Friday, August 9, 2013

Feature Friday - Jeré in the Spotlight



I told we had two natural haired beauties sharing the hair story and hair regimen with us today.  Well, next up is not only a fellow blogger and vlogger, but is also one of my favs on Istagram. It is the cute and stylish Jeré.

Hey girl…thanks for taking time out to share with me today.  Can you start off by sharing a little bit of about yourself. 

My name is Jeré (pronouced Jer-ray) and I am a married mom with two beautiful girls. I have passion for God, natural hair, fashion, beauty, singing, and inspiring others. I was born and raised in Brooklyn NY but currently live in Central Florida. My passion for natural hair, fashion, and inspiring led me to use my gift for gab and writing into developing my own blog and vlog. I'm also a high school teacher who teaches Advance Placement American Government and I love what I do!                                                      

Wow….a high school teacher.  I really commend you for that, because some kids can be a handful.  It certainly takes a special person to have the patience and the know how when instructing them.   Way to go!!

Alright…so let’s get right into it.  Did you do the big chop or did your transition into natural?

I was a very slow transitioner. I was so slow in fact, that I can't pin point the exact time I became fully natural. I first, accidentally started this journey when I began stretching my relaxers from every 6 weeks to 15 weeks. When I discovered how manageable my hair/new growth was, I urged myself to take the natural hair plunge. After experiencing some breakage due to weaves, relaxers, colors, and the overall mistreatment of my hair, I decided to do a "big chop" when my second daughter was born (Sept 2011). I had India Arie's, "I Am Not My Hair" playing in the background as I watch my shoulder length strands hit the bathroom floor. After the first few cuts, I regretted it instantly and decided to do a mini chop instead of a big chop leaving about three to four inches of my relaxed hair. After my mini chop, I felt horrible because I was in this awkward in between state; I wasn't fully natural but more than 1/2 my hair was laying on the floor. I cried for a week straight!! Lol... Thanks to YouTube, I learned some hairstyles, learned how to blend and care for the two textures and I cut little by little until I cut the last of my relaxed ends off December 2012.

Girl….I think many women may have chopped their hair listening to India.  She was preaching on that song! LOL.  Yes, YouTube is our friend.  I learned so much from watching tutorials myself.                                                  



So, after you cut the last of your relaxed ends off in December 2012 how did you feel afterwards.

I was so thrilled to be finally 100% natural! After the tramautic and dramatic earlier months of transitioning, my hair felt great!! No relaxed ends holding me back, no perm rods or curlers needed, no special creams and concoctions, I was naturally me, naturally the way God wanted me to be. Even though I still face some challenging moments, I am constantly encouraged by my hair health, progress, and by other beautiful naturals.  I suffered with thin and lifeless hair for so long that seeing my hair full and thick is so exciting to me. I actually get giddy when it takes me an hour to blow-out my hair because it used to take me 15 minutes to completely blow dry my relaxed hair.  Lol...

 
                            
How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural?
My family and friends were very supportive. Most of my aunts and cousins had gone natural so they were so proud of me and what i have decided to do. I had a couple of nay sayers who could not see the weave and relaxed diva stick to being natural and now, even they are happy for me and what I have accomplished on my journey. The most supportive person during my journey was definitely my husband. In those early, "I look like boy, I have no hair, I don't look pretty," tantrums, he was there to remind me of my beauty and the importance of this decision for myself and for the self-esteem of our daughters. He is the best. I also had self appointed "creamy crack sponsors" who encouraged me along the way. Thanks, Jody and Neesha!!! Once I fully embraced it and rocked my natural hair with confidence, everyone saw it and we're 100% on board.

I like that “creamy crack sponsors” LOL!! We definitely need people in our corner to help us along the way because the journey can be a bit overwhelming at first.

Jeré how would you describe your hair?
I have multiple textures in my hair but it mostly aligns with the 4a/b textures. Even though my hair is tightly coiled, the coil is very soft and manageable. My hair loves water and because it tends to get dry, I always saturate it with water and a mixture of oils.
How do you manage your texture of hair and what are your favorite products?
1) I detangles my hair with a spray bottle filled with water and oil (coconut, castor, olive, and jojoba) and use KBB's sweet ambrosia to help me detangle section by section.
2) I Co- wash every week with Organix Coconut Condition or Herbal Essence's Hello Hydration.
3) I try to deep condition every 2 weeks and I use Shea Moistures Deep Treatment Mask.
4) I moisturize and seal every other night with Elasta QP Mango Butter and Coconut oil and Castor Oil.
5) I do my twist outs and other related styles using the L.O.C method (leave-in, oil, cream hair dressing) and homemade flax seed gel.
6) When I blow dry my hair, I blow dry on medium heat using Treseme Heat Tamer as a protectant.

Your routine sounds pretty manageable.  I actually may try that oil mixture on my own hair.

Well, before you go I want to say Thank You for taking time out of your busy schedule to share with my readers and with me today.  I really do appreciate that.  All of our hair is different and I love hearing about ways that others care for theirs and finding out what products they use.  Thanks again!! In closing can you share what you feel is the best thing about being natural?

I believe the best thing about being natural is the freedom you receive from accepting your hair for exactly what it is. As a woman, I have spent so much money and time trying to fit into the mold of beauty that was presented to me as Gospel from the time I saw my first Just For Me commercial. I have spent countless amount of money on weaves, relaxers, colors, and wigs to cover up the hair that I am truly in love with now. The realization of my beautiful and the beauty of my natural hair is the absolute best part!! My confidence has increased so much!! The things that I thought I needed to be beautiful are no longer needed! I feel beautiful with my tightly coiled fro!! It feels amazing knowing that I am inspiring my fellow beautiful sisters. We are fearfully and wonderfully made and embracing my natural hair, makes me feel so Beautiful!!  I also loved the fact that my daughters are going to see their mommy rock her Fro with pride and hopefully through my example, they won't feel the pressure that I did growing up. I love how versatile my hair is, how unique it is, and most importantly how healthy it is!! I love my natural hair!!!

Well said, Love!!!



To find out more information about Jeré you can check out her at the following locations:
Instagram: @nappturallychicjere (www.instagram.com/nappturallychicjere)