I’ve always had an interest in the beauty world growing up on Teen Vogue, Seventeen, and other beauty/fashion magazine. I just did not understand makeup, skin care, or hair care until the rise of Youtube. Faithfully after school, I watched beauty Youtubers such as Jackie Aina, Missy Lynn, Dulce Candy, and more; watching how they perfected their cat eyes and what products they used to enhance their beauty. I viewed makeup as art and a very special talent if done well. I began investing in my makeup collection and practicing makeup routines as if it were homework. As I got older, I dived more into learning skin care and natural hair care – all from Youtube University.
2 – Were there any internal motivational factors that helped you pursue this profession?
Definitely. I’ve struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember. More so social anxiety. I had extremely low confidence and cared too much how others perceived me. I was really tired of keeping myself down and I felt that I had to prove something to myself. I needed to find my purpose in this world and if I remained still out of fear, I’d never find that purpose. I would have never evolved into the strong woman I am today.
3 – When was the first moment you thought to yourself you wanted to get into visual content creation?
I was influenced by a long-time best friend to create a personal style blog. After two years of pushing myself to write content, I realized writing really wasn’t for me. I enjoyed the creative videos I’d see my favorite YouTubers create and I felt that I needed to be more creative with the way I presented myself. I went back to Youtube University and invested a lot of my time into learning how to use my Canon T3i (the camera I had at the time) and how to video edit with Final Cut Pro. It took some time for me to master it, but it was so worth it.
4 – Why did you think it was important to get into content creation for natural-haired women?
I paid a lot of attention to the natural hair community once it boomed. After my third and final attempt at going natural, I noticed that I could not find many YouTubers and bloggers within the community with 4C hair to get advice from. Soon after that caught my attention, I came across a meme implying that 4C hair was unattractive and looser curl patterns were more beautiful. That meme lit a fire under my ass. There was a void in the natural hair community and I was compelled to be one of the 4C naturalists to fill it. Many black women with 4C hair feel that their hair is unappealing and unmanageable. I need them to understand that their hair is not an issue, it just requires a little more love. It is beautiful coils, unique and versatile, and the definition of natural volume.
5 – For the people who aren’t too informed, what are the different types of hair and how would one find out which hair type they are? Also, how would one find decent products that are great enough for their hair type?
I’m actually really excited that you asked this because I recently had a conversation with a product developer in which I learned that there is more than one way to determine curl patterns. One way your curl type can be determined is by the shape of your follicles. Apparently, the flatter or more oval shaped your follicles, the more curly it is. The more circular, the straighter the hair. I thought that was pretty cool, but who is really using a magnifying glass to identify their curl pattern? The way we usually determine our pattern is by the shape of our strands; is it kinky, coily, wavy, or curly? We use a little system to determine curl texture; 1-4C; 1s are straight, 2s are wavy, 3s are curly, and 4s are coily. The A-C sub-classifications are identified by the width or diameter of your wave, curl, or coil pattern. Wider pattern sizes are considered As, Bs are medium, and C is the smallest. It’s easier to identify your pattern when it’s soaking wet. I should say patterns because most of us textured girls have more than one curl pattern. When you know your curl texture, it’s easier to understand how you should care for your care. I noticed that looser curl patterns work well with water-based products. My curl type… not so much. Type 3s are more susceptible to frizzing and can get dry, so anti-frizz and ultra moisturizing products work well for their hair. Type 4 hair needs to be moisturized frequently because it is naturally dry. It is also very prone to major shrinkage. Every curl type has different properties that require different care. I think it’s best that those with textured hair test out various natural hair routines to see what works best for them!
6 – From looking through your Instagram, you’re consistently posting new videos of different hairstyles, hair, and facial products you use for visual presentations. What’s your process like when choosing which brands to showcase? Secondly, how do you ensure these products are safe for your skin and your particular type of hair?
I regularly post brands that I love to use and actually deliver the results they promise, especially if they are black-owned. However, I do get a lot of inquiries from brands looking for content and exposure. When deciding whether to work with/test a new brand, I consider their ingredients, reviews, professionalism, and whether their social platforms are inclusive. Honestly, if I don’t see a single black person on their platform, why should I work with them or consider them inclusive? I don’t want to work with a brand who excludes my kind in their social marketing. To be safe, I usually test new products on a small area of my skin or on a small section of hair. The last thing I want to do is ruin my most favorite features. I am not acne prone and do not have any allergies, at least that I am aware of so that leaves a bit of a bigger window of products I am willing to try. And if the product is 100% organic or vegan, I’m not so afraid to go all in right away. I’ve tested many hair care routines to determine the best regimen, so I know what works for my hair and what doesn’t. I know that I’ll never deny organic products that contain honey and/or avocado in it and I know that I’ll probably always deny a product that is too water based because my hair most likely will not find it moisturizing enough for my super kinky, thick hair. I share what works for me and I try to be as transparent as possible whether I am paid for promo or not while always reminding my followers and subscribers that what might work for me may not work for them; what doesn’t work for me may work for them.
7 – How has social media help catapult your profession? Secondly, what do you think are some pros and cons of social media when it comes to the beauty and cosmetic business?
There are all types of people with all kinds of interests using social media daily. Whether your field is oversaturated, there is still an audience for you if you can give what the people are looking for. Once I leveled up my consistency and spoke more on my natural hair as I learned more about my 4C hair, platforms focused on natural hair and black beauty began to repost my content and I received many opportunities because of that exposure. I’ve worked with brands I’ve looked up to for a long time and I feel extremely blessed. While social media can benefit your brand in so many ways, there are many ways why social media can be harmful. I’ve witnessed many with big platforms use their influence to spread hate and things that are untrue. Many people just eat it up and begin to spread the same content themselves. As easily as people can spread hatred, they can spread depression and internal conflict. For example, there was a time where texture discrimination was all the rage via Instagram and Twitter. Belittling women who shared my hair texture and making them feel that their hair should be straightened or they have to be a mixed woman to be considered beautiful. Luckily, there are women of color who work to build other women of color up and reverse those negative outcomes one day at a time. We can thank social media for giving them a platform to do so. Ultimately, I believe that social media sparks unhealthy comparisons, especially in those who are still deciding on the right path to take and building their own confidence. Even I fall a victim to it sometimes. Every now and then I have to take a break from social media to keep my mental health intact.
8 – What type of inspiration do you want your particular type of content to have on women being that some people frown upon women who wear their hair natural?
Firstly, I believe the only people who frown upon women who wear their natural hair are either racist or ignorant. Therefore, their opinions do not matter. On another note, I generally strive to make other women of color be comfortable in their skin; to be comfortable being their natural selves. I create a lot of content on hair and skincare, but within that content, I hope women are noticing how comfortable I am being me. I curse, I’m loud, I’m goofy, I dance 24/7 and I cannot help but be me. I grew tired of caring how others viewed me and I want every one of my viewers to stop caring, too. Ultimately, I need my 4C queens to have pride in their hair texture. We have been the butt of the joke for too long. I need my kinky, coily girls to show the fuck off!
9 – What type of advice was given to you that you still value today? What advice would you give to an aspiring visual content creator and/or the upcoming beauty and cosmetic blogger?
“Do it scared.” Truthfully, I am an anxious person and sometimes I may feel compelled to say “no” to certain opportunities just to avoid my fear of failing and the anxiety it would cause. I am speaking in my first panel-discussion this weekend and I am practically shaking in my boots; afraid that I will embarrass myself or my social anxiety will make its debut. But guess what? I’m going to do it anyway. I remember this term whenever an opportunity knocks or I see an opportunity to knock on opportunities’ door. Every time I face my fear of failure, I immediately feel more powerful and more alive no matter the outcome. It will always be worth it.
My advice to anyone looking to pursue a career as a content creator or blogger is consistency is key and make sure that you put quality into your work. I’ve been creating content for nearly five years and just a year ago I was able to move a step forward in my career. I simply started putting out content more consistently. I made schedules and lists of ideas to keep myself on track. That minor change made such a big difference. To be clear, when I mentioned “quality”, I am not suggesting that you go out and buy the most expensive camera or only work with the best of the best. Take advantage of the resources you have and the resources you can get your hands on, but most importantly be informative and detailed. Know your shit. Care more about how your content can be of assistance to someone rather than how much views it can get. You can create a video on your phone in the living room with kids in the background while the audio and video don’t even match, but as long as it inspires, informs, and accurately conveys what the content aimed to do, viewers will enjoy it anyway.
10 – What can we expect from Jaynelle Nicole as we approach the second quarter of the year? Any big surprises coming at all in 2019?
I’m knocking out goals this year. I’ve made big plans and I’m working really hard to bring my ideas to full fruition. Currently, I am working on a project that doesn’t directly pertain to content creation and I’m actually really happy to be putting some of my focus elsewhere. I do not want to get into details about it yet. However, I can tell you that I am hoping to discuss more important issues on my platform this year such as mental health and other non-beauty topics that women can relate to.