ClassyCurly Profile: Ty Chandler

Hey Curlies,

I have another natural hair profile for you all. She is a TV reporter who explains her dilemma "going natural" in front of the camera.

Anchoring (relaxed)
Name: Ty Chandler
Social Media Names: TyChandlerNews on Twitter
Hair Type: 3c/4a

How long have you been natural?
I have been natural since March 22, 2012 after a six month transition
Last relaxer September 2011
Why did you go natural?
I tried to go natural many times before without success.  I had long thick hair as a kid, but that all went away when I got my first relaxer at 9. It was a kiddie perm, but my hair still broke off.  To grow my hair back, my mother took the advice of a friend who was certain jherri curls would be the answer.  Needless to say they weren't, but it gets worse.  After a year, I was sick of the jherri curls so my mother took me to the hair salon and our longtime stylist had a brilliant idea, put a relaxer on jherri curled hair.  She told me to come back two weeks later for a treatment.  Keep in mind I'm about 10 or 11 at this point.  So my mother told me to go to the salon after school and she would pick me up when I was done.  When she arrived she was confused by the bill.  The treatment cost much more than she anticipated.  When we got home she asked me to explain what was done to may hair.  When I told her the stylist put white stuff that burned on my scalp she knew what had happened.  Our longtime stylist somehow forgot that she had given me a relaxer two weeks earlier and gave me another one.  When my mother tried to comb my hair it came out in her hand.  My edges were stuck to my scalp and I had scabs.  My mother had no choice but to take the scissors and chop. 

It seemed like my hair would never be healthy again. It didn't grow much and I started to think I would never have the long hair I had as a child again.  I decided to stop relaxing at 15. I wore braids for almost a year and had gotten some good growth.  I wore twist outs, bantu knots or had it pressed.  This was the mid nineties and this look wasn't really in and I didn't know what products to use or how to care for my hair so eventually I caved in to the creamy crack.

My next natural attempt came ten years later at the age of 26.  At the time I was the Weekend Anchor at a TV station in Rochester, NY.  I had some bad experiences with scissor happy beauticians who kept chopping off my progress.  But transitioning on television is not a good look..  So I bought a wig and my boss liked it.  I kept my hair in braids underneath, but again I had no idea how to care for my hair.  I was job hunting at the time and my agent urged me to ditch the wig and relax if I wanted to find a new job and so I did.

I did finally start to learn how to take care of my hair and what products to use.  i began cowashing, stretching my relaxers, moisturizing and sealing and protective styling (mainly with weaves)  Doing this got me from neck length to bra strap in three years.  I knew then that my hair can grow and thrive with proper care.  Still I longed for the thickness that I remember having when I was a little girl.  I often wore clip ins to make up for it. Also stretching my relaxers helped me discover my natural texture.  I coudln't believe how wavy the new growth was. Still I was afraid to do it because of my career. A big chop would be a drastic change, but I figured there are so many women who have the courage to embrace their natural selves, why can't i.

Big Chop
When did you Big chop?
I Big Chopped March 22nd of this year.
A short regimen you can share?
Wash and gos are my main style. I generally co-wash with Tresemee Naturals Moisturizing Conditioner.  I use Kinky Curly Knot today as a leave-in.  I seal with jojoba/olive oil and style with Kinky Curly Curling Custard.
Anchoring (Natural)
Do you have any Favorite Products?
I really like Kinky Curly products, but still exploring other products
Do you have any advice on Going Natural?
I think the biggest fear that many of us have is how other will react.  My husband was not a fan when I first got it cut, but now he loves it and calls me curlyq.  I was even nervous about wearing it on-air.  I wore a wig to work for weeks after the chop until finally I decided what the hell, I'm going for it. The reaction at work was overwhelmingly positive.  I realized that I had nothing to worry about.  We spend too much time thinking about will others accept it, but we are the one's that have to accept it, love it and rock it with confidence.