Tress Talk With Jay

July 28, 2014 in Interviews, UNCONDITIONED ROOTS by mkabba

Hair Talk With Jay

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Hey Natural Nubian… Kindly introduce yourself!

Hello! My name is Jay and I’m from London.  I am a co-founder of CURLture which is our natural hair blog.

Have you worn your Natural Hair since birth? If not how long have you been natural and what spurred you to return to you natural tresses?

I have been natural since birth but when I started taking care of it myself that’s when all the media programming told me my curly hair wasn’t attractive, regardless of what my own mother and other people told me.     I used to straighten my hair frequently throughout my teenage years and even had extensions for a short period of time, hence I’m transitioning from heat damage; trimming off straight ends etc.

Do you receive immediate acceptance when wearing your Kinky, Curly, Coily Crown? How is your natural self-received by others?

Yes and no. I haven’t really had a problem with acceptance from others because of my hair type and perhaps the way I look.  Some people immediately tend to assume one of my parents is white (FYI they’re not, both are black Caribbean).  It does hurt though when my fellow black people, tell me I’m not black because of the way I look.   I had never even heard the term ‘mixed’ or applied it to myself prior to going to school; black was what I am and was all I knew.

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Do you believe there to be stereotypes and misconceptions of black women and their natural hair?

Yes. Society has programmed women of African descent to believe that the lighter your skin and the more loosely curled the hair the better.   This is basically another form of texture bias because when I wear my hair natural and I encourage other black women to do so they tell me they could never do it because of their curl pattern – which is absolute nonsense.   I believe a lot of black women are totally oblivious to the beauty of their hair and it starts with a lack of understanding of our history – prior to slavery.

In your experience would you say managing natural hair is mentally and or physically demanding?

Both but that is not a bad thing.  Learning about your natural hair can be the most rewarding and time-consuming experience.  It requires a whole lot of time for research and trial and error.  But the good thing is whilst you are learning, your whole mind-set changes, your style, your views and most importantly your self-image.  It’s like a metamorphosis and once you mature and emerge from the cocoon of Eurocentric view of beauty, out comes a beautiful black butterfly!

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Kindly tell us your 3 most HOTTEST must have hair products?

Shea moisture gel curling soufflé

As I am coconut co-wash

Giovanni Weightless direct leave-in conditioner

What’s the most popular questions you get about your natural hair? Pros & or cons?

Is that your real hair?

What products do you use?

The best opening questions to introduce our blog haha!

*SNIP SNIP SNIP* How often do you trim your hair?

Actually, I recently trimmed my ends but prior to that I had never end thought of doing myself.  I always went to my hairdresser and she used to chop off the biggest amount – I would always be vex when she trimmed my hair.

What are your TOP TIPS for healthy, lengthy, successful hair growth?

No heat!  I recently finished a 6 month no heat challenge and I couldn’t believe the growth, so now it’s going to be a regular thing.  The best thing about learning about your natural hair is the more you learn, the less you need heat.  There are so many heatless ways to create some AMAZING styles! Straighteners who?  I don’t even know where mine are.

Low manipulation – I try not to brush/comb my hair.  I finger detangle in the shower mostly so I can manipulate my hair gently without too much friction.

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What is your hair goal?

I would love to have boob length curly hair (in it’s shrunken state) but I am also happy with my hair as it is because I now know how to make it appear longer or shorter when I want to.   One thing I do want is more volume!!!

Let’s talk Hair Typing! Necessity or Nuisance? What’s your hair type and what are your views on hair typing?

I think I have a mixture of 3B/3C/4A hair.

Both (lol I’m bad at answering ‘either or’ questions).  Hair typing can be useful as by assigning yourself to a type you can find other naturals of the same type and perhaps their hair regimes or products they use can help you on your journey.   That said, there are other hair properties like porosity and thickness that are important to consider but are not specific to any one hair type.

To be honest though, I don’t see the point of hair typing.  We all have the same basic principles regardless of texture, we all need moisture, we all should treat our hair gently etc.  If I see a type 4 naturals page, I don’t think “Oh this doesn’t apply to me.”  I’m more like “DAMN, she looks good! What did she use?!  I’m gonna try that!

What are your favourite MUST HAVE staple products for the following (those that apply)

Conditioner: As I am leave-in conditioner/Giovanni Direct leave-in conditioner/Shea moisture baobab and yucca thickening conditioner

Deep Conditioner: Shea moisture anti-breakage masque

Sealant: Argan oil (although I try to seal, I sometimes forget)

Scalp: Jamaican Castor Oil

Pre Poo: *hides face in shame* I don’t pre-poo really.

Shampoo: CURLS cleansing shampoo/ Shea Moisture African black soap deep cleansing shampoo/ As I am coconut co-wash

Protein Treatment: Novex max keratin.

Styling: Shea moisture curl enhancing smoothie/ Shea moisture baobab and yucca thickening growth milk/Eco styler gel

Heat Protection: N/A

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Let’s talk HAIR REGIMEN! What does your current/staple hair regimen consist of? How does your hair respond to this?

Okay, so first comes wash day.  I wash my hair using shampoo and then apply keratin and then deep condition.  I leave this in for however long I want to.  After rinsing, I put conditioner/leave-in conditioner in and either; set my hair in a twist out/flexi rod set or I just let it dry for a wash and go.  I preserve my hair at night by sleeping on my satin pillowcase and pineappling.

My hair is definitely getting thicker (even Tri says so J) and it retains shine and moisture more easily that before – but that could be down to my change in regimen.

Do you believe returning back to natural to be a statement? If so of what sort?

Yes to me it says “I accept myself regardless of what society says” though not all people return to natural because they accept themselves – some don’t have a choice due to their hair breaking etc.  But when I see a black/mixed woman with natural hair I feel like shouting “YES! You go girl!”.  Because natural hair has been so rejected in the past, whether you want to or not, I believe others will think you’re making a statement.

Have you made any mistakes/ experienced any natural hair disasters? If so what? And what advice would you give to other naturals?

Periodically frying my hair with straighteners without using heat protectant.  DON’T DO IT!  Step away from the straighteners.

Has being natural dispelled any myths you previously had of “black hair?”

Yes, the myth that it needs to be straight to look beautiful.

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Who is your ultimate hair crush/inspiration?

Mahogany curls, Tracee Elis Ross.  I love Jess’ definition and shine and I love Tracee’s volume.

What has been the most memorable part of your hair journey?

Inspiring others.  After starting our blog, Tri and I have been so touched by the reception from others and it’s great to be part of an expanding community.

What is your go-to hairstyle and how do you achieve it?

I have two – wash and go; and a twist and curl.

After shampooing/co-washing my hair, I apply Giovanni direct leave-in to my wet hair and let it dry – that gives me a lot of volume and definition.  If it needs moisture I spritz with hold & shine moisture mist.

I use As I am twisting jelly for my twist and curl.  I twist my hair, add Shea moisture gel soufflé on top and then add the rods.  I wrap the top of my head and sleep and voila!  Definition and shine and it’s all mine!

What one piece of advice would you give someone who’s considering going back to their natural hair?

Have patience and surround yourself with a range of images of other naturals.  It really helps to change your environment to make yourself feel comfortable with your natural hair.

Latterly where can our readers find and reach out to you (Online)?

Tri and I have our blog:www.curlture.co.uk

You can also find us on instagram at @curltureuk.

You can find us on facebook by searching: Curlture

And lastly, you can find us on Youtube: CURLtureUK.

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