Kathryn Jones, tell me a little about you? Were are you from, what do you do professionally and personally? What are you passionate about? And where are you going?
My name is Kathryn Jones and I guess you can say that I am a planted Texan. My father was in the military and we lived in places as cold as North Dakota, as hot as Florida and as far as England.
Professionally, I work as a behavior health specialist. I specialize in working with people (of all ages) who have severe behavioral problems. I’ve worked in the mental health and intellectual & developmental disability field for nearly 20 years. I am currently completing post graduate work at UNT in behavioral analysis.
1. You have this beautiful, full mane of natural hair, have you always worn it natural or did you take the “Return to natural” journey?
I took the “Return to natural” journey when it was NOT popular. I did the big chop in 2004 after a bad perm job. People thought I was crazy. I did a second big chop in 2011 when I cut off my dred locs.
2. When you transitioned to natural, what route did you take? How long has it taken you to transition to natural?
My head dresser, at the time, recommended that I go back to natural because my hair was not conducive to chemicals. For a year, I wore my hair in many different protective styles (cornrows, micro braids, crocheted hair) before I did the big chop to natural.
There are days that I just love my hair and then there are days where my hair has a mind of its own! I love that my hair is so versatile. I can have a teeny weeny curly afro, a blow out, and shoulder length flat ironed hair…all in the same day!
4. Secret Curl Society is about leading women and girls in embracing their hair in it’s natural state as this can help a woman accept her entire being. How do you relate to this?
I went to the grocery store after my first big chop and I felt uncomfortable wearing a TWA in public. I went home, looked in the mirror and thought “I cannot wear my hair like this to work”. I went out and bought my first flat iron that day and straighten my hair to conform to society. For the next several months I would style my hair from straighten hair to braided hair but never in the natural state. One day I woke up and decided to stop the nonsense.
I would agree that we are redefining beauty. I love the fact that Lupita Nyong’o, who is rocking her TWA on every red carpet, is on the cover of every magazine and redefining beauty. You don’t have to have light skin and “good hair” to be beautiful.
When I did the big chop my kids were in middle school and I clearly remember my son saying “you cut your hair” in a very nervous voice. Four years after my chop my son decided to grow dred locs and my daughter decided to go natural.
I think the next generation is already more accepting of the self than in my generation. My generation grew up in the perm and Jheri-curl era of conformity. Even still today I’ve had black colleagues at work who have said “I cannot believe you are wearing a Fro’ to work”. I have also run across males my age and older who have expressed their dislike of my natural hair. A lot of women today are still afraid to be natural.
8. What is your definition of beauty?
Truly, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Beauty should not be based on social parameters.
9. Do you think this movement has helped women grow to learn to love each other? Have you built new relationships with women simply by engaging in “hair talk?”
Yes, I have engaged in conversations with complete strangers about natural hair in every public setting.
Oh my goodness! My hair regiment is forever changing. Right now I am on this shea butter, coconut oil and water regiment. My hair is loving it!
10. Do you have any particular personal hair goals ( regarding, health, length or style?)
Right now I am trying to grow out the middle back section of my hair. My hair is extremely curly and delicate in that area.
11. What social media bloggers or natural hair gurus do you follow or have been inspired by?
I don’t have a particular blogger that I follow exclusively. I jumped around and read different perspectives.
You’re amazing than you for your perspective on your hair, beauty and this movement!