SunShine: Whitney, it always seems like a spring day when I visit you on YouTube! You are a pleasure to watch and your styles are so effortless! Thank you for allowing me to interview you today.
Whitney: Aw, thanks SunShine! No problem at all!!
SunShine: Whitney, you seem so care free and in love with life, would you say that being natural fits well into your day to day routine?
Whitney: Haha! Thank you! Yea, it definitely does; it’s so easy to care for! I don’t have to think twice about trying new things because my hair is so flexible in styling. If I need to get it wet for whatever reason, I can do so and not worry about looking crazy the next day.
SunShine: What sparked your interest to transition or big chop? Tell us about the exact moment you unveiled the new you!
Whitney: During college I just got really tired of my straight hair. I hated getting it relaxed and would literally wash it and scrunch it up so it looked curly, like a week after having it relaxed. My husband, Filipe, would always tell me not to get it relaxed because he liked my curls and so I thought, hmm, maybe I should stop relaxing. So I did! When my mom cut my BC for me, the moment I looked in the mirror, I thought “O. M. G. What did I do!?” LOL! I actually have a picture of it in my Natural Hair Journey Video on my channel. I was smiling, but inside, I was a mess! So yea, I wasn’t ready for the reveal, so my mom put it into braided extensions, which I kept in for about 2 or 3 months before I was finally ready to wear it out.
SunShine: Many naturals transition or big chop and do not have the support of friends and family while doing so. Can you share your experience with us? What advice would you give to curlies without support to help them along the way?
Whitney: I had the support of my husband, and surprisingly, some of my co-workers. But my mom wasn’t a fan. Not until it started growing out, then she saw the beauty in it and liked it! I think the initial shock of seeing someone look so different, going from straight hair to this huge afro puff, can be alarming for some friends and family. They aren’t inside your head, they don’t know what you know, and they don’t get it… and that’s okay. In the beginning, I found myself trying to explain why I was doing it and why it was a good thing. But soon realized, that I was wasting my breath. It didn’t matter if people didn’t understand it or like it, because I did. And that’s what I think is the most important. To girls doing this without support, I say congratulations! You’re not only getting a new hairstyle, but you’re also getting a lesson in self-acceptance! Take this time of awkwardness to figure out who you are without the external layer and approval of your peers. It’ll only help you grow, and become a more confident, and self-assured person. You will get stares, you will have people who don’t approve, but when that happens, don’t be upset about it, look inside to find your own inner strength. Trust me. when your hair grows out and becomes more “socially acceptable” people will be throwing you compliments left and right. But the funny thing is that by that time, you won’t need the compliments to make yourself feel good. Because you’ve already spent the last 2 years (or however long it takes) building your own self esteem. So embrace the disapproval. Welcome it because it’s a hard lesson in self acceptance, when others won’t.
SunShine: Do you have a set hair regimen? What are your must haves in order to achieve your signature look?
Whitney: I don’t really have a set regimen. My life is always really crazy, hectic, and last minute, so I just go with the flow when it comes to my hair. If I tried making a regimen, it wouldn’t work, lol. The one thing that I do make sure to do is deep condition and wash my hair with a cleansing product once a month. That is something I always do… My must haves are of course, my favorite clay mud wash, my homemade shea butter cream, and my water bottle filled with water and aloe vera juice.
SunShine: Is there a style you haven’t tried, but want to?
Whitney: Yes! Roller set! I don’t use heat on my hair, but I am slowly warming up to the idea of a roller set. Maybe towards the end of this year.
SunShine: What or who inspired you to begin documenting your journey on YouTube, Facebook, and your blog?
Whitney: I was inspired by Youtube! While I was transitioning, I used to frequent Youtube often to see what I was getting myself into! I watched many naturals, but my favorite was CurlyChronicles. I LOVED her (and still do). I posted my first video on Youtube long after my BC. It was my natural hair journey video. I posted it in August 2009 for one reason: to thank the women who had inspired me to take the leap to go natural. I wanted to show my transition and possibly inspire one person to take the leap like I did, because I was so happy with my decision. I didn’t expect anyone to see it but they did and liked it! All of a sudden, I was inspiring others, which was so fulfilling, so I kept sharing!
SunShine: What will curlies see when they visit you?
Whitney: A little bit of everything I guess! I have two channels, full of hair care tips, styling videos, DIY recipes, healthy eating recipes, fashion tips, arts and crafts, and random vlogs with my husband, Filipe!
SunShine: Who are your curly favorites to follow via social networking sites?
Whitney: Some of my closest friends on Youtube are Taren916 and SheenaLYoung; I love their happy spirits! I also like CurlyNikki’s blog, she’s a sweetheart, and MsVCharles is friggin hilarious!
SunShine: What dreams or aspirations do you have for Naptural85 in the future?
Whitney: Right now I’m just taking one day at a time! Who knows what might happen in the future, but right now, like with everything, I’m just keeping it simple and doing what I love!
SunShine: Who is the beauty behind Naptural85?
Whitney: Lol, pretty much anything makes me laugh… even lame jokes. I’ll laugh because it wasn’t funny and to me that’s hilarious… the awkwardness of it all…. The same goes for crying, I’m a friggin sap. It doesn’t take much for me to start crying, which to Filipe, is hilarious.. lol! I cry in sadness, in happiness, in pain, in hunger … (okay, not in hunger, but you get the point) My favorite color is yellow! Love love love it. It’s the brightest and happiest color on earth! As for movies, I like action movies, cartoons, and romantic comedies. Some of my favorites are Pocahontas, Avatar, The Matrix, and Love & Basketball.
SunShine: Before you go, is there one thing you always wanted to say about being natural, but never had the time? Here’s your chance!
SunShine: This concludes the interview, Whitney. Where can everyone find you?
Visiting Whitney (Naptural85) on YouTube reminds me of the moment when you step outside on a cool spring day. The sun is shining, clothes are drying on the line, kids are playing Jax right across the way! Lol Literally, that’s what it feels like to me. Her voice is so soothing and she makes doing a head full of hair effortless. I love that about her! I love how practical her styles are and how minimal the product choices can be in order to style your hair. I literally have gone from 5 products down to three to achieve some of my favorite looks. If you are ever interested in finding carefree styles with a twist of fun, I suggest you visit Whitney (Naptural85) on YouTube! Thanks for sharing your story with the SunShine’s Natural & Loving It! community Whitney. You are truly an inspiration!
I’ll see you guys on the next chat! xoxo