and put in a leave-in conditioner to get her curls camera ready.

“[The leave-in conditioner] keeps the moisture and the rest is TV hair history,” she says.

Hall’s unsure whether she’ll repeat her “Running Wild” experience but had no problem rocking her curly Afro for “Today” viewers again. She wore the look three weeks after its debut as part of her “Tamron’s Tuesday Trend” segment where she and her hair stylist Johnny Wright (the man behind First Lady Michelle Obama’s “bangs”) offered styling tips for women with curly hair.

Hall’s “Running Wild” episode aired Monday but you can watch it below to see why she called it “the most exhilarating experience of her life.”

“This experience took me out of my element and it showed me that the mental toughness that I hope that I developed could be transferred to other situations,” says Hall, who also opened up about her dating life and her sister’s murder during the episode.  

“Running Wild With Bear Grylls” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. Aside from Hall, Ben Stiller and Channing Tatum are among the celebrities who spent two days in the wild with Grylls. Former football and baseball player Deion Sanders will also be featured this season. That should be interesting!

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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