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This island girl was amazing to interview… Meet 33-year old Jodie Dublin-Dangleben from the beautiful Nature Isle of the Caribbean, Dominica (you should visit some time)!

Awesome updo

Awesome updo

I have been natural for just about 4 and a half years

SK: Why did you decide to go natural?

J: I am a Civil Engineer and I work on the field a lot. My hair is always exposed to the sun, dust and grime and I would have had to wash it quite frequently. Needless to say, this did not auger well with my relaxed hair. Moreover, I was tired and fed up of having to waste my Saturday afternoons at the hair salon and slaving under an extremely hot hairdryer. A little jealousy on my part was a small factor in my change. My best friend had natural hair and I was a bit envious of the versatility she had when styling her hair; something I did not have with relaxed hair.

SK: Why did you choose to big chop or transition?

J: To this day I do not even think I was thinking clearly when I chopped off my hair. I woke up one morning and saw the scissors lying idly on my vanity. Before I realized what was happening half of my hair was on the ground.   I big chopped in stages. After the first self-inflicted chop, I dyed my hair and it looked horrendous! So after a few weeks, I went to a hairdresser and she cut off the rest of the relaxer. I was a bit skeptical at that time as to the reaction I would get from my family and friends, but surprisingly enough, everyone fell in love with it!

Ends tucked away

Ends tucked away

SK: How easy or difficult was it in the beginning stages when you chopped or started your transition?

J: I felt so free and confident after my chop. My hair prep time was little to none in the mornings. I would co-wash it every couple days, put in moisturizer daily, rake my hands vigorously through it and voila! I am out the door! When it grew out a bit I would finger or comb curl and leave it in for about three weeks. My hairstyles were very low maintenance.

SK: What is your hair regimen?

J: I pre-wash most times with coconut oil, olive oil or a deep condition and co-wash with a clarifying conditioner. I only use natural oils on my scalp and shampoo once a month. I spritz daily with my homemade leave in and seal with my whipped shea butter. I do a protein treatment with Aphogee protein conditioner once monthly.

We were supper excited to learn Jodies’ favourite products…

J: I am a nature girl and so I love using natural products. I often use the juice from crushed hibiscus to wash. I love Crème of Nature s line and my do-not-leave-house-without-it Eco Styler Gel. I make my own leave – in conditioner spritz with local virgin coconut oil, glycerin and pure aloe vera juice. Not to gloat, but my whipped shea butter is to die for! II make in bulk to sell as well. I have gotten a lot of naturalistas here in Dominica addicted to it too! …“Jodie, do you have any more hair crack?” I get asked this quite a bit!

SK: How easy or difficult is it sourcing products that you love to use on your hair where you live or reside?

J: All the products that my hair loves are readily available. The natural ones I use are even right in my backyard!20150119_081307

Thankfully to us, Jodie was happy to speak about her favourite style

J: I am on the updo band wagon train! Whenever my hair is up in one, I can twist and roll and tuck and pin to my liking and a new, fun, different hairstyle comes out everytime.

SK: Tell me about a great hair day or a bad hair day in short, or about a liked or frustrating feature about your hair.

J: My hair is the queen of shrinkage! Before I knew the right products to use to get a long lasting defined twist out, I would have this awesome twist out in the morning and by midday it would be a big pouf on my head! This lady once called me a golliwog! It was extremely embarrassing! My hair is very thick which I love!! So it allows me to have gorgeous full twist outs or afros.

It was no surprise to us, that Jodie had a few haircrushes:

Erykah Badu! I love the fullness of her hair!!!

Domenique Banks who passed away recently (#longhairdontcare girl). Her journey is so encouraging!

Teyonnah Parris and her never ending inspirational hairstyles!

SK: What would you say to employers and teachers out there who think that natural hair is not for the office or the classroom, respectively?

J: The issue of natural afro-textured or kinky hair and professionalism in the workplace and in schools is quite a tricky one to address. In the corporate world, it is expected that women should have a certain “look” and in some rare cases are ridiculed or marginalized for the way they wear their hair. This just shows that even if we boast of being freed physically, the mental chains of slavery are still wrapped around our minds and hair; weighing it down with weaves and braids and choking it with grease and relaxers; bridling our natural hair and damaging it beyond repair. Regardless of whether hair is relaxed, in braids or weaves or natural; it has the potential to look a hot mess! Their issue should be with whether one’s hair is unkempt or not and NOT the type of hair one has. So picking out one type of hair from the lot is cowardly and frankly absurd!

SK: Describe your hair in one word

J: Rootsy – unconventional and has a mind of its own

Rootsy hair

Rootsy hair

SK: Name something outrageous or edgy or just different you would love to try with your hair but have not had the guts to try YET! (Dye it purple, shave the sides, etc.)

J: I wanted to try locs. However I have an incurable case of #HIH (Hand In Hair) Syndrome. So I was thinking of leaving half natural and locking the other half. At first I want to shave the back and do a nice design, but that is the area where my hair is the softest and fullest so I opted against it.