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Beyond Just Hair – Meet Jade Kendle

By Tiffany Thomas
Posted On May 20, 2016
Beyond Just Hair – Meet Jade Kendle

“Going Natural” has been on numerous women’s to-do list whether it’s to achieve a new look or get over a breakup.

Big chops, braid outs, bantu knots, co-washes, and detangling are all terms the natural community has coined when speaking of their hair. The trend still has women in a frenzy who all want to get rid of their relaxer in hopes of regaining their rightful curl pattern.

One of the first things a woman transitioning to natural will do is show you tons of pictures of other women who they are undoubtedly amazed by.

One such naturalista is Jade Kendle, a full-time digital influencer who is currently making strides in the beauty community with her curly locks. While she is mostly known for her curly hair tips, tricks, and advice, Jade has been branching out by creating more lifestyle content.


New You had the pleasure of getting to know Jade beyond her hair. She touched on everything from her favorite hair products to her educational background to the message she wants to spread that she feels every woman should know. New You: What inspired you to start a YouTube channel? Jade Kendle: I first started my YouTube channel in 2011, and initially, I wanted to just have a platform to express myself. I had been watching other women on their natural hair journeys and saw a lot of women with different hair types and was trying to use all the different techniques to create something that would work with my hair because being bi-racial, my hair is kind of in the middle. It’s really thick, but it’s also soft at times. It’s fine, but I have a lot of hair. So there are a lot of things that I could learn from women with looser textures, and then women with kinkier textures that would work for me. So that’s what I wanted to do, and I wanted to share the discovery and exploration of my own hair with other women because I knew that if I was having trouble trying to find things that worked best with my hair, then there has to be other women who did also. NY: And is that the main focus of your channel? Is it strictly about hair or do you explore other topics? JK: Recently I’ve been branching out into travel, so I’m trying to also do content focused on travel and lifestyle. So I definitely want to branch out beyond just hair. But again, hair goes over all aspects of life, whether that be how you’re feeling in the morning when you wake up or when you are traveling in terms of what to do with your hair, protective styling or how to find that right products that will last you for two to three weeks. Even health – our hair dictates when we workout because you don’t want to sweat out our hairstyles. So hair really transcends us, especially for women of color across different platforms of our lives. That’s how I want to expand my brand. Not necessarily just doing tutorials and product reviews, but also seeing how hair is incorporated within the rest of your life, whether that be in travel, whether that be in health and wellness, or self-esteem.


NY: Why do you think the beauty community on YouTube has grown so much in the last few years?

JK: Honestly, I think it’s because people have realized the power of it. It’s like a hybrid of marketing because in marketing, you know word of mouth always trumps everything else – billboards, magazine ads, and so on. It always trumps everything, but what happens now with YouTube and blogging is that not only do you get to expose people to different techniques and products, but you’re also building a relationship. So even if I don’t know all of my subscribers, all of my subscribers feel like they know me. They feel like I’m their friend, they feel like I’m their sister. So if I tell them to go buy something or tell them to go try something, they’re going to do it because word of mouth. But I don’t have to actually know them personally to have that relationship, and that’s why I feel like YouTube has just expanded so much.

I don’t know if necessarily everyone can see that aspect of it, but I think that’s what makes it work. We’re building relationships with each other online, and virtually that would not have been built any other way because there’s no possible way I could connect with 150,000 people across the world as my own person. But it’s so easily done via the internet, so I think people have noticed that, and they’ve realized that there is so much information out there.

NY: Is there anything you do outside of YouTube or do you consider yourself a full-time digital influencer?

JK: So just recently–actually as of last week, I’m a full-time influencer. But prior to, I’ve been in school. I just finished my master’s degree in education policy and leadership with a focus in higher education. I was also working at the campus that I was getting my master’s degree at. I was working in multicultural and diversity and inclusion work, so I worked specifically with minority students, working in social justice, and talking about hard subjects like race, sex, and class. My background is in education; my undergrad degree is in development and family studies, so I’ve always been very people-oriented, which I think is why I work so well with YouTube. It extends beyond YouTube because I love doing events. I love actually getting to know people and understanding what it means to them to see their hair in different states. Hair goes so deep for us as women. It’s so much more than just a tutorial or a product for me, and that’s why I love what I do because I get to tap into that. I get to use the things that I’ve learned via education and via the classes that I’ve taken about understanding people that I can pull into my craft as an influencer. But I am officially a full-time YouTuber, which is a new thing – a new part of my life now.


NY: Now that you’ve graduated, what was your ultimate goal with that particular degree? JK: Initially I was planning on going into higher education and working in administration and student affairs. I had a lot of experience working in student activities, so essentially my goal before was to become a vice president of student affairs. But that has obviously changed a bit because I want to do what I’m doing now for life. Not necessarily always be an influencer, but using this platform to expand into other things. I love working with college-aged students. That’s my passion and where I feel as though I make the biggest impact with people, so I could see myself teaching a class later on down the line on social media, branding, small businesses, or doing different programs like consultation. Right now I’m not really using my degree so to speak, but indirectly I am because there are a lot of things I learned in my program that help me do my job well as an influencer. NY: I know you’ve been a part of numerous hair events. Tell us more about how you started being involved in that and has any particular event stood out to you? JK: I started doing natural hair events back in 2014. My first event was a meet up that I organized. Back then I hadn’t really heard about natural hair events, but I knew YouTubers did meet ups so I used that and it turned into a natural hair event because I got brands to sponsor it. I was then reached out to by a brand to sit on a panel for an event. I had an extensive background in public speaking, so I voiced that to people that I knew. I told them I wanted to do events and connect with people. After doing numerous panels, it sparked my interest to do my tour last year. I did my Curls over Brunch nationwide tour last year. We went to seven cities; sold out all of the cities except one. That was an amazing experience because I got to really connect with my subscribers and my followers on a different level. It was such an amazing experience to get to know them beyond just hair. While we did talk about products, we also shared our life stories and experiences that we had and how hair was interconnected in all these things that we do. That was probably the biggest impact on me as a person and as an influencer on why I want to continue doing what I’m doing because just connecting with people is what I live for really. NY: Speaking of connecting with people, is that your main source of motivation to keep you going? JK: Of course, it’s definitely the people. It’s also the understanding of how I could be a role model to young girls, to women. I really see a lot in the media, a lot in our world that is negative, that tells you that if you’re pretty you have to be dumb, if you’re pretty you have to be a gold digger, if you’re ugly that’s when you can be smart because that’s all you have. Society tells us that we have to be one or the other. You can’t be this and that. Well, I want people to know that you can be this and that, you can be intelligent and beautiful. You can be intelligent, beautiful, humble, compassionate, encouraging, and genuine. That’s what I want to show people. And that’s what keeps me going because I know it’s my purpose in life to show people that you can be anything you want to be regardless of the contrary message that society sends out. I want to be that person, that role model that shows “wow! This girl can do it, why can’t I?” NY: What do you enjoy the most about your job? JK: I love connecting with the people. I love going to events and connecting with people and being able to build relationships with brands that make brands feel real and not like these random cloud in the sky, like third party, as if you never touch them and they never touch you. So I like building that bridge between the consumer and the brand because that’s what my job is – to essentially close that gap between what the people want and what the people need versus what the brand is going to give and what they are willing to do to keep those people coming back over and over and over again to buy their products or whatever. So I love being like that mender, that bridge builder in that scenario. NY: Here at New You, we focus a lot on beauty so what beauty products are your ultimate must haves? JK: I would say a great face moisturizer. Right now, my favorite is the Glossier priming moisturizer. I love it so much! Also, my Anastasia Beverly Hills lip-gloss butterscotch. It’s so amazing! Oh my gosh! It’s the perfect muted pink gloss, and it’s the perfect texture. It’s everything! NY: Seeing that you specialize in natural hair, we’re going to wrap up with a New You round of hair trivia   NY: Must-have hair products for curly hair? JK: Coconut Oil and a Denman brush, for sure. NY: Must have product for straightening your hair? JK: Any intense cream treatment you can use when blow drying your hair. It will work as a heat protector to put on before you blow your hair out to prevent any kind of damage. NY: Favorite protective style? JK: My Senegalese twists, for sure!


NY: And lastly, what’s your best bad hair day hack?

JK: My head turban. Take a scarf and create a turban. Easy!

Connect with Jade!