Name: Camille Jabain
Major: Interdisciplinary Studies
HC: How long have you been natural?
CJ: I’ve been natural all my life! Crazy, I know. I’ve never dyed or permed my hair. In middle and high school when I wanted to get a perm so my hair could be flowing and blowing in the wind like all the other girls, my mother was not having it! By the time I was taking care of my hair on my own, I had no interest in getting my hair permed. Although I’ve never had a perm, my mane has certainly had its share of trials and tribulations.
HC: How would you describe your hair texture?
CJ: If I had to put my hair on today’s natural hair texture scale, I’d say it’s a strong 4C, (4A and 4B in random places) lol I wouldn’t trade it for the world though. Being clear, I’d say I have “wash-and-stay” hair versus the perfect curls when wet, “wash-and-go” kind of hair. I have high porosity hair which means my hair’s cuticles let in too much moisture, making it a tangled, frizzy mess at times. My hair doesn’t have a definitive curl pattern, however I’ve managed to figure out how to make most natural styles work for my hair. I’ve been diligently working on the health of my hair for the past year or so, trying to stay away from heat. Unfortunately, I went to get my hair trimmed this summer, and the front of my hair was severely heat damaged in the process of straightening, so I’m currently nursing it back to health.
HC: What is your favorite or most convenient style?
CJ: My favorite/ most convenient style would be the freshly washed twist out… but up in a big bun. There’s no fuss or worrying about it looking any different from earlier in the day, and its super cute!
HC: Name some of your staple products. Shampoo, conditioner (deep), leave-in, etc…
CJ: I precondition my hair with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Shampoo conditioner. My staple shampoo has always been and still is Crème of Nature Kiwi Citrus Ultra Moisturizing Shampoo. For my deep conditioners, I’m here for all things Shea moisture, especially their Organic Yucca & Baobab Anti-Breakage Masque as well as the Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque. When it comes to leave-ins, I don’t deviate from Kinky Curly Knot Today and Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow & Restore Leave-In Conditioner. My final staple is a mixture of hair oils (olive oil, castor oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil, and sweet almond oil) which seals in whatever combination of products I use, leaving my hair shiny and soft.
HC: What is a wash day like for you?
CJ: A wash day for me is long and arduous. I start by preconditioning my hair with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration to retain moisture on account of the fact that most shampoos are very drying. I wash my hair with the crème of nature shampoo. If I have the time, or really need to deep condition… I do so. If not, I keep it moving to the styling. I usually use the Black Jamaican Castor Oil Leave-In, and combine it with raw Shea butter (from the beauty supply store), and flat twist my entire head in about 10 large twists, stretching and securing each end with a bobby pin for a more defined twist out. I let it air dry completely, which takes about 7 hours…. So the rest of the day would be spent inside, or out with a baseball or skull cap on. When it’s dry, I fluff it out and put it in a big wavy bun.
HC: What are some of the most common problems you face when styling your hair? How do you combat these issues?
CJ: A common problem I face most often is the amount of time I spend detangling my hair. I’m always researching ways to shorten that time, but at the end of the day, I have a lot of hair on my head so I don’t think the process will ever be anywhere near a 5 to 10 minute situation. My second, but probably most annoying problem would be split ends or single strand knots. I make an effort to remedy this issue by getting my hair trimmed every so often, but they always seem to be present.
HC: What are two do’s and don’ts when it comes to your hair?
CJ: Two do’s that I live by when it comes to my hair would be that I always sleep with a satin scarf and/or bonnet and I always wash my hair in 4 sections. The first is pretty much a no-brainer, but the second is a personal natural hair hack. Because I precondition my hair before I wash it, I go ahead and detangle it and put it in 4 sections. This helps 10 times over in keeping my hair detangled as I wash it, so moving into the next step of styling is seamless because my hair has essentially been detangled since the preconditioning step. I got this trick from Naptural85 on YouTube, the only natural hair guru I swear by!
CJ: Never under any circumstances would I attempt to detangle/ comb out my hair dry (without using any water, oil, or other product), so that would be my first ‘don’t’. I guess the second would be not to try to fix what isn’t broken. I think a lot of ladies, including myself, make that mistake. Often times, when our hair is flourishing and doing its thing, we want a change. So we dye it or straighten it too often, or add hair and end up damaging or regressing in the health of our hair.
HC: Is there anything you want to try on your hair that is out of your comfort zone?
CJ: The one thing that I’d want to try on my hair would be to dye the back of my hair some fun color! HOWEVER, I know that will probably never happen solely on the fact that I don’t believe the color looking aesthetically pleasing in the beginning would be worth the damage and breakage that could very well happen. I know lots of people say that you just need to keep your hair moisturized, but I’ve also done by own research. I’ve found it to be a general consensus that dying greatly amplifies any problems one may already have with their hair. I don’t think my hair type would stand a chance, so unfortunately, that would be a no-go.
HC: How does your hair make you feel?
CJ: I hear lots of women say things like, “It’s just hair,” but dating back from biblical times, the hair has been referenced as your “crown” or “glory,” and I think most black women, natural hair or not, view their hair that way. So when my hair is flourishing, and/or flowing and blowing, I feel good and I have an extra oomph in my step!
HC: Any words of advice to ladies with the same hair type as you?
CJ: A few words of advice I’d give ladies with my hair type would be to do what works for YOUR hair type. I think it’s all fine and good to peruse YouTube to fine-tune your hair care regimen or come up with different styles, but I found that doing exactly what I saw [Naptural85] or other natural hair gurus, didn’t work for me. I’d always have to tweak certain things to maximize my results. I’d say try out new products, just not so many at once so you can actually see what’s working for your hair specifically, and what isn’t. Lastly, I’d encourage them to have fun with their hair because it’s awesome and versatile! However, on the same token I’d reiterate not to try to fix what isn’t broken. I realize we all end up doing this in some way or another, but sometimes chemically altering your hair could result in major disappointments.