*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
J: My name is Jay. I live in Philly right now for school. I am a 3rd year fine art major.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
J: The decision was made for multiple reasons. It wasn’t that I thought relaxing my hair was bad. It was a mixture between leaving my home for college, which also meant leaving my best friend, who was also my hair stylist. I’m terrible with the upkeep of my hair and well, it was easy when your hairstylist lived down the street from you and didn’t charge. Another main reason was that I wanted to have my curls back. I only had baby pictures of my natural hair, and I wish it was never messed with.
When and how did you transition into natural hair?
J: About three years ago is when I started it. I think some time last year was when my hair no longer had processed parts. I just stopped getting relaxers. Like I said earlier, I am horrible at upkeep. I didn’t do anything special besides getting it trimmed and deep conditioned 3–4 times a year.
In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
J: It makes my life a lot easier because I can just wear it the way it is rather than worry if it has to be re-straightened because my edges are curly. Also I get stopped a lot by so many people complimenting me on my hair, or asking what I use. Sometimes I get self-conscious when I go back to my hometown and walk around with my hair out, but I get over it quickly.
How would you describe your hair?
J: My hair is extremely thick. I think I have a 3c type curl. My hair has a mind of its own :/ it tends to grow thicker rather then longer.
What is your regimen?
J: I still can’t find the right products for my hair. I’m still experimenting, but as of right now I probably shampoo my hair twice a week with Mixed Chicks Shampoo (the sulfate free one), and at the end of a week I typically wash my hair with Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Magic Soap.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
J: Ugh sooo many! Before going natural I was relaxing and dyeing my hair as well as going swimming with no type of head cap. My hair started to break off everywhere. I lost like 5 inches in the middle of my scalp. Layers was another mistake for me…I got them in the third grade and I still have them because I refuse to cut up to my shortest layer. Also going to salons with people who don’t typically do my type of hair. (my white father raised me so he didn’t understand my hair, or who would be best to deal with it, and it took me a long time to figure it out on my own)
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
Anything else you want to add?
J: Natural was the right thing for me to do, but it’s not the only answer…I hate hearing girls put down other girls who decide to still relax their hair. What may be easy for someone could be the polar opposite for another. It doesn’t put you higher up.