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Regina King

Regina King rocking a short 'do

I recently had the honor and the pleasure of sitting down with Southland star, Regina King. I was truly geeked, because I grew up watching her - from the small screen to the big screen. She began her acting career in the early '80s as the studious Brenda on "227." She went on to appear in the John Singleton films "Poetic Justice," "Boyz N the Hood," and "Higher Learning." You may also remember her as Craig’s sister in "Friday" (still one of my faves!). From there it was blockbuster after blockbuster - "Jerry Maguire," "Enemy of the State," "How Stella Got her Groove Back" and "Ray." But my favorite of all…her starring role in the Adult Swim show "The Boondocks," for which she voices the characters Huey and Riley Freeman.

My nerves were getting to me prior to the interview. But I immediately felt relieved--her down to earth and approachable manner instantly put me at ease. Even with all of her fame and success, she was amazingly personable. It was like talking to an old friend. Regina has rocked every style imaginable- long, flowing styles, waves, bobs, braids, and cornrows. No matter the look, she is always classy and sophisticated - definitely a style icon. Due to her proclivity for straight styles, however, I always assumed she was relaxed. So why the interview you ask? After hearing through the grapevine that she’s a true curly at heart, I had to find out for myself. I was surprised to learn that she had been natural much of her life.

Regina explains, "I was natural all of my life up until two years ago…until I cut my hair. I have always been a press and curl girl. My hair is super thick and coarse, but I’ve never felt like ‘Oh gosh, I wish I had softer hair,’ other than when I was wearing my hair short before. I was like 19 or 20, still natural, and I had cut my hair - long enough that you could still press it, but short enough that it was an ordeal. That was the only time that I can remember wishing that it wasn’t so kinky, especially when I’d go swimming.

"But other than that, with it being so thick, I never had any problems around hair health or growth. Water, oil, and a brush could do wonders with healthy, kinky hair that grows normally and doesn’t break off. I never did my own hair, especially after I started working regularly. Plus, I never really got the feel for styling the back of my head…I felt like a contortionist." She went on to explain her reasons for cutting and relaxing in the first place, "I was so tired of my ponytail and feeling just…blah. But when you have hair of a certain length, it’s so easy to pull it back and keep it moving. My workout schedule and busy lifestyle made it difficult to keep a hair ‘do. I feel that most women look good with a sleek bun. I’ve actually never encountered a woman who doesn’t…even the ones who complain of having a big forehead. All you need is a great pair of earrings and you’re good to go. It’s an elegant, timeless style, but can, at times, become a crutch. And that’s what happened to me - I was perpetually in a bun or pony."

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Nikki, I love you. I love Regina King. But why this article? Are you expanding out from natural curls to include ALL hair types/styles/regimens? Whether Regina was natural in the past or planning to be in the future, this article was about straight, relaxed hair.

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