23 March 2011

Meet Janelle: A Loc-star

Mum. Therapist. Sister. Friend. National Vballer. Loc rocker.  J is one of my sources of inspiration in many ways. Here's to you, sis! And, yes, you can add aspiring model to the list!

Have you always worn your hair natural? 
My natural style has been a part of my life from 0 to 11 years. Then, I took a break (thanks to my American aunt) at 11 with straightener as we called it back then. I wore my hair relaxed up until the age of 17, when I was ready to explore what 'black hair' really looked like. So, from 17 to now I've been rocking my natural styles.

What inspired you to do the Big Chop (BC)?
At the age of 17, I began to experiment with my relaxed hair; and I moved from shoulder length hair to wearing it cut and styled just around my ear.  But, then I decided to just go all the way and rock the short texturized do.  I just wanted to be different.

What styles did you wear in the transition phase?
Well, I am not sure if I would call it a transition phase. I knew what I was doing when I did the BC -as you call it. So, I embraced the texturized style and when it got long enough, I rocked my big AFRO puffs. I must tell you I loved wearing that style. I lived right next to my childhood hairdresser so I wore long braids and cornrows. Anything that represented that Black hair was beautiful through its natural state, I wore it. 
What is your hair routine? 
 At present, I take consistent care of my hair. I have 3 stylists, but, I can also maintain my own hair. However, there is a freedom in creating new styles with someone who can make you look beautiful in less than 1 hour. So my routine includes: washing my hair every 2-3 weeks, and styling once a week. I like to change up the style, it makes my skin stay consistent.

What products are a must in your daily hair regimen?
Given my weekly hair routine, just a great oil sheen spray is sufficient.

Have there been any positives/negatives (in your opinion) to wearing your hair the way you do?
Well, I don't think my hair experience has had any negatives. It has always made me stand out from the crowd. I was always able to express how I felt about myself by the hairstyle that I chose to wear. So, if i wore my hair down, it meant that I was about to have fun and/or be flirty. Whereas, if I wore it in an updo, it usually meant that I had to meet up with someone. So, first and second impressions count.

Why did you consider locs?
I chose locs out of convenience. I was going away to college in 1999 and had no-one to do my hair, so I tried comb twists while spending the summer in New York. But, I will say that at that time the Caribbean really had a leg up on natural hair and its maintenance. So, upon my Christmas visit home to Barbados (1999), I got my hair twisted and there started my journey.  At that time, I knew nothing about relocking and I spent 6 months without washing my hair. Just simply oiling it.  In that space of time, my hair actually grew natty and like bongos. It got so matted together that my stylist had to pull the dreads apart. To me though, that process sped up the growth of my hair.

What is your fav style?
An updo with a bun or little rolls. Makes me look like 21 every time.

What would you say to someone who may be considering "going natural" or loc'ing their hair?
Keep your style, yours. If you are going to wear natural hair, do a style that suits you and not because the masses are jumping on a bandwagon.

Thank you, Janelle for stopping by!


  1. Janelle's a model of a very real kind - of inner beauty that's reflected outwardly. That's the point of this blog, right? That black women need to journey (back) to the centre and find the real beauty that was there all along. No chemicals need apply!

  2. Great feature. Thanks for posting Tasha and thanks for sharing Janelle!


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