ShaLynda has the type of hair some people dream of: thick, full, and voluminous. Not one for transitioning, she big chopped years ago and hasn’t looked back. And although her natural hair is phenomenal, her maintenance routine is pared down and simple, proving fabulous hair doesn’t have to be complicated. Here the Chattanooga cutie shares her philosophy on embracing your authentic natural self.
How long have you been natural?
I decided to embrace what was naturally given to me again in 2014.
Did you transition? And if so, how?
I did not transition. I did a big chop. Transitioning wasn’t for me.
Why did you decide to stop relaxing?
It was thinning my hair out. I aways had very thick hair. I only used “kid” relaxers up until college. I tried an adult relaxer and it started to thin my hair out.
Who motivated you to go natural?
My cousin at that time was natural. I loved it. The big afro really changed my mind about relaxing and I’ve never looked back.
What were your thoughts on natural hair before you became a natural, and have they changed?
My thoughts remain the same. I loved natural hair then and I still do. Even more actually. It’s beautiful, it turns heads, and it makes statements.
Describe your hair.
My hair is a combination of many things. It’s curly/waxy. It’s a masterpiece that helps define me. I have low porosity hair. I don’t define my hair as having any particular pattern. It has a mind of its own.
What’s the natural hair scene like in Chattanooga, TN?
Many people are afraid to love what was naturally given to them. Some people stand out because they show up different. [The movement] is growing and definitely has potential.
Do you ever have times when you struggle with your natural hair? How do you deal with those days?
I believe we all struggle with our hair. I definitely have my days where my hair just does what it wants to do. I just put it up in a puff and go on about my day. I take that as my hair telling me to give it a rest.
Name one thing you’ve learned about your hair since being natural.
Do not use towels when drying your hair after washing it. Use a handy t-shirt as it doesn’t snag or pull out your hair.
What’s your current hair routine? What products do you use to maintain your crown?
I shampoo, deep condition, detangle, and oil weekly. I oil every two days. And I don’t put many products on my edges like gel or edge control.
I am the owner of NaturalJourneyz, a hair care line that I launched in Sept 2021. They are my go-to products.
How do you preserve your natural hair overnight?
I use a satin scarf and bonnet. I push my hair up in a puff and wrap my scarf around it. Then I add the bonnet.
You have to wear one style for the rest of your life. Which do you choose and why?
Puff! ‘Cause I consider myself #puffgang. It’s easy and low manipulation. It makes me feel confident and turns heads. I love a puff.
What’s the best part of being natural?
That I get to show other women that being natural is beautiful. That there’s grace and love in growing, taking care of, and expressing yourself through what you were naturally born with.
Where can we find you online?
YouTube: Soul Talk NaturalVisionary
Online Store: NaturalJourneyZ
Any advice or words of encouragement for other naturals?
Be you. Keep turning heads. Let’s encourage our sisters to be free through their scalps as it’s the closest thing to their mind.
Let’s build each other up. No hair type defines us. Our beauty stands in us being naturally ourselves and who we are.