J: I’m Jacqueline Abokomah Jackson. I’m 21, from Ghana and lived there till mid-2008. I currently live in Ontario, Canada where I just finished my undergraduate education.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
J: I’ve been natural my whole life. At first I was natural because my mum didn’t get my hair permed when I was younger. At some point, I mentally decided to remain natural because I had just been used to it and never really wanted permanently straight hair. I had seen a lot of people’s permed hair turn unhealthy, and didn’t want the extra trouble. I just started taking better care of my hair and wearing it out at some time in mid-2012.
How would you describe your texture?
J: I never really typed my hair until recently. My hair is a mix of types. I’d say the front part of my hair would be 3b with fine strands, the centre is 3b/3c and the back/nape area is 4a/4c with coarse strands. My hair is fairly dense, with the hair at the back of my head being the most dense and requiring lots of patience to detangle.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
J: I don’t have a rigid regimen. I usually wet my hair lightly and then seal it with a mixture of olive oil, coconut oil and castor oil (both Jamaican Isle Living products), or Cantu Shea Butter Leave-in Conditioning and Repair Cream and leave home in a fro. At night, I occasionally braid my hair so that the next day I have an afro with loose waves and reduced shrinkage — I prefer my hair to look much fuller. I may do about 10–12 twists in a twistout in order to have curlier hair to wear on its own, or in a hat/beanie. Sometimes I leave the twists in in order to wear a hat because hats and my afro don’t work too well together. This week I’m going to try a hot oil treatment and most likely add this to my regimen.
What does wash day look like for you?
J: I usually wash my hair at night and tend to dread this 2–3 hour process :$. I detangle my hair either by combing or finger detangling, depending on the state of my hair (I get careless sometimes). Recently I have started to put in some olive oil as a sort of pre-poo since I’m just getting hip to that. In the shower, I part my hair into 4 sections and get all of it soaked. I use Johnson’s Baby Shampoo and rub/lather it all around the edges. Sometimes I steal some of my sister’s Tresemme Shampoo. I shampoo in sections and usually do this 3 times all around, then wash it out. Afterwards, I use my Mixed Chicks Conditioner and again some of my sister’s Tresemme conditioner, detangle my hair mostly by hand and sometimes by comb, then rinse out the conditioner. Yeah it’s time I invest in some Tresemme lol. I wring out the water by hand and dry my hair with a t‑shirt. I then rub in some more Mixed Chicks and/or Cantu and braid my hair into about 6 sections. The next day I detangle as my hair is much softer and more manageable.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
J: My no-stress style is an afro. I wet my hair lightly to avoid shrinkage, slap some oil in, and I’m on my merry way. My other go-to hairstyle is a high bun.
How do you combat shrinkage?
J: BRAIDOUTS! lol
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
J: The back/nape area of my hair, and recently the hair at the centre of my head. I have to carefully detangle and be sure to moisturize there. I always question my decision to remain natural when I’m dealing with these areas. My ends regularly need tlc too.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
J: Braidouts and detangling in many sections.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
J: Bantu knots. They never turn out right 🙁 Also, going too long without moisturizing and detangling my hair, and not detangling my hair after a wash. One time I was too tired to detangle before washing and afterward. That was a messy situation.