NaturallyCurly: Please introduce yourself!

Jacquelynn Williams: My name is Jacquelynn Williams. I live in Toledo, Ohio, where I was born and raised. I am happily married and I have four great kids.

NC: How and when did you start embracing your curls?

JW: I started embracing my curls about two years ago after I had a horrible experience with heat damage. I actually damaged my daughter’s hair too, with a brand new shiny flat iron that was way too hot. I always thought I was more attractive with my hair straight and for some reason I thought it was much easier to spend four hours straightening my hair instead of learning how to deal with it curly. It has always been extremely long and heavy, so wearing it straight was a lot easier for some reason. But once I damaged it, I vowed not to let heat touch my head. For the most part, I have stuck to it. I had to cut about five inches off of my hair and off of my daughter's hair. It was a very humbling and horrific experience. 

NC: What's your current routine?

JW: Every other day I co-wash my hair. Then on Saturday, I will go ahead and shampoo and condition it. It’s pretty simple. With four kids, I don’t have a lot of time to spend on my hair. 

NC: So from start to finish, on a curly day, what's your process?

JW: I will wash my hair twice and then condition it. If I don’t feel like fooling around with other products, I will just leave the conditioner in my hair…it tends to tame the curls just as well once they are dry. I flip my hair upside down and comb through it really well and put it in a loose bun to air dry. Usually this takes the whole day; and once I take it down, the curls are perfect and it isn’t frizzy. I can go two days after that without having to restyle it. 

NC: What are your favorite hairstyles to wear with your curls?

JW: A high messy bun is my normal “go-to” when I am in a hurry. If I have some time, then I will part it down the middle and wear it down. It is shorter in the front, so if the humidity is nice to me and I have enough conditioner in it, my hair will be my friend. 

NC: What are your must-have products and tools?

JW: I am not too picky about what shampoo and conditioner I use, as long as it is good for curly hair. Normally I stick with Suave and Tresemmé, when it is on sale! I use Shea Butter also, but sometimes it can weigh my hair down. Tools? As long as I have my detangling comb, I’m good!

NC: What do you do at nighttime for your hair?

JW: I HATE tying my hair up in any kind of cap, bonnet, bandana, scarf, etc. It never stays on my head anyway! So I have a satin pillowcase. I will sometimes put my hair up in a loose bun, but most of the time I just let it be free.

NC: What reaction did you get when you first decided to go natural?

JW: People tend to notice my hair before my face and honestly, it gets annoying. I have cut my hair on a couple of occasions and every time I got scolded in some form. I realize that I am not my hair, but when people are used to seeing it very long, cutting it is difficult to get used to. I found that once I explained why I cut it, and that “it’s just hair, it will grow back,” people started to chill out…

NC: Did you big chop or transition and for how long? Did you ever have any curly girl insecurities?

JW: I did a mini-chop. There was a lot of damage, and I was in denial, honestly. I tried all kinds of things to get my curl pattern back, from deep conditioning to just praying. Finally, I realized that I needed to go ahead and cut the damaged parts off. 

I did have insecurities. Like I mentioned, I had a LOT of hair as a kid, and I never really knew how to take care of it in its natural state other than putting it in a ponytail. I felt like a lion…sometimes I still do! But I have gotten to the point where I don’t care and I actually love the big hair look.

NC: What is the best thing about being curly

JW: Diversity!!! I love that I can have so many different looks. A friend of mine told me that she loved my hair big and curly and that she knows some women who buy wigs that look like what I naturally have. That was a defining moment for me. 

NC: How do you think having curly hair impacts your life?

JW: Curly hair has a mind of its own, so most of the time I don’t fight it, because I just don’t have the time or the energy. I am grateful to be able to toss it up into a bun or high ponytail and go; or let the humidity do its thing and look like the cowardly lion BEFORE he got to Oz. Being able to go out in the rain and not care if your hair gets wet is always a plus! NC: What would you tell others to encourage them to embrace their curls?

JW: Be proud of the way God intended for your hair to grow out of your head! Protect your hair and learn to love it the way it is. Take a little time to research your hair type so that you know the best way to care for it. Don’t let a disaster like heat damage make you realize that you are blessed to be a curly cutie.

NC: Tell us about your life and what you are up to!

JW: Right now I am working and sprucing up the new home my family moved into a couple of months ago. I also just started writing for my church’s Bible Study and I am working up the courage to start a blog! I love to write and so I want to use my gifts to help other people.

You can find Jacquelynn on Facebook.