Introducing this week's natural hair crush of the week, Jilyian. Check out her awesome hair journey below and why her natural hair gives her a sense of mystery!
NB: Introduce yourself.
I am Jilyian Kelly. I am 23 and I am from Miramar, FL( right outside of Miami). I have been natural for almost 6 years and although I haven’t loved every moment of it I wouldn’t go back to the creamy crack for the world!
NB: What is your occupation?
I work as a work planner at an uranium enrichment facility in New Mexico (middle of NOWHERE).
NB: Finish the following statement: “Natural hair makes me feel .
Natural hair makes me feel empowered. When my hair blows in the wind and my curls are flowing freely I feel like I can take on the world. With natural hair you will always stand out in the crowd. People want to know who you are. I feel it gives me a sense of mystery.
NB: When did you transition from relaxed to natural?
Six years ago when I went to college I decided I wanted to try something different. I had been wearing relaxers since the age of five, so I wanted to experience my natural texture. My mother and I took the plunge together. She was experience thinning because of her medication interacting with the relaxers so she was thrilled to go through the journey with me. It was cool to have someone to share transition meltdowns and triumphs with.
NB: What’s been the most challenging part of being natural?
Getting used to handling my hair. It is extremely thick, dry and it tangles easily. I didn’t really have those problems when I had a relaxer. I had to learn to be patient and not just rip the comb through my hair. It took time to figure out what my hair needed and even still I struggle with finding the right products to manage my hair especially now that I have essentially moved to the desert. My hair requires different things now.
NB: What is your current natural hair regimen? (What do you do to take care of your hair, ie washing, conditioning etc.)
Weekly, I start out with a hot oil treatment, a mixture if Jamaican Black Castor Oil, Olive oil, Rosemary and peppermint EO. Then I wash with Giovanni Smooth as Silk. Next I deep condition with Organix Macadamia Oil Deep treatment masque and honey, I rinse with cool water and spray a leave in( right now I’m using KimbleCare) and style. I alternate between Bantu Knots and twist outs. The only perk of the drier weather is that my styles last for the whole week where as when Im in FL I have to restyle about every 4 days because of the humidity.
NB: Describe your personal style.
I'm still trying to define my personal style. There are some elements of vintage. I love prints and bright colors. I also LOVE stripes.
NB: What do you do when having a bad hair day?
I can tell what kind of hair day it will be when I wake up so if it’s a bad hair day I just hop in the shower, wet my hair add a little conditioner and make it a bun day.
NB: Any thing you wish you would’ve known before transitioning?
I wish I would have paid more attention to low heat and manipulation styling. While I was transitioning I used a lot of heat and that would have save me a lot of breakage
NB: What is your go to hairstyle?
Twist outs. I have gotten them down to a science. I can even do them without a mirror. They give me the most natural curl pattern and they last for a long time.
NB: Have you experienced any resistance to your natural hair from men? Do they embrace it or fight it?
Most men that I encounter love the fact that I don’t wear weave. Men appreciate women who wear their own hair. They want to run their finger through it. Play with the curls. Men are becoming intrigued with the transition process as well. They want to know how long you’ve been natural. How you style your hair?
NB: What is your favorite part about being natural?
I love the health of my hair. It’s not thin anymore, I don’t have to worry about horrible chemical burns anymore. Its just great to be free from relaxers!
NB: In what ways do you incorporate your personal sense of style into styling your natural hair?
I have always felt that if my hair wasn’t on point then it affected my way of dress. I dress edgier if my hair is wild and curly and more structured if my curls are more styled like in Bantu Knots.
NB: Craziest thing someone has said about your hair in the street….
I haven’t ever really gotten crazy responses just the request to touch my hair by the intrigued Caucasian woman in the store.
NB: Who is your hair crush?
Tracee Ellis Ross!!! I'm sure you get that response A LOT but her hair is truly amazing! I love the different curl patterns she achieves and her style is one for the books.
NB: What inspires you to continue on your natural hair journey?
Seeing other women embark on the journey because of me inspires me to continue. I often find myself giving advice about products and ingredients, encouraging friends and family to take the plunge. Its truly a learning experience. It’s a challenge and I love it!
NB: What is the biggest obstacle you’ve encountered during your transition from relaxed to natural?
Hearing the criticisms of family about the decision to go natural was probably the hardest. People often make fun of things that they are unfamiliar with or afraid to do. They would often make jokes and poke fun at my frizz and naps but once they saw the progress my hair was making, they soon shut up.
NB: Best natural hair advice you can offer someone who is transitioning.
Learn to love YOUR hair. When I first started the process I found myself envying other naturals’ curls and textures. I had to appreciate my hair for what it is.
NB: Tell me what makes you naturally glamorous.
I think my optimism about life is what makes me naturally glamorous. I have learned not to worry about the things I can’t change in life, change the things I can and learning to be wiser to know the difference between the two.
Thanks so much Jilyian! Your hair is to die for! Love it!
If you want to learn more about Jilyian's story and her natural hair journey find her on Facebook in the Orange Green and Natural page.
Questions for Jilyian? Sound off below!