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Sheinelle Jones explains why she's embracing her natural hair on-air

We love her new look — and we love the reason behind it even more!
/ Source: TODAY

Since staying at home to prevent the spread of coronavirus, many of us have had to learn how to maintain our hair without those regular trips to the salon. (Or if you’re like my husband and my boys, you just let it go and let it grow!)

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. In our business, the demands of having our hair styled every morning can be a bit tough, so it never seemed like I had time to figure it out.

That’s where Takisha Sturdivant-Drew comes in! She styles celebrities like actress Kerry Washington, and I’ve always admired her work. The last time she was in 30 Rock, I mentioned to her that I wanted to learn how to style my natural hair when I had some down time.

Sheinelle Jones natural hair
I took the jump of wearing my natural hair on-air and I’m so glad I did.

Months passed until I looked in the mirror one day and thought, "I’m ready to try something new!" We video chatted and she walked me through what’s known as a “twist out,” a method of twisting hair piece-by-piece. 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.

I found the process of twisting little pieces one at a time a tad tedious, but also therapeutic at the same time. And I have to be honest: When I took out the twists Monday morning, I was really nervous!

In my head I thought, “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.

I took the jump and I’m so glad I did.

I did it for myself, but after reading the responses on social media, I also realized that the natural hair movement is much bigger than me. I’ve heard from so many women and girls who appreciated seeing someone on national TV who has similar hair texture to their own.

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.

Natural hair
That's me at around 6 years old.Sheinelle Jones

Now I love twisting my hair, but, trust me, I still love my blow dryer too. I love it all! But that’s the whole point, isn’t it? It’s all about the power of choice.

We talk to our kids about the power of personal expression. I think it’s important for adults to remember that we, too, can still find ways to express ourselves. I feel empowered. It’s important to know that we can embrace the way our hair comes out of our head naturally. You are beautiful just as you are. There’s power in that, for sure.