As women our hair should be considered our crown and glory, but sometimes it is also our greatest beauty challenge. Natural hair is now at the forefront of being the ethnic hair of choice for African American women. With over $500 billion being spent on natural hair alone, I wanted to speak with a hair professional and gain a better perspective of the Natural Hair Movement.
What is natural hair? Do you struggle with wearing your hair naturally? Would you like some advice or tips to help you along this journey? If so, here’s a recent experience I’d like to share with you.
Lately I’ve been washing my natural hair and placing it in a ponytail, but this madness had to end. Thankfully I had the pleasure of receiving a protective style from a new Houston stylist named Ronnita B. Huff. Ronnita recently moved to Houston from Cleveland, Ohio to begin a better future for she and her family. After speaking with her, I understand her passion for wanting more in life and helping others along the way.
Below is a brief impromptu interview I conducted to help explain natural hair and learn more about Ronnita B. Huff’s new life in Houston, Texas.
I arrived for my hair appointment at 1:00 p.m. and was greeted with a smile. I immediately sat down in the chair and our discussion began. After confirming that Ronnita is definitely a Cleveland Cavaliers fan, she laughed at the thought of her team being in the finals after her family moved away. So I had to ask…
Glitter&Gumbo: Why Houston?
Ronnita: Well, one of my friends moved here and I see how her life has changed. You know, she was doing the exact same thing in Cleveland. More things were possible. Cleveland is so small. There’s either the West side or the East side. It’s just small. I needed to be somewhere where I can get to more people, better school system for the kids, and less crime.
Glitter&Gumbo: How has your move been so far?
Ronnita: I love it! I definitely love it.
Glitter&Gumbo: How did you start doing hair? What inspired you?
Ronnita: I started about 13 because my mom didn’t want to pay to get it done, so I just started doing it myself. Then a few years later I just started doing everyone else’s hair. Then I lived in California for a few years doing hair, as a braider because I didn’t have my license yet. Afterwards I went back home to get me license and did it for two years, then opened my own salon. I still have a salon in Cleveland.
Glitter&Gumbo: So how is it being an entrepreneur; a business woman?
Ronnita: Everything! I couldn’t imagine clocking in and working for somebody and taking a lunch break when they tell me to. It’s very rewarding especially if you have kids. Because you can eventually, once you build yourself up enough, your business your brand, you won’t miss anything the kids have. It’s also financial freedom.
Glitter&Gumbo: So when you left Cleveland, how did your clients from home react to your decision?
Ronnita: Oh, that was hard. I wrote a blog and sent it to all my clients first before I posted it on social media. Gave them a few days to read it. They knew, they just didn’t know what date. I was throwing hints out there but I was never really 100% sure then, if it was going to happen. I had a feeling it would happen. After a visit to Houston in January (2015) I decided on a date and told my husband let’s go. We left Cleveland on February 21. It was a shock to them but they were prepared. They were happy for me but very sad. (Ronnita’s salon in Cleveland is still open for business, but she will operating the salon here in Houston.)
Glitter&Gumbo: What does stepping out on faith mean to you? How did you find the courage to make this huge transition?
Ronnita: Stepping out on faith means to me just, sometimes you don’t even see the light at the end of the tunnel, but you can feel what’s getting ready to happen. A lot of people didn’t understand me. They were like, “You’re doing the Cavalier girls hair and all the runway shows.” You know I was well known in Cleveland doing the radio station personalities hair, but I felt like I reached my goal in Cleveland. That was it.
Glitter&Gumbo: What is your definition of natural hair?
Ronnita: My true definition of natural hair is no chemicals. So no color, no relaxer just chemical free. Some people think that not having a relaxer is natural but to me the true meaning is chemical free.
Glitter&Gumbo: What is one myth about natural hair that people should be aware of?
Ronnita: A lot of times when people think natural hair they think that means wear an Afro. There are all kinds of different things you can do like a silk press or keratin treatment to give the relaxed look, but still be natural.
Glitter&Gumbo: How long have you been natural?
Ronnita: Seven years
Glitter&Gumbo: Why did you make the decision to go natural?
Ronnita: See, I was wearing a lot of protective styles and I was like, there’s no need to relax my hair and I’m going to be covering it up. Plus, my hair is naturally fine and you have a better chance, cause once you get older your hair thins out. There’s no need to fight having a relaxer and my hair is already thin. So I have a better chance of keeping decent hair when I get older.
Glitter&Gumbo: What’s one style of natural hair that you would recommend to someone who’s trying to transition to chemical free hair?
Ronnita: The best way to try and go natural to me and not get frustrated is a protective style. So that can be braids, sew-in (weave) or whatever you choose. A protective style is the best way to do it.
Glitter&Gumbo: Name one product you recommend for natural hair.
Ronnita: I love Design Essential’s natural line and Moroccan Oil. I love so many different products. As long as it’s adding moisture because our hair is so dry. Your shampoo/conditioner should match your hair. If you have color, you should use shampoo/conditioner for color treated hair. If you’re natural, use shampoo/conditioner for natural hair or shampoo/conditioner for relaxed hair.
Glitter&Gumbo: Why are the edges of our hair slowly fading away?
Ronnita: Tension. Your edges are the weakest part of your hair. A lot of us put tension on our hair. Some of it is hereditary, but for most it’s tension.
Glitter&Gumbo: What advice can you give someone who is searching for a beautician or stylist? What should they look for?
Ronnita: If they’re in the hunt for one and actually going around trying, I believe you and your hairdresser should develop a relationship; It’s more than a service. If you can’t vibe with that person, it might not be the relationship for you. It depends on what that person is looking for. Some people come to get their hair done and don’t want to talk. Some come to vent or feel relaxed. Whatever you’re looking for you’ll find it.
In record time, Ronnita completed my hair in only two hours. Normally I sit in a salon for at least four hours waiting to get my hair done. I was speechless. When visiting a stylist for the first time I encourage them to style my hair using their expertise. Ronnita did her thing. My hair turned out beautifully and my time was used effectively. This is truly an RB Experience.
To learn more information on how you can receive The RB Experience download the app below or visit Ronnitabhuff.com.