Meet Venita…a child prodigy, and naturally curly beauty.
CN: Were you a long term or short term transitioner, and why?
V: I didn’t really transition at all! I think I got my first relaxer at around age 12. My mom, having a straighter texture than myself, found this the easiest way to manage my hair. I didn’t mind it so much and, honestly, I think straight hair can be ‘pretty’. But I found myself pulling it back all the time. So, I wasn’t cute with it! Funny: in high school, I would spend hours crimping my hair to get a big curly look. It wasn’t until I looked back on old pics of myself that I realized I could achieve this look with my natural hair. I graduated college at 16 and, during my freshman year of college, wanting to be edgy and not really thinking about ‘going natural’, I cut my hair myself. I had about 2 or 3 inches of hair and I love the way it curled. I haven’t relaxed since. That was 17 years ago.
CN: When did you BC? What was your initial reaction to your natural hair?
V: I BC’d in 1992. I loved my natural hair, even though the front was much straighter than the back (and still is). I have since cut and regrew and loc’d and cut and regrew my hair several times over the years. I like taking my hair in new, different directions. I am currently growing my hair out from a short cut I rocked for much of 2007.
CN: What was your transition routine?
V: Since there was no transition, there was no routine. I did learn, once I cut off the relaxed hair, that I needed to condition my hair, daily. Otherwise, it was just a frizzy, matted mess. I actually used Care Free Curl Gold on my hair in those days. Over the years, I learned I don’t have to condition daily, though I love the way my hair feels when I do. I have also learned that when I am in a condition daily mode, that I shouldn’t condition the roots, it leaves my hair flat.
CN: Why did you choose to go natural?
V: The choice to go natural wasn’t really a conscious one. I wanted to see what my hair looked like under the relaxer. Once I saw it, I loved it and I couldn’t go back. I do get a professional blow out and flat iron a couple of times a year (no more than 3 times each year and never, ever in summer!) for variety but I feel sexier when my hair is big. Lately I have been, thanks to CurlyNikki and Autumn’s videos on YouTube, experimenting with twists and roller sets. After all these years, I am still learning new things about my hair.
CN: What are your holy grail products?
V: I’ve recently discovered glycerin and LOVE it. lol. A little bit of that goes a long way. I use either Hello Hydration or the Herbal Essence conditioner for curls (can’t remember the name). Coconut oil is the truth. I love the Garnier conditioning leave in cream. I’ve just learned about the importance of protein treatments and have started those. I still haven’t found anything that gives me hold without drying my hair out, though. Even after all this time. I’d love some suggestions.
April 2008: Shoe shopping with Sheryl Lee Ralph
March 09: My Twist and Curl