Sheinelle Jones Says She Was 'Really Nervous' to Embrace Her Natural Hair on the Today Show
"It’s definitely a 'step' that is long overdue for me personally," the 3rd Hour of Today co-host said
Today's Sheinelle Jones is getting candid about the emotional journey of embracing her natural hair texture on national television.
Normally when the 3rd Hour of Today co-host films each morning from NBC's headquarters in midtown Manhattan, she styles her naturally curly hair in a straight, blown-out style. "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," Jones, 42, said in an essay published on Today.com. "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."
But while Jones has been shooting the morning show remotely from her home due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, she decided that now was the perfect time to give it a shot. With the help of celebrity hairstylist Takisha Sturdivant-Drew, who works with everyone from Kerry Washington to Yara Shahidi, Jones tried a natural look and filmed herself styling it for a Today segment.
"We video chatted and [Takisha] 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 on the 3rd Hour of Today [see clip above]," Jones said.
Even though the co-host said she "found the process of twisting little pieces one at a time a tad tedious" she also discovered that while she doing the twist out method, it was "also therapeutic at the same time."
Jones added, "And I have to be honest: When I took out the twists Monday morning, I was really nervous!"
Despite her nerves, Jones fell in love with her new hairstyle. "I took the jump and I’m so glad I did," she said. But the process of embracing coily texture in the public eye was still an emotional experience for the star.
"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," Jones said of seeing women with natural hair texture on television. "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."
Now, Jones said she plans on adding her curly hair look to "the rotation of styles I like to wear throughout the week."
"It would’ve been kind of cool [when I was a little girl] 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.