Janine Jellars, South African editor and founder of TRUE Content, shares her expertise and guidance on how, as young, black women, we can learn to love and embrace our natural hair.
As Millennials, we are becoming more conscious and proud of our natural hair. Most of us have done away with the straighteners and relaxers, and are finally letting the coils and kinks of our natural crowns bloom.
Jellars distinctively remembers how her first time using relaxer was an unforgettable moment in her childhood, ‘from the process to the outcome,’ she says. ‘Even though I hated it, I relaxed my hair throughout my childhood, as I didn’t really know there was any other option.’ The idea of having straight and relaxed hair was something that was constructed by society but, in recent years, it has been so refreshing to watch young girls unlearning this way of thinking.
What was one of the greatest challenges you faced when you decided to go natural?
‘Information, education and access to products! At that time, we didn’t have many local blogs, media outlets or YouTube channels. I educated myself on haircare by watching and reading American content. Added to that, we didn’t have access to many products and I even had to import basics like leave-in conditioner.’
Since going natural, what is your relationship like with your hair?
‘I have a great relationship with my hair. The thing is, having natural hair often requires you to become an expert on what your hair loves, hates, can handle and cannot stand. I’m in love with my hair all over again! I recently chopped off a significant amount (about 10cm) and changed my colour. I felt bored with having long hair, and I’m super-excited about having more fun with my hair.’
What tips do you have for women wanting to grow out their natural hair?
‘Keep your hair moisturised! And, although it might seem counterintuitive, go for regular trims (every two months). Find a regimen that works for you and stick to it. Even when you’re not loving your hair and/or hair length, treat it with the ultimate TLC and it’ll reward you. Make peace with your hair.’
Tell us about your free eBook, The Natural Newbie Guide.
‘I stopped relaxing my hair in 2010. Since then, I’ve received e-mails and messages on all my social media platforms from women hungry for information about how to better take care of their hair. Good, practical information and education regarding natural hair still remains a barrier for many women considering it. While so many amazing women have been creating content around hair for years, I noticed that many people just want a one-stop guide they can continually refer to. The Natural Newbie Guide was my reaction to this need.’
Be sure to download Jellars’ recently published ebook for its educational and vital hair tips if you’re wanting some direction on how to maintain a healthy relationship with your hair.
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