N: My name is Nadiyah Abdul-Jabbar. I’m originally from Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. I’ve been living in Chicago for a little over a year. I’m now a full-time student who enjoys shopping, exploring the foods of Chicago and sharing my personal style through my blog and Youtube channel.
What is your style philosophy?
N: I think it’s important to embrace change and incorporate different styles into your wardrobe. Fashion is constantly evolving so your style should too. I think mixing things up is what keeps fashion fun and interesting.
How would you describe your sense of style?
N: I think my style is quite versatile and I often find it hard to define it. I always find myself mixing girly and edgy pieces in my outfits. I really appreciate the contrast.
What is your process of deciding what to wear in the morning?
N: I’ve always been the type of girl to find her outfit days before she actually has to wear it. But now that I’m in school I hardly have time to raid my closet the night before an 8am class. I always dress according to my mood. The mood I’m in always determines what shoes I’ll be wearing; mellow mood means I want to be comfortable so I’m going for a pair of chucks or combat boots. A good mood means I’m willing to look cute in a pair of booties and deal with potential discomfort. The shoes then determine the color scheme of the rest of the outfit. Odd? Yes, but that’s what works for me.
What are the three favorite things in your closet?
N: My three current favorites are all fall pieces; my faux leather jacket, my coated burgundy skinny jeans and a pair of black cutout ankle booties.
What are some of your favorite shops/websites for clothes, shoes and accessories?
N: I love stores like Forever 21, Urban Outfitters and H&M where I can get the latest trends at a good price. Old Navy is a must for basics like tees and jeans. When I want to splurge on quality pieces I turn to Zara. I could live in Zara!
How long have you been natural?
N: I started transitioning in July 2012 and big chopped on March 12, 2013 so I’ve been completely natural for about eight months.
How and why did you transition into natural hair?
N: I had relaxed hair for as long as I could remember. In May 2012, my sister told me that she was going natural. My immediate reaction was, “Are you crazy? Why would you want to do that?” My sister constantly watched Youtube videos and obsessed over natural gurus. That is when I started to realize how beautiful natural hair is. A month later, guess who else was ready to rock natural hair?
I stopped relaxing and using heat on my hair. At first, I wore my hair in a bun all the time, but then I started doing twist-outs and experimenting with hairstyles. After eight months of transitioning I began to get really frustrated with my scraggly relaxed ends. My goal was to transition for a year, but despite my fears of short hair I decided to big chop after eight months. It took some getting use to but as time went on and I learned about my hair I realized how blessed I am to have natural curls and volume. I remember telling my mother, who still relaxes her hair, that I felt liberated. March 12, 2013 was the day I began to truly appreciate and love myself in my completely natural state. Going natural has been an amazing experience and has definitely built my self-confidence.
What is your signature hairstyle?
N: My favorite hairstyle to rock is a braid-out. My hair always seems to look more moisturized and healthy when I wear this style. It’s also really convenient now that my schedule is a bit more hectic. It only takes a few hours and can last up to two weeks. Plus, it really defines my curls!
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
N: I only wash my hair about three or four times a month. On the first weekend of the month I normally wash my hair with a mud wash and moisturize with conditioner. Then, I finger detangle while moisturizing with a homemade shea butter and braid it. I sleep with my braids in overnight and take them out the next morning. Throughout the week I just wake up, fluff and shape it with my hands, and head out the door. Sometimes I’ll spritz it with water or rub some oil in if it feels dry.
My hair shrinks a lot so throughout the week I’ll stretch it by doing a dry twist-out. If it gets too frizzy, I’ll use a stocking to put it in a high bun until I’m ready to wash it. After a week or two, I co-wash and go through the finger detangling and braiding process again.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
N: You can find me at my blog, The Fashion Isle, where I share my outfits and anything else fashion-related that comes to my mind. I also have a Youtube channel where I give style tips!