Meet the lovely Jeanna Dorcelin, a naturalista of almost four years who dabbled in modeling during her FAMU days before going on to become a Career Counselor in New York City. For Jeanna going natural meant discovering her texture and seeing just how long and healthy her hair could grow.
Tell us how you feel about your hair in general and the role it plays in your life (if any)? On most days I really like my natural hair, but when I wash my hair, I absolutely hate it! LOL. My hair is very difficult to wash and gets tangled very easily so washday is a long process.
Over the years, why have you changed your hair? I like to try different hairstyles. Depending on my mood or the season, I try different things. It’s been cut really short; I’ve had a weave and I have gotten a perm.
Why did you decide to go natural? I decided to go natural after watching many Youtube videos on natural hair and I was curious about the texture of my natural hair. Because my mother gave me a perm in elementary school I didn’t remember the texture of my hair. (I assume the feeling she had when she washed my hair is probably the same feeling I have when I wash mine). I also noticed, through watching Youtube videos, that with proper maintenance my hair could grow really long and look really healthy, so that excited me.
my hair through the years
I was in college when this photo was taken. A very talented photographer approached me on my Florida Agricultural & Mechanical Universities (FAMU) campus and asked me to do a photo shoot. I agreed. It was a cool experience because I was able to be professionally styled and have my hair and make up done. My hair was chemically processed at the time and pulled into a side bun.
This was on another photo shoot done during my sophomore year in college. An aspiring photographer approached me …we went to different thrift stores for the clothing and a hair store for the big hair. I wish that were my hair but it was a wig… My hair was permed underneath. This is one of my favorite photo’s ever!
This was taken in September 2010, a little less than a year after my big chop. It was my first time attempting to style my hair. I was absolutely confused and lacked the patience to style it. I washed my hair and because I was scared about the short length, I blow dried, straightened it and attempted a twist and curl. I applied way too much product and didn’t allow my hair to dry so parts of my hair were curls and other parts frizzy. You definitely need a lot of patience for natural hair!
These were my most recent set of braids. I absolutely love braids as a protective style and sometimes it’s good to take a break from styling your hair. I am very particular about who braids my hair. 95% of the time in New York, if I am getting my hair braided, I go to African women. They are very fast and neat!
These were Havana twists done by me! I never thought that I could do something like this but with Youtube videos and some practice and I did it. This was my second time doing them. They turned out okay. I wore these in the Bahamas. I thought it would fit the Caribbean vibe.
This is my most recent hair change. I was growing very bored with my hair and after watching different Youtube videos I thought, oooh coloring my hair should be fun. I knew that color could damage hair, so I decided a few pieces wouldn’t hurt. Now I am thinking about coloring the whole head. As you can see Youtube is my go to for all things natural hair! Kimmaytube was definitely my go to person about all things natural hair she was very informative and well-educated about hair. I am subscribed to many other people but I wouldn’t say I watch anyone that often now. I guess when I first went natural I was all about watching different videos and after a while I just found that with natural hair it is all about trial and error. What works for you may not work for someone else.
This was a shot of my natural hair after I attempted to straighten it. I took the picture to show people the length I retained as a natural but for some reason I am never satisfied when I reach a length goal, LOL. At this point with my natural hair, I retain length but suffer from split ends often so I am trying to figure out a way to minimize them.
Is being natural a permanent or temporary change? Good question, I am not sure. On one hand I understand the dangers of using chemicals on the scalp but sometimes I want to go back to the days where my hair was more manageable. Caring for natural hair can be stressful and time consuming so I have toyed with the idea of going back to the “creamy crack” as people call it. For now I am natural but I won’t say that this will be a permanent change.