“Imagine being a dark-skinned young girl with curly, natural hair! Yes, that’s me and my hair means a lot to me.”
Welcome back! In this article we’ll be getting the views of someone who is somewhat of an expert in the hair department. She is not a professional hair stylist but having donned natural hair, weaves, processed hair and chopped hairstyles over the years, it is fair to say she is an expert in hair care, even if it’s just her own. Jamielee Brown, a 20 year old student at the University of Technology, Jamaica is quite the fanatic when it comes to having beautiful, healthy hair.
When I sat down to speak Jamielee, she expressed that much like many other black women, she didn’t initially embrace her natural hair as much as she now does. Yes she knew she had beautiful hair, but outside of the occasional washing and styling, she did not always pay keen attention to the types of products she uses nor how much she devotes to her hair. Now, that’s a complete different story.
Jamielee has had, for most of her life, natural, unprocessed hair, however in January of 2012 she relaxed it to make it straight, but much like other curly-haired ladies such as hair guru and YouTuber Laila-Jean Washington who went through the ‘relaxing phase’ and realized it wasn’t for them, three years later, in 2015, she went back natural. She admitted she found that when she has natural hair, it helps to enhance her beauty and she “gets a lot of attention- both good and bad”. Those factors coupled with the versatility of natural hair prompted her to make the transition back and begin fully embracing and nurturing her crown. After all it is the only crown we can never remove!
“Weaves and wigs tend to itch whenever I put them so I think it’s a lesson to wear my own hair, plus it’s cute when I comb it”, said Jamie smilingly when asked if she prefers sporting weaves or natural hairstyles.
Combing or styling the hair is however not the only thing to consider when one chooses to embrace their natural hair, whether you’re blessed with soft, curly strands or thick coils, maintenance is absolutely important. The right shampoos, conditioners and moisturizers play a big part in the overall health and appearance of one’s hair. According to another hair care expert, Monica Stevens one should never “never underestimate the power of a good shampoo and deep treatment,” and Jamielee is well aware of this. She expressed her preference for Cantu products which she loves to use because of the fragrance but she also purchases from the SheaMoisture line because of their great quality products. She advised that the latter’s curl enhancing smoothie “gives the perfect curls”.
Jamielee understands that many people shy away from natural hair because they think it requires too much attention and finances however she believes it is way less cheaper to maintain as simple items found in the yard and home (eg. aloe vera, egg whites and olive oil) can be used to treat natural hair and you don’t have to buy all the products you need at once. She expressed that she doesn’t have all the products she needs right know but she will get them soon enough and until then she sources the ones her hair really needs and it rewards her for the effort by being really “beautiful, curly, natural hair”.
Furthermore, she stated that “weaves are expensive and they can damage your hair, processors are even worse as they make the hair thin and what Jamaicans call “mek it pick out”. Whenever she hears her family members or friends saying they can’t afford to relax their hairs or buy weaves she says she uses that opportunity to urge them to sport their own hair, suggesting they “would be cuter and get more attention” and the natural hair products will guarantee they have great quality hair.
Going natural may be easier said than done for many who have gotten accustomed to feeling beautiful wearing weaves and wigs. However Jamielee advises young ladies and women to “sport your natural hair even if people will see you with a “bald head”, the results will show in the end. She is very pleased with the amount of women currently joining the ‘natural wave’ as it makes her proud to know that there are feelings of empowerment and self-acceptance in those women, young and old. As Jamielee Brown encourages those on the natural hair to “keep up the good word”, a trio of beauty veterans also say “be patient with your hair and love what’s naturally yours”.
Check out Jamielee’s podcast at https:m.soundcloud.com/jamietheglobetrotter/jtg
Thank you so much for reading and remember, Your hair is Your crown so take the best care of it and “keep up the good work” (Brown, 2018).