What is your name and what city do you rep? My Name is Jo Michelle, and I rep Tampa/Orlando FL!

So, what’s your hair story? I’ve been natural for a little over 3 years. I transitioned for only three months and big chopped in November 2009. Finding the right products that enhanced my hair texture was a bit of an obstacle. Once I found products I loved, I stuck to them. When I first big chopped, I was shocked by my new appearance, but I had researched for so many months prior that I embraced my new look! As a child I just remember always wanting long curly or straight hair. As soon as my mom said it was okay, I raced to the salon to get a relaxer as 12 years old. I loved the long silky hair until it started to fall out, and each year I had to rock a shorter and shorter cut. I just remember hating getting my hair done and not feeling as pretty as the mixed girls with their long shiny hair. Sad.

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My father always was an advocate for keeping my sister and my hair natural. He thought relaxers were senseless. I don’t remember every being embarrassed by my hair texture, I just remember thinking I would look so much prettier if others could see how long it REALLY was without being coiled up! When I got my first hot comb as age 10, you couldn’t tell me nothing!! My hair was down my back. I figured if I got a relaxer, then that is how it will ALWAYS look. I didn’t know the chemicals would slowly eat away at my hair strands!


I decided I was going to rock my natural texture when I realized I didn’t feel comfortable leaving the house without a weave in my hair! I thought to myself, “You’re 19 years old. This is a time when you should be show casing your natural beauty, not wearing fake hair everyday!” So I big chopped right after high school without researching how my hair was going to look, how to care for it, nothing! Needless to say, I permed it three months later,and was rocking my “Halle” O_o. Hated it. Then I wore braids for about 7 months, and big chopped AGAIN! But this time, I put a TEXTURIZER in my hair (which is basically a mild relaxer) and a permanent box color. I looked a hot mess. This was my worse hair mistake ever. So I relaxed AGAIN! This time I stayed relaxed for a full year and was wearing weaves 24/7 thinking I was “protective styling”. I tried to grow my relaxed hair out, but my hair felt like STRAW! I hated that. Then one day I discovered Youtube videos!!!! Natural hair information mecca. Chopped for the third time, and haven’t looked back since.


What are your staple products? Three years later, my staple products are Herbal Essence Long Term Relationship Conditioner, Carols Daughter Conditioner (ANY one) and Coconut Oil. Simple, but it works for ME. I wash my hair about three times a month and I condition every time. I let my hair air dry overnight in big braids after detangling in the shower. (Stretching technique)Then the next day I dry set my hair using medium sized twist and cold perm rods at the ends. I like the volume and length this method gives me!


Do you have any problem areas that require special care or attention?  My edges are so thin, it’s irritating! I’m too lazy to focus on nurturing them back though. I will take Biotin one of these days.

What’s your fave way to wear your hair? My Favorite Styles are a high bun and a big twist out. MY tips to handling natural hair is to always detangle while wet, and pay attention to your ENDS while setting your hair. This is the most important part of achieving your desired style. I’m a professional makeup artist for MAC Cosmetics, and my coworkers absolutely love my hair. I think that society in general is a lot more open to natural styles now.


Do you have any hair crushes? My hair crush goes by the name of Chime, Edwards to be exact! I love Lisa Bonet also! You can find me on Youtube.com/Loveislandbeauty and Instagram @lovejomichelle. Email me Jomichellemua@gmail.com if You would like me to do your makeup! Orlando, FL based. Will travel!