“Growing an appreciation for myself and my own kind of beautiful, learning the best practices for my own hair [are some benefits of being natural].” – Georgina Johnson- Jones (MSc.) in an exclusive interview with the Caribbean Current.
With the rise in the natural hair care phenomenon, there has been a popularity in loving one’s natural hair and the support of the natural hair community for individuals of all hair textures and types has been taking the world by storm via social media.
Joni Williams (B.A.) and Georgina Johnson-Jones (MSc.) are the two very knowledgeable hair gurus who have tapped into this phenomena and made a business here in Jamaica. They met through promoting a hair care line made in Mandeville, Jamaica, known as Ettenio.
“So I’m there at the location and she walks in and she has this gorgeous fro and I’m impressed with her and then she starts to talk and I’m like ‘this is the first person I’ve ever met with like my level of knowledge in hair care and skin care’. Before I’m always teaching people and I didn’t have to teach her about anything because she was already knowledgeable about it, and in a lot of cases more knowledgeable than me. I think a year passed and I was like, you know what I’m going to do Hair Skin Love Jamaica but I don’t want to do this alone. I thought of Georgina, I thought of reaching out to her because she has this amazing personality and I wanted to capitalize on that, I knew it was going to work… We’ve done many different things to spread education on hair and skin and how it is actually supposed to be taken care of… Basically I thought I was going to be more managing a star, a personality, but it turned into a service and that’s how we got together and made Hair Skin Love Jamaica.” – Joni Williams (B.A.) in an exclusive interview with the Caribbean Current.
The partnership known as Hair Skin Love Jamaica (HSL) caters to individuals who are on their own natural hair journey and overall maintenance of their skin and body. Each healthy practice is a process that has become a natural journey for some and a lifestyle for most.
ABOUT THE CEOs OF HAIR SKIN LOVE JAMAICA
Georgina has been natural for the past five years, where she has transitioned and been a member of the big chop community before sporting the famed fro in all its glory while Joni has been natural all her life and has had long tresses flowing over twenty-five inches in length.
“People tend to have a fairy tale concept of their hair and may spend years chasing it instead of learning to work with their hair and understand that you can’t change your genes. I used to destroy my hair trying to get the frizz out. Because of the different races I’m mixed with I have super frizz all the time. MY HAIR DIDN’T GET HEALTHY until I accepted that Middle Eastern + Black equal frizz and no product will change that. Now I work with my hair’s strengths. Wind. No problem, it was frizzy anyway. I can wash it as often as I need because it dries fast.” – Joni Williams in an exclusive interview with the Caribbean Current.
Joni has experienced an educational natural hair journey as she has gone on a trial and error learning binge as to how to work with her hair and not against it. Her medium porosity, 3b hair has been beneficial naturally as it is easy to maintain on her own without a hairdresser and she can weather pool and sea water situations with a dose of conditioner, among others. Her regimen entails washing every week, moisturize and seal every other day and treating her hair with a balancing or moisture treatment; she admits that the biggest drawback to being natural is that wash days take forever.
“Most important step before that is to know your hair type. Most people don’t. After that a regimen sort of falls into place. You have high porosity – more protein, thicker products. You have low porosity – less protein. They should also build their regimen around their lifestyle. You swim? More conditioner. You gym? Co-wash more.” – Joni Williams in an exclusive interview with the Caribbean Current.
Nonetheless, she doesn’t have to fuss over it as long as she is taking care of it and since she opted to wear her hair shorter than usual, after getting a haircut, it has been even more manageable as she either catches it up or wears it out. If she would ever decide to throw in the towel and cream her hair, she recounted how terrified she is of that word:
“I’ve had nightmares about creaming my hair. It goes like this – I go to a hairdresser and think I’m getting a deep treatment. I fall asleep in the chair and wake up with crème in my hair. I woke up screaming.” – Joni Williams in an exclusive interview with the Caribbean Current.
Georgina’s only hair goal right now is to maintain healthy hair and has found her journey to be rather interesting as she too has used the trial and error technique to know what works optimally with her mane. She has 4b/4c, low porosity hair and her regimen is pretty simple – she co-washes once a week and shampoos once a month, followed by a moisturizing deep conditioner and moisturizes three times a week. With the many benefits comes the drawbacks and she feels that finding healthy hairstyles, being patient during detangling and being judged by others are some hindrances to being natural.
“I think the worst mistake is them having their hair envy and not being happy with their hair texture they have. I find it often leads to frustration, impatience to find the right regimen and they end up relaxing their hair because they are unhappy with how it is naturally.” – Georgina Johnson- Jones in an exclusive interview with the Caribbean Current
Sometimes she does think about getting a change but then she experiments with wigs to peak her interest for hairstyles like short pixie cuts.
“This biggest challenge of all has been accepting that my texture as just as beautiful even though it does not fit into popular beauty standards. Beauty standards such as straight, long hair along with loosely textures, thick curls that most naturals seek to attain.” – Georgina Johnson- Jones in an exclusive interview with the Caribbean Current.
ABOUT HAIR SKIN LOVE JAMAICA
“Learn to love, care for and enjoy what you have and it will reward you by thriving and growing.” – Georgina Johnson-Jones in an exclusive interview with the Caribbean Current.
The business, which was launched in February 2015, aims to provide optimal services and knowledge to diverse clients who desire to become more aware of their hair, skin, health and wellness. Their objectives for HSL include:
- Revolutionize customer care in the salon and skin care industry through innovative and strategic services.
- Provide education to clients that allow them to make informed and health conscious decisions in the future.
- Be the first point of information in an individual’s search for the right lifestyle choices when dealing with hair or skin
With these goals they intend to be the benchmark business for Jamaicans who need support in their journey and build self-awareness.
“We find that these people are usually chasing an ideal not written in their genes, or really don’t know where to begin in their research. The best option in that case is to go to a professional and get their hair analyzed. We have seen cases where a person’s hair is healthy and thriving and because they want an ideal that isn’t possible they think their hair is damaged, or it needs something. We have to sit those persons down and let them know what is achievable and what isn’t.” – Joni Williams in an exclusive interview with the Caribbean Current.
Their expert guidance and research has aided many clients since inception and while they grow as a business they also look to grow individually as their hair care journeys are far from over. Hair Skin Love Jamaica believes that when they help persons reach their hair and skin goals it is one of their greatest achievements as a business setting out to do just that. Their social media presence has helped them to get their brand noticed and through that they have been invited to speak and attend various events. They have been invited to pop-up shops, spa bars, yoga sessions and hair expos and workshops. The support is out there via social media, but they desire to also set up the right infrastructure to receive their clients.
Across the world, persons put a lot of effort into their appearance and how their body looks does affect how they feel and interact with their environment and the persons on a daily basis.
“I believe it’s because your physical appearance is connected to feelings of self-worth and esteem, therefore if you feel good or bad about the way your hair and skin looks you feel bad about yourself as a person which will aid or decrease positive interaction with others.” – Georgina Johnson-Jones in an exclusive interview with the Caribbean Current.
THE SKIN ASPECT OF HAIR SKIN LOVE JAMAICA
It is a human trait to judge physical appearance of ourselves and others as it is very important to make a statement about who we are as individuals without having to speak. The founders of Hair Skin Love Jamaica have found that, in Jamaica especially, that some persons lack knowledge about their bodies and they are more susceptible to ‘try a ting’ and hope their decision is successful – their decisions are unrelated to their health, lifestyle or background.
[As a result of] this approach you see many individuals suffering from traction alopecia, over processing, double and triple processing, relaxer burns, aggressive acne, blemishes, severe skin discolouration, severe hair loss and excessive breakage. This is just the tip of the ‘iceberg’. – Adapted from the Hair Skin Love Jamaica Overview.
Georgina swears by the oil cleansing method of skin care and finds that people don’t have a balanced diet or drink enough water. Also, the lack of knowledge of one’s skin type is a hindrance in treating it and promoting healthy skin or improving one’s skin condition. There are many intricacies of various skin types which include dry, oily, sensitive and acne prone skin.
“You will always go wrong if you don’t know if your skin is sensitive or normal or dry or oil or mixed with all those types. Yes it is possible to have both oil and dry sensitive skin. If you don’t know what is going on then you can’t treat it. After you know what is going on, then you get a regimen. One is already out there just waiting for you to pick it… If you don’t know exactly what your skin type is you will just wander from one product to the other in darkness.” – Joni Williams in an exclusive interview with the Caribbean Current.
HAIR SKIN LOVE JAMAICAs GOALS FOR THE FUTURE
“In five years we want to own a chain of shops, continue our meetups and establish our own line of hair care products and accessories.” – Georgina Johnson- Jones in an exclusive interview with the Caribbean Current.
Their goals are attainable, and with time they will achieve them as a partnership and as a contributor to the Jamaican society. Hair Skin Love Jamaica hopes to grow their client base and host regular meetups where large numbers of persons can be educated about their hair and skin and the role health plays. They also would like to host seminars to spread and teach healthy hair practices and have salons that persons can come to receive the proper care needed for healthy hair care.
For 2017 Hair Skin Love Jamaica focuses on achieving their objectives and providing education in making the best decisions in their hair and skin care journey of their clients. The CEOs stress that no two persons are the same so individual and personal care is needed to cater to each and every particular need and regimen.
HAIR SKIN LOVE JAMAICA’s FIRST MEET UP EVENT
“It’s about growing and maintaining healthy hair of any type. Whether locked, relaxed or natural.” – Joni Williams in an exclusive interview with the Caribbean Current.
The first ever MEET UP event under the Hair Skin Love Jamaica brand will be held on the 25th of February, 2017 at the Liguanea Club 3-7pm. At this event, they are going to be teaching the basis of proper hair care as well as the knowledge you need as the foundation to get natural hair divas started in your own personal journey. There promises to be exciting prizes and surprises, including a gate prize by Ettenio, event prizes from Mais Farm, free make up by Norcars Traders, free skin analysis and facials by Ettenio, goody bags, discounts and deals from our amazing vendors, and much more. Not to mention an amazing, don’t want to miss, discussion with special guest speaker Jessica Hylton-Leckie from Jessica in the Kitchen.
“Our attendees can expect to get hair and skin consults, knowledge about practices that aid in length retention, interacting with others on the same journey, get hair products at special rates and giveaways.” – Georgina Johnson-Jones in an exclusive interview with the Caribbean Current
By Alexandra Daley