Behind every Black woman, is a woman she trusts with her hair. A stylist who tends to her tresses. Since the coronavirus, that has significantly changed. The absence of beauty services like simply going to the hairdresser to get a dye job has been put on indefinite pause. For Today show anchor Sheinelle Jones, that meant embracing her own hair while social-distancing. Jones recently opened up about how she’s transitioned into wearing her natural hair on-air while filming from home.
“I have always wanted to try wearing my hair in a natural hairstyle on the show, but I didn’t know how to do it,” the candid newscaster revealed in an article penned for TodayShow.com.
When you’re in the TV business, presenting yourself in the greatest manner is essential to your performance. Especially as a Black woman, in a society that tells us our natural hair is unkempt. Jones, having worked with many celebrity hairstylists over the years, tapped Takisha Sturdivant-Drew, who then taught her how to do a twist-out.
“We video chatted and she walked me through what’s known as a ‘twist out,’ a method of twisting hair piece-by-piece before going to sleep at night,” she explained. “You can watch our chat and her full tutorial Tuesday morning on the 3rd Hour of TODAY. She has great advice for managing your hair at home, no matter your hair type.”
It turned out to be a therapeutic process for Jones, who enjoyed twisting each strand before bed. She shared the technique on social media.
Like every other woman who did her first twist out and woke up the next morning anxious to see how it took, Jones was “nervous” to see her final hair do.
“Is it too curly? Did I do it right?” I was also a bit emotional because I realized, particularly as an African-American woman on network news, it’s not something you see often — and it’s definitely a ‘step’ that is long overdue for me personally. (At least to try it, and add it to the rotation of styles I like to wear throughout the week.) I felt obligated to call my executive producer before I went on-air — just to let her know that I was a bit nervous — and when we FaceTimed, her eyes lit up. She told me she loved it.”
Social media loved it too.
Jones reflected on the limited representation she saw of Black women wearing their natural hair when she was a little girl and felt inspired.
“I just looked at a picture of myself when I was a little girl. Wearing my natural hair at 42 years old, I see the same girl in the mirror. It would’ve been kind of cool back then to see someone on the news who had my hair, and I hope I can offer that to little brown girls I may never meet,” she said.
Read the full essay, here. .