Tell me a little about yourself and your hair journey.
I’m Nacketia Knight, mother of one from the beautiful paradise island of Jamaica. I have been natural for most of my life but did not start my journey until October 2011. I transitioned for a year, did a small chop ( there really wasn’t much left to cut off) and never looked back since.
How long have you been natural? Have you always embraced your curls?
I have been natural for most of my life and did not get my first relaxer until I was 18. I did not however always consider my natural hair to be beautiful, prior to my relaxer i kept my hair natural mainly because it seemed cheaper. I did not go to salons so I learned how to style my hair myself but I lacked the knowledge I now have in keeping my hair moisturized and therefore my hair never grew to even shoulder length. At 18 I believed i was mature enough to handle relaxed hair. I was in love! My hair flourished for the first year or so then it started breaking. Then came the weaves to add volume and serve as a protective style but my hair kept breaking so I went short with a mohawk. It was edgy and cute and low maintenance however when I came due for a relaxer in October 2011, I had a rude awakening. For some reason my hair did not favor the relaxer and a couple of days later, all my edges and nape was completely gone. At this point, I was done with relaxers because it was doing more harm than good.
Having no hair on my edges and nape was my biggest motivation to transition. Looking back, I wished I had just big chopped but at the time, I did not have the courage to walk around with a bald head reason being I know this head is bigger than average and shaped weirdly plus have you seen my ears, they stick right out the sides sooo I was very self conscious. Instead, I opted to wear braids for a year and then just cut off what relaxed ends that were left at that point.
How would you describe your hair?
I would describe my hair as thick 4c hair that requires gentle and patient handling or else she will act out.
What do you love most about your hair?
I love the attention and adoration that my hair gets. She is like her own person and inspires people on a daily. I also like the versatility I can be kinky and curly with a wash and go or a flat twist out this week and next week I can flat iron and have straight hair. What i do love the most about my natural hair is how healthy it is! Ditching the relaxer and starting a healthy natural hair journey has allowed me to experience the healthiest longest hair I have had in my life. I can truly say going natural was the best choice for my hair.
The journey did not start out easy but the longer you are natural the more you learn about your hair and it does get easier. Plus there is so much information available that you don’t have to rush into a total panic when you hair isn’t acting right. My most memorable part of the journey is off course when i decided to wear my natural hair. The reign of the braids were over and i was excited yet hesitant because i didn’t know how people would react. The feedback was mixed but i rocked it out as best as I could and here I am today a proud naturalista.
What are (or were) some of your favorite transitioning hairstyles or current dos’?
During my transition I only wore braids which is still a great protective style for me but my favorite styles right now are updo’s because they can last a while , they turn a lot of heads and are great for any occasion.
What have your experiences been as a ‘natural’? Any memorable reactions from family or others?
The reactions have been great and not so great. People in general are afraid of change and when I decided to rock my natural hair after a year of growing it out not everyone was as enthused as I was. A couple family members questioned what was going on with my hair and were not very encouraging. Fast forward 2 years later and those same family member are in awe and one even took the step to go natural herself.
What is your hair regimen?
I don’t have a hair regimen that I stick to religiously. I just try to give my hair what it needs keeping it moisturized and keeping heat usage and styling to a moderate level. I try to add shea butter to my hair every chance I get ( my hair loves that thing) and coconut oil and caster oil have been a staple since I started my journey. I keep experimenting with styling products and so far the creme of nature with Argan oil line has been great especially their shampoo ( so moisturizing to the hair).
I learned most that I know about natural hair through Youtube and the first youtuber I used to watch is Kimmay youtube. She really inspired me and gave me hope that my natural hair could grow past shoulder length. My favorite more recent youtubers include Naptural85 , naturalme4c , blackizbeautiful , kinkystyles1980, fusionofcultures, toyaloves, nikkimae2003 iknowlee and Joulzey
Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?
Natural hair is fun and beautiful, does require some time and patience but once you get the hang of it is so rewarding. If your afraid to take that step to go natural, don’t be there are so many curl friends out here to help you along the way and a plethora of information to answer all your questions. So take the step be creative and stay inspired!
Where can people find you for more information?
You can find me on youtube @Jamaican Jairgoddess where I share creative natural hairstyles as well as on IG and twitter @jahairgoddess