My name is Jeré (pronouced Jer-ray) and I am a married mom with two beautiful girls. I have passion for God, natural hair, fashion, beauty, singing, and inspiring others. I was born and raised in Brooklyn NY but currently live in Central Florida. My passion for natural hair, fashion and inspiring, led me to use my gift for gab and writing into developing my own blog and vlog. I'm also a high school teacher who teaches Advance Placement American Government and I love what I do!
Were you a slow transitioner or did you Big Chop & Why?
I was a very slow transitioner. I was so slow in fact, that I can't pin point the exact time I became fully natural. I first, accidentally started this journey when I began stretching my relaxers from every 6 weeks to 15 weeks. When I discovered how manageable my hair/new growth was, I urged myself to take the natural hair plunge. After experiencing some breakage due to weaves, relaxers, colors, and the overall mistreatment of my hair, I decided to do a "big chop" when my second daughter was born (Sept 2011). I had India.Arie's "I Am Not My Hair" playing in the background as I watched my shoulder length strands hit the bathroom floor. After the first few cuts, I regretted it instantly and decided to do a mini chop instead of a big chop leaving about three to four inches of my relaxed hair. After my mini chop, I felt horrible because I was in this awkward in between state; I wasn't fully natural but more than 1/2 my hair was lying on the floor. I cried for a week straight! Lol. Oh the drama! Thanks to YouTube, I learned some hairstyles, learned how to blend and care for the two textures and I cut little by little until I cut the last of my relaxed ends off December 2012.
How did you feel after going natural?
I was so thrilled to be finally 100% natural! After the tramautic and dramatic earlier months of transitioning, my hair felt great!! No relaxed ends holding me back, no perm rods or curlers needed, no special creams and concoctions, I was naturally me, naturally the way God wanted me to be. Even though I still face some challenging moments, I am constantly encouraged by my hair's health and progress and by other beautiful naturals. I suffered with thin and lifeless hair for so long that seeing my hair full and thick is so exciting to me. I actually get giddy when it takes me an hour to blow-out my hair because it used to take me 15 minutes to completely blow dry my relaxed hair. Lol!
Have you always embraced your texture?
I struggled in the beginning with rocking my natural hair with confidence. I don't think that I had a issue with my texture per say, but it did take me a while to let go of the things I used in the past that made me feel beautiful. I was a certified weave addict before going natural so it took some self evaluation to realize that I was beautiful just as I am, without the help of my old friends, Remi and Yaki. Lol... Today, I'm actually bored with straight hair and I look forward to rocking my curly and coily fro!!!
On maintaining length...
I have been maintaining length by being a boring natural on Tuesday through Friday and morphing into a feisty, fierce, and fun natural Saturday to Monday. Lol... But seriously, I try not to do too much with my hair during the work week. I usually convert a weekend twist out into an updo on Monday night and rock that until wash day on Friday. On the weekend, I wear my hair out and try different styles. I also try to limit heat, I religiously moisturize and seal, and I deep condition with moisturizing DCs. I might have a little OCD when it comes to clipping my ends so, I had to hide my scissor and go to Mom for her to clip my ends monthly or every other month... I'm pretty scissor happy lol.
How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them?
My family and friends were very supportive. Most of my aunts and cousins had gone natural so they were so proud of me and what I have decided to do. I had a couple of nay sayers who could not see the 'weave and relaxed diva' stick to being natural and now, even they are happy for me and what I have accomplished on my journey. The most supportive person during my journey was definitely my husband. In those early, "I look like boy, I have no hair, I don't look pretty," tantrums, he was there to remind me of my beauty and the importance of this decision for myself and for the self-esteem of our daughters. He is the best.