If you’re looking for a healthy loc journey to follow, Jentayah’s your woman. Like many of us, she was once dedicated to relaxers and flat irons, never thinking she’d one day be on a lifelong natural hair journey. Since then, her two-strand twists have blossomed into beautiful mature locs with no end in sight. Below the Georgia peach with killer dimples shares how it all started and why being natural isn’t always sunshine and rainbows.
How long have you been natural?
I’ve been natural for seven years, which feels so wild to say. I can’t believe it’s been that long.
Did you transition? And if so, how?
I transitioned from permed hair for about a year and a half before I impulsively decided to clip my permed ends off. I decided to completely stop letting my mom put relaxers in my hair and that I wasn’t going to flat iron it anymore.
I wore a lot of buns, box braids, and braided hair styles in this stage.
Why did you decide to stop relaxing?
I was just very curious about what my natural hair would be like. My ideal version of myself at this age (I was 15) had natural curls that were healthy. I thought it would only be for a moment but it became a lifelong decision.
How did you wear your natural hair before locing?
Buns have always been my go-to even while loced. However, right before I loced my hair I had perfected my braid-outs and wash-and-gos. My other favorite go-to was a bun with my signature baby hairs.
Who/what inspired you to start your locs journey?
My father has had locs all my life. I loved his hair. I knew one day I would want to loc my hair. I just thought it would be like my last style in life after I experimented with all the colors and styles for loose hair.
How did you start your locs?
I started with twists that I did on myself. They lasted two weeks and were super frizzy (which I now know to be part of the process), so I took them out and waited to book an appointment with a loctician.
What were your thoughts on natural hair before you became a natural, and have they changed?
I always admired any girl that I saw who wore her natural hair and was even envious. I didn’t know I had the capacity to wear my hair like that as well if given the knowledge of how to take care of it.
Describe your hair.
My hair is thin but full, curly, coily, and, most importantly, so unique, beautiful, and resilient.
What’s the natural hair scene like in your city?
My current city is very small, not even a city, but when I was in high school here lots of girls my age were embracing natural hair. Now I go out and see puffs, afros, two-strand twists, and locs everywhere.
Do you ever have times when you struggle with your locs? How do you deal with those days?
I have a lot of days where I struggle with the look of my locs. On those days I just give my hair some grace followed by some TLC with my moisture routine.
Name one thing you’ve learned about your hair since being natural.
Like many others, I learned that my hair is at its best when moisturized and hydrated consistently.
What’s your current hair routine> What products do you use on your crown?
Currently, I wash my hair about every 2-3 weeks with a retwist every 4-8 weeks. In between retwists I use water, a light leave-in (newly added to my routine), and Jamaican black castor oil.
I’m currently trying out different shampoos to see which I like best but a staple conditioner for me has been the Creme of Nature Intensive Conditioning Treatment after my washes. It leaves my hair feeling like butter with no build-up. Yes, locs can be conditioned.
When I want soft laid edges I use hair foam at night, a bandana/silk scarf on top, and a bonnet. This will have me feeling cute the next day.
How do you preserve your locs overnight?
Bandana and a jumbo bonnet.
What’s the best part of being loced?
It really is nothing to get up and go now. I needed this peace of mind in my morning routine because I’m late to everything.
Where can we find you online?
You can find me on Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter, all by the same handle, @itsjentayah.
Any advice or words of encouragement for other naturals?
Contrary to popular belief, being natural is not easy. However, be patient with your hair. Understand that it does not need to look any particular way besides like yours.
Allow yourself the space to enjoy your individual journey and learn to listen to your crown.