Welcome to the first of many Naturals International live on Google Hangout and YouTube. If you follow my blog The Natural Travelista you may be aware that most of my topics focus on Natural Hair and travel, but I wanted to find a way to talk about natural hair with an international influence and thats when I thought of “Naturals International” Talking to naturals from other countries and getting another perspective on natural hair other than that of the U.S. For this first event, we won’t have a question and answer section but feel free to leave some feedback in the comments section if you feel that is a feature you would like to see. Also, please leave feedback on what you liked and what you would like to see differently for next time. There will also be a written transcript of this video on my blog TheNaturalTravelista.blogspot.com in case you missed some of the questions or you would just like to continue the conversation. So lets jump right in. Today's guest is Jalessa Talloway!
Where you are from?
I'm from the Netherlands (born and raised), but my roots are in Suriname. Suriname is a former colony of the Netherlands in South America. That's why most black people in the Netherlands are from Suriname, or from the Dutch Antilles ( still a colony).
What languages are spoken in your country?
Dutch, with a few dialects here and there.
How do you say the following words in the Dutch language?
Natural Hair- natuurlijk haarCoarse Hair- kroes haar
Shrinkage- There is no direct translation for "shrinkage"
Example: My hair shrinks when its drying= Mijn haar krimpt wanneer het droogt
Why did you decide to go natural?
I decided to go natural because I was in a point in my life where I felt the need to be myself, not 70 or 80% but 100%. I was going through some lifestyle changes and stopping with hiding behind my relaxed hair was one of them. I was also curious how healthy and long my hair could be without all those relaxers and weaves. It was in really bad shape, so that made the threshold to go natural smaller.
How is Natural hair viewed in your country?
Most Dutch people actually like natural hair, but it's a mystery to them at the same time. They seem to admire the many possibilities and are simply baffled by it. Of course, there are plenty of people who think it's just weird and ugly. But those are the ones who simply keep quiet about it. I still see more black women with weaves than with their natural hair, but there's certainly increasing awareness about kinky hair care.
What are your favorite products? Anything unique to The Netherlands?
My favorite products are water, Cantu Shea butter leave-in, Eco styler gel, Cantu Coconut Curling Cream and my whipped shea butter mix. These are the products I need to keep my hair moisturized and defined. But...I can also do that with just water and my whipped shea butter mix. I've had my little product junkie phase and luckily I'm over it after all those products I tried. My hair is happy as long as it's moisturized and sealed in, everything else feels like a luxury ( which I do love! ).
What is men’s perception of natural hair in your country?
I'm not quite sure but this is what I've been noticing: One group prefers black women with their natural hair, and the others don't really seem to have a preference. Then there is the smaller group that prefers sleek hair on women instead of afro textured hair. I think because sleek hair is more "mainstream". But there is an increase of natural haired women in the Dutch media. I'm loving that trend!
What hairstyles are considered “trendy” around you?
I see a lot of buns at the moment but also a lot of puffs. Probably because buns and puffs are so quick and easy to do. But I practically see every natural hair style there is around me. The ladies here are embracing their natural hair texture more and more!
What is the toughest thing you’ve had to deal with when it comes to your natural hair?
The toughest thing would have to be my battle against dry hair. I had to realize (and remember!) that our hair is naturally drier than other textures. Combating dry hair became much easier after that. My hair is thick and kinky so it needs thick and heavy oils and conditioners.
Anything else/how can people connect with you?
Stay confident with wearing your natural hair texture. It's what makes you unique!
Here is the recording from today's Live Event!