Learn about natural hair on your own. With Google, nothing is really a mystery. If you are curious about natural hair, do some research.
No judgement zone. In no way, shape, or form should the way a woman wears her hair be cause for judgement, or have anything to do with her qualifications.
It hurts. Women already face sexism in the workplace, without having to be told their natural hair is not acceptable.
As a part of our series about “Five Things You Need To Understand About Hair Discrimination” I had the pleasure of interviewing Jamila Powell.
Mother, Attorney and entrepreneur, Jamila Powell, has turned her passion for hair and self-care into a business. No stranger to beauty, Jamila is the owner of Maggie Rose Salon — one of the top texture salons in the country. While running Maggie Rose, Jamila discovered which ingredients work best on all textures of hair which led her to launch Naturally Drenched — a vegan haircare brand catered toward all men and women seeking a natural, healthy and eco-conscious hair product.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a bit of your childhood backstory and how you grew up?
I have been blessed to grow up in an amazing household with two very loving parents that taught me a lot about hard work, and determination. I am the youngest of three girls, and my middle sister has cerebral palsy. I believe seeing my sister’s determination, and my family’s commitment to her has shaped my desire to have a positive impact on anybody I come in contact with, a priority. I was born in Columbus, Ohio, but was raised in Ellicott City, Maryland. There was not much diversity where I lived, but my parents made sure I was confident in who I was, and made sure to find and build a community that was comfortable for me.
Can you tell us a story about what inspired you to become a natural hair advocate?
I have been natural for over ten years now. I don’t think I knew I was becoming an advocate, until I was already one. I stopped relaxing my hair because I didn’t like the chemical burns and irritation of the scalp after receiving relaxers. It was more of a personal change. Then, when my hair started to bloom, I fell in love, and wanted everyone to see the beauty of their natural curls. That’s when I decided to segway into natural hair.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Launching my hair care line, Naturally Drenched, has been the most interesting. I love using all of the skills I have learned to actually build something with more structure. It’s nice to learn from the mistakes I’ve made in the past, to build something successful.
As an influencer, you have been blessed with great success in a career path that many have attempted, but eventually gave up on. In fact perhaps most people who tried to follow a career path like yours did not succeed. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path but know that their dreams might be dashed?
The beauty industry can be difficult, but like any other business you have to make your mind up to do it. I’ve made so many mistakes along the way, and have learned some really hard lessons. There are many times I have wanted to give up, but my passion never lets me quit. The best advice is that whatever comes your way, you can figure it out.
Can you share 3 ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”? (Please share a story or example for each.)
- Find out what makes you feel beautiful. I’m not a girly girl who loves makeup and dressing up. I love Netflix, brunch, the spa, and of course my eight-year-old daughter. I think finding out what makes you tick is the most important part of feeling beautiful from the inside out.
- Sometimes you don’t have to go all out, it’s the simple things. I love mixing up a mud mask and applying it to my face. It’s super relaxing, and a fun activity to do with my daughter.
- Treat yourself! There is nothing like a spa treatment. I love a great massage, getting my hair done, or a mani/pedi.
Can you share with our readers some of your techniques to style natural hair?
There are so many techniques to style natural hair, it’s really hard to pick one. A personal favorite of mine is the wash and go. This style allows you to embrace your curls and really rock them. The foundation of this look is knowing what products work for your hair, from shampoo to styling. I always say you can’t go wrong with a great moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. Then, depending on your texture, you apply product to small areas of hair to define the curls. You can air dry your curls, or use a diffuser.
Can you share some of your techniques about how to best maintain natural hair?
A regular routine is top priority for healthy natural hair. We suggest you trim your ends every three to four months, and shampoo and condition your hair every three to four days. I also think keeping a journal is key to documenting if your routine is working.
Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Can help articulate to our readers your “Five Things You Need To Understand About Hair Discrimination”. If you can please share a story or example, for each.
- Hair discrimination is commentary or behavior that identifies a difference. It is still discrimination if it comes from a negative or positive position, or a place of ignorance. In the workplace it is not uncommon for co-workers to comment on how natural hair might look similar to a cartoon character, or comment on the frequency of how natural women change their hair, or how they achieved a particular style.
- Normalize natural hair being just that — natural. A major part of the problem is natural hair not being considered mainstream. Women should have the freedom to wear their hair the way they like.
- Learn about natural hair on your own. With Google, nothing is really a mystery. If you are curious about natural hair, do some research.
- No judgement zone. In no way, shape, or form should the way a woman wears her hair be cause for judgement, or have anything to do with her qualifications.
- It hurts. Women already face sexism in the workplace, without having to be told their natural hair is not acceptable.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
If you don’t like where you are then move. You are not a tree. You always have to be able to pivot. Nothing in business stays the same, so you always have to pay attention to what is going on so you can be proactive, and not reactive.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you’d like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this. 🙂
Oprah. I completely admire her work ethic and ability to change with the times. I think it would be an honor to see how she runs her empire.
How can our readers follow you online?
I can be found at www,maggierosesalon.com, or www.naturallydrenched.com.
Thank you so much for this. This was very inspirational, and we wish you only continued success!