Featured Members Natural Hair Interview Natural Hair Journey

Featured Member: One Year Strong

Check out Thirsty Roots member Jenell’s one year natural hair journey and interview. Jenell’s hair has grown beautifully in the past year. You can get inspired from her chic pin up hairstyles and curly wash and gos. Jenell shows that natural hair is very versatile, stylish, and beautiful.

TR: How long have you been natural and why do you choose to be natural?

Jenell: I’ve been natural since September 13th of 2010. It’s been a year and 1 month now.  The time has flown by!  🙂 You know, my plan from the beginning was just to see how long I could go between relaxers.  Then it went to me pressing my hair and being done with relaxers all together.  But the 2 textures became too much to deal with. So in the midst of a shampoo one day I just cut off all of the relaxed end!  It felt awesome afterwards!  I was free of that headache!

TR: How did you cope with the responses from your family and friends?

Jenell: I had great responses from family and friends.  My boyfriend had actually been trying to get me to go natural for awhile!  He loves natural hair!  When he saw me for the first time natural the look on his face gave me all kinds of butterflies…he told me how beautiful I was and how glad he was that I had finally done it!  My family is always supportive of whatever I do…no negative stuff..I’m blessed to have them..for sure.

TR: What is your current hair care regimen?

Jenell: Well my hair has grown out quite a bit so I am currently experimenting with different products and techniques.  I wash my hair when needed.  Usually once a week with a shampoo and conditioner.  I moisturize and seal on wash days as well. For the rest of the week I’ll apply moisturizer/oil as needed.

TR: How do you keep it moisturized?

Jenell: I keep my hair moisturized by using Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie and coconut oil.  My hair reacts well to coconut oil so I make sure that I keep plenty in stock!  I try to keep things pretty simple. 

TR: What products and techniques do you use to style your hair?

Jenell: Well I’m currently using Shea Moisture products but I’ve tried so much since cutting off those relaxed ends. Along with Shea Moisture I’ve settled on coconut oil, Aussie Moist conditioner, Cantu Shea butter leave-in and…get this….Blue Magic hair grease!  That’s right! I’ve recently started using it and my hair loves this stuff.  It keeps my hair moisturized for days! Depending on what style I’m going for the next day, I’ll spray my hair with water at night in sections and apply 2 strand twists (no need to reapply product if I’ve used grease).  This is a great base for lots of styles!  Kind of like my roller sets were in my relaxed days!

TR: What are your must have products?

Jenell: My must have products are:
Cantu Shea Butter Leave-in
Coconut oil
Aussie Moist Conditioner
Hair grease(Be nice guys!)

TR: What are your favorite accessories?

Jenell: My hair is an accessory in itself!  It’s crazy!  I’m not a fashionista!  But my hair!  Let me tell you..I can be a hot mess from the neck down…but my hair and makeup will make it all okay!  It’s awesome!

TR: What do you like the most about being naturally glamorous?

Jenell: I love how versatile my hair is!  There are so many style options.  So much fun!

TR: Anything else you may want to add?

Jenell: I’d like to add that it takes lots of patience to find what works for your particular head of hair.  Trial and error.  Have fun with it!  You will settle into a routine before you know it..I do not miss that lifeless, over-processed head of hair that I had before.  Not by a long shot!

You can find Jenell on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr:

@Jenell32 on Twitter

To see more of Jenell’s natural hairstyle pictures, hair talk with her, and meet other members, join the Thirsty Roots Community.

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About the author

thirsty roots®

Our goal is to share the beauty of Afro-textured hair and to have a place where we can come together to get examples, advice, and information of black hair growth and hairstyles. Whether you have permed, pressed, or natural hair it's still black hair and it's beautiful.


  • I have been natural now since June & let me tell you that’s not an easy process because of the limitations my career has on hair regulations but I have made it work. I’ve experimented with several products as well but have found that my hair responds well to Blue Magic Coconut Oil, Cantu Shea Butter leave in conditioner & moisturizer. I just found it interesting that these products work well for the both of us. “Natural Beauty is True Beauty”

  • All of which you are saying about hair is so true. I started out like you. Where I just starting perming my hair every six months then it got to where I was just flat ironing it. Then as time went on and my hair started getting longer and thicker I would plat or twist it and let it air dry. That was my style for a while then the 9th month of me not relaxing it, OH MY GOD! I almost went back to perms, but my husband said you have come so far he really liked it. Suprisingly I was getting my positive feed back from other cultures but not my own culture. The products you are using I love as well, I also use Giovanni and Beautiful Curls they are great also.

  • I have been 6 months without a relaxer.I have just found your site and i will try the blue magic & shea butter. I dont how it will turn out i`m going to try it.I`M GOING NAUTRAl.cause it`s beautiful.

  • Hello! I loved reading this. I stop perming my hair about 6 or 7 months ago because my daughter, who has beautiful natural hair, wondered why her hair wasn’t straight like mine. I am at the point now to where I am ready to cut the permed part out. I agree that natural hair is beautiful, but my personal journey with it is to make sure that my girls know they don’t have to have bone straight hair to have “good hair”. =)

  • Do you use African Pride products because i heard that stuff is GREAT! especially when you trying to go natural…. !! IM TRYING IT THIS WEEKEND ! CANT WAIT


  • Wow! Those pictures were great. Thanks for sharing. Loved the beautiful hair and your journey. Be blessed!

  • Hello Jenell,

    I enjoyed reading your article. It gave me inspiration and motivation to keep on my natural hair journey. I have just started transitioning to natural. I haven’t permed my hair for four months now, and I tell you this is a hard journey, but I know in the end it will be worth it.

  • wow…. I’m just out of words now but jenell your hair is just…..gosh!!! Beautiful
    i’m also doing natural myself and in my 5th month now, it hasn’t been easy though just having problems with hair products to use but thanks for sharing. 🙂

  • jenell ur an inspiration! I was natural for the first 13 years of my life and my hair grew really well and i had a thick fro. for my 14th birthday i got a relaxer and that killed my hair. it completely stopped growing…
    anyways..3 years later n i have decided to go back to my natural curly hair and i have been without a relaxer for 4 months now and its not as difficult for me because i protect my hair with box braids(extensions) that i just redo every two months after washing and conditioning my hair. it has really grown my hair out!!

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