Loving Your Type 4 Curls: A Chat on Natural Hair with Jasmine Jefferson (@Jaiologie)

Loving Your Type 4 Curls: A Chat on Natural Hair with Jasmine Jefferson (@Jaiologie)

By: Derika Crowley

As a 4B/4C hair type, it took me a long time to get comfortable with my natural hair. In fact, every day is a new adventure with my little TWA (teeny weeny afro) regarding figuring out how to style it, what to do with it at night, figuring out when it needs more moisture or what have you. At times, it’s a real battle.

For this reason, I love coming across bloggers/vloggers who love and embrace their Type 4 coils. You can only imagine my excitement when I came across Jasmine Jefferson’s (a.k.a. @Jaiologie) Instagram. When I tell you, I was in awe at her gorgeous mane…I mean really in AWE. As a darker skinned woman, it’s always difficult to find influencers who look like me and have a hair texture I can draw inspiration from; so, it was great to sit down with Jasmine and talk about everything from being a “Type 4” beauty in this digital world to hair styles and her own natural journey.

DC: How long have you been blogging?

JJ: I've been blogging about 3 years.

Did you do the “big chop” or transition? How did you make that decision?

I did a little bit of both. I was roughly seven months post relaxer when I realized that although my hair was long, it wasn't healthy as it used to be. I transitioned for at least 3-4 weeks and randomly cut all my relaxed off because I simply couldn't find a stylist to braid my hair! There hasn't been one day that I've regretted my decision.

Did it take you a while to get used to wearing your natural hair? How did you overcome the anxiety of being "openly natural"?

It took me a year to grasp that I was even "natural". After my big chop, I wore protective style after protective style until I gave in to a friend of mine pressured me to [let her style] my natural hair. Honestly, I've always been eccentric when it came to my hair so wearing my natural hair in public was way easier than I anticipated. It was the feedback I got from people close to me that were mainly negative that gave me second thoughts about my hair, but any anxiety went away when I could "successfully" wear a twist out - which was 1.5 years later after my big chop.

What are your "go-to" hair products? What do you love about them?

My go-to products now are from a woman and black owned brand named Bask and Bloom Essentials. I'm a fan of every product they have, but their Brahmi Root Hair Masque is heavenly and my favorite! This brand creates products that not only are great for styling but packed with ingredients promoting healthy hair and maximum growth for type 4 hair like mine.

How did you learn different ways to style your hair? Any favorite YouTubers?

I think Pinterest played the biggest role in me learning how to style my hair. I prefer finding a style and tweaking it so it's unique to me. I didn't watch YouTube as much but, my all-time favorite YouTuber is Mini Marley.

What tips would you give to encourage hair growth?

My motto is the key to maximum hair growth is the combination of effective techniques and healthy ingredients. For example, oil massages and sealing your ends are perfect techniques to promote growth. Jamaican black castor oil and almond oils are great products/ingredients to use to promote growth as well. Together those ingredients and techniques can be pertinent to growing your natural hair. There are so many products and techniques out there. My advice for anyone is to find something that works for you and stay consistent!

What are some styles that you've been loving now?

I am 300% here for the Fulani braids/twists that are trending right now! Something about that style is so majestic and compliments black women in a manner that seems so natural to me. [I’m also a fan] of a TWA or tapered cut. It's always chic, bold, and timeless in my book. Another favorite is an untamed high puff. No edge control, undefined, kinky hair is so gorgeous, raw, and the opposite of mainstream beauty- yet it's the epitome of beauty in a rare form.

Was there ever a moment when you had to learn to love your hair? How did you get to a point where you were confident with your natural hair?

Yes, it took some time to learn to love my hair. I literally had no support – outside of my best friend – after I big chopped. Like I said before, anytime I tried to wear my hair out, I received negative energy for cutting my "long hair" although it was screen door thin. Nonetheless, my best friend always texted me photos of different natural hairstyles and products I should try. Mind you, she wasn't even natural at the time, so the love was real. Regardless of size, having a strong support system is key.

This helped push me to surround myself with others with hair like my own. I created an atmosphere where my hair, and myself, was the definition of beauty. I've always been a pretty secure person in general, but the natural hair community helped me create and secure my happiness. I was determined to not give anyone access to how I feel about my myself let along my hair. As a result, my confidence elevated.

Representation is so important in how we perceive ourselves and it played a major role in me becoming confident with my kinky hair. Now, you really can't tell me my natural hair isn't beautiful. [Saying Type 4 hair is anything other than beautiful is] complete blasphemy to me.

Type 4B/4C hair often gets overshadowed by looser textures. Has this motivated your content? How do you remain encouraged to embrace your texture?

I am completely over the narrative that type 4 hair is synonymous with matted, tangled, and ugly hair; so yes, this has always been a motive. I understand and accept that I was created to help people. This is just one of the avenues I'm able to help, and I'm wholeheartedly dedicated to it. I'm vocal about loving yourself unapologetically with no conditions (including your natural hair), which is always evident in everything I touch. My focus is to produce content and create a space that helps others learn more about type 4 hair, embrace its beauty, and empower other women of color to do the same. A lot of hate/dislike for kinky hair is the source of a misunderstanding and I'm here to help shift that idea.

Remaining true to myself and being dedicated to becoming the best version of myself encourages me daily to accept my kinky hair and all its glory. Self-love brings me a level of joy untouchable by anyone and I can't see myself sacrificing that because I refuse to embrace an aspect of myself, my natural hair. I'm not sorry if anyone don't understand my hair, nor am I'm going to hide it because they can't comprehend the beauty of it. These types of daily affirmations are my number one sources of encouragement.

To anyone struggling to love their natural hair especially type 4 hair, I just want to send love and light plus tons of encouragement that your hair is beautiful outside of the twist outs, wash & go's etc.  From its texture to its characteristics, kinky hair is multidimensional – just like black women – which is unmatched by anything in this world. Never allow anyone to convince you that you shouldn't love the hair that grows out of YOUR scalp. How someone perceives things reflects themselves, not you.

A few tips for the road:

  • When you're learning to manage your hair, master one style first then more on to the next.  Doing so ensures that you always have your "go-to" style to fall back on.

  • Healthy hair should be your goal, so pay attention to what products and ingredients your hair loves and don't. Healthy hair means retaining a lot of your new growth.

  • Lastly, create a regimen, follow a moisture method like LCO or LOC method, and remain consistent!

By: Derika Crowley (@deecrowley_)