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Shanique PattersonShanique before being styled by Monica "Queen" Carruthers of U R Curly. CHANGE IMAGE

NaturallyCurly: Please introduce yourself! Where are you from?

Shanique Patterson: My name is Shanique Patterson and I am a senior at the University of South Florida in Tampa majoring in Biomedical Science. I am from a small town called Fort Pierce, Florida.

NC: Tell us a little about your hair story, please!

SP: My hair started to become terribly weak from relaxers. It was always dry and shedding all the time. With each relaxer, my hair would get weaker and weaker and thinner and thinner. So I decided that I was not going to relax anymore. I wanted my hair to get to be as healthy as possible, and all the shedding caused me to worry a lot. I decided to be natural so that I could stop the damage it was doing to my hair. My last relaxer was September 25, 2011. I tried to transition for awhile, but dealing with the two textures was difficult for me. I had relaxed damaged ends that were shedding alot and thick dry natural hair that was coming in. I decided to cut it so that I could get rid of all the damage and devote my time and energy to the new natural hair that was coming in. I did my big chop on December 20, 2011, and I have been rocking my natural afro every since.

NC: Tell us about your experience as a VIC at the NaturallyCurly Pool Party! What was your experience like? Any highlights?

SP: I really enjoyed being a VIC , and I really enjoyed having my hair styled by Monica Queen from U R CURLY. We discussed my hair type, and she gave me great tips on styling my hair and ways to keep it healthy. The goody bags that we got were great. They were very heavy and filled with several styling products and styling tools from brands that I have always wanted to try. I enjoyed meeting so many new people from the different product lines. A highlight for me was being able to take the before and after pictures. I loved my hair, so I am excited to see how the pictures came out.

NC: How and when did you start embracing your curls, or have you always enjoyed and embraced your curls?

SP: I started to embrace my curls after my big chop in December.

Read More: Real Texture Talk: VIC Cathy Bryant

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