An advocate of wellness and sensuality, Natt Nyah is all about self-love and empowering women alike. From her decade-long loc journey to building her own brand, the creative has constructed a capacity where she exchanges with her community tips on seeking happiness, sensuality, and healthy, lush hair in our lives.
Many know Natt Nyah as a natural hair influencer, lifestyle model, and most recently, the author of My Loc Reflective Journal—an open-ended prompt that encourages written documentation of the reader’s loc journey. She extrudes confidence and through sharing her moments in her life, Nyah has been able to create an online movement and fan base centered around acceptance and wellbeing. On top of her online presence, the creative also started Nyah’s Valley, a Black-owned business that specializes in hair and body care products as well as robes and much more. It originally started with her passion for designing jewelry when she was younger and since then, has grown into a phenomenal one-stop shop.
For our latest, Natt Nyah spoke with us about body positivity, work-life balance, Nyah’s Valley, and so much more! Check it out below.
You’re all about body positivity and embracing your skin, what has your journey to get to this point been like?
I feel like it’s been such a life-long journey for me, I was not always like this. I grew up in strict predicaments in church so it’s not encouraged or pushed historically, but I think my loc journey really helped me come into that. So it wasn’t just about my hair journey, it was about loving my skin. I’m the kind of person where if I’m going to do something, I’m going to really dive into it. Dance helped so much, I was a performer in high school, and I had a really good instructor, and seeing how confident she was really inspired me. Just being able to connect with body and having control really helped me be self-aware.
For me, as I got older, my body would change and I was like okay this isn’t the same 18-year-old body I had. I went through some weight fluxuation and I gained stretch marks, and being on camera you have to look at yourself. I’m seeing changes and I’m really loving how my body has been changing so that’s given me a lot of freedom to express myself.
Can you tell us how you juggle social media, advocating for women, as well as building Nyah’s Valley?
I try to be as naturally me as possible, I think that’s what works. Being authentic and not being fake about anything because that can be exhausting. People like to see reflections of themselves at the end of the day so that’s my approach. I’m very aware that everyone’s journey is unique so whatever I can put out there is what works.
Being an influencer is like being your own brand essentially. How have you applied what you learned in the social media industry to the development of Nyah’s Valley?
So being an influencer, I really wasn’t getting a lot of brand deals, and I think that’s because I’m not easy to market for brands. So when I realized there are natural hair influencers and a lot of them have had really successful careers, I wanted to create something for myself and also my community. Just fulfilling a much-needed space!
I love that you don’t shy away from topics like sexual empowerment and sensuality—tell me about how that relationship with self has grown since then?
That’s my bag! The older I got, the more I realized that there’s so much power in being able to embrace it. The way I express it isn’t for everybody but for me, there’s so much creative freedom. Throughout my whole career, I’ve been particular about how I express my sensuality and there’s always backlash but it’s so enjoyable for me and I know that it connects with other people. There’s a lot of stigmas, but I feel like it comes with self-growth.
What inspired you to launch the My Loc Reflective Journal e-book?
It’s essentially a journal prompt book that has these thought-provoking questions about a loc journey. Within a loc journey, there are these stages that you go through, and a lot of us who experience it, it’s a very unique experience. It teaches you so many things and I thought it would be a really good thing to write about it. There are so many personal experiences and in the journal, they’re all open-ended questions. It gives you that space to explore and write; I have some tips in there and some other stuff. I don’t want to give too much away!
Are you working on any exciting projects for 2022?
I’m always working on something! I know what I really enjoy right now but I have ideas for days so it’s just a matter of timing and having the support around me. I have a class that I’ve curated so I’m really excited about that. That’s the latest project and I think I’m in a space where I’m ready to teach now.
If you enjoyed our interview with Natt Nyah, peep our conversation with Somali-Canadian creative Amaal!