Hair Diary: Meet Jael Of NaturalHairCommunity.com!11:07 AM
Where do you live? How is the natural hair community there?
Sweet Home Alabama. The natural hair scene in Central Alabama is flourishing. It is not uncommon to see at least 7 to 10 natural haired women in passing at one location. On a smaller scale, there are 11 women in my office; 3 are completely natural, 1 attempted to go natural and 1 is starting to have open dialogue about the possibilities.
Before I started my job, the natural hair percentage there was only 14%, the day I arrived it jumped to 25% and the next year it rose to 27%. These statistics are evidence that natural hair is on the rise. Also, I have seen where stylists are becoming more open to serving women with natural hair. Salons are no longer “relaxer only” operations.
This openness offers natural hair women a greater range of styling options. Imagine my delight when I audited a local not-for-profit organization and the new director – to my surprise – was a woman with locs. They were long and beautiful. She was extremely professional and her locs were neat and well maintained.
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, that I began my transition. I watched her hair morph into lifeless strands from relaxers. There were 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.
Were your friends and family supportive of your decision? If not, how were you able to move forward?
In the beginning, I did not receive any support, because I did not tell anyone. The reason I did not tell is because I did not want anyone to try and talk me out of my decision and I was not prepared to handle the criticism or the questions. Once I became confident with my decision, I was better equipped and able to handle the “why did you do that to your hair” or the “what about your job” type questions that ultimately came when I revealed that I was growing out my relaxer.
At this point in my journey, I felt that my reason for going natural was solid and I believed in it with all my heart. I had to believe in my reason and stand on my reason, so that I would not allow anyone’s disapproving comments or comments that were not 100% supportive to sway my journey. Fortunately, I was surrounded by people who supported me, even if they did not totally understand my reason why.
My hair routine is simple:
•I wear protective styles 98% of the time.
•I shampoo and deep condition with heat weekly.
•I henna monthly. I trim my ends when needed.
•I clarify when my hair stops responding to my products.
Do you have any hair goals? What steps are you taking to achieve them?
Yes, my ultimate hair goal is to grow my hair to MBL by Memorial Day 2012. If not, I sure hope to be super close :)
What's your favorite go to natural style and how do you achieve it?
My fav go-to style will have to be my Friday puff. I try to wear protective styles most of the time and only allow my hair to be loose one or two days out of the week – maximum. On Thursday nights, I take my protective style down and twist my hair in about 12 chunky twists. The twists are to stretch my hair for my puff the next morning.
Curly girls have more fun because...we can enjoy walks in the rain and still have fabulous hair :)
Lovely diary Jael!! If guys would like to see more of Jael and her blog click the link... www.NaturalHairCommunity.com.