Friday, November 18, 2011

Interview with Natural Jael

Name: Natural Jael

Q: What is your hair story? 
A: Did you use water and grease in your hair when you were a child? Well, my mom was sealing in the moisture before sealing was called sealing. LOL. I appreciate my mom for not putting chemicals in my hair at an early age. My hair has been an inch long and that was the true meaning of wash and go. I actually used to call it “dry washing”. LOL! After about seven months, I relaxed my hair again out of ignorance. I honestly didn’t know what to do with my hair. My earliest memories were just water and grease and I wasn’t feeling that any more. I wasn’t big on styles and hair salons. I think I have always known that I would eventually wear my natural hair, I just thought I would be in my 40’s. Now here I am back to water and well oil, instead of grease.

Q: What kind of hair styles have you rocked, before embracing your natural hair?
A: I was the typical black girl with relaxed hair – long and straight. Although, I wore rod sets, braids, updos and the occasional quick weave, so there wasn’t anything unique about it. Although in 8th grade, I had my natural hair rocking a shaved asymmetric hairdo. Picture day was flaming mess. LOL!

Q: When and why did you decide to start wearing your hair naturally?
 A: This quote by Arnold Glasow sums up my journey in 12 little words: “Parents can tell but never teach, unless they practice what they preach.” It was because of my daughter, I began my transition. I watched her hair morph into lifeless strands from relaxers, no balding spots or sores – just limp, lifeless hair. I made the decision not to relax her hair and to keep it braided. I

now know, this was the start of her transition. After a year with braids, she started to wear her natural texture and that is when the teasing began. Kids can be so cruel and the constant teasing from the other kids devastated my daughter. As a parent, one of the hardest responsibilities that come with the job is to see your child hurting. Now comes the time to pick up the pieces. All of the teasing and name-calling was because her hair did not look like their hair – anymore. I constantly told her that she was smart and beautiful, not just beautiful on the outside, but a beautiful person. I explained, as best I could, that God made us perfect. Our hair is exactly how it is suppose to be. If he wanted us to have straight hair, He would have given it to us. But He didn’t. So be happy with what you have. There I was with long flowing relaxed hair, giving encouragement to my daughter – who was natural with short tightly coiled hair. That did not make me feel good. As a parent, there are two things that I have to remind myself of: children will usually do as you do and hardly ever do what you say. I feel like I should be the best example for my children – if not me, then who? Now, feeling extremely hypocritical, I came to a pivotal point and a decision needed to be made. Either I stay relaxed and relax her hair again or she stays natural and I transition. Now, four years into my natural hair journey, we have no regrets.

Q: Did you have any big fears about going back to your natural texture?
A: Yes. My biggest fear was trying to figure out if my husband was going to like it. He married the girl that went to the salon often, that had long relaxed hair and I didn’t know how he would feel about natural textured hair.

Q: What are three products you can't live without for nurturing/styling your hair?
 A: Currently, Hydrothermal Naturals has my complete attention and throw in a little olive oil and I am good to go. However, I can not forget my heat cap. I love the results of my weekly deep conditioning.

Q: What would you say to someone who's thinking about embracing their natural hair, but scared about being rejected in various parts of their lives?
 A: [Insert her name], you know, in life there comes a time when we all will come to the cross hairs of making decisions. (Hand gesturing – do I or don’t I) During this time, you must take these seven steps:
1.        Know exactly why you are going natural and wanting to wear your natural hair.
2.        Have a plan that will guide you through your transition.
3.        Set goals to help you stay focused and take action to keep your plan real.
4.        Become a life learner of natural hair.
5.        Make a commitment to keep an open mind about your natural hair.
6.        Create a regimen and make it a priority, make it important.
7.        Be patient. I know this is easier said than done but it will help keep anxiety down.
8.        Don’t fret, your hair is growing J.
These steps are important because they are the building blocks of your mental transition – which is an integral element for a successful transitional journey. Think about these steps and I would love to speak with you more once you have thought about the answers and have taken action.

Q: How can we keep up with you and your journey i.e. blog, twitter, facebook, fotki, tumblr, personal or professional website? (Optional)
 A: You can join me at:
A: I tweet several times a day – so follow me:
A: I post regularly:

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