Interview with Natural Jael

Name: NaturalJael

Q: What is your hair story? 
A: Did you use water and grease inyour hair when you were a child? Well, my mom was sealing in the moisture beforesealing was called sealing. LOL. I appreciate my mom for not putting chemicalsin my hair at an early age. My hair has been an inch long and that was the truemeaning of wash and go. I actually used to call it “dry washing”. LOL! Afterabout seven months, I relaxed my hair again out of ignorance. I honestly didn’tknow what to do with my hair. My earliest memories were just water and greaseand I wasn’t feeling that any more. I wasn’t big on styles and hair salons. Ithink I have always known that I would eventually wear my natural hair, I justthought I would be in my 40’s. Now here I am back to water and well oil,instead of grease.

Q: What kind of hair styles have yourocked, before embracing your natural hair?
A: I was the typical black girl with relaxed hair – long and straight.Although, I wore rod sets, braids, updos and the occasional quick weave, sothere wasn’t anything unique about it. Although in 8th grade, I hadmy natural hair rocking a shaved asymmetric hairdo. Picture day was flamingmess. LOL!

Q: When and why did you decide to startwearing your hair naturally?
 A: This quote by Arnold Glasow sums up my journey in 12 little words: “Parentscan tell but never teach, unless they practice what they preach.” It wasbecause of my daughter, I began my transition. I watched her hair morph intolifeless strands from relaxers, no balding spots or sores – just limp, lifelesshair. I made the decision not to relax her hair and to keep it braided. I

nowknow, this was the start of her transition. After a year with braids, shestarted to wear her natural texture and that is when the teasing began. Kidscan be so cruel and the constant teasing from the other kids devastated mydaughter. As a parent, one of the hardest responsibilities that come with thejob is to see your child hurting. Now comes the time to pick up the pieces. Allof the teasing and name-calling was because her hair did not look like theirhair – anymore. I constantly told her that she was smart and beautiful, notjust beautiful on the outside, but a beautiful person. I explained, as best Icould, that God made us perfect. Our hair is exactly how it is suppose to be.If he wanted us to have straight hair, He would have given it to us. But Hedidn’t. So be happy with what you have. There I was with long flowing relaxedhair, giving encouragement to my daughter – who was natural with short tightlycoiled hair. That did not make me feel good. As a parent, there are two thingsthat I have to remind myself of: children will usually do as you do and hardlyever do what you say. I feel like I should be the best example for my children– if not me, then who? Now, feeling extremely hypocritical, I came to a pivotalpoint and a decision needed to be made. Either I stay relaxed and relax herhair again or she stays natural and I transition. Now, four years into mynatural hair journey, we have no regrets.

Q: Did you have any big fears aboutgoing back to your natural texture?
A: Yes. My biggest fear was trying to figure out if my husband was going tolike it. He married the girl that went to the salon often, that had longrelaxed hair and I didn’t know how he would feel about natural textured hair.

Q: What are three products you can'tlive without for nurturing/styling your hair?
 A: Currently, Hydrothermal Naturals has my complete attention and throw in alittle olive oil and I am good to go. However, I can not forget my heat cap. Ilove the results of my weekly deep conditioning.

Q: What would you say to someone who'sthinking about embracing their natural hair, but scared about being rejected invarious parts of their lives?
 A: [Insert her name], you know, in life there comes a time when we all willcome to the cross hairs of making decisions. (Hand gesturing – do I or don’t I)During this time, you must take these seven steps:
1.       Knowexactly why you are going natural and wanting to wear your natural hair.
2.       Havea plan that will guide you through your transition.
3.       Setgoals to help you stay focused and take action to keep your plan real.
4.       Becomea life learner of natural hair.
5.       Makea commitment to keep an open mind about your natural hair.
6.       Createa regimen and make it a priority, make it important.
7.       Bepatient. I know this is easier said than done but it will help keep anxietydown.
8.       Don’tfret, your hair is growing J.
These stepsare important because they are the building blocks of your mental transition – which is an integralelement for a successful transitional journey. Think about these steps and Iwould love to speak with you more once you have thought about the answers andhave taken action.

Q: How can we keep up with you and yourjourney i.e. blog, twitter, facebook, fotki, tumblr, personal orprofessional website? (Optional)
 A: You can join me at:
A: I tweetseveral times a day – so follow me:
A: I postregularly: