Meet Jade Davis, 23, Contestant for Miss California USA 2013, First Year Law Student at Loyola University, and a future leader in the legal world.
When did you decide to go natural? Why? Did you big chop or transition?
My mom hated my hair when I was a child because it wouldn't grow. So, at 4 years old, she gave me a relaxer. She thought it'd help my hair grow...NOT! Lol. In February 2009, my first boyfriend and first love committed suicide, and I went through a long phase of depression and guilt. At the time, I was wearing my hair in a short, relaxed pixie cut, but I hadn't had a relaxer for about two months. I remember staring at myself in the mirror and asking myself, "Who is this girl in the mirror?" I think in that moment, I'd realized that so many people are confined by what they should do or how they should look. I wanted to be happy with the person I saw in the mirror.
I walked out of that bathroom--my friend sitting in the living room-- with no hair. The first reaction I got into NaturalHairDom was, "Uh, so have you ever heard the T.I. album when Mike Epps says his girlfriend's hair looks like a dirty tennis ball?"...I cried. I also began to collect a lot of kufi caps and beanies to match my outfits. I wore hats for a year straight until I gained some length. The biggest insecurities came with friends and family asking why I had cut my hair or telling me how pretty I was before I'd cut it. Especially my mom. Because she's biracial, she had and still has this idea of "good hair" to which my hair doesn't fulfill.
I had to learn to accept and embrace my texture--as everyone should.
What is your current regimen?
I'm a law student on a TIGHT budget, so I do everything I can to keep it in the best condition possible for the LEAST amount of money!
Mostly, I wear my hair in a flexi-rod set with a few clip in extensions for extra "fro" volume. When my hair isn't in a protective style flexi-rod set, I co-wash every two days with Herbal Essence Hydralicious or Suave Almond & Shea Butter. I deep condition with Organic Root Stimulator Hair Mayonnaise because I'm too busy to even attempt to concoct my own protein powered deep conditioners.
I do pretty intense work outs everyday, so I try to use products that have a natural scent like shea butter. I've been using Cantu Shea Butter leave-in conditioner since my BC.
Describe your hair-
My hair is so confused! Haha. The top half of my head is a 4a and a little 4b, and absolutely refuses to give me as much curl as my 3C hair in the back. I love living in LA because my biggest enemy isn't humidity, but wind -- I can deal with that! Since my hair is so resilient in the top, I love, love, love wearing flexi-rod sets. It's about the only style I'm good at, but it's very time consuming. I use tiny pieces of hair for each rod so my hair will look more curly and last longer.
What do you love about your natural hair?
I love the reaction I get from people that are not familiar with natural hair. This week I interviewed for the Miss California USA pageant and I went in rocking my fro and curls. Major 'mess up' or major 'luck up'? The recruiters loved my look, but the inevitable, "Do you ever straighten your hair?" followed their ooo's and ahhh's. After the interview, I was invited to compete in the Miss California USA pageant as a contestant. Although it wasn't blatantly put out there, I'm more than positive my recruiter and pageant coach will want my hair fried, dyed, and laid to the side on pageant day. And, I will acquiesce...MAYBE.
I love the ability to change whenever I get bored with a style without it having to be drastic. I'm one of those women that changes her hair with her mood. In the past, I would cut, color, and style my hair whenever I looked too average. There's never average with curly hair. One week I'll have a head full of flexi curls, the next I'll braid in long "Poetic Justice Braids," and the next I will straighten it.
What have you learned throughout your journey? Advice for others?
I've definitely learned that people are either going to love your hair or hate your hair, but what matters most is whether you're happy with your hair. I encourage anyone that believes natural hair is the journey for them.
My advice: It takes a lot of support to get through any journey. In natural hair specifically, there's so much love and support in the natural hair community. You have friends that understand you all over the web (blogs, websites, YouTube, etc.) Take advantage of it and when you find your hair niche, pay it forward by educating and supporting the next Natural Woman.
Where can we find you on the web?
Well, I'm currently competing for the title of Miss California USA 2013 and I am welcoming support of every kind!
My twitter and facebook pages @Jade4MissCAUSA & facebook.com/
I can be contacted at my contestant email JadeDavisforMissCAUSA@gmail.
Anything else you'd like to share??!
Now is a better time than any for me to become a positive role model for the state of California. I have an amazing platform for my Miss California USA 2013 campaign built around advocating and empowering abused and neglected juveniles. Every 41 seconds a child is confirmed as maltreated, and every six hours a child is killed by abuse or neglect.--Everyone deserves a VOICE!
Currently, I am in the process of gaining sponsorship for my campaign and partnering with a foundation in California that provides abused and abandoned children an alternative method of therapy through music and the arts. I will be donating a portion of my sponsorship to this foundation to help their Arts Enrichment Program. Please contact me for more information.