I have had this interview stored away for a while and I guess I could have posted it ages ago but it just slipped my mind…So here goes! Meet Jean.
I did the big chop on the 1st of June 2009, so just over 3 years now…
It was a culmination of a few things:
- I hated that my hair never got past my shoulders and suspected that relaxer and my hair care practices had something to do with it
- I also remember thinking about how little I knew about the chemicals in relaxer. It was a bit frightening to notice that it smelled a bit like hair removal creams. I needed to learn to make informed decisions about what I put in my hair.
- I loved the texture of my growth
- I had serious hair envy of the nappturality, fotki and youtube naturals who had sparked my interest in natural hair. I figured it was possible for me to achieve the same gorgeous hair and so embarked on the ‘journey’
Early on in my journey, my family kept mum about it, probably because they saw I was determined. Some people expressed that they felt that it was unattractive (I was in that awkward TWA stage where you didn’t really know what to do with my hair so occasionally it wasn’t very cute). However, the longer my hair gets the more compliments I receive. What do you love most about your hair? I love the texture, especially at the roots. I love that it’s a bit of a rediscovery of what you already have that is beautiful.
When I first went natural I assumed my hair was going to be big and bouncy. Like many naturals I met and confronted my texture for the first time. My texture is thin and fine, a lot like cotton wool. Because it is so delicate, it needs to be handled gently and that takes a lot of time and patience.
I’m in a cycle of detangling, washing, conditioning, moisturizing, detangling and protective styling.
- I finger detangle my hair when dry whenever the need arises (typically every two weeks). Tip: starting by removing shed hairs makes my life easier and reduces detangling time.
- I wash and condition a maximum of once a week and minimum of once a month. This is always on loosely braided hair as my hair tangles and shrinks a lot when wet.
- Afterwards when my hair is damp I moisturize with leave in conditioner and seal with castor oil. I typically braid the hair again while detangling.
- I wear simple styles with my ends tucked away, in scarves and occasionally in wigs.
Length! Length! Length! The actual current target is waist length hair.
- because long hair suits me and helps make my thin hair look thicker
- it will be an inspiration to others, especially those with thin and fine hair.
A big thank you to Jean for indulging me! Join the Natural hair group she admins on Facebook, you’re all welcome!