*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
C: I’m CharyJay from Detroit, Michigan. I am a writer and videographer.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
C: I decided to go natural simply because I was bored with my relaxed hair. The styles I could do were limited and I was tired of my hair determining what I could and couldn’t do.
Ultimately, I made the decision to go natural after interning at B.LA.C. Magazine. There I encountered so many professional women who wore their hair in its natural state and they were all fabulous. I witnessed first hand that you can wear your hair without chemical relaxers and still hold a position of power in a corporate setting.
When and how did you transition into natural hair?
C: My one-year transitioning journey to natural hair started in August of 2009. I did every “set” under the sun, i.e. roller-set, straw-set, flexi-rod set. I did that for the first three or four months and then of course, my relaxed ends started breaking off. That’s when I learned how to flat-twist and started doing protective styles which helped stall the breakage since I wasn’t manipulating my hair as much.
In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
C: Going natural has definitely improved my self-esteem. I use to always care what others thought about me and I tried to fit into a mold of what people around me considered beautiful. Once I started transitioning, I caught heat from just about everyone besides my boyfriend. Each blow helped me build confidence and after big chopping a year later (August 2010), I felt more confident in myself than ever!
How would you describe your hair?
C: My hair is really thick and coarse. I have really tight coils in the nape and sides of my head, but everywhere else, it’s all kinks. In the beginning I thought once my hair grew out the curls would eventually form, but they haven’t and I’m totally OK with that. I love my hair, curl or no curl!
What is your regimen?
C: I shampoo with Original Moxie’s Get Clean shampoo, and deep condition with Original Moxie’s Intense Quench. I then sit under my Huetiful Hair Steamer for 20–30 minutes before detangling my hair.
If I’m not trying out a new style, I usually wear my hair in a protective style for five days and then wear a twist-out for two days before repeating the same process.
How do you retain length and moisture in your hair?
C: Protective styling is THE truth! Every since I started wearing protective styles, I noticed that not only did it help keep my hair moisturized, but it also helped me retain length. It allows me to steer clear of HIH (Hand In Hair) syndrome so I don’t experience a lot of STKs (single strand knots). It also keeps split ends at bay, which usually comes with manipulating your hair often.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
C: I am very fortunate to say I haven’t made any mistakes so far in my natural hair journey. I think it’s due to the amount of research I’ve done on caring for natural hair before I began transitioning. While I was on my transitioning journey, I had time to learn how to care for my hair in its natural state before I was completely natural.
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
C: The best thing I continue to do for my hair is keep it in protective styles 90% of the time! Not only can you do so many versatile and may I add fabulous styles with twists and flat twists, but they also aid in hair growth.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
C: My YouTube channel is 160Days2Lose2. http://www.youtube.com/user/160Days2Lose2?feature=mhw4
There you can find many hair tutorials, spoofs, product reviews and other informative videos. The link to my Tumblr blog is: http://charyjay.tumblr.com/