Tell me a little about yourself and your hair journey. (Name, where you’re from, etc)
Venus Cataldo and I’m from Ohio.
How long have you been natural? Have you always embraced your curls?
I’ve been natural since April 3,2014 and no I didn’t always embrace my natural hair because before I cut it all off my relaxed hair was pretty long. I’m a beautician’s kid so I didn’t even know how to properly wash my hair or anything. I would either not wash my hair properly or I couldn’t tell if I washed out all my conditioner;so since I was in college with a hectic schedule I couldn’t regularly get my hair done by my mom so my hair was breaking off with a ton of dry scalp and dandruff as well. So I was always self conscious about it. Also, even though my hair was long relaxed I was hiding behind my hair not embracing my beauty or getting to know myself from the inside out. So this natural life was a HUGE step in me learning how to truly love myself even if I wasn’t getting compliments by others at the beginning.
What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper & why?
I big chopped and my mom asked me about 5 times “Ve are you sure you want to do this” in my head I’m like I just want to get this over with. Literally as soon as I saw the first layer of hair on the floor I cried the “thug tears” because I was the one who asked for it. So here I am looking at the mirror bald, bare, and looking crazy while I’m crying and all I could think was OMG what did I just do?! You look so ugly Venus why did you do it! So I had a lot of self esteem issues big chopping, but honestly looking back I wouldn’t have transitioned because I’m very impatient lol.
How would you describe your hair?
I would describe my hair as 3C/4A in some of my pictures I picked my hair out and my fro is HUGE but when I get near water those tight spiraling curls appear.
What do you love most about your hair?
What I love most about my hair is that not only is it out the norm for society. It’s in your face, bold, beautiful, and has a mind of it own literally!
What has been the most memorable part of your journey?Has it been easy or difficult or both?!
This journey has been both hard and easy at the same time because my hair grew really fast in a short amount of time and I was still trying to learn my hair and how to do it without my mom. The hardest part was trying to look in the mirror everyday and say something positive and beautiful about myself. I had to learn that compliments from people who loved my relaxed hair but weren’t too fond of my natural hair weren’t really compliments at all. I had to truly look inside my heart and relearn myself…tell myself I am beautiful despite what anyone said or the looks I got.
What are (or were) some of your favorite transitioning hairstyles or current dos’
I’m a huge fan of twists outs and I literally learned how to do a twist out January 3,2016!!!! But I loved protective styling such as braids and those twists.
What have your experiences been as a ‘natural.’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?
I got a lot of stares and whoa you look different bare face. Or the big WHERE’S YOUR HAIR AT?!?!?!
What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
I absolutely love Shea moisture curl enhancing smoothie cream. The cantu products have never let me down yet so far and I deep condition my hair with more than one conditioner such as Aussie 3 min moisture and Aussie moist the family pack. Jamaican black castor oil is a must as well as the coconut oil. I use the curls unleashed gel. The olive oil and mango butter from elasta Qp is amazing as well!
What are some of your favorite natural hair websites,YouTuber’s, or blogs?The YouTubers I usually look at are Saythelees, Foreverflawlyss,and other beautiful people on YouTube and Instagram.
Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?
The best piece of advice is the way your hair grows (fast,length,hair type) is solely based on genetics. My little sister (who big chopped before me) her hair is shorter than mine and she cut it way before I decided to make that choice. So take care of yourself. There’s no master regimen or secret that I have because I don’t know anything about hair I’m literally learning day by day. Drink tons of water I try to get a gallon of water in a day, not only will it help your hair but you will lose weight and your skin will look flawless. Also workout! Get the blood circulation going, I feel like my hair grew way faster than normal with me drinking water like I did and exercising as well!
Where can people find you for more information?
People can find me on my Instagram at vjcataldo3. I’m very down to earth so I’ll reply to all my ladies who want to know more.