*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
J: Hey y’all, my name is Jennifer and I rep my hometown Houston, Texas all day! I’m currently a student at Howard University, so it’s HTown livin’ DC chillin’!
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
J: My decision to go natural was such a shock to everybody because there was nothing wrong with my hair relaxed. It was still long, thick and healthy, but I just didn’t like the fact that the only option it left me with was wearing my hair straight all the time. I like versatility. Also as my hair grew longer the ends just weren’t as thick and full as the roots. Plus I wanted that Rudy Huxtable puff. People say I look like her anyway lol.
When and how did you transition into natural hair?
J: I started transitioning in 2009. Actually the exact date of my last perm was October 3, 2009. My transition process lasted about 7 months. During that time I did bantu knots and braid outs, and all that other fancy stuff I learned from Youtube. I did the Big Chop on May 28, 2010.
In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
J: I think it has made me a stronger person honestly. And I know how cliche and stupid that sounds, but it really did. When I was relaxed I never realized how much I relied on my hair as like a safety. It even determined how I felt about myself for that day. I had this motto “Jenn’s hair not cute, Jenn not cute” and since going natural, that is out the door. I got so much heat during the transition process I had to just hold my head up regardless of what people were saying.
How would you describe your hair?
J: I would describe my hair as THICK AS HELL! Like literally the strands are as thick as string! Ok not literally, but almost lol. The perimeter of my hair has the least curl pattern and the crown of my head has the most. I don’t straighten my hair so it isn’t in the least bit heat trained. My curls are extremely tight on the sides. I would definitely say 4c. The top is more 4a/4b. That doesn’t really matter anyway because 99.9% of the time I manipulate the curls to stretch it out.
What is your regimen?
J: I try to wash my hair every week or two, or whenever I know it’s dirty. Just because washing it is a hassle. It takes me 45 minutes to an hour. I first section my hair off into 6–8 sections and when I’m in the shower I wash, condition, and detangle by section. After that’s all done, I moisturize in those same sections and twist it up in those same sections to let it air dry. Oh and I use whatever shampoo I have, like I don’t really care about that whole all natural products thing. Then I use VO5 conditioner in the shower to detangle with. I use Cantu Leave in Conditioner, oils, and sometimes the Shea Moisture line. I detangle again with the Tangle Teaser once my hair is moisturized.
How do you retain length and moisture in your hair?
J: My hair grows at a nice pace so I don’t really do anything to try and retain length, but I retwist or braid my hair every night. If it feels dry I may dampen it and reapply Cantu, then retwist.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
J: Uh I treat my hair so bad lol. I guess because I know it’s so thick I feel like it can withstand anything. There was a time where I was blow drying my hair like every week for at least 3 weeks. I mean I’m sure that can’t be good.
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
J: The best thing would probably be retwisting my hair every night. If I don’t do that my hair will be so matted and rough the next day and I will have to comb it again, which is just unnecessary hair loss/damage.
Anything else you want to add?
J: I would like to thank you for giving me the chance to be featured. Man oh man was I excited when I found out. When I was transitioning I stayed on this site. Keep doing what you’re doing.