Naturally Fierce Feature: Jessica

Photography by Denisse Benitez 2014 (2) Heygorjess Headshot

My name is Jessica Franklin, also known as Heygorjess and I am a Jersey girl. I went natural and did the big chop my freshman year of high school.

How long have you been natural?

8 years

Big Chop 2007

What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper& why?

A little bit of the both because I transitioned for almost a year but when I cut my hair it felt like a pretty BIG chop. I had a cute little afro going on lol.

3 Years ago

I tried to transition for as along as I could because I was attached to my length. It was really hard for me to let go of. But eventually I got tired of dealing with the different textures and I couldn’t wait to see how my curls would look without the relaxed hair. So one day I just made an impulsive decision to cut it and it was definitely the best decision I made.

How would you describe your hair?

My hair is a mixture of 3B/3C. I definitely have multiple textures all over my head. The front of my hair is the loosest, the middle/crown is the kinkiest and driest, and the back of my hair is kind of in the middle but also the frizziest. So I have to treat it part of my hair differently. For example, I always apply more conditioner to my crown since it is dryer, and I’ll make sure I put a lot of styler on the back of my hair to help with the frizz.

My hair also has tons of volume and it is very thick. I just have a lot of hair in general and it is a little hard to manage lol. Even after 8 years, I am still learning how to have patience with it, especially when detangling.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

What do you love most about your hair?

I love how versatile it is! I can do wash and go’s, blow outs, twist outs, bantu knots, buns—the list goes on and on! I hardly ever get bored with it. I also love how big it is too. I feel like it is my favorite accessory and adds so much to my style.

Photography by Denisse Benitez 2014 (11)

What has been the most memorable part of your journey? Has it been easy or difficult or both?! I definitely wouldn’t ever use the word easy when talking about natural hair—LOL. I really don’t think there is anything easy about going natural haha. I always tell people that when they think about transitioning or big chopping. It does have its challenges but I absolutely love being natural. Most of the time the better things in life are never really easy anyway. But they’re worth it! I guess I would say the most memorable part of my journey would be the big chop. It was super exciting, but nerve-racking too. But surprisingly I handled it really well despite some of the negative feedback I received from it. Especially back then because I was only a freshman in High School and being natural wasn’t nearly as popular as it is now. Ironically it made me more confident and taught me not to care too much about other people’s opinions.

Photography by Denisse Benitez 2014 (2)  copy

What were some of your favorite transitioning hairstyles or current dos? While transitioning I liked braids outs because it helped blend the different textures and stretch my hair. Right now I’ve been loving twist outs. I never really used to wear them but now I’m hooked!

Photography by Denisse Benitez 2014 (2)

What have your experiences been as a ‘natural?’ Any memorable reactions from family or others? My family was supportive, but I remember people at school being a little skeptical and saying some things about it that got under my skin. But if you are transitioning now or thinking of doing the big chop I wouldn’t let that prevent you from doing so. It is a lot more embraced now than it was back then and you’d have so much support and encouragement!

What is your hair regimen (including fav products)? Right now I am loving Agadir’s sulfate free shampoo to cleanse. It isn’t drying at all and helps to define my curls.

Then I use Tressemme Natural’s conditioner as a detangler and Camille Rose’s Coconut Water hair treatment to deep condition.

For my wash n’ go’s: I use Camille Rose’s hair milk as my leave-in and their curl keeper as my styler.

For my twist outs:

I use Jane Carter’s Nourish & Shine.


What are some of your favorite natural hair websites,YouTuber’s, or blogs?,,, and just to name a few!

Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words? Always remember that your beauty comes from within. Work on having the right heart and character first, and then your light will naturally shine making you more beautiful than any hair or makeup could do.

Where can people find you for more information? They can find me multiple ways! Blog: YouTube: Instagram: Facebook: Twitter:

Photography by Denisse Benitez 2014 (2)  (4)


[Denisse Benitez Photography]


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