On Friday I posted a picture of Jessaye as a picture of the day. I’ve updated the post with Jessaye’s hair story and regimen.
J: I live in Boston MA, but I’m from western Mass. I am a licensed hairstylist and makeup artist. Currently I do freelance makeup and hair and work part time at a Free People boutique. I plan on working specifically with natural hair someday.
Why did you go natural?
J: I had a horrible incident with an inexperienced hairstylist who got relaxer all over my bleached blond hair and it broke off at the regrowth in patches all over my head. Later that night I resolved never to put chemicals that damaging in my hair ever again. I had no idea what I was going to do with my hair, but I began going online and seeing such beautiful women with gorgeous heads of thick curly hair and knew it was what I wanted.
The day my hair fell out in August of 2008, I made the decision to go natural. I wore a partial weave for a month to let my hair grow long enough for microbraids. I then kept my hair in micros for about 6 months. It was an incredibly easy transition. After wearing my hair out for a few more months I wore weaves again until my hair was long enough to do braid/twist outs which was around November of 2009. I’ve been rocking my curls out ever since.
Going natural has definitely made me more conscious of other naturals and the pressure put on women of color to have straight hair. I’ve gotten some nasty comments by ignorant people, but for the most part it’s helped me gain confidence because I don’t feel like I need to alter any aspect of myself to feel beautiful.
How would you describe your hair?
J: Kinky, thick, dense and very porous; although to be honest I have several spots of my hair that are very fine and borderline wavy so it’s hard for me to say my hair is all super curly.
What’s your regimen?
J: I co-wash with Yes to Carrots conditioner about twice a week, I use TIGI S‑factor serious conditioner as a deep conditioner every 10–14 days, I use Pantene Clarifying shampoo to clean my hair and scalp once a week or before I deep condition my hair. I am a hair product junkie!! I tend to use a lot of Carol’s Daughter hair milk and loc butter if I want shiny defined braid outs, and I’ll use Ouidad curl quencher gel if I want fluffier braid outs. From time to time I will use Cantu whipped shea butter or Hawaiian Silky 14 in 1 leave in but I do find that while it leaves my hair is soft, I get a lot of buildup quickly from those two products so those are my “last resort” products for when I’m out of the good stuff! I also like coconut oil, CHI silk infusion serum, Mizani coconut souffle, and Frederik Fekkai luscious curls.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
J: Getting over-excited about length and flat ironing it and leaving it heat damaged in certain places was a mistake I made twice before I decided to stop putting heat on my hair. I also really had a hard time realizing that taking care of natural hair involves more than just NOT relaxing it. I lost a lot of hair by being too rough with it, not conditioning enough, wearing weaves, etc. I also just recently learned never to mix Cantu shea butter with any water based products because there will be major buildup immediately.
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
J: Sometimes I will put baking soda in my deep conditioner and sit near a space heater for maybe 15 minutes and I always end up with super soft fluffy hair.
Anything else you want to add?
J: It’s just really important to love your hair and take care of it. You really have to nurture it and raise it and put in time and it will be less of a chore and more of a hobby. I promise you will never regret the results of taking extra time to take care of your hair.