*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
J: Hello beauties! My name is Jessica Marie Franklin. I’m 21 years young and I live in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
J: Well! My father is black and my mother is Italian and German. So my hair is a combination of the two. Even though my hair was like nothing my mom had ever seen (lol), she did a greatttt job at doing my hair growing up. She styled it in all types of cute pigtails and braids and such. But when I started getting older I wanted long, flowy, straight hair. I absolutely hated my curls. So she took me to the Dominican hair salon and they told her to put a relaxer in my hair to make it straight–just how I wanted it. When we heard that, we thought it was a miracle! Lol, but eventually I realized that it made my hair soo frail and dry, and it obviously didn’t curl at all.
So years later while my aunt, sister, and I were vacationing in Jamaica, this hilarious white dude with huge big blonde curls came up to my sister and me. He told us how he was a celebrity hairdresser and loves curly hair, but he basically said that our curls were a hot mess, ha! He was very blunt (and kinda rude lol)—but that actually was the push we needed. 6 months later I stopped getting relaxers and let my hair grow out long enough for me to feel comfortable to cut it. Then in May 2007, I did the big chop! And it was by far one of theeee best decisions I’ve ever made! I’ve been natural for 6 years. I went natural the end of my freshman year of high school.
How would you describe your texture?
J: My hair is a mixture of 3B/3C. Like most naturals, my hair is different all over. The bottom of my hair has tighter, frizzy, 3C curls. Then it goes to 3B, then 3C at my crown, then 3B towards the front again, lol! And some curls are literally a mixture of both. They are tight and springy and they can get huge and crazy if I don’t tame it. It definitely has a mind of its own! Which I love and hate, lol. It can get hugeee and voluminous (my favorite), or it can be really flat, depending on the day. 2nd and 3rd day hair is the best! It is also super thick. But it is soft, like a pillow! And I love it :).
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
J: I’ll tell you my style regimen for the week, because I do the same thing each week for the entire month. My favorite style for my hair is a wash and go. While my hair is still soaking wet from washing it (it must be dripping wet so that there is a lot of moisture and it won’t get as frizzy), I separate my hair into 6 sections and apply Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-In to each section. I make sure to saturate each strand because I like each curl to be defined. Then I apply Kinky Curly Curling Custard and do the same thing. Finally, I seal each section with Aubrey Organics Pure Aloe Vera. I dry my hair a little bit with an old t‑shirt (towels make your curls frizzy) and then let it air dry! Then it grows nice and big like I like it!
By day 4 of my wash and go I either wash it again (if I have an event or something I want to go to) or I put it in a protective style for a few days. This is pretty much a must because my curls can get superrr tangled! When I keep my hair out too long it takes like 30–45 minutes to detangle! But “ain’t nobody got time foh dat”! So after 4 days I put my hair into about 8 two strand twists using coconut oil, and then slick it into a bun. I don’t really like the way I look in twists or braids so the bun works perfectly for me. Then by the end of the week I wash it and do it all over again! Also, sometimes I do a bantu knot twist out and I keep that style for about a week. That whole look is inspired by the fabulous Tracy Ellis Ross—love her!
What does wash day look like for you?
J: I can’t even lie, I dread wash day lol. I have to wash it when I am in a good mood and patient! Cause I have a lottt of hair. I cleanse every other week and I co-wash in between. So I co-wash once week, cleanse the other week, and so on. I co-wash with TRESemme Naturals Conditioner. It is awesome! It has great slip, so it is perfect for detangling as well. When I cleanse I use Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV). I fill a spray bottle with ¾ water and ¼ ACV. Then I spray each of the 6 sections with the mixture. I massage/scrub my scalp and curls, then rinse! Right after I’ll finger detangle each section with the TRESemme Naturals Conditioner. Finally, I apply Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Mask and go under the Huetiful Hair Steamer for 20 minutes. The steamer is awesome because it really penetrates the conditioner into my hair, which I really need! I rinse, then style! When I co-wash it’s the same steps except I replace the ACV with TRESemme Naturals Conditioner.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
J: High buns are perfect for me! I think they are super cute and easy and quick to do. I like to make them really big! I wear buns a lot especially since I’m a college student and really busy. As I said before, they are a type of protective style for me and they also help to prevent tangles.
How do you combat shrinkage?
J: I get a lottt of shrinkage! So after my hair dries, I pull my hair and blow dry the roots a little bit. This helps so much to give me some length. Also, putting it in a high bun for a few hours helps too.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
J: Definitely my ends. They are extremely fragile and split really easily. So I give them extra love by moisturizing them every night—either with coconut oil or just pure water, and then sealing them with Aloe Vera. I also finger detangle instead of using combs to prevent breakage.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
J: Moisturizing! My hair gets very dry. So I deep condition every week and moisturize every night. Also believe it or not, eating healthy is a biggg 2 do! Ever since I changed my eating habits my hair started growing faster and the texture got softer and shinier! Your outer beauty is a reflection of your inner beauty, so if you are healthy on the inside then your hair will be healthy too! Drinking tons of water and eating lots of veggies makes huge a difference. Also I drink a green smoothie packed with veggies every day that truly makes an impact.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
J: Using combs! Ever since I stopped using combs and finger detangled instead, I’ve retained a lot more length.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
J: Yes! Follow me everywhere please! I have a website that’s about Natural Hair, Health, Beauty and God. I go into a lot more detail about my hair there so if you want to know more, check it out :). I also really enjoyed being apart of BGLH and I hope I helped and encouraged some of you with your hair journey! If you have any questions, please feel free to comment here or contact me! Thanks for reading 🙂 Xoxo