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If you follow hair blogs and forums, then you must have come across the recent pics of actress Malinda Williams from her photo shoot for "Denim" magazine. One word—stunning. I always loved her cropped 'dos and pixie cuts, but she's seriously rocking this TWA. You probably remember the gorgeous and talented Malinda from Showtime's "Soul Food," or from her big screen roles in "Thin Line Between Love and Hate," and "The Wood." I was super excited to get her On the Couch, dishing on her hair and providing words of encouragement.

CN: The CN community is a huge fan of your work and your new look! Can you please share a brief history of your hair?

MW: My hair story is anything but brief! I've always loved my hair. I remember when I was 8 or 9 years old, I would beg my mom to let me do it myself. And she did. I grew up caring for and styling my hair and actually wore it natural until I turned 16. Around that time, I had to get braces and I was absolutely miserable... truly in angst at the thought of it! My mom, seeing how upset I was, said, "Well, let's do something special.' I got my braces on, and right after the orthodontist appointment, I went straight to the hair salon and got my first perm. From there, I was pretty much back and forth between permed and natural until recently.

CN: Are you still your own stylist?

MW: I actually went to cosmetology school right out of high school... it was the one thing I always wanted to do. I feel that if I hadn't become an actress, I would definitely be a hairstylist. And that's so ironic because I played a hair stylist character on "Soul Food" for so many years. It's a huge part of who I am. It's sort of ingrained into my personality. I have a lot of experience with my own hair and knowing what works for me, so yeah, I primarily do my own hair.

CN: Tell me about your most recent transition.

MW: Last year, around this same time, I decided to grow my perm out. And it was really very simple for me because my hair was already short. That's the beauty of having short hair... I grew out the relaxer rather quickly, snipping pieces off here and there. I wasn't planning to wear it curly necessarily, but definitely chemical free. So in order to help me grow it out, I put a weave in it. Now, I've worn weaves in the past, but I have a hard time wearing them [laughter]. I always feel like something is on my head! I think it's great that we have the ability to change our hair whenever we like, but there's something about wearing a weave for me that feels very uncomfortable or unnatural. So I knew my time wearing it was very limited.

Once I decided I was at the point where I had enough new growth that I could comfortably cut it off and wear my natural hair, I took the weave out. Although my hair had grown considerably, I still wasn't satisfied with the look. Meaning, it was still in between—too short to wear straight, but not long enough to wear the curly look I wanted. I was really at a loss for what to do. I was even tempted to pull out some clippers and buzz it all off and rock it bald, but I thought better of that and decided to cut it really short. I cut my own hair—I cut it down and wore a really tight fro for a while. It grew on me and I thought... "This also is me'. You know the song by India.Arie? I realized that no matter how I choose to wear my hair, I'm still me. I love that.

CN: What do you love most about being natural?

MW: The thing that I love about our hair is its versatility. I completely use that versatility to my advantage. I just try to have fun with it. People tell me different things... I'm very involved in social media and keep up with what people tweet about me, and some love my hair long, some love it short, some love it curly, and some people love my hair straight. I love my hair all different ways. Simply put, I love my hair. Because I love the versatility of it, I love it whether it's straight, long, curly... what have you. It's really just about what I'm feeling at the moment. And in this moment, I'm natural and totally happy. We have such a gift in that we can do all these different things with our hair. Our hair dances, our hair shrinks up, it's curly, it's straight and sleek. I think the one thing that I've done is embrace my hair in all of it's different states. Not just natural... not just permed... whatever I'm feeling at the moment.

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