In the latest installment of our Natural Hair Diary series, Afrobella.com’s Patrice Greil Yursik profiles Charrise Renee, a social media marketing consultant and blogger with an ultra-short, seriously sexy natural ‘do.
Natural Woman: Charrise Renee
Occupation: Social Media Marketing and Branding Consultant/Blogger
Hair Journey: “My first relaxer was when I was three, believe it or not!” says Charrise. “My mother’s friend relaxed my hair while babysitting me. After that, my mother did press-and-curls and braids with extensions, like those Janet Jackson ‘Poetic Justice’ braids…then it was back to perms at 8 or 9.”
As a teen, Charrise went through “the whole flat-iron crazy phase. I’d throw my hair in a stringy ponytail and flat iron the ends so they’d fan out — crazy Chicago trends! Or I’d flat-iron my hair and attempt to do the bouncy luxurious wrap that I’d see on commercials. But all I ended up doing was frying my hair and gelling the sides with brown death gel.” In 2009, Charrise began transitioning to natural hair. “I transitioned for about ten months with a sew-in weave, and finally wore my natural hair in the summer of 2010. But during the winter, my hair became dry and brittle and I didn’t know how to adjust my regimen.” Frustrated, Charrise did the big chop in January, and now wears her tresses short and sassy.
Favorite Products: Giovanni Smooth as Silk Conditioner ($6.59, amazon.com), Bee Mine Curly Butter ($23, beemineproducts.com), shea butter and jojoba oil
Hair Icons: Corinne Bailey Rae, Erykah Badu, Solange, Sophie Okonedo, Chrisette Michele, Esperanza Spalding, and especially Bibi McGill.
Advice to Aspiring Naturals: “I was always told that I didn’t have the grade of hair to pull off natural hair, or the right face or shape of head… If I would’ve listened to other people’s opinions, I wouldn’t feel as great as I do today. Don’t overthink it. Just jump in and fall in love with you!”