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Friday, April 26, 2013

Jayah's Journey to Discovering the Beauty of her Natural Hair....


Nappturally Chic Jere: So Jayah, tell me about your hair before going natural. How did you feel when you first relaxed your hair?
Jayah Andre: Prior to going natural, my hair was relaxed for more than half my life. My very first relaxer was at the age of 11 or 12 & that was after sporting a jerry curl at 9 years old, lol! I remember the summer before entering the 5th grade; my mom finally gave in & allowed my sister & I to get our hair relaxed.  I loved it & felt as though, it made me prettier; from then on, I had no real issues or complaints about my relaxed hair. As I became older, I was getting frustrated with the relaxing process, due to chemical burns & an itchy, dry flakey scalp!



NCJ: When and why did you decide to go natural? 

JA: I began to transition & return to natural in 2009, but this was not a conscious effort as I explain to many women who inquire about my hair journey. I basically developed an obsession with sew-in protective styles.  My relaxer began to grow out significantly & honestly I forgot that my hair isn’t naturally straight (LOL!!) I wore these types of protective styles from 2010 through 2012 with mini breaks between installments; I didn’t feel the need to relax my hair between styles because I was wearing my hair under full sew-ins.  By the end of 2009, I decided that I would no longer relax my hair & thought maybe I should try this “natural thing” out.

NCJ: Wow, so you unconsciously transitioned out of relaxers by wearing sew-ins, I wish I would have thought of that… Did you have to do a big Chop?

JA: I initially had the idea to slowly transition out while keeping protective sew-in styles in, between installments however, I became frustrated with dealing with two types of hair textures & one night, I grabbed a pair of scissors & cut off all the relaxed portions of my hair, thus, my “big chop”.

NCJ: Cutting your hair by yourself must have taken a lot of courage, what was your biggest fear about going natural?

JA: Wow, this is a good one; well at first I had numerous fears & found myself rather overwhelmed.  I was fearful of how I would look in my natural tresses, because my relaxed straight hair had become a part of my identify for so many years. I was also fearful of how men, even women would look at me, “will they think I’m unattractive with my kinky, coily & frizzy hair?”  “How will I maintain, or style my hair on daily basis?”  “What will they think of me at my work?” All these kinds of notions & fears ran through my mind frequently!
NCJ: I can definitely relate, I’m sure most of my readers had the same questions and thoughts running through their minds. How did you overcome your fears/concerns?                                                                                                                            
JA: I think what helped me through this time of uncertainty was developing hair inspirations & looking at videos on YouTube, researching & exploring blogs, forums, and  online communities. These platforms honestly helped me realized that I should not be uncomfortable with how my hair naturally grows out of my head.  It just clicked for me one day & made sense; never looked back from then on.

NCJ: I love the moment of the acceptance and embrace of your natural hair. So, what are your favorite styles and favorite products?

JA: My favorite & go-to style is definitely a two-strand twist out, because it’s a 2-in-1 style &I’m all about anything multi-purpose ! I’m beginning to really like wearing high, slicked-up buns, cute yet chic. My favorite products are any essential oils (especially lavender, peppermint & vanilla,) my homemade shea butter mix & my oil mixture as far as styling, moisturizing & sealing.  I love the Giovanni direct leave-in (for moisturizing & styling) & their deep moisture or tea tree conditioner for co-washing.  As for cleansing, I love, love the Terressentials Organic Mud Wash!! I don’t cleanse with anything else at this point & I’m completely poo-less. I deep condition with olive oil & honey for super soft & shiny hair!!
NCJ: Some advice you would give to other new naturals or those thinking of going natural.

JA: My advice to those newbies or those who are thinking of returning to natural would be to do your own research; what works for me or other naturals might not work specifically for you & your hair type. Second, try not to get overwhelmed with the plethora of products marketed to us, keep it simple & remember the LOC method (liquid, oil, and conditioner/crème) and that’s it!  Lastly, “hair envy” can make this journey a bit maddening if you allow it to, take the time learn & know the hair on your head & enjoy it! :)


NCJ: Beautiful Advice! What is the biggest lesson you learned about yourself and your hair through your journey. 

JA: I’ve learned many lessons through my hair journey; I’m much more self-assured in who I am as a woman like never before. Furthermore, the biggest lesson learned, I would have to say is acceptance; I have become much more accepting of who I am as I become more accepting of my hair in its natural state.  This is me, what I was born with, and I like it.



NCJ: Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. Your journey is truly inspirational and your hair is absolutely motivational. Thanks for reminding us that natural hair is beautiful, chic, perfect, and just as God intended it to be!

Find some hair inspiration by Jayah on Instagram: jayah_aka_thecatlady
Hugs and Love,

Jeré

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