Deeper than hair: The evolution of natural hair

Jamelia Donaldson – founder of Treasure Tress

[two_third padding=”0 10px 0 0″]How long have you been natural for? If you did transition, what was the reason behind it? 
I’ve been natural my whole life, however began transitioning from heat damage in 2012.

How would you describe your hair type?
Kinky curly. I don’t follow the hair typing system very closely at all, especially since my hair has a range of textures.

Growing up did you encounter any challenges with your hair in terms of a lack of representation in the media and school?
Absolutely! The closest I got to seeing myself in main stream media growing up was Mel B from the Spice Girls and Alicia Keyes. Both had lovely natural hair although a lot longer than mine at that time, and still styles which did not seem attainable for my own hair.

[/two_third][one_third_last padding=”0 0px 0 0″][/one_third_last]As I grew slightly older, I began to genuinely believe that in order to be beautiful, I had to have straight hair, so I straightened my hair to death (heat styling) in my teen years – literally.

In school all of my friends had a similar hair type, until year 5/6 when everyone was able to get relaxers and I simply was not allowed
as my mum told me that my hair was too fine and would break off. I opted for braided styles for a while, before ditching them for more ‘grown up’ straightened styles.

Why do you think natural hair has become so popular over the years? Do you think this is a trend?
I think there is a huge shift taking place. People are becoming more conscious and concerned with health and wellness. People are changing the way they work, eat, and live. Beauty plays a huge part in this, and so this overall awakening’ is also happening within the industry and how women perceive beauty and beauty standards. No, it is not a trend – natural is here to stay. Will we vary the way we wear our natural hair? Likely, I like to switch it up with blow outs, and occasionally flat ironing my hair, but I understand and appreciate how important my hair remaining natural is. It goes above what looks good for me, it’s also linked to health.

Are you perceived differently with natural hair in terms of work, the opposite sex?
Because I work within the ‘natural hair space’, I think it does add some validity to my speaking points as I am clearly a core consumer myself. Working in corporate previously, I do remember comments on my hairstyle, one in particular being that “I am always so adventurous with my ‘exotic’ hairstyles.” It was ironic at the time because I used to switch between a low bun and a high bun with an occasional braid out in between.Not exotic to me at all, but in the setting, I was in, I guess it was awfully adventurous.

It is easier to manage natural hair now due to a plethora of natural hair products. Which three products can you not live without?
Definitely, there are tons of products out there – some may argue too many but for me, that’s what makes it fun. We at Treasure Tress,love exploring what new and what’s hot and helping women make better informed buying decisions. I can’t live without:
• Deep conditioners/masks,
• A good leave-in conditioner
• Ecostyler Gel.

What advice would you like to give to anyone who wants to be natural?
Just do it, but drop any expectations about what your hair may look or feel like. Play around and work out what feels good to you and your hair. Learn from online resources but follow your gut and what you like for your hair and how you like to style it.

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1 Comment

  1. Pingback : Afro haircare tips to promote healthy hair and scalp |

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