How to Style Natural Hair

Weaning yourself off of relaxers, or perms, can be difficult when that’s all you know, says natural hair specialist, Darya Johnson.

Depending on the texture of your hair, transitioning back to natural can be difficult, she says. Her shop, Darya’s Natural Hair Boutique, 2134 S. Michigan Avenue, sits in Chicago’s South Loop and offers a variety of hair care services such as braids, double strand twists, and sew-in weaves to assist women who are ready to make that journey.

JET sat down with Johnson at her shop to hear why she thinks natural is the way to go, what women need to do to keep their hair healthy and why she’s in love with the Lock ‘N Twist hairstyle.

JET: There are women who still aren’t sure if they want to throw away the perm and rock their natural locks. What do you want to tell them?

DJ: Some of the great benefits of being natural is the fact that you are playing with your own natural texture. You don’t even realize how beautiful your own texture is until you actually go there. We’ve become accustomed to having that relaxer for so long as little children pretty much, that we don’t know that the little crinkle that comes and grows out is a coil and it’s so beautiful if you just give it a chance to really grow.

JET: How do you feel about perms?

DJ: I think the deal breaker is the fact that, and this is my own opinion, is that relaxers are not friendly for us in any way, in terms of our health. If you think about the fact that you have to put gloves on your hands to put that relaxer on your scalp, if you have to cover your hands, what do you think it’s doing to your scalp?

JET: What do you love about the Lock ‘N Twist?

DJ: It’s quick. It gives a very different look and you can have multiple looks with it. So you can opt to wear it in the flat twist set for a week and then take it down and have a curly look. This will change up your look all from one hairdo. You’re also giving your hair a break from constantly combing, pulling and brushing. It’s allowing your hair to become more healthy.

JET: What are you working on now? What’s new?

DJ: We’re working on the RIAH Awards. It’s the first annual RIAH awards and this award show is giving recognition to hair stylists in the industry that have not had that recognition. Just like with the Grammy’, you know how those different individuals get recognition for all of these different accolades they’ve done throughout the year, well we need something for those hairstylists because they have not received any pat on the back. We’re the ones who make them beautiful for the different events they go to.

For more information on how to attend the September 8 event visit

In the video below, Johnson uses Sinead McCall, 22, to demonstrate a quick and easy style that women can do at home: