"It’s definitely a 'step' that is long overdue for me personally," the 3rd Hour of Today co-host said

By Kaitlyn Frey
May 13, 2020 02:47 PM
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Credit: Sheinelle Jones/Instagram

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.

Credit: Nathan Congleton/NBCU

"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.