This month, our feature is no stranger to the natural hair world. Known for everything from her hairstyles, to her appearances across the US at hair shows, to her feature on the Huetiful steamer box, we all have come to love Chary-Jay. Join me as we talk with Chary about her hair, life, and business.
Please introduce yourself
‘Ello there mate! My name is CharyJay and I’m a natural hair and beauty vlogger on YouTube. I provide lots of hairstyling tutorials for natural hair and talk a little about products (OK, A lot about products), beauty and fashion as well.
If you we spotted you in the streets, chances are you’re doing (activity), with(person/s) and your hair is styled in (this hair style).
If you spotted me in the streets, chances are I’m at Meijer (grocery store) with Derek (my boyfriend) and my hair is in a twist-out. We literally make three or more shopping trips per week since we seem to be allergic to making lists of food we need for the week. It’s an actual problem. Lol.
When did this natural hair journey begin for you?
My natural hair journey began in 2009 after an internship at a magazine company. The editor had locs and so many women on their board had natural hairstyles. That gave me the ultimate courage to go natural. The other intern there was already transitioning and gave me a few tips. After the internship ended, I decided to take the plunge as well and never looked back.
You’ve used a ton of products, can you share some of your must have natural hair products?
I can’t go long without using Qhemet Biologics Moringa Tree Conditioner Ghee and my all time favorite staple for a deep conditioner is TGIN’s Honey Hair Mask. I also use Original Moxie’s Twist Mist every single day to keep my hair beamin’ in the sunlight.
Let’s talk regimen: what does yours consist of on a week to week basis?
Let’s talk twist-outs since that’s my go-to style. To start, I’ll wash my hair, deep condition, detangle and rinse. I let my hair air dry two to four hours before twisting my hair in small to medium size twists (about 15 to 20 twists). I let my hair set for about four to six hours and then voila! I don’t typically re-twist at night, but if I’m going out and need to look A-1, I’ll suck it up and slap some medium size twists in my hair so my twist-out is banging yet again in the morning. But usually I’ll let my twist-out get bigger (and better in my opinion) until it turns into a frizzy fro and then I’ll put that into a puff and rock that style for about two days. After that, I’ll do it all over again.
Your go to hairstyle?
Two strand twist-out!
Your YouTube channel by far has been one of the most helpful and popular natural hair channels. What was your inspiration for starting it?
Thank you! At the time that I started YouTube, there wasn’t a saturation of natural hair vloggers like there is now. There were a few key vloggers that I watched, but they were natural already. At the time, I was transitioning so I wanted to fill that gap that I thought was there for the long time transitioners out there (I transitioned for a year).
What inspires your hair tutorial videos? The viewers or your own creative curiosities?
Both! I used to get crazy creative when it came to my protective hairstyle updos, but then I got requests to do other styles so it forced me to get out of my own head and try new things. Natural hair is so versatile so I always like to switch it up.
As far as YouTube goes, what are some of the pitfalls you’ve experienced as a vlogger?
How much time do you have? LOL, but no really. I think my biggest downfall was the response to me using the Huetiful Nano Smoothing System. It’s so funny because I was so excited to try it because I thought my viewers would love it. I remember being at ease that I could straighten my hair without freaking out about heat damage and thought my audience would love it since the effects of keratin treatments were just starting to be exposed around that time. And then when the video came out, I got so much backlash! People were saying it was a texturizer, that I didn’t love my natural hair texture, that I was promoting texturizers etc. I was completely shocked! But at the end of the day, I’m glad it happened because it made me realize that people aren’t always going to be happy with the decisions you make and praise all the content that you produce. That’s when I realized what people meant when they say ‘you are a brand’. I realized my brand wasn’t what I thought it was so I made a point to push towards what I wanted it to be: D.I.Y. styling. Now people say “you are the flat twist out queen” “you are the twist-out queen,” your rods sets are always bomb” so mission accomplished lol.
What are your plans for Big. Bold. Funky?
Good question! The answer is I don’t know lol. It’s really funny how life works. When I started Big Bold and Funky, I was so excited about what it could evolve into, but that was also the time when I started to become depressed due to my parent’s decline in health. I’m trying to think about what I want to do with it because I’m still getting orders with little to no promotion. You see I don’t ever bring it up in my videos, but people are still buying from the store so I will eventually re-launch with some new items. I just want to make sure the timing is right.
What are the next steps for Chary-jay (the website and your brand)?
After going through my depression, I realized life is so much more than hair and I was kind of over talking about it all the time. I even contemplated quitting YouTube for good. But after talking to Chime Edwards on a business trip in Atlanta, I decided not to. She gave me some encouraging words that I reflected upon. I decided not to stop doing YouTube, but rather transition and do videos that are fresh and new that my audience can still relate to and appreciate.
I started with LOSE IT with Chary that documents my weight loss journey since I gained a ridiculous amount of weight during my depression. Then came The Salon Experience. This fall I’ll be premiering two new series; The Perfect Fit, that will dive into fashion and styling and #ShareYourTruth, a series that will share women’s personal stories of overcoming obstacles in their life.
We have no problem sharing the great moments in our life on social media, but not a lot of people talk about the bad. When I shared my truth about my battle with depression, it encouraged me so much so I want to continue sharing stories to provide encouragement to other women who might be going through it in other ways.
I’m really excited about the future of my channel. I honestly just started to see how narcissist YouTube can be and got tired of it. It can be so much of “look at me! I’m pretty!” and while that’s OK, I realized I wanted my channel to be so much more! I want to provide helpful and encouraging content that is still upbeat and enjoyable to watch.
Check out a few videos from the Salon Experience series and the LOSE It series by CharyJay:
Where can we find you across the internet?
I’m everywhere! Just type in @CharyJay and you’ll find me!
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/111907578978876961951/posts
Thank you Chary-Jay for sharing with us your journey. Hope you all enjoyed this month’s spotlight!