Friday, June 14, 2013

Feature Friday - Jenna in the Spotlight

Tell Us About Yourself:  
My name is Jenna McMillan. I am a natural hair fanatic and fitness enthusiast. I work full time as a Exercise Physiologist, helping people with heart and lung disease. I am a professional dancer with a passion for helping people reach and maintain their fitness goals. I currently teach fitness educational courses at Guilford Technical Community College. On my spare time I am a "traveling fitness presenter", teaching Zumba, Hip Hop, SocaGroove, TwerkFit, and Pole Dance. I love all things natural and I appreciate the beauty in all types of women.

Were you a slow transitioner or did you Big Chop & Why?
I did a slow transition in 2009. After graduate school, I took a job as a Fitness Director on a Carnival Cruise ship.  I knew I would not have any time to mane and tame my hair, so I wore cornrows and half wigs. I barely touched my hair for about 9 months, and noticed the texture change. I took the braids out one day and began to slowly cut the permed ends over the following year. I was shocked at how fast my hair reverted back to its natural curl pattern. 

How did you feel after going natural?
Honestly, I felt very liberated. Back in college I used a ton of products and wore a lot of weave. Wigs, ponytails, extensions... You name it, I wore it. I felt a boost of confidence after going natural. I became a new me... More energetic, outgoing and confident. I wish I had done it sooner!

How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them?
My friends were very supportive and helped me through the transition. Most of them were in love with the texture of my hair.  Most of them started their own natural hair journey within a year after mine. At the current moment, almost all of my friends have gone natural, and they love it too!  My family on the other end was quite skeptical. Since I had just graduated and was very new to the professional, working field, they discouraged my decision. A year later when I finally figured out how to style and maintain my hair, my family embraced the change.

Describe your hair.
My hair is very Kinky coily. I guess you can classify my hair texture as 4C. It is very, very, dry and needs moisture 24/7. The best thing about my hair is the way is grows. It grows straight up, instead of down. I love rocking an afro!

What’s your current hair routine? What are your favorite products?
Ironically, I do not have a set hair regime. I am very spontaneous, always trying new things. I like experimenting with my hair, and I hardly ever follow the same daily routine. However, there are some things I must do on a weekly basis, such as Deep Condition, Co wash and Detangle. I wash my hair about every other week then I trim off the damaged ends. I really love to mix natural oils with fruits and veggies for homemade deep conditioners. My absolute favorite mixture is Raw Shea butter, coconut oil, yogurt, and banana.

What your top 5 favorite products
5. Doo Groo Stimulating Growth Oil (Apply every day to scalp and dry ends)
4. As I am Co Wash conditioner (Used liberally every week to cleanse and condition hair)
3. Tresseme Naturals Conditioner (Used daily or every other day to condition and detangle hair)
2. Shea moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie (Used for braids, twist outs and bantu knots)
1. Coconut Oil (Used weekly to deep condition hair)

How do you maintain your hair at night?
I usually wear a satin bonnet. Occasionally, I will dampen my hair; detangle with a leave in conditioner, separate in large sections, then twist 4-5 large knots. This helps keep my hair from getting tangled at night.

What’s the best thing about being natural?
I love the versatility and the resiliency of natural hair. You can achieve so many unique styles using products, twist-outs, braids and knots. Natural hair is strong and it gets better as it grows out. I also like that you can achieve a variety of curl patterns and waves without using heat. 
I understand you love fitness. What is your workout routine? What tip do you want to share with others to help them get into shape?
Yes, I am married to Fitness! Each week, I do 4 days of cardio, 2 days of weight training, and 1 day of yoga and meditation. I like to switch up my daily routine, choosing activities that reflect my mood. I do everything including dance, kickboxing, Pilates, and various sports. I stay far away from exercise machines, p90x, and insanity. I like to work hard, but It has to be fun first.

It is extremely important to choose activities you enjoy. In order to reach your goal and stay fit, you must be consistent. If you chose an activity you dislike, the odds of quitting are high. Don't be afraid to try new things. Exercise doesn't have to be painful and tedious for you to see results. Exercise can be accumulated throughout the day in the form of taking the stairs, walking the dog, dancing in the club, biking on a nature trail, parking further away from your destination, or yard work. At the end of the day Physical Activity is most important, not necessarily hard core vigorous exercise!

Where can people find you on the web?
Instagram: @MrsFitness
Facebook: MsFit McMillan.
Twitter: MsLadyofFitness

For a chance to be featured contact me at