Tell me a little about yourself and your hair journey. (Name, where you’re from, etc)
My name is Jessica and I’m Haitian -American. I am a certified makeup artist and owner of Beauty By Ms Jesse LLC. I do any and all kinds of makeup from beauty and fashion to special effects. As far as my hair journey, it really started when I stopped straightening my hair in December 2013. I realized I had heat damage to my natural hair and wanted my curly hair back. I did a transitional chop on November 12 2014.
How long have you been natural? Have you always embraced your curls?
I have been natural all of my life. My mom perms her own hair but was always against doing it to me. I also never wanted one and was never into it. I already loved my hair but I never saw it in its curly state unless I was getting it washed by my mother or having it washed and getting it blown out.
What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper& why?
What motivated me to transition is the fact that the amount of heat that I have used on my hair and the fact that the hair salons I was accustomed to going to never used a heat protectant on my hair. I did so when I did my own hair but became lazy and couldn’t spend an entire day styling my hair. So as I went to the Dominican salons more and more I didn’t realize that I was causing damage since it appeared so healthy. So as I am a big YouTube viewer and I do my own videos, I came across these videos of women who said that they had heat damage and showed images of what it looked like and how they over came it. During this exact time I was doing one month of a blow out and 2 months of just washing and wearing my hair out. Till I noticed a girls hair in her video looked the same as my hair looked then. So it jogged memories of a few times in college my freshman year where I would wear my hair out after a wash and let it get as big as it wanted to. I also noticed that it didn’t curl up as much or get as big. That’s when I realized I too have heat damage. So I decided to transition to get my real curls back and not the heat damaged version. I transitioned because a big chop was not my style since I love long hair and always had long hair. So super short to almost bald was not something I was going to do. I grew my hair out for a year and then decided to cut it.
How would you describe your hair?
If you want to get into hair type I’ll say my hair is 3a some 3b and 3c. However I don’t go by that anymore. Now I just say my hair is mostly wavy with some spiral curls at the base of my head and hairline.
What do you love most about your hair?
The versatility, the rate at which it grows, the fact that it is my hair and no ones hair is quite like it.
What has been the most memorable part of your journey?Has it been easy or difficult or both?!
The beginning was easy since I could do braid outs and the styles would stick and last and get big and beautiful. But after that big cut I couldn’t do the braid outs because they didn’t work. So I ended up getting Senegalese twists for the summer months to give myself a break from trying to figure out how to style it. As I grew my hair out I became really impatient and decided on a whim to cut a test patch at the nape of my head. That way I could see how my hair would be. When I cut off all the damage I had to adjust to really short hair and that was a big set back. The more it grew the better I felt and the easier my hair became to style. It’s been a year and 5 months now and my hair is almost as long as before I started cutting off the damage.
What are (or were) some of your favorite transitioning hairstyles or current dos’
Braid outs were my fave. I change the sizes and get a different look everytime. Cornrows when I have the time. High buns after a fresh wash and I don’t want to deal with it. Using soft pillow curlers not that my hair is shorter to get all my hair into a uniform curl. Now that I have no damage I stick to wash and gos or some sort of bun on lazy days.
What have your experiences been as a ‘natural.’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?
Nothing really since I was always natural. They're just a bit interested into the fact that I use more natural products on my hair. They didn’t like when it was super short but now that it’s grown out they love it.
What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
I use the Shea moisture line religiously. Their coconut and hibiscus line of shampoo, conditioner, curl enhancing smoothie are all my favs. Kinky curly knot today is my go to leave in. As I am smoothing jelly and the curls blueberry bliss curl control jelly. I also love Camille rose naturals coconut penetrating treatment. My regimen is simple, I shampoo and condition then deep condition once a week. And three days later I’ll cowash with the same conditioner to refresh and moisturize my hair.
What are some of your favorite natural hair websites,YouTuber’s, or blogs?
The green beauty products channel on YouTube.
Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?
This is a journey and not a race. When it’s right for you to do it you will make the decision. I just wanted healthy hair so I made it happen and I’m so glad I did. There is another side over the wall that is transitioning and if I could do it so can you.
Where can people find you for more information?
You can find my on my website. www.BeautyByMsJesse.com
Instagram: YouTube: BeautyByMsJesse