Natural Hair Icon: Joiya

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Tell us about yourself:
The names Joiya aka Jo Clo. I’m from Mars via California and Arizona
How long have you been natural? And why?
13 years, however, my current hair is reflective of a big chop in September of 2010. My original reasoning for going natural was due to my disgust for unhealthy hair from over processing (i.e. breaking off from flat ironing, perms, braids, etc.), attempting to maintain styles that were not natural to me as a black woman, and failure to maintain straight hair with an active lifestyle. That reasoning shifted to include merely wanting to help adjust misinformed black people’s perception of beauty beyond that of the learned European standard, and forcing people to accept what naturally grows out of my head.

After having been vegan for a year and a half and starting a Facebook page and movement called Health Over Hair (HOH) www.facebook/healthoverhair, being natural was important for reasons that included helping others to see that healthy hair or long hair if that was your goal, is contingent upon your overall health (i.e. mental health, what you eat, exercise, etc.). Now it is really about understanding yourself beyond your hair and self-love. I also take a special interest in redefining sexy for black women, since natural hair has in the past been associated with the opposite.

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How would you describe your hair?
I don’t really define my hair with any standardized system or know what the standards are. I like my hair to set its own standard. Besides, it really does vary depending on the conditioner I use to wash it with, the weather, how many days have gone by before washing it, the amount of product layered in, over what amount of days, etc. But generally speaking my hair has looser curls in the front, kinkier curls on the side, cotton textures in the middle and tighter, smaller curls in the back. =)

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What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
I’m a bona fide wash n go girl because it’s the easiest and least time consuming without torturing my hair through some process (my hair is sensitive and impressionable to most processing). I co-wash with Mizani Conditioner, Tresemme Sulfate Free Conditioner or Herbal Essences Hello Hydration and then use Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-in Conditioner. For any cleanup styles or edge cleanups I use an online product called Coconut Curl Pudding by Komaza Care (love them!).

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Have you always liked your natural hair? If not, how did you come to embrace it?
I have always liked my natural hair, but have not always accepted it-Myself and many naturals tend to want their curls a certain way or to avoid shrinkage or to have another woman’s curls. In my opinion, that contradicts the point of going “natural” , but rather we should be concerned with allowing our hair to be what it is and do what it does, optimally and naturally.

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What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require extra care and attention?
My edges are prone to breakage and do not grow as long. Periods of undergoing little to no major processing (i.e. straightening or tight buns), are necessary.

What are your staple hair styles?
Wash n Go all day!

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What have your experiences been as a ‘natural.’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?
The Big Chop! I have been natural by way of a transition into my natural hair by foregoing perming and processing and I have also decided to just cut it all off which is a problem for “everybody”! People will say don’t do it and others will be more offended about the hair cut than you, but beauty of the experience is that you get to that point of fearlessness and courage to go against the grain for your own personal freedom. Cutting my hair was freedom

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What is your hair goal?
Large, very Large!

Hair Crush?
hmm…no one in particular, but I genuinely love all natural hair girls!
Anything else you would like the readers to know? Inspirational words?
Self-Love is total acceptance of you-it may be an on going process #thatisall

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
Instagram: @xojoclo
and
www.facebook.com/healthoverhair

 

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