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Intro­duce your­self!
J:
Hel­lo! My name is Joy and I live in Jamaica.

Why did you make the deci­sion to go nat­u­ral?
J:
I have been nat­u­ral for 3 years and almost six months. I decid­ed to grow my relax­er out because I got tired of hav­ing to strug­gle with try­ing to keep my hair look­ing healthy. I coped with split ends by get­ting a hair­cut every 6 months or so. I would just have my styl­ist cut off as much of my frayed ends as pos­si­ble. Things real­ly start­ed to go down­hill after I got per­ma­nent col­or and high­lights in 2005. It was evi­dent with the dry­ness and the break­age that my hair need­ed a break, but every three months I would reli­gious­ly go into the salon with almost two inch­es of gor­geous, springy, healthy new growth and get that relax­er. My last relax­er how­ev­er was in ear­ly 2009 and by March of that same year I was ready to take the plunge. I cut my hair myself, right down to about half an inch and got it braid­ed the next day. The braids only last­ed me two months and my TWA made its glo­ri­ous debut short­ly after. I’ve nev­er looked back since!

How would you describe your tex­ture?
J:
My tex­ture (from what I’ve read) seems to pre­dom­i­nant­ly be 4a with a lit­tle bit of 3c in the back and on the sides. My strands are very fine but dense­ly packed so I have a LOT of hair. My hair is prone to frizz and my strands tend to curl up into them­selves which makes knots and shrink­age com­mon­place, so detan­gling for me can be a chal­lenge.

Describe your styling reg­i­men over the course of the mon­th.
J:
My styling reg­i­men is ever evolv­ing. As a new nat­u­ral I would sham­poo every sev­en days or so, but that was when I had short­er hair. Now that my hair has grown out my detan­gling ses­sions can be bru­tal, so I now only wash when my scalp starts to itch! Yes. Please don’t judge me. Lol. I wear pro­tec­tive styles quite often, some­thing I start­ed doing even before I knew what pro­tec­tive styling was. This past mon­th I wore box plaits for about three weeks dur­ing which I made sure to mois­tur­ize with water, add my leave-in con­di­tion­er, and seal with an oil every three days or so. My sta­ple prod­ucts include Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-In Con­di­tion­er, Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap, Tre­sem­me Nat­u­rals Con­di­tion­er and Low Sul­phate Sham­poo, extra vir­gin olive oil, extra vir­gin coconut oil, cas­tor oil, shea but­ter (I par­tic­u­lar­ly love and use the Hair But­ter by Kumea’s Hair Per­spec­tive).

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What does wash day look like for you?
J:
Wow! Wash day. So I start off by detan­gling with water and coconut oil and put my hair in giant twists. I drench my hair with more coconut oil and leave it on (cov­er­ing with a plas­tic cap) overnight as a pre sham­poo treat­ment. The fol­low­ing day I wash (leav­ing giant twists in) using Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap or watered down sham­poo (Tre­sem­me Nat­u­rals Low Sul­phate Sham­poo) or Elu­cence Mois­ture Ben­e­fits Sham­poo, which is cur­rent­ly my favorite. I con­di­tion with any con­di­tion­er on hand, which is most often Tre­sem­me Nat­u­rals Con­di­tion­er. I then do my deep con­di­tion­ing (for me this is a sta­ple part of my reg­i­men). I alter­nate between Giovanni’s Nutrafix Hair Recon­struc­tor and Curl Junkie’s Curl Rehab for a good bal­ance of pro­tein and mois­ture. Cas­tor oil or EVOO mixed in with con­di­tion­er is anoth­er favorite for deep con­di­tion­ing. I fol­low up with my leave-in con­di­tion­er, Kinky Curly Knot Today, seal with shea but­ter and an oil, and style for the next cou­ple of weeks.

Describe your favorite go-to hair­style for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
J:
For those days when styling has to be quick, I’ll do some kind of roll and tuck style, espe­cial­ly for work. For more laid back and casu­al occa­sions my go to style is an afro (of course!). What’s quick­er than shak­ing out the fro? Most often I already have my hair in twists, so I just do a quick cute updo or just wear them as they are.

How do you com­bat shrink­age?
J:
Ha! I don’t try to com­bat shrink­age. I’d dri­ve myself crazy. I’ve found late­ly though that keep­ing my hair stretched helps with detan­gling, so I’ll stretch my hair (by bun­ning at night) for that pur­pose only. For cer­tain styles, like loose two strand twists or plaits, I’ll use a lit­tle heat, but for the most part I’m ok with shrink­age.

What are some of your prob­lem areas (if any) that require spe­cial care and atten­tion?
J:
As I men­tioned ear­lier my hair SHRINKS, shrinks to about half its length and that means knots, knots and more knots. I try to be extra patient with my hair, (that means say­ing lots of ‘woosahs’ dur­ing my detan­gling ses­sions), but I’ve found that detan­gling with coconut oil and water before sham­poo­ing makes a huge dif­fer­ence and cuts down on how long the detan­gling process takes.

What are 2 do’s for your tex­ture?
J:
Detan­gling before sham­poo­ing and… did I men­tion detan­gling before sham­poo­ing? Lis­ten, I can’t tell you how much my life has changed after fig­ur­ing out sham­poo mats my hair. If I have knots before I wash you can bet those knots are going to be more stub­born after sham­poo­ing. Even with tons of con­di­tion­er on my hair it still takes me hours to detan­gle, so I make it a point to attack those knots BEFORE I apply sham­poo. Also, apply­ing a leave-in con­di­tion­er and seal­ing in mois­ture makes my hair feel divine!

What are 2 don’ts for your tex­ture?
J:
Two don’ts for me are exces­sive heat and manip­u­lat­ing my hair while it is dry. I’ve found that my ends get real­ly rough and brit­tle when­ev­er I use heat, so I try to use as lit­tle as pos­si­ble. With my fine strands and tight curls, manip­u­lat­ing my hair bone dry is a def­i­nite no-no. When styling/combing my loose hair I always have my spray bot­tle with water at hand.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
J:
No I don’t have a blog. There are already tons of nat­u­ral hair blogs that cov­er almost every­thing I would pos­si­bly want to share, but I am on Face­book https://www.facebook.com/joywillie where I’ve post­ed pho­tos of my hair jour­ney.

Meosha

Just anoth­er lover of nat­u­ral hair and expres­sion.
— Style Icon Coor­di­na­tor for BGLH

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30 Comments on "Joy // 4A Natural Hair Style Icon"

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Dae

Side view
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Dae

This is with a perm & when it was cut not to long ago

Dae

Ok im 14years old i want to go nat­u­ral because im tired of perms&all it does its cause my hair to fall&break off…im to scared for the “big chop” so im tran­si­tion­ing it..im man­ag­ing it with braids for my 9th grade year..&wen tak­en down every 2months i will not get a perm but start to nat­u­ral­ly man­age it..well yea :)
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Jacky

Beau­ti­ful lady with gor­geous hair,i love her curls

Saye

Beau­ti­ful hair.

cindy

I found my hair twin.

Desiree

Your hair is beau­uu­ti­ful! Its been 7 months since I’ve done my B.C. and can’t wait til I can feel my hair on my neck… My hair is 4A in the front areas and 4B in the top and back of my hair (I think, lol). I love being nat­u­ral!
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Joy Williams

Thanks every­one and thanks BGLH for choos­ing me as an icon. I’m hap­py to be an inspi­ra­tion to any­one in any­way. Nat­u­ral hair is GORGEOUS! An’ JA curlies yuh done know!!! Haf­fi rep­re­sent every­time!

Michelle

Seri­ous hair envy!!!

Samantha

Love your hair! I felt like you were describ­ing my hair. I also have high-shrink­age, fine hair. I walked away from this with some help­ful tips and a vision of the (possible)future of my hair.….oh, and as always, big up to JA!

Colalover

Hair is great! Thanks for the inspi­ra­tion

Caramelcurls

Beau­ti­ful, healthy look­ing hair—and those twists are just LUSH! love it!

keisha

beau­ti­ful wom­an and gor­geous hair!

Trini

Fab hair, shine and smile! Your fin­ger coils are giv­ing me some ideas.

Adrienne

I used to have Dr. Bon­ner Castile but it has high ph! I still love and miss his sham­poo because it is the only nat­u­ral /pure sham­poo I know . Too bad, it has high ph so I stopped. Any idea where i can get alter­na­tive to Dr.Bonner Castile (I don’t care which, all are organ­ic) so it would not be too high in ph?

Kaila P

if it was work­ing for your hair why did you stop using it? just cuz peo­ple say some­thing doesn’t work for them or is “bad” it doesn’t mean you must give it up base things on your per­son­al expe­ri­ence and not on other’s

Adrienne
I had to stop using it because it had high ph bal­ance back then and my hair was porous and they sug­gest­ed for me to elim­i­nat­ed any­thing with high ph. Also test it with ph strips. Which I did , when I get to Dr. Bron­ner it was real­ly high . When I only elim­i­nate one thing like Dr. Bron­ner. My hair came back like that! I think it prob­a­bly was from Dr. Bron­ner being too high in ph. But I real­ly love his sham­poo. My hair is kin­da in 4 type so it is tend­ed to be dry­ness .… Read more »
Joy Williams

Adri­en­ne Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap IS high in pH but please note that it’s not THE ONLY sham­poo that I use. I use it inter­mit­tent­ly with my oth­er two. I still use it occa­sion­al­ly and haven’t real­ly noticed any dry­ness or prob­lems with my hair. I’m not sure but I think if your water is real­ly hard, using some­thing with a high pH might cause dull­ness and dry­ness. I put a fil­ter on my show­er head to soft­en my water.

Stace

Yes I feel peo­ple over­look the impact water hard­ness has on hair. I spec­u­late that hard water is the cul­prit in many peo­ples strug­gle with dry­ness and stiff­ness, and an inabil­i­ty to absorb oils and mois­ture. Some­times the pro­duct works great but the water masks its true effects.

Adrienne

Thanks Joy, I might revis­it Dr.Bronner next mon­th to see what real­ly cause dry­ness because I have fil­ter this time. I am not sure I had last time. You real­ly got me think abt it. Keep up great job in nat­u­ral jour­ney! :)

jungfrau1010

Jamaican big up! Your hair looks absolute­ly beau­ti­ful & every one of your pic look stun­ning. Lov­ing your radi­ant skin.

D.K.

Wow, your hair is amaz­ing! It’s so long and shiny and healthy and every­thing! Absolute­ly beau­ti­ful. It’s gor­geous.

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Sheree

Big up!!! Rep for JA girl. Also, rep for the fine haired nat­u­rals. My hair is also fine and 4 b? c? i dun­no any­more to be hon­est but your hair reminds me of mine but thick­er. I’m glad you’ve got so much healthy growth! See you around may­be lol

jjac401

You have gor­geous hair!

treece12

Her hair pret­ty een?

Camillia

Absolute­ly beau­ti­ful!

Mocha Dier

OMG from before I start­ed read­ing, I could tell u were from JAMAICA, i dun­no i could feel it.… lol…big up JAm­rock> i loveeeee your hair, u r my new hair evny!

natalia

big up jamaica yay born n raised

Bridget J

Your hair is gor­geous!

Alisa

She has beau­ti­ful curls and a beau­ti­ful smile!

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