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August 3, 2013

On the Couch w/ Raven-Symoné: Natural Hair Celeb

Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with actress and singer extraordinaire, Raven-Symoné. Best known for her roles as Olivia Kendall on 'The Cosby Show', and Raven Baxter on the hit Disney sitcom, 'That's So Raven', she is all grown up and doing the dang thing. Talented, smart, and beautiful, Raven is a role model for young and old alike. Over the years, she has rocked braids, ponytails, lace fronts, and weaves. She's worn her hair curly, short, long, red, blond, and black. But did you know that underneath her Hollywood hair, she is a fellow natural? She shares her hair story, and her reasons for keeping her natural hair hidden away.

Read On>>>




CN: Tell us your Hair Story!

RS: My hair story… wow… it’s long and complicated. I’ll do my best to make it interesting!

Back in the day, it would take my mother an hour and thirty minutes just to brush it out. Ridiculous! I’ll never forget my first relaxer… the entire process took 4 hours. It was April 11th, and I was around 11 or 12. I had been telling my mom that the tears would stop; the long styling sessions would cease, if she’d just let me get a perm. She finally caved. And so on April 11th, I went to the shop and let the stylist detangle my hair. Nearly two hours later, she began to apply the relaxer. She didn’t use a super duper relaxer- - it was just enough so that it would only take me 30 minutes to brush it out. I don’t think she left it on for even two minutes.

The relaxer days were short lived; my mother stopped them as soon as they started. Growing up, my parents didn’t really let me do too much to my hair. The first major thing different I was allowed to do, was get braids. We found someone with healing hands, and she would do silky twists and the like. But when I went to school with my natural hair, I would always do those buns where you’d put a sock at the root, and cover your hair over it…yeah, old school. I used to do that everyday.


You know what’s funny? That’s how my hair is done today![Laughter]

Now that I’ve cut my hair shorter again, all I can think is, man, I miss my sock! You know? 'Cause you can always go to that, it’s fancy, it’s not fancy. It’s the best thing!

So during that time, I’d always wear the sock to school, but when I’d work, I’d get braids again because it was just easier. This was around the time of 'Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper'. Then I started with the ponytails, but I couldn’t keep them up because I didn’t like pressing my hair. The heat was harsh and my edges are very thin naturally. I couldn’t risk losing my edges! For some reason, my grandma, my mother, pretty much that whole side of the family, as they age, their hair gets softer. This has happened to me too. The older I get, my hair is like cotton, but curly. It’s like super soft, I don’t know where the coarseness went.

Anyway, next I did 'Dr. Dolittle 2'. That was my first full head weave. I was around 14 years old. My parents, my dad specifically, wanted my natural hair to be perfect, and told me that we needed to figure out a way to save it with me working every day. So from then on I always wore weaves because I wanted to avoid the heat and over styling… to protect my real hair.

Fast forward a bit…

I remember JLo came out with this beautiful honey brown hair. And I wanted it so bad! I wanted that hair so bad. [Laughter] So of course, I dyed my hair. Why? Because I was now old enough, and I could do it. Needless to say, all of my hair fell out. It’s not supposed to be bleached! So I cut it off and my boyfriend at the time told me I looked like Justin Timberlake. Old school JT. I liked it though! So I continued to wear weaves, and weaves, and weaves, and my hair grew again. It was super easy to grow out, as long as I did my hair mayonnaise treatments, and used lots of different African oils and things of that nature.


So just to clarify, when was your last relaxer?

My last full head relaxer was when I was 13, my mom stopped them soon after I started getting them. It was almost immediate. And then I shaved one side of my hair off… I had the Cassie look before Cassie had the look. So you know how you want your baby hairs to lay down? We’d just put a little bit (relaxer) on the side… just a little… it wasn’t the whole head. But I was officially done with relaxers by the time I was 14. That’s when I started with the weaves.


So you’re one of the natural hair vanguards. You were rocking it before it was in!

Yes, but no one ever sees me. It’s not "cool". It’s not as accepted in Hollywood. I don’t feel like the person that people see on TV when I rock my natural hair. And it’s not that I don’t love it, I so love it! I wear it out a lot. It’s really mine, mine, and mine alone.

When I first got off of 'That’s so Raven' I was like, OMG, I’m free, I don’t have to wear any weaves! So I cut all of my hair off and dyed it orange, purple… every color. I wore my curls much of the time. Then, it was back to work, so my hair was back to black and back under the weaves. It's sad, but for now, that's how it is.


As a working actress, a mainstream actress, I can only imagine the pressures you must experience to keep your hair long and straight.
Have you always liked your natural hair? If not, how did you come to embrace it?


I always loved my natural hair texture. I have the curliest, curliest hair, and when I find that right conditioner, it is on and popping. I didn’t love it of course when it took an hour and a half to brush it out, but I’ve since learned how to work with it, instead of against it.

I have been to so many auditions with my curly hair, and people don’t recognize me. It blows my mind. And my manager is like, ‘you can’t do that, that’s not what people see!’ And that's fine, because I do it for myself anyway. I wore it natural for a couple of my own concerts because I love it, I really do. I’ve been on red carpets with my natural hair too, and I’ve been called a poodle because people didn’t understand curly hair.

But pretty much, when I don’t have to work, I’m always wearing my natural hair. Always! I'm always applying my oil stimulant, because since it does get put up, it gets very dry. I’m a big DIY girl. I’m my own hair stylist. I try to learn to do everything myself just in case. ‘Cause I’d rather mess up my own hair than let someone else mess it up… don’t want to have to cuss anybody out.


Well, it’s beautiful. I’ve seen some of the pictures. It looks so shiny, healthy and soft!

Thank you. It is quite soft, I must say so myself! [Laughter] the only problem is when I go to sleep. Even the satin pillows don’t help me. The back always seems to flatten out and I’m left with curls only up front. I hate putting water on it every morning, so I really try my best to either not go to sleep at all, or sleep sitting up like a grandma!


How long is your hair today?

I recently cut my hair off again. I had another bad weave for a show. I cut it off, but it’s super cute... it’s old school JT length again. And I don’t have a problem with it. I’m understanding. I have the Organic Root Stimulator Hair Mayonnaise, and a super fantastic Olive Oil Conditioner and some other things. I also like Doo Gro. I have totally become my grandma and oil my scalp. My boyfriend is like, ‘I can’t even touch your hair because it’s so greasy!’ I say, ‘well it’s growing, so don’t touch it! Let it do what it do!’


You’ve mentioned some of your favorite hair oils and treatments, what are your other must have products?


Mane and Tail shampoo and conditioner. A must, must, must have- and I can’t find it anymore, so it’s a super must now- a product called Afrodisiac. It was co-created with Sade. That stuff smells so good! They have an entire line, but that’s only for special occasions because I don’t have that much left. And then I have the Organic Root Stimulator Hair Mayonaise, the reconstructive kind. I wear that one like it’s a leave-in conditioner. I also have my Doo Gro and extra virgin oils. Those are for when I’m feeling real super salonish in my house. [Laughter]


So from start to finish, on a curly day, what’s your process?


Process for curly hair would be to get up, assess for the ability to salvage it…I check the shape, see if it’s dry, see if it's grown [Laughter]. If I need to re-wet it, I go for my conditioner, grabbing whichever one is under my sink at that time. If I feel like going hardcore, I’ll use a product to hold the curl. I look at the day and see if I have to be in front of people that know I have curly hair, ‘cause if I do, then I go for the Paul Mitchell Foaming Pomade and add some water. But if I’m not really in front of anybody, I just leave some conditioner in it, and put a headband on, or not put a headband on. Sometimes I’ll just wear a cute little clip that is so for little four year old girls, but I wear it anyway.


Very, very simple routine. Do you ever wear twist or braid-outs?


I do my own cornrows if I just want to chill out. I may do some flat twists up front, if the front is being mean to me. But I don’t really have time for all of that. I just want to get in and get out. Which is why I like my short hair even though I’m trying to grow it out. I love my short hair because you can just get up and go. It’s crazy how fast it’s growing though. I swear I got like 6 inches in 3 months…[Laughter] no, for real, it was like almost 2 inches in 3 months, but still, this no heat thing is working!


What's the best thing about being curly?


Your bathroom doesn’t smell like burnt hair. You can wear it down whenever you want to without worrying about the humidity. You can put it up in a frohawk! You can whip your hair back and forth!


What would you say to naturals that may be interested in wearing weaves or wigs to protect and grow out their natural hair?

I’ll tell you this, and I learned it the hard way. Too much of anything is bad. So you can definitely wear a weave, take care of it, oil your scalp, but take it out. Don’t keep it in for long periods, because you will be angry. Your hair will fall out just as if you didn’t have a weave- - as if you were applying heat all the time, and over styling. And that’s the misconception I think. People believe it’s just okay to leave it in. No! If it starts to smell, take it out. If it doesn’t start to smell, take it out. Also, weaves aren’t for everyone. You have to get the right kind, and make sure you get the right person to put it in. It’s a lot of work to keep up. It’s not an easy answer or a magic pill. Do your research.

Any inspirational words of advice for the CN community?

Go hard! Find what you like to do, make money from it, and don’t bite off more than you can chew. Finally, know where your limitations are.


Tell us about your current and upcoming projects.

I have a show, thank goodness, on ABC Family called the 'Great State of Georgia'. That will hopefully be airing very soon. Stay on the lookout!


**The above pics are of Raven through the years (2004- the present). The first picture is of her natural hair in 2010, with 1 track in the front for fullness**

94 Chime in!:

vrb0107 said...

Okay Raven, I already loved you (was just saying so to my Mom yesterday). This is my first time seeing you natural and it took my breath away. You've made my day. lol I will be showing this to everyone that I'm trying to convince to become natural. Nikki, you always come with the best! Thank you!!

Anonymous said...

I've been a fan of Raven's since The Cosby Show and Cooper days! I love you girl and your curls are beautiful. Thank you for sharing with us and please keep doing what you're doing. My daughters and I love you! Good luck on your new show!

Curly Chic said...

Nice interview! As usual! :)

Joyce said...

I had no idea she was natural! I love her fro-hawk and her tips on weaves. If it stinks, take it out! If it don't stink, take it out! Women leave those weaves in forever and a day and wonder why there hair breaks off! SMH

Anonymous said...

RAVEN SYMONE! That's So Raven was my all time favorite show, and I'm way too old, I just love Disney. Thank you for having the courage to step out and show your natural hair. Hollywood may not like it but we love it! Can't wait for the new show, I'm sure it'll be great.

Anonymous said...

Great interview Nikki!Raven, your true beauty is shining through. Don't listen to the haters, if that's poodle hair, we all need some! Thanks for keeping it real.


Jackie

Anonymous said...

Great interview once again. Love her curls! I hope she'll be able to wear them more often. ~KF519

LaNeshe said...

I don't know how I've never seen her with natural hair before this. Great interview.

Jeneice said...

Just beautiful. It never ceases to amaze me how much more beautiful women look when they wear their natural hair. Raven is no exception. Love you Raven! Congratulations on your success and I'm sure your new series will be stellar.

Anonymous said...

wonderful interview

DrChuck24 said...

she made an awesome point about not leaving in weaves too long....excellent interview :)

caracara said...

She was a cutie on Cosby Show and is doing her thing as an adult. Love your hair, Raven!!!!

Anonymous said...

What a pleasant surprise! It is a shame that Hollywood doesn't appreciate curly hair because I think she looks 100 times better that way. I was wondering why she was wearing those weaves because her hair was gorgeous as a kid...NOW, I get it. I have faith that things are changing for the "curly" better. I see more and more naturals on tv. Thanks for the interview; I loved it! :)

chavonna said...

That really was a good interview and she is so silly..love her. Her hair is gorgeous...keep it rockin' Raven

Anonymous said...

My favorite interview to date! Great job, Nikki!

Pecancurls said...

CN, great interview! I never knew she was natural. I saw her on Chris Rock's Good Hair talking about her weave, but I never knew she was natural underneath. She has always been a cutie.

Bionca said...

Haha, she is hilarious. I loved JT's large afro back in the day, shaking all over the place.
I'm glad Raven is natural. Her hair is so beautiful.

Anonymous said...

For as long as i can remeber i've been told i look and act like raven lol. i had no clue she was even natural. now i see we have the same hair. i swear me and her were sereprated at birth lol great interview!!!

MommieDearest said...

Pecancurls said...
CN, great interview! I never knew she was natural. I saw her on Chris Rock's Good Hair talking about her weave, but I never knew she was natural underneath..

I was thinking the same thing. I wish she would have mentioned in the movie that she was natural under the weave, and that the only reason she wore the weave was to protect her own hair. That movie made it seem like all black women relaxed and weaved because we hate our hair and want straight hair.

Karen said...

Awesome interview, Nikki! I love Raven. She is so real. And her natural hair is absolutely gorgeous. 2 big toes up, girl!

diademydo said...

Hmmmm...the entertainment industry still believes that if your nappy folks ain't happy. So far off base! I just peeped Tempest "Vanessa" Bledsoe on her new gig, Clean House. She took over for Neicy Nash and I bet rockin the straight do she has now wasn't Tempest's choice. Big shout out to all the Cosby girls. You showed us that being ourselves is always fly. :)

Anonymous said...

LOVE RAVEN! I miss her on my TV. Her hair is gorgeous.

diademydo said...

I meant "if you're nappy"....

@MommieDearest I agree and I think that having that discussion (how hollywood wants you to look) with all of the lady celebs that Rock interviewed would have been very valuable.

Leo the Yardie Chick said...

She's gorgeous with her natural hair! :D I hope she'll land a role where she'll be able to show it off. It deserves some shine, man!

Bonn Group said...

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Anonymous said...

Another great interview, Nikki. Love Raven. :-)

AuNaturelDiva said...

Great interview! I've been following Raven her entire career and she's one of my natural inspirations, partially b/c so many people tell me I resemble her. I love the cute clothes she rocks, cuz I'm top heavy too! Boobalicious as I call it! lol...and I love her curlies cuz I'm a curly girl! Love her!!

Anonymous said...

Great last photo.

Annie L. said...

Loved her career advice! Great interview!

Anonymous said...

her hair is amazing! I love her curl pattern

Angela said...

Maybe if actresses wore their hair natural in public more often, they wouldn't be "forced" to put in weaves and/or relax to get jobs. I understand that it's a Catch-22, but it breaks my heart. How are girls ever going to believe that their curls and coils are beautiful if actresses are always straight?

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous curl pattern! I love your work Raven and your hair is just the icing on the cake. Glad you're one of us!

BreakageInAtlanta said...

Raven I am a big hugh fan of yours. I love the way you carry yourself and your hair is beautiful.

Anonymous said...

I concur with all of the above. I too wish that Hollywood would become more tolerant. BUt keep doing what you're doing!

Sweetdrk1 said...

Beautiful story and that hair is Awesome!

Anonymous said...

and I was a huge, huge, huge,huge HUGE fan of That's So Raven!

Joy said...

Best interview to date! Keep them coming Nikki. Raven, your natural hair has you glowing girl, wear it proud.

Annie Gracie said...

Wow! This was a great one...you did not dissappoint CN! I always wondered what her hair was like after the cosby show because she always wore weaves. Great read!

Anonymous said...

Excellent interview. Raven is a mogul and makes me proud to say I'm natural. Thanks Nikk!

Rene said...

Total surprise! So happy to read that Raven is natural. Her curls are gorgeous and look healthy. Great weave advice.

MommieDearest said...

@diademydo

ITA with you there! That would have added a MUCH NEEDED perspective to the film.

@Angela

"Maybe if actresses wore their hair natural in public more often, they wouldn't be "forced" to put in weaves and/or relax to get jobs... How are girls ever going to believe that their curls and coils are beautiful if actresses are always straight?"

*sigh* I know. Let's keep hope alive. LOL!

Anonymous said...

Great read and gorgeous hair. Thanks Raven and Nikki!

Anonymous said...

Raven is such a lovely and positive young lady. Her natural curls are very pretty.

ilovtati1 said...

"I know my body, I know my body!", said Olivia of the Cosby Show. I think I'ved loved Raven since that episode. :-)

And her words of inspiration were right on point!!!

As someone said, "if that's poodle hair, we all need it!" LOL You look beautiful with your curls...let 'em show.

Tracey said...

Raven is killing it!

Breanna said...

Raven hair looks so good on here and the interview is really terrific. I've always watch "Thats So Raven" show every sat even now still. The movie she did with Martin Lawerence in the adventures of her going off to college was hilarious. CN just spitting those babies out like wildfire, thanks for getting such good interviews from everyone.

Also Tempsett Bledsoe "aka Vanessa" The Cosby Show now hosting "Clean Show" still has natural hair, but just puts on a straight haired wig for the show.

I saw this on Naturallycurly.com which better explains on Tempsett here's the link:http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/4a/120697-tempestt-bledsoes-natural-hair.html

----------------------------------------------
Video of her natural hair on this one
http://omg.yahoo.com/videos/tempestt-bledsoe-talks-life-after-the-cosby-show/13015?nc

Breanna said...

Meant to say the now hosting the "Chean House Show", she replaced Neicy Nash that orginally held the position.

Jeannette said...

Wow, I really liked her honesty! It's a shame that when she had her natural hair her Manager was telling her that people weren't going to recognize her...excuse me? LOL I remember Oprah saying something similar when she decided to wear her hair curly for a few years. Anyway, great interview and she is on point that Women must take care of their natural hair when wearing a full weave.

Breanna said...

Hum CN you should do a interview next for the actress off of "All My Children" the one that plays Angie that's married to the black cop Jessie. I saw her on Oprah last week and she is Natural.

Anonymous said...

You are rolling these bad boys out! Thanks for this great interview!

DvaAuNaturel said...

@Breanna,you're talking about Debi Morgan. That would be awesome.

Great interview with Raven. I like her candor. She's grown up to be a fantastic young woman (smart, talented, savvy business woman) who has built up a nice brand. Well done...can't wait to see her rocking her curls out on a regular.

RoddyG said...

Tell Raven that if there is a Sally's near her they still sell Mane & Tail!!

http://www.sallybeauty.com/Mane-Tail-Conditioner/MANE1,default,pd.html?cgid=Hair02

Anonymous said...

Great interview Nik and Raven. I love ORS too, glad I'm not the only one. Your curls are to die for Raven!

Anonymous said...

I thought I was the only one that had heard of Afrodisiac! I love sade's hair and when i saw she had made a product I had to buy it! I actually purcahsed it from a shop in europe. I'm almost out and I have no idea what I'm going to do. And you're right, that stuff smells so yum yummy!

Anonymous said...

Olivia was hands down the cutest Cosby kid! Glad to see she's rooting for Team Natural!

Anonymous said...

Great interview and who knew! One thing, I've noticed on quite a few t.v. commercials, there is a lot of black women rocking their natural hair. I'm surprised you ladies haven't seen them. I live in IL and I was shocked at the number and texture ranges of them so I don't know why Hollywood is tripping! I guess they're hoping that we all think the black actresses come from a middle eastern country with the straight weaves and brown skin---LOL, big dummies!

Anonymous said...

Another great interview! I remember seeing pictures of her natural hair on the mediatakeout site. I'm glad to hear that she is still embracing it. It looks wonderful!

Mick said...

I am probably the only 30-something that watches "That's So Raven". I love her! I wish you had asked about her weight loss!!!

Anonymous said...

Amazing interview Nikki and Raven. Your hair is beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Good interview! I absolutely adore Raven Simone and KeKe Palmer. They are such good role models for young girls of color. Keep up the good work girls.

Anonymous said...

her natural hair sure is pretty. it is very becoming.

so glad she shared her experience with us here on CN.

Anonymous said...

For those who might be interested in Raven's new ABC family show (Great State of Georgia), novelist Jennifer Weiner, who created the show, posted the following details in her latest blog entry...
"I learned that the most beautiful words in the English language are "I love you," and "ordered to series." "The Great State of Georgia" is a go!

So: I'll be relocating (temporarily!) to LA for the next few months, sharing executive producer duties, which means I will be writing scripts and overseeing casting and approving costumes and sets and doing a zillion other things to put a great, funny show with a big heart on TV.

Seriously, I heart Georgia. I loved writing the show, I loved watching Raven-Symone and Majandra Delfino bring the thing to life, and I think that, come springtime, you're going to dig it, too.

The TV show will premiere in late May or early June. The novel will be out the second week in July. And I'm assuming I'll spend August lying flat on my back, moaning softly to myself.
| #


--

Krystle said...

I had no idea she was natural! She looks stunning with her hair natural! I love it!

Anonymous said...

I'm 40 and I STILL LOVE that's So Raven.. LOL Love the interview.....Great Job Ms. Nikki..

Raven's hair is beautiful!! -Micaiahty

Carla said...

Great interview. Raven is gorgeous with her natural hair - I wish the directors/writers let her wear her hair out at a certain point.

Anonymous said...

I respect Raven I think she is a wonderful woman but I am so over any actress who is so willing to allow directors, or whoever the evil people are in hollywood to tell her how she is to wear her hair. It's so annoying to hear how our natural hair is not accepted in hollywood, does that even make any sense? To me it would be cheaper because extra hair and flat irons cost more money. It has to be one of those things where the acceptance starts with us and the numbers of those who swtich to natural texture grows. I have more respect now for actresses like Tracie Thomas and Rachel True to not give in to something this ridiculous. I am beginning to correlate how maybe hollywood has this issue with our hair so that they can continue to promote this stigma of only black women wearing overly enhanced hair.

Anonymous said...

It's not only hollywood it's the typical office place with miserable people and gossipers. Because I was given such a hard time at my job with my natural textured hair I decided to never come to work with a full head of flat ironed hair they work off of petty so well so I make it my business to bother them, lol. My man, people who see my outside of work will they see my hair straight yes, but not at work they said too many nasty things so now they will continue to see my natural texture all the time.

naturallytia.com said...

Great post! She looks great, so proud of her weight loss too!

Anonymous said...

I can't WAIT for the new show! My sister and I were just talking today about how Raven is such a fabulous actress. Your comedy chops is brilliant! I'll be there ABC Family puts on good shows as well so I'm sure we won't be disappointed! I can't wait!

Anonymous said...

Raven is WONDERFUL!

Speaking of other fab naturals to interview CN should interview the beautiful Annie Ilonzeh she comes on General Hospital and is the new Charlies Angel. Her hair is FAB!

Charlene said...

Beautiful Interview!!!! Way to Go!!

Anonymous said...

WoooooooW!!!!! This interview is soooo good I want seconds!!!! YUMMY!

Anonymous said...

The Afrodisiac line was discontinued last year, it was by Ayo Laguda (a top brit stylist) for Urban retreat... i miss it :-(

Kellistarr said...

Raven Symone, the other "Lucille Ball" of comedy has always been fantastic to me and cute as she could be, natural hair, weave, curly hair I'm so glad that she embraces what's growing out of her head, naturally. But then, Raven has always been an intelligent, sharp, sister. Good Luck with your success, Raven!

@curlylook said...

Tell Raven she can find Mane and Tail at Walgreens and Walmart.

Anonymous said...

Great interview!.. Nikki can u do a interview with Solange Knowles?
or have u done that before?

just me said...

I love this chick! Always have. Now if only they could do a Good Hair 2 and have the natural ladies come in and rock it.

Quita said...

Love this! However, I too wish that someone with a platform would challenge the idea of beauty and say "NO" to ONLY wearing straight styles. Women are diverse, as is our hair!

Also, an interview from Solange Knowles would be awesome.

MeShell Anderson said...

Very nice interview!! I love Raven!

FemmeNaturel said...

Raven looks beautiful in her natural hair.

Big Pam said...

WOOOOHHH how in the world did you manage to interview the HAIR QUEEN herself?

*bows down to curly nikki* lol

Joy said...

I LOVED THIS ARTICLE!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad I found this article! I read about you going natural in the sister to sister magazine. You said you were inspired by Chris Rocks documentary on hair. I gave up relaxers and chemicals 5 months ago. I gotta say its not easy, my hairtype is 4B..there are days when I wanna use a hot comb,but I put it away. lol! Its good to see more black female celebrities give up the relaxers and weaves. Do you have a book on natural hair care?

lies28 said...

I too like walking into the bathroom and not smelling burnt hair!lol
I enjoyed this interview, another reason to love this woman!!
Go Raven

Sylvia Monique Edwards said...

Lol great interview. Hit her back up and tell her that she can find Mane and Tail in the pet section of Walmart. I know this bc I was looking for it, my mother used it when I was younger and it is pretty darn good :)

Anonymous said...

I'd rather see natural hair actresses wearing natural looking wigs and weaves, if it comes down to the fact that Hollywood hairstylists aren't familiar with styling naturally curly hair. I'd be hesitant to let anyone besides my personal hair stylist do my natural curls if I had to be under those hot stage lights for 12-14 hours a day, which can inflict major damage to natural styles over time.

So it might not be so much an issue of Hollywood embracing our hair as it is the stylists being hesitant in not knowing what to do with it, or maybe it takes way longer to style than straight wigs and weaves do. And while some directors & producers may have an issue with curly hair, that certainly isn't the case for all of them, as is evidenced by the numerous commercials and TV shows that feature naturally curly haired actresses these days.

Harki Quinn said...

She looks so grown up, I love it! Hollywood needs some amending...

Anonymous said...

I am late reading this article, but am completely inspired, as usual! Nikki, your site helps me on this natural journey...thanks, girl. I have been a Raven Simone fan since the Cosby Show days, even though I associate more age-wise with "Rudy". I am so glad to see the woman that Raven has become and now that I have a daughter (3 years old) I am so excited to introduce her to yet another strong black woman role-model to look up to with the confidence to wear the hair that God has given her. Love you all, Sistas!

Taneisha Fletcher said...

I know this is a few months late but hey! This was really inspiring. First off Raven is my favorite actor & role model. Secondly, every day I have family members looking at me like I’m crazy for cutting the 7 inches of my hair off. Now it's about 5-6 inches so I personally think it’s a pretty good length. I like how her family wants her to embrace her real texture. I plan to do the same for my kids whenever I have any. I also really liked that Raven is like me in the product department. I have many different items I use as well and it makes me feel better knowing I’m not crazy for using so many things. In closing I just want to say thanks for the encouragement to stay on this journey & GOD Bless!!

Anonymous said...

I so love the natural hair Raven is rocking. She looks fabulous without trying too hard. I have had dreads for 3 yrs now and I have never looked back.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me how to maybe achieve the style she has? Is it just a general wash and go, or did she do some kind of forming to it? ANyone? :) My husband said he LOVES IT!

Anonymous said...

I was wondering the same thing. What excatly did she do to her hair?

Bridget

Kale said...

I find it incredibly sad and outrageous that blacks are still pushed/pressured/cajoled/hoodwinked (all the above!) into this madness of rejecting their own beauty and placing european beauty standards above their own.

Fact is when enough black actresses, singers and celebrities become strong enough to embrace and promote black beauty - indeed their own God-given hair we'll see a positive change.

Like it or not celebs have a huge influence on public thinking. The sad thing is if they're so insecure as to not resist and just suck it all up, many out there who look up to them and aspire to have whatever they have will not find the strength to shift their paradigm and take a stand either.

Guess all we can do is watch and wait; and pray and hope..... and do what they should be doing. Each of us have our own circle of influence too.

marianela said...

I love Raven so much, I have watched every show she has ever been on and I actually remember when she was on kid songs (an old show on channel 11) back when she was little and was starting to sing. I admire her for being a great actress, singer, and now a fellow natural. God bless you Raven and may you continue being successful always!

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