Tell me a little about yourself and your hair journey.
My name is Jessica Campbell. I’m twenty years old and I am from Detroit, Michigan. I am also a junior at Central Michigan University, studying Psychology and youth/ family studies. For most of my life I grew up in a Jamaican household with my grandmother and brother.
How long have you been natural? Have you always embraced your curls?
I’ve been consciously natural for four years now. I took the step to really embrace my natural hair in 2010. My hair had been severely damaged from years of flat ironing and relaxing my hair. My hair was getting shorter and shorter as time went on, and that’s when I realized I was in need of a change and that I needed to give up my flat iron, the source of most of my hair problems. I also read up on hair forums about natural hair and soon after, began experimenting with natural hairstyles myself.
What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioneror a Big Chopper& why?
I was more of a transitioner in a sense that I stopped getting my hair relaxed years earlier and grew my hair out. However, I was still constantly putting high amounts of heat on my hair every day, so my hair was pretty much fried. When I made the decision to go natural, I gradually over time as my hair would get longer, got frequent trims until the heat damaged hair was completely gone.
How would you describe your hair?
My hair pretty much has a mind of its own . Some days it behaves like I want it to and some days it does its own thing. In terms of hair texture I would describe my hair as being a mix of type four hair. On one section of my head I have type 4a hair and in another section it’s type 4b and 4c hair.
What do you love most about your hair?
What I love most about my hair is the versatility. One day I can rock my hair in a wash and go, then the next day I’m rocking two-strand twist or a braidout. There’s so many options I can do!
What has been the most memorable part of your journey?Has it been easy or difficult or both?!
The most memorable part of my hair journey is the beginning stage when I decided to go natural. I found it really difficult at times trying to figure out what hairstyle fit me the best, but after a while it got easier as I learned about the things my hair liked and disliked.
What are (or were) some of your favorite transitioning hairstyles or current dos’?
My favorite transitioning hairstyles were braided fro-hawks and twistouts. Even now, I still can’t get enough of a good twistout. Lately, I’ve mostly been into wash n gos, crochet braids, and other protective styles to keep up with my busy college life.
What have your experiences been as a ‘natural’? Any memorable reactions from family or others?
I never really had any memorable reactions from family members about me wanting to go natural. They’ve always been supportive for the most part. The people I received the most criticisms from were people I went to school with. They could not fathom why a black girl with so called, “nappy hair” would want to be natural. Thankfully, I never let the ignorant opinions of others sway my decision of being natural. I just gave them something to talk about. Now that I look back all the people who talked about my hair back then, are natural today.
What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
When I first went natural I was kind of a product junkie. Over the years, I’ve calmed down my craze for having every new natural hair product that comes out. My motto is less is more, and to just keep it simple. My day to day hair regimen consist of spraying my hair with water for moisture, adding Cantu’s Shea Butter conditioning cream on top of that for added moisture, then following up with my oil mix of olive oil, argan oil, and melted shea butter as a sealant. For my wash days I do the same thing plus, I shampoo with Organix Nourishing Coconut shampoo and follow up with Cantu Shea Butter’s Deep Treatment conditioner, leave that on for about thirty minutes to an hour, and then rinse my hair. Most of the time I only shampoo once a month because it can be very drying to my 4 type hair. Instead, I would use Eden Bodyworks all natural cleansing co-wash weekly to get rid of any build-up I may have.
What are some of your favorite natural hairwebsites, YouTuber’s, or blogs?
My favorite natural website is Blackgirllonghair.com. They are really informative and helpful for anyone on a natural hair journey. I also look to YouTube for hair inspiration. Some of my favorite YouTubers are TheChicNatural, Prettydimples01, MyNaturalSistas, Nikkimae2003, Naptural85, and MsVaughnTv just to name a few.
Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?
Have confidence in everything you do because if you do not believe in you, no one will. There will always be naysayers and critics that have something to say, but at the end of the day how you feel about yourself is what matters the most and all others are null and void.
Where can people find you for more information?
I actually just made a YouTube channel this year and my name on YouTube is HeseesEBONY J.