West Michigan is a melting pot full of many different cultures, ethnicities, and personalities. But what really makes Michiganders stand out from the rest is the amount of creative professionals we have. Look on the tag of any product and you will see the “Made In Michigan” sign . The natural hairstyle movement is producing many unique creative hairstylists in the Grand Rapids area. Very frequently you can see an event created that shows off our local Queens rocking their afros, coils, and locs. In this interview, light is shed on Ms. Jewel Richardson, my loctician, who is an amazing master loctician.
How long have you been natural? Why did you choose to go natural?
I have been natural for 30 years. Freedom is why I choose to be natural. I want to love myself the way I was born. If you are choosing chemicals then you are choosing not to be the way you were born.
How did your family and friends feel about you going natural?
My mother was happy. My family was raised that way so it was not seen as a huge deal. I went natural after I left Grand Rapids and went to Atlanta. My friends were not really fond of it, so it was when I changed my environment that I changed my viewpoint.
What products do you use for your hair?
Light oils for my scalp. I only shampoo my hair twice a year. I clean it once in a while because the oil and grease buildup is a protection to my hair. Aloe. And oils. Water contains acid and dries your hair. Oils will seal in and moisturise your hair. Mousse. Daily hair and scalp rejuvenating spray if I want to twist and wrap it. Styling: bobby pins, headwraps, and cloths. I flat iron my locs because you can do everything with locs beside comb it.
What accessories do you like to use on your locs?
Cowry shells, pony beads.
What must have products should every natural hair Queen have?
Must have products is Aloe. Chocolate indie b mask, chocolate conditioner. Shea butter is a product that you can use in many ways. You can press and twist natural hair with shea butter.
What is your mission as a hairstylist?
Being an example of loving myself the way I was made. Having the opportunity to educate and encourage. When I am talking about natural hair, I am more specific to Type 2- Type 8. It is the people who have a Curl, or an S or a 2 to their hair. Straight hair has different needs and desires. Most people of color can not look at their hair in the mirror for 30 minutes without having a hatred for their hair. Embrace your natural hair.
Her website and information about her salon can be found here : http://msjewelsnaturalhaircare.com
Some of her work:
Not only is Ms. Jewel a hairstylist, she is also a activist, a poet, a mother, and a dancer. She founded West Michigan Jewels of Africa, a traditional African dance and drum Troop. Her love for people, natural hair, and our community is very commendable.
African Beauty And Braids blog has been featured on blog.feedspot.com as one of the Top 50 Natural Hair Blogs and Websites For Black Women in 2019 !!! It ranked at number 45. (https://blog.feedspot.com/natural_hair_blogs/) Thanks for all of the likes and shares. It is my dream to get it to be a part of the top 10 natural hair blogs in the world in 5 years or less. Through more content, adding a subscription, creating ebooks, a newsletter, getting it monetized, and increasing my viewership/readers, this can be attainable. Much love to all of my supporters. Much love to all of my Queens around the world. Always remember: you are beautiful, you are smart, and you are important.