CurlNikki gives celebrity stylist, Derek J some natural hair homework.

Bun

Atlanta based celebrity stylist and TV personality, Derek J put a well-clad foot in his mouth on the recently aired ‘good hair’ episode of Dr. Drew’s Life Changers. Shortly thereafter, distressed, confused and seeking clarity, he shined the proverbial CurlyNikki Signal into the night sky asking for deliverance from the incessant stream of hate mail. #TeamNatural roll deep as a mug.

Appreciative of his willingness to keep it real and genuine desire to be educated on the matter, I gave Derek some dedicated time On the Couch to gain some insight. Will he get his redemption? Read on!

Derek J Gets Started on His Homework

CurlyNikki: Okay, so what happened?

Derek J: First of all, I didn’t think that that statement would’ve caused what it caused. The conversation with Dr. Drew was about natural hair versus relaxed hair and weaves. In the beginning of the interview, I encouraged my client to go natural because I know that many women don’t know what their natural hair looks like. But later during the conversation, I did make the statement that some women need relaxers.

CN: What the hell Derek J?!

DJ: I didn’t mean relaxed bone straight. I meant to calm down frizz.

CN: Right. You know this is not helping your case...

DJ: Some people may want a looser curl or things of that nature. You would need some kind of chemical assistance to work that look.

CN: Uh — no, boo boo. We have tons, TONS of options outside of chemicals. But, put a pin in that. Do you think that most women desire looser curls?

DJ: Yes, not most women, but some do. I’ve seen women that want to go natural, but turn to weaves first to get the look they’re going for. They say, "Oh my hair’s too short to wear natural," or "It’s too this or that to wear natural." So they get a weave to get that natural look that they want to have. If that’s the look you're going for and your hair doesn't do that, then chemicals or a weave is needed to make it happen.

CN: So you're saying there ain't enough curly pudding in the world?

DJ: [Laughter]

CN: And what is "that look?" "The Joan Clayton" from Girlfriend’s?

DJ: Yep. Exactly. Some women need a relaxer or chemical assistance to achieve that look.

CN: That look… are we talking, "easily managed hair," or the taboo, "good hair?"

DJ: No [Laughter]. Good hair is basically what you think it is and what you’re trying to go for.

CN: That's so PC!

DJ: [Laughter] Before I answer that question, I want to say that I also didn’t know that the word "manageable" is a bad word in the natural hair community. I don’t know all this stuff! [Laughter] I’m learning though. Anyway, good hair is what works for you. What’s good for me might not be what’s good for you. It’s frustrating because this shouldn’t even be the topic of conversation. We have a whole lot of other issues for Black folks to worry about instead of whether someone wants to relax their hair or not. Or if somebody wants to achieve a looser texture curl than what they have naturally.

God gave you natural hair, but if you want to go that hard on it, then it shouldn’t just stop at your hair. Don’t get your eye brows arched, stop shaving your legs, stop shaving under your arms, don’t wear a bra. If you want to accept what God gave you, do it then, but you can’t just stop at your head.

CN: Would you have seen anything wrong with what you said had it not been brought to your attention — repeatedly?

DJ: I didn’t think twice. When I spoke to other stylists and a few natural haired friends, they agreed, so I didn’t think that there was anything wrong with the statement. I didn’t say all women, I said some. They took it as if I’d said it’s all women and that I look down on natural hair and that’s not what I was saying.

Derek J's Uh-oh Moment

The rest of CurlyNikki's exclusive interview continues on the next page.