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Jahla // Natural Hair Style Icon

• Sep 24, 2011

*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally

Introduce yourself!
J: My name is Jahla and I live in Olympia, Washington. I’m an artist and I own a small screen print business called Le BayBay based in Olympia.

Rainbow, Party, Pop best describes my style, and I use fabulous finds as my canvases to create unique pieces of wearable art. I vend the clothing I print at indie arts & craft events, mostly around the northwest. I also have an Etsy shop.

Why did you make the decision to go natural?
J: Growing up, I’ve always been encouraged by my mom, family and friends to keep my hair natural because my hair is really curly. I’m from a mixed family and everyone in my family has curly hair so there wasn’t ever pressure on me to use a relaxer. The first 13 years of my life my mom braided my hair to keep it manageable. When I started taking care of my own hair there were a lot of awkward years filled with wacky, misguided hairstyle attempts and hair gel. Ultimately, I was afraid of what my hair would do without my permission.

When and how did you transition into natural hair?
J: In 2008 after frying and dyeing my hair repeatedly, I relaxed my hair for the first time and I immediately regretted getting rid of my curls. Actually, at the time I didn’t know anything about relaxers and was devastated (and embarrassed at my ignorance) upon finding out the effects were permanent. December ’08 I decided without a doubt, it was time to start fresh. My mom took out the clippers and gave me and my little brother the same ¾” haircut.

In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
J: Watching my hair grow back into an untamable, massive tree has been amazing; my confidence has grown with every hair growth stage. I had no idea I could grow a huge Halloween store wig and I love it! Letting my hair curl the way it wants to curl without any styling products or artificial color has been extremely liberating, and a relief that nature is on my side!

How would you describe your hair?
J: I’m a jet-brunette. My hair is extremely thick, soft, and the curls range from large ringlets to tiny corkscrews and double helixes. The days I shower my hair is tame, mostly ringlets like a Slash, 80s rocker wig. By day three the curls are looser and form an afro.

What is your regimen?
J: My hair is almost unmanageable and I only brush through it once a week while I’m in the shower. I can’t get a brush through it unless it’s under running water. I only use conditioners/shampoos for curly and natural hair, like Motions or Pantene. I also like Shea Butter moisturizers for deep conditioning, and Johnson & Johnson’s no more tangles to re-curl frizz. I always let my hair air-dry to prevent heat damage and my hair dries quickly on its own anyway. Honestly, I’m still getting to know my curls and still have a bit to learn about natural hair care.

What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
J: Besides dyeing and relaxing, my biggest mistake was waiting so long to cut my hair to get to know my fro. I’m from a predominately white area of the US and as a kid I was concerned I’d stand out uncomfortably. Now I’m grown and I’ve learned that my lack of confidence in the unknown and myself only held me back. Everyone I’ve encountered loves a healthy head of natural hair, including me! Especially me.

What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
J: My hair loves a deep conditioning. After a shower I keep in the conditioner, braid it or put it in a bun and keep it in over night. My hair also responds well to periodic hair trims, one-a-day vitamins and fish oil supplements. I generally avoid styling products (personal preference), heat and picking at tangles when my hair is dry.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
J: My art blog (includes links to all my online endeavors): http://jahlaluv.blogspot.com/. My tumblr (ft. my hair portfolio, or know as my hairfolio): http://brojahblahblah.tumblr.com/.

Anything else you want to add?
J: Rock your natural hair. You will love yourself for it and everyone else will too! Whatever you decide, confidence is the only key. Love, accept & respect what you’ve got because there’s no one else like you, and you are truly beautiful.

About Meosha

Just another lover of natural hair and expression. - Style Icon Coordinator for BGLH

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Classychassis
Classychassis
10 years ago

Her texture is almost identical to mine! Loves it:) loves her:)

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LBell
LBell
10 years ago

LOL @ growing a huge Halloween style wig… 😉

Gorgeous!

Cipriana
10 years ago

Beautiful!!! 🙂

ASH
ASH
10 years ago

You and you hair are the bomb.com!!!

Monz03b
Monz03b
10 years ago

Lovely hair!!

Nikia
Nikia
10 years ago

*dies* I love her hair! She has the definition of curls + the volume of kinks. Wow, gorgeous.

Annie L.
Annie L.
10 years ago

Ultimately, I was afraid of what my hair would do without my permission”

Letting my hair curl the way it wants to curl…has been extremely liberating, and A RELIEF THAT NATURE IS ON MY SIDE”

I never say this but…preach girl!

lexibugg004
lexibugg004
10 years ago

love the curls!!! seeing the first pic, i was thinking “how did i live in olywa for seven years and miss that beautiful head of hair”??? but then i saw the pic of you sans make up and now i think i may have ran into you in the women’s bathroom of Fred Myers last summer!! hahaha

janelle
janelle
10 years ago

Jahla, love your hair and your honesty.

Natural Hair Tutor
10 years ago

She has BEAUTIFUL hair #NaturalHairSwag!

Maya
Maya
9 years ago

Please support my new page about natural hair! I’m trying to educate, inspire, and empower people! facebook.com/AuNaturelTheCelebration

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