March 2014 - Natural of the Month: Jayah


Jayah
"Jayah The Cat Lady"

LEI: Introduce yourself (where are you from, hobbies, interests, family, anything you'd like to share about you)
Jayah: I was born to Haitian parents in Richmond, Virginia, thus, the origin of my first name, however, I’m better known as Jayah, especially through social media. I was raised in Florida with 6 other siblings, where we all currently reside. I have a Bachelor’s in Business & make my living in property management with a real estate asset company. My interests include listening to different genres of music, preferably any music made before my time, lol! I’m both a history & movie buff, I enjoy learning new things, ideas & meeting people from different parts of the country. I enjoy attending outdoor events, love animals & spending time with family & friends.



LEI: What made you decide to go natural?
Jayah: I began to transition & return to natural in 2010, but this was not a conscious effort; I developed an obsession with sew-in protective styles & my relaxer began to grow out significantly with continuous sew-in installs. Witnessing my natural hair coming through, I decided to keep wearing these protective styles vs getting a relaxer.


LEI: Did you transition or BC "Big Chop"?
Jayah: I basically did a big chop on my relaxed hair in 2009, installed protective styles every 2 to 3 months in the attempt to transition, but then, I hated dealing with two different hair textures between installs. One night I went to town with a pair of scissors, cut off all the relaxed portions of my hair, thus, my “Big Chop.”

LEI: What were your fears going in and how did you overcome them?
Jayah: At first I had numerous fears & found myself rather overwhelmed. I was fearful of how I would look in my hair in its natural state vs my relaxed straight hair, which became my identity for all those years. I was also fearful of how men, even women would look at me, “will they think I’m unattractive with my kinky, coily & frizzy hair?” “How will I maintain, or style my hair on daily basis?” “What will they think of me at my work?” All these kinds of notions & fears ran through my mind frequently! I overcame these fears by educating & immersing myself in the natural-hair community such as blogs & forums. I looked to & sought after advice from other natural-haired divas, developed hair inspirations & watching natural hair tutorials on You Tube. These platforms helped me through this time of uncertainty & allowed me to be more confident in my decision to wear my hair the way it grows out of my head.


LEI: Name some reasons why you are happy about your decision.
Jayah:  With the decision to return to natural, I've never looked back since & I'm super happy with this choice. I've honestly never been more confident in myself; choosing this journey not only changed the way I wear my hair, but also my life style as far as being more aware & conscious of what I put into or onto my body. As I mentioned in my introduction, I enjoy learning new things & this endeavor has definitely taught me a lot, especially in regards to acceptance.


LEI: What are some of your favorite hair products?

Jayah: My favorite products include my homemade shea butter mix & my oil mixture as far as styling, moisturizing & sealing. I love the both of the Giovanni direct leave-in & tea tree conditioner for moisturizing & co-washing. As for cleansing, I love, love the Terressentials Organic Mud Wash! I don’t cleanse with anything else at this point & I’m completely poo-less. Lastly, I deep condition with olive oil & honey for super soft & shiny hair..


LEI: What is your hair routine?  
Jayah: I'm not very "systematic" with my hair routine; I do what my hair needs at that moment. My current routine basically entails co-washing & deep conditioning every 1 to 2 weeks, cleansing once a month & wear low-manipulative hair styles as much as possible. Then I throw in a trim once a year or two at the most, which I do myself.


LEI: What advice would you give someone considering going natural or who is new to being a natural?
Jayah: My advice to newbies or those who are thinking of returning to natural would be to do your own research, what works for me or other naturals might not work specifically work for you & your hair type. Second, try not to get overwhelmed with the plethora of products marketed to us, keep it simple & remember the LOC method (liquid, oil, and conditioner/crème) and that’s it! Finally, “hair envy” can make this journey a bit maddening if you allow it to, take the time to learn, & accept the hair on your head & enjoy it!


LEI: List your social networking sites so we can connect with you further.
Jayah
Instagram: Jayah_aka_thecatlady
Facebook: Jayah Andre
Email: catladyjah@gmail.com


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