Naturalista Spotlight: Ty’Jalayah

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Hi, my name is Ty’Jalayah. I am a 19 year old student-athlete from California. People know me as Lady, but more specifically, the natural hair community knows me as Naturally Lady. I transitioned from heat damage and I have been on my healthy hair journey since the summer of 2013 !

My Journey

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Initially, I decided to go natural because I was curious to know what my natural hair looked like–I had no idea!  I was getting my hair pressed every 2-4 weeks from 9 years old and only ever wore my hair straight.  By 15 years old my hair was severely heat damaged and I was dying to have  long and healthy hair.  I finally realized that being natural was the best route to achieving that. At 17 years old (2013), I finally decided to stop using heat altogether, and I began my year long transition from the “heat trained hair” to my own natural hair texture. Now there is no turning back for me ! Long or short, as long as I have healthy, natural hair.

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I transitioned for one year (13 months exactly), wearing buns mostly. On occasions, I would wear a flexirod set or style but very, very rarely. I did not cut my hair but one time as I transitioned–I just let it grow out. At 4 months of transitioning, I mini chopped only because I was talked out of doing the full big chop at that particular time. From then on, I continued to grow my hair out and I held onto my heat damaged ends until I finally decided to get rid of it all and big chop after 13 months of transitioning.

No Support

The biggest emotional struggle I faced was at the very beginning of my journey when I had just decided to start transitioning. I did not really have a support system from the people around me. There were definitely negative comments and jokes pertaining to my hair that I had to learn to block out and laugh at. No one understood what I was doing and others did not take what I was doing seriously. I also struggled internally when going out with friends and watching them curl and style their hair up while I was limited to wearing the same bun I always wore for every occasion– casual and formal. These particular moments forced me to have my own confidence, being the predictable bun girl standing amongst a group of girls with hair down their backs. All of these struggles were during my transition. And Although, everyone was pretty vocal at the beginning with negative or ignorant statements, I only hear good things now ! So the struggle is definitely worth going through. But at this point in my journey, I can’t seem to think of any struggles !

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As far as styling, I change my hairstyle every week and I am always trying something new. However, my go to style is a puff. Whenever my hair gets old, whether it be an old wash and go, twist out, etc., my hair goes up into a puff. Putting my hair up into a puff allows me to stretch my styles until the next wash day. It also comes a handy when I am too lazy or too short on time to style my hair. Not only is it an effortlessly cute hair style that comes out right every time, but this low maintenance and low manipulation style is one that has helped me retain length throughout my journey !

My advice to anyone who is just starting out with their healthy hair journey or thinking about it, would be to be patient and stay FOCUSED. It is a trying journey and it will be difficult and frustrating at times, ESPECIALLY in the beginning, but that is why it is called a journey. A few bad hair days in the beginning will lead to a million great hair days in the future. Negative comments now will turn into positive comments. Low self-esteem or low confidence will increase beyond this world ! You will get to the point to where “can’t nobody tell you nothin’ ” (I’m not lying). Being natural has so many benefits to it so be patient and when you do hit tough times, remember why you went natural. That will keep you motivated and moving forward. I can guarantee you that you will be rewarded with so much more than you even set out to achieve with going natural in the first place. Be patient and stay focused on your “why”. The journey does get easier and you will be happy with your decision to continue through with it. Every struggle you will experience is worth it, not just for your hair, but for your lifestyle and so much more that has absolutely nothing to do with hair. Keep pushing !

Where can folks find you on the web?
www.instagram.com/NaturallyLady
www.youtube.com/TyJalayahRobertson
www.facebook.com/OfficiallyNaturallyLady
www.pinterest.com/NaturallyLady

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