June 09, 2014

Natural Hair Feature - Spotlight: Julie-Ann…

While browsing through Facebook one day, I saw one the of the best photographers in Barbados by the name of Himal Reece who posted this gorgeous photo of our feature today.
I was so blown away that I immediately sent her a message asking to feature her on 
Tomes Edition and she gracefully agreed. She was extremely sweet and responded to my emails in a timely manner.
Natural Hair Feature: Julie-Ann
[1]   How long have you been Natural?
      Julie-Ann: I’ve been natural all my life so that is 20+ years :)

[2]   How long have you been on your Healthy Hair Journey and What made you start?
       Julie-Ann: I can say the healthy hair journey really started maybe 3 years ago. I always          took care of my hair but not truly at the level I do now. I guess it started after I first saw          Laila of YouTube channel fusioncultures. Her hair routine really gave me incentive to pay greater attention to my hair.

Before & After her Healthy Hair Journey
[3]   Since the start of your journey what’s the most important thing you have learned thus far?          Would you change anything if you could?
       Julie-Ann: Conditioner is hair gold and to always comb my hair when it is damp. In the            past I never really conditioned my hair. I thought it was a waste of my time but boy was          I wrong. In the past I would just shampoo my hair and then towel dry it or use a blow 
       dryer and then style it. I lost a lot of hair due to breakage because my hair was so dry
       and also a lot of combs (they would break and go flying across the room). Now                      conditioning is a must when I wash my hair. It lends to easier manageability and 
       also saved the life of many combs too ;)

[4]   What is your Regimen?
       Julie-AnnMy Regimen is pretty simple. I use very little commercial products in my hair 
       and I can say from that decision my hair has grown a great deal and previous breakage
       is almost non-existent.  I wash my hair every two weeks and I give my hair a hot oil 
       treatment twice a month.  The hot oil treatment usually consists of coconut oil, olive oil 
       and castor oil.  I also do an apple cider rinse every once in a while to make sure my hair
       is cleansed thoroughly.  My styling depends on the mood I’m in and the time I have to 
      deal with my hair.  After washing my hair, I either apply homemade blend or my 
      whipped shea butter, which consist of coconut oil, sweet almond oil, rosemary oil and 
      olive oil.  After this my hair is usually done in two strand twist

Wash Day Process
[5]   Take us through a Typical Wash day & How long does it take?
        Julie-AnnA wash day for me can start with a hot oil treatment. I would divide my hair
       into 4 sections and apply the oil from scalp to ends. I then cover my head with grocery
       bag (my hair is too much to fit under a normal hair cap). I then wrap my head in a towel 
        for 10-15 minutes. After the time has passed, I wash my hair with Tresemme Naturals 
       Shampoo may be 2-3 times in lukewarm water to make sure the oils are thoroughly 
       removed from my hair. After shampooing I then condition with Tresemme Naturals
       Conditioner. I leave the conditioner in my hair for around 5- 8mintues to soften my hair.
       I then finger detangle my hair which takes about 20 minutes or more if my hair was  
       worn in a twist out before washing. 
       After finger detangling my hair I often used a wide tooth comb for a final detangle. 
       I would then rinse my hair in sections at this point because the conditioner has
       a tendency to leave some residue. My final rinse is with apple cider vinegar. This is 
       to help clean my hair completely and to also restore its ph balance.  I towel dry lightly 
       and apply oils while it is still damp. I apply my whipped Shea Butter mix individually 
       to my two strand twist which is most often the style I would do after washing my hair.  
       I keep a spray bottle close at hand with water to moisten my hair as my hair will 
      air dry during this process. This entire routine can take at least 3-5hours on a good day.

[6]   What is your current length and how long did it take you to get there?
       Julie-Ann: My hair is mid back length and took me about 3 years to get that length. 
       My hair was always a little past my shoulders growing up but due to my laid back 
       nature of my care routine they were plenty split ends. My hair didn't really reach the
       length it is now until I really paid greater attention to it.
Length Check - Mid-Back Length
[7]   What are your favorite products and why?
       Julie-Ann: As mentioned previously I try to use as little as possible commercial 
         products but they are few I can’t do without. Tresemme Naturals Shampoo and 
        Conditioner is a must have. Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Conditioner (When I can’t get 
        my hand on raw shea butter to whip) and Eco Styler Gel (to hold my two strand twist
        better when I intend to do a twist out).

[8]   Your progress is amazing, what’s the secret to your retention?
       Julie-Ann: Very little manipulation of my hair. I try to avoid any hair styles that may 
       involve me having to do too much with hair. I find corn row styles increase hair 
       breakage and I therefore just have a corn row style maybe once a year.

[9]   What are your favorite hairstyles?
       Julie-Ann: Two strand twist. I practically grew up with that one hair style. It will last 
       long with little up keep and because of this less hair breakage. This followed by the 
       twist out (obviously lol). After my twists get a little old I rock a twist out for a day 
       followed by a pony tail.
Two Strand Twists
[10]   What has been the hardest part of your natural hair journey and have you experienced 
         any setbacks?
        Julie-Ann: Well seeing I've been natural my life I've always seen my hair as wonderful.
         I do think my greater struggle is must I seal when I’m so sleepy and having to wear 
        hideous head scarfs that I often find next to me when I wake on mornings lol.

[11]   Describe your hair in 3 words?
        Julie-Ann: Beautiful, Wild, Bold.

[12]  Do you use heat? If Yes how often?
       Julie-Ann: Rarely, only when I need manageability (blow dryer after washing) because
        I’m too busy to style when damp. My hair is very thick prior to using the blow dryer 
       and blowing drying often reduces my styling time.

[13]   Have you ever used growth aids and do you still do?
       Julie-Ann: Rosemary oil. My temple hair was very thin at one point and I would 
        massage a little oil in my temple area. I don’t apply it directly to my temples now but it 
        is used throughout my hair, as it contained in whipped Shea butter.

[14]   Do you have a length goal and when do you expect to reach that goal?
        Julie-Ann: Yes, I’m trying to reach waist length hair. I think it is possible just have 
        dedicated some more time to my hair then I’m currently doing at the moment.
Julie-Ann Gorgeous Tresses
[15]   What tips or advice can you offer to other natural ladies who want to maintain or start a 
         healthy hair journey?
         Julie-Ann: Start by eating healthy. Applying all the best products to your hair and 
         not maintaining a healthy diet isn’t going to help your hair along.  Drink water, eat 
          fruits, vegetables and exercise a little. Try to reduce manipulating your hair as much 
         as possible. I always tell people look at persons with locs. Their hair shows that one’s
         hair is growing constantly. If you can reduce the manipulation then you reduce the 
         amount of breakage you might usually hair and might see a difference with your hair.

[16]   Where can we find you on the internet?
         Julie-Ann: http://naturalhighlights.tumblr.com/

Whenever I do decide to go natural, I’ll definitely be using Julie-Ann tips as her hair is so beautiful in every state I've seen it in. I hope you enjoyed meeting Julie-Ann. Head over and check her out.


  1. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous hair! Great feature. I enjoyed reading this

  2. She has gorgeous hair!!!

  3. Her hair is drop dead gorgeous!

  4. Such stunning hair, in love <3. Great post Tomes x

  5. Awesome post Tomi...her hair is simply FEROCIOUS!!

  6. Beautiful, breathtaking curls! Great feature.

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