Naturally Fierce Feature: Jeré

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 New York to West Indian parents 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!

How long have you been natural?
I will be fully natural for 8 months in August.

What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper& why?
After experiencing some breakage due to weaves, relaxers, colors, and the overall mistreatment of my hair I toyed with the idea of going natural. It wasn’t until a conversation with my eldest daughter, where she exclaimed how much she wishes her hair was like Mommy’s store brought hair, that I really started to take transitioning seriously.

I was a very slow transitioner. I was so slow in fact, that it is hard to pin point the exact time I became fully natural. I first, 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 and 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 lying 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.

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.

What do you love most about your hair? I love how versatile my hair is; I can do so many things with my hair today that I could never do with my relaxed hair. I love the thickness of my hair as well. When I was relaxing, my hair was getting so thin and lifeless; in fact, I still get giddy when my hair is too big for a hair accessory. Lol. I absolutely love how my natural hair has changed me… I am more confident, more independent when it comes to doing my own hairstyles, and I especially love how my hair has become a conversation starter. I love how different people come up to me with curiosities, positive feedback, and I love how we natural girls scope out each other in public and connect over our mutual passion of gorgeous, fierce, big, and beautiful, hair!

What has been the most memorable part of your journey? Has it been easy or difficult or both?! The most memorable experience of my journey would have to be my dramatic reaction after my mini chop… I was really doing too much and when I look back, I can’t help but laugh at how silly I was being. I was a mess! Lol! I love that experience because it shows me how far I have come to embracing my hair and loving this journey that I am on. A second memorable part of my journey is the day I found out that one of my articles was featured on Curly Nikki! She is one of my major inspirations and I absolutely love how she single handedly brought natural hair care to the forefront… being featured by her was an indescribable feeling! It solidified for me, that I have sometime to say, people to inspire, and that I am walking in my purpose to help other women in any way that I can.

What  were some of your favorite transitioning hairstyles? My favorite transition hairstyle was definitely Bantu Knots… they were the only style that blended my two textures after my mini chop. That style saved me from resorting back to the creamy crack and helped me to learn about and love my natural hair. My favorite styles, now that I’m 100% natural, are definitely twist-outs and updos. Twist outs are perfect for when I want to wear my hair out and in itself can be so versatile. I love a slamming updo…I am always stumbling accidentally on some fierce updos and I love how they instantly and effortlessly glam out any look.

What have your experiences been as a ‘natural?’ Any memorable reactions from family or others? My family and friends were very supportive. Most of my aunts and cousins had gone natural so they were so proud of my decision to go natural. I had a couple of naysayers 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.

 What is your hair regimen (including fav products)? 1) I detangle 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 or As I Am Hydration Elation Deep Conditioner. 4) I moisturize and seal every other night with H2O, Leave-In, and Coconut oil and Castor Oil. 5) I do my twist outs and other related styles using the L.O.C method (Liquid, 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 and Grape Seed Oil as a protectant.

What are some of your favorite natural hair websites,YouTuber’s, or blogs? Curl Nikki, Iknowlee, MsVaughnTV, Tiffany Nichols Designs, Yolanda Renee, and of course, me- Nappturally Chic Jere, LOL!

Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words? Going Natural isn’t an easy step, it takes patience, the acceptance that you will make mistakes and meet up with some challenges. All those things can’t compare to the joy you will feel when you embrace the part of you that for so long, you decided to over up, change, and manipulate into something else. 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. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made and embracing our natural hair, can be the first of many steps that help us to feel absolutely Beautiful from the inside and out!!

Where can people find you for more information? I can be reached on Instagram at nappturallychicjere YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/jsongbird624 My Blog: http://www.nappturallychicjere.blogspot.com Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/nappturallychicwithjere


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