Jessica Harris interviewed by Briana Whiteside.
How long have you been natural?
2 years and 11 months (3 year anniversary of big chop May 7th!!)
What prompted you to go natural?
After years of burns to my scalp and sporadic hair breakage, I just came to the realization that my hair and chemical relaxers just didn't mix. Overall, I wanted healthier hair and to that end, I felt going natural would give my hair a fresh start. Curiosity also prompted my decision. I had not seen my natural hair texture/curl pattern for close to twenty-years and I wanted to know what it looked and felt like. I big chopped at a moment when I was preparing to make a major transition personally and professionally so, in many ways, my going natural was symbolic of that new beginning and all its possibilities.
In one word, how would you describe your journey?
If you could talk to our younger sisters who are natural, what would you tell them?
The natural hair journey is a tailor-made journey. Your hair is YOUR hair. It's easy to look at others and want their curl pattern, their length etc. But at the end of the day, your journey REALLY begins at the moment you embrace the crown of glory God gave YOU. So, I would encourage the young natural sisters out there to be patient and take time to learn as much as possible about their hair and its needs.
The natural hair journey is called a "journey" for a reason--it's ongoing and full of ups and downs, twists and turns and definitely some unknowns. Despite the particulars of your journey, continue to move forward confidently and every time you look in the mirror (whether your hair is being cooperative or not) remember that you are a "divine original, fashioned by God to be radiantly beautiful."
• The natural hair chronicles