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Janet Hubert

Janet Hubert speaks her mind.

This, by far, was one of the most awesome interviews ever! Rarely do you see someone really speak their mind... without the publicists, the lawyers, the in-betweens, etc. Although I may not agree with everything she says, I totally respect and admire her candor. The honesty was refreshing and her willingness to push the envelope... amazing. I think it will definitely open up some discussion. So read, enjoy and weigh in! Oh, and grab your iPod and allow Kanye and Jay's H.A.M. to play softly in the background, 'cause if this interview had a theme song, that would be it!

CurlyNikki: First things first, thank you for agreeing to the interview!

Janet Huber: No problem. I always like to do things that are connected to natural hair. I’m getting tired of this whole phenomenon that is black hair; it’s very misunderstood.

CN: So what’s your hair story?

JH: Being a little dark-skinned girl growing up, at the time that I grew up, definitely brought its challenge. I was always that little colored girl running from the rain. And I was extremely active: I rode horses, I was a cheerleader, I danced, I swam. I did it all. So getting my hair pressed was often a waste of time. But it was the thing to do... to have your hair fried. Every two weeks like clockwork, suffering through the burning of the ears, the heat . . . gosh, it still gives me nightmares! And it was always my fault when my mother burned my ear! I remember I’d put spoons over them, to no avail.

I actually had a fixation with Veronica Lake when I was a little girl. I always wore my hair pressed to death over one eye. That deep swag over one eye... the Page Boy. I loved the Page Boy when I was a little girl!

CN: Hilarious, 'cause I did that too. Only I was channeling Aaliyah.

JH: Fast forward a bit to the late ‘60s, early ‘70s—once I left high school—I got my first perm and hated it. Absolutely hated it. My hair is thick and fine, and has three very different textures. So when they’d apply the perm to the back of my head, by the time they got to the top, it was time to rinse it out of the back. No matter what I did, no matter what they tried, no matter how much conditioning was applied, it would start to fall out. After a certain point, it would just start to break off. Plus, like I said, I was active. I sweat a lot, and sweating is one of the biggest enemies of perm, because it’s salt. Add to that the chlorine from the pool, and my hair was a wreck. It would grow to a certain point, and I would cut it. I started over countless times.

CN: Besides your experimentation with relaxers, what other hair adventures did you have?

JH: I’ve always played with my hair and done a lot of different things. In the ‘80s, when I was in CATS, and whenever I was dancing, it was always braided up. Then, somewhere in Ohio, I got a bad Jheri Curl. [Laughter]

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