Ty Alexander Gorgeous In Grey The Cut Life

I entered 2017 with a host of changes sitting on my lap. I wrote my first book and became an author (buy it here). Then Leèroy asked me to marry him and we got engaged (no, that’s not his real name). Then I immediately started planning our wedding. Then he said let’s move back to Baltimore. My 2017 was spent adjusting to something. Which felt like I was adjusting to everything. When Q4 rolled in, I thought of what I wanted my goals for 2018 to be. For some reason, my hair and what to do with it kept coming up. Cutting my hair was looming on the horizon and it was time for me to take some action.


Let’s back up to 2012!

Ty Alexander Natural hair


Back in 2012, I decided to go natural (like everyone else). In full transparency, it was just a thing I thought I was supposed to do. Looking back I’m not even sure if I had any real reasons for joining the natural hair movement. I never cared to see my real curls and once I did I absolutely hated them. Before I went natural I was only relaxing my hair about every 5 or 6 months. Which was basically at the start of each season.

The first few months of being natural were absolute torture. I used all the milks, creams, mousses and oils that I could find just for my curls to never really curl all the way. Keep in mind this was before the big blogs and the unlimited articles on what to do with your curls. It was right at the start of the natural hair movement.

After creating my own useless curl refreshing spray concoctions and lots of wasted hair products, I finally realized that I didn’t have “wash and go” hair. I didn’t have the kind of curl that is wildly celebrated in the natural hair community. And honey that is another topic I will tackle later.

My stylist at the time suggested that I rod set my hair to get that desired look. Genius! I finally got the curls I desired. But that meant I was rolling up my hair every night. Keep in mind this is before the fancy big bonnets and other amazing creations that kept your curls plump and juicy throughout the night. But what I remember most was that despite all that work I had done to my hair I felt very not sexy! I’ve never embraced my natural grey curls. I’m not sure if I ever will. Does not liking something mean that I’m not embracing it? Can’t I just not like it and move one?

Anyways,! I’m also pretty sure I don’t care if you have an opinion about whether my hair is natural or relaxed.

Ty Alexander Natural hair mohawk

Then I got an opportunity that basically catapulted my blogging and writing career. Stacy London (TLC’s What Not To Wear) was looking for “real” models for her book The Truth About Style. I applied via email and boom… I was selected (read that story here, here, and here!)! My makeover look was a mohawk (see picture above). But like the real kind of Mohawk. In the beginning, it was fly, revolutionary, edgy and really give me a signature look. Granted it was cute and all but I eventually got tired of it.

So I started to grow my hair out but left one side still shaved. That became what many of you know as my signature style. I like to think that I may have even influenced a few girls to “partially” shave their heads. Years later, I noticed that I didn’t have the same love for the shaved side that I did when I first cut it. It was almost as if I was ashamed of it. I almost never showed that side of my hair to the point where many forgot it was still a thing. I finally said let me just grow that side out too.

We’re back in 2017 now.

That was hard AF to do. The first side was too easy. I just swooped the long side of my hair over the wild and unruly grow out and kept it moving. A year later my hair caught up and that’s when I cut my hair into a bob.

I tried to do the same for the second side of the style but the odds weren’t in my favor. When I tried swooping the hair over it looked like I was hiding a huge bald spot. I tried pinning it and failed. I tried putting gel on. I put Jam on it. Nothing! So now I am miserable. I hate my hair.

But because I was planning my wedding and I was told by everyone to not make any drastic changes unless I plan to lose weight. Getting skinny was the only change that was encouraged and acceptable (I’ll write about that foolish shit later). So I listened to everyone and sucked it up.

I chatted with my stylist (Gabrielle Corney) and our best solution for operation “UnHate My Hair” was to cut it so that it was near the same length throughout my hair. So I spent all summer saving hair inspo from The Cut Life. I said that after my wedding I would let that side grow out to where it was long enough to curl or pinch and then I would have Gabi cut it.

October comes and I am impatient AF!

My hair grows pretty fast so in about 4 weeks time I had enough to pinch. But then something happened that irked my entire soul. As my hair started to grow out my untouched natural pinches of hair got really curly and wiry. Eight years later and my hair on the side is mainly grey. UGH!

So now I am back to fresh natural hair… halfway through. And to be honest, it’s just not the life I wanted to live. I literally had a head full of pressed hair and a patch of 3C (ish) curls.

I gave myself two more months of new growth and said to Gabi, “Let’s do this girl” (Y’all remember that Martin episode).

Ty Alexander Gorgeous In Grey New Hair cut

Details on my new cut.

I saved tons of photos on Instagram for inspo. As I mentioned before they’re all mainly from The Cut Life. I had pics of short short, short long, short pixie… you name it I had it saved. I did a poll on my IG Stories and with your help, we ended up using this style as a guide.

short hair inspo

A lot of you have asked if I relaxed my hair. The answer is YES and here’s why.

I relaxed my hair!

Whenever someone would discourage me I’d say, “I don’t have to struggle if I don’t want to”. The bottom line is, my natural hair journey has been a complete struggle. And maybe it’s not the 4C struggle we’re used to talking about or seeing but it was still my version of struggle. I ain’t got to go through it no more! That life is not for me. I won’t say that I will never be natural again. Who knows! I won’t say that I will never want my curls back. Who knows! But what I know for sure (right now) is that without a full head of hair I have no plans to wear my naturally curly grey hair.

With all that said and thoroughly thought through, I had some decisions to make. Do I fight the world to keep my hair straight? While my hair was sorta heat trained, one long gust of hot air literally blows my straight haired dreams away (pun intended). I thought about the effort it would take to keep this short side straight and that further solidified my decision.

Ty Alexander Gorgeous In Grey New Hair cut

Then I asked myself who am I natural for. You or me?

I can admit to you and myself that I went natural to join a trend. Not because my hair was breaking off or so that my hair could be healthy(er). My hair will always be healthy because I take care of it. So yes, I got a relaxer.

Ty Alexander Gorgeous In Grey New Hair cut

At the end of the day, I feel like a new girl–which was my main goal heading into 2018. My list of goals are LIT and I didn’t want to go into 2018 worrying about my hair and what it was doing. I adore this cut and now (peep this)… I might not let it grow out.

Did you guys do anything drastic to end your 2017? What are you 2018 goals?

If you liked this post you can thank me by leaving a comment and sharing this post on social media.


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  1. Tanisha
    December 26, 2017 / 2:53 pm

    I too relaxed after being natural for about 12-13 years. I have no regrets after 6 months. I get a touch up every 12-14 weeks. To me it’s just hair and I wanted a new look and easier maintenance because spending every Sunday twisting it was driving me crazy. Everyone was surprised but I spent a lot of time thinking about it and I’m a grown *ss woman who gets to decides what to do with my hair. So do you. And I love your new look.

  2. Monica
    December 26, 2017 / 3:41 pm

    I too went natural because everyone was doing it. I was always “relaxed” since I was 18 (49 years old now) and it never bothered me or my hair. When I went natural for one year I was miserable. It was one of the worst times of my hair life….LOL. I went back to relaxed & never regretted it since.

  3. LaDonya
    December 26, 2017 / 7:09 pm

    I too am relaxed. As a matter of fact, I am the mother if 4 girls all of which are natural. I love their hair in all their glory, no two are alike. I also love my relaxed hair. I hate the way “ we” put a stigma on relaxers. It works for me and I have no plans on going natural. I am 49 and at this point have no idea what my “ natural” hair looks like. I went from a press n comb as a child to a jeri curl to relaxers. Hair is hair and won’t I won’t do is struggle with my hair every morning. I am a confirmed relaxer girl. Now, what I am struggling with it going grey, that too shall pass.

  4. Kyra
    December 26, 2017 / 7:37 pm

    Love your decisive thought process!

  5. Angela
    December 26, 2017 / 8:57 pm

    I agree its a tough decision to change your hair, relaxed hair looks good on you!

  6. Kim
    December 26, 2017 / 9:16 pm

    I went natural and it’s been good for me because scalp eczema made relaxers torturous. But i had always wanted locs and so finally in March i got sisterlocks, dyed them red and i’ve been in love ever since. It’s just hair, so what you want!

  7. Crystal Mosby
    December 26, 2017 / 9:33 pm

    Good for you! You said it right, you don’t HAVE to struggle and you shouldn’t. I’ve been everything from relaxed, mixed platinum blonde to fire engine red to midnight blue black , bra strap length to super low fade in one cut. Now I’m straightening my hair twice a month because it makes MY life easier.

  8. December 26, 2017 / 9:55 pm

    Love this. I live in an area with practically no hairdressers who could style natural hair but I went natural too because of the trend. Anywhere you looked online it was like black women were being bullied for choosing to stay or go relaxed.

    I made the decision to ditch natural hair because I always felt unkept and unattractive because I couldn’t style my natural hair well and there were no hairstylists locally who could either. My hair suffered and was actually in worse shape when I was natural than when I was relaxed.

    I am now happily relaxed and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

    Thank you for sharing your hair journey, Tye. I hope it encourages others to do what makes them happy with their hair.

    • Maritza
      March 15, 2019 / 7:10 pm

      You took the words right out of my mouth!!

  9. Michelle Evans
    December 26, 2017 / 10:46 pm

    Overall, 2017 was a year of discovery for me. My main focus was to get back to loving myself and putting my goals and aspirations first. I was natural for 4 years and made the decision to cut my hair short and get a relaxer in October. Best decision I ever made. The natural hairstyle wasn’t working out well for me. Now I feel sexier and can go to the gym and not stress about what state my hair will be in the next day. Short hair looks good on you! You should host a meet and greet in Baltimore.

  10. December 26, 2017 / 11:12 pm

    I did the opposite, I big chopped and went fully natural in September of 2017. I did it because relaxers took a toll on my hair. My hair just did not do well with them. My natural hair is thriving and I am loving it. Everyone is different and you have to do what makes you happy.

  11. O’lyuana
    December 27, 2017 / 12:32 am

    Choose whatever hair situation best fits you. When I decided to go natural it was a spiritual journey not a move to follow a trend. Natural hair is a big commitment like locs and is not for everyone. I love my curls now but who knows it may change and it may not. #thepowerofbeingablackwoman

  12. Nikki
    December 27, 2017 / 2:08 am

    I have been contemplating the same thing. When I had a relaxed before my hair actually grew longer. I went natural because my now ex husband thought I needed to be down with the movement only to tell me months later “are you going to do something else with your hair?” He didn’t like it, but I did eventually embrace it after spending so much money on products. But it is more work than I expected I’m seriously considering a change. I love the I am not my hair message that comes across in this article and from the other comments. Thank you for the boost of hair power 🙂

  13. Kisha Marie
    December 27, 2017 / 2:55 am

    What a great article! I say this all the time being natural isn’t for everyone! And there IS a such thing having a healthy relaxer. Kudos to you.

  14. Alma
    December 27, 2017 / 3:21 pm

    I hated my natural hair journey. It took me a long time to get use to it and figure out what to do with it. I stick with it because of my daughter. She loves my hair natural and I plan to keep her hair natural.

  15. Sylrethia
    December 27, 2017 / 4:30 pm

    Love this article! I, like you decided to go natural in 2011/2012 for no particular reason. It was filled with years of not trying to sweat out my freshly pressed hair. My life actions where being dictated by my hair. By 2016, I asked myself what’s the difference of pressing my hair constantly and having a relaxer. I decided to relax my hair and celebrate with a short haircut like yours. It was the best! I am now in the process of growing my hair out without relaxer again. But the difference is I have a reason now. I want my curls for 2018. If they are not what I want them to be, I have no reservation about relaxing my hair. Having natuarl or relax hair does not define your soul.

  16. Miriam
    December 27, 2017 / 6:21 pm

    Kudos to you for making a decision about YOU and feeling good about it. I think that is the hardest thing to conquer is not worrying about others opinion and just doing YOU!! AS you stated you can always go back natural if you want to. Happy for you and your hair looks beautiful!! I tossing with the same idea. Relaxer. I don’t like natural on me, it doesn’t fit my personality

  17. Dee
    December 27, 2017 / 6:52 pm

    I didn’t realize how much I cared of what my natural sisters would think of me after I relaxed my hair this year after being natural for 10 years. I became an indecisive mess and slipped into a depression over MY hair. I reality checked myself and did me! I’ve relaxed my hair and my daughter’s. Found a fabulous stylist and both of our hair is healthy and beautiful! p.s. I was bout’ that #cutlife too!

  18. Juanita
    December 28, 2017 / 8:19 pm

    It’s super cute! Thank you for writing about your journey it’s encouraging to see someone honestly discuss the issue from both sides natural and relaxed. And the revelation at 41. Do what makes you happy.

  19. Sydnay wilson
    December 28, 2017 / 8:21 pm

    Love the honesty!

  20. Shiea
    December 29, 2017 / 11:20 am

    Love the new look! I was chemical free for 8 months and my hair is really thick and I’m lazy..lol.I couldn’t deal with it..so last month I relaxed it for me.

  21. December 29, 2017 / 7:44 pm

    I cut my hair again to go into 2018 with a “new look,” and have learned that a pixie cut and natural hair are kinda difficult…I haven’t had a perm since 2006, but I’m seriously considering a texturizer. I think your natural curls were cute, but you’ve got to do what works for you! Your cut looks great on you.

  22. Carla
    December 31, 2017 / 3:05 am

    I wore my hair natural for about 30 years but could probably count on one hand my good hair days. A few years ago I moved to a humid climate and wanted to be straight but not relaxed, which is a kinky contradiction in terms. I have an appointment Tuesday with my hairdresser for a haircut, and I just might take some inspiration from your post. Ain’t nobody gotta comb this but me and I hate maintaining curls!

  23. December 31, 2017 / 2:43 pm

    Your story sounds so much like mines my daughter went natural and she said i sould try going natural so on with the processes with going natural, it all seemed so time consuming it wasn’t this complicated as a child growing up with seven other sisters .so to make an even longer story short I went back to relaxing and I am truly happy with my decision, my hair has grown back so now me and my hair are just fine.

  24. Kisha Brown
    January 2, 2018 / 3:42 pm

    I totally agree!!! I relaxed after 10yrs natural. I turned 40 (now 41) and I was like I don’t care what’s people think!!! But I was still dying my hair and I was 90% grey… I let that go too. So Dec 30th 2017. I cut off about 2 inches of black dye… 100% grey, relaxed and don’t give AF! Lol My biggest opposer is my Momma.

  25. Currvalicious
    January 4, 2018 / 9:34 pm

    Your hair looks great! The cut is refreshing. I too frequent The Cut Life for hair inspo, I do remember seeing this cut thinking how gorg it was. I feel the natural hair movement is great, however we shouldn’t have to feel ashamed for wanting to wear other styles. I’m not a naturalista, never have been or will be, however for those who are, more power to you.

  26. January 6, 2018 / 1:14 pm

    Your hair has always looked fly! I love the cut, and as always, I love your transparency here. Happy New Year to you…xo!


  27. Nyisha
    January 10, 2018 / 2:27 am

    Love this message! Do what is best for you. I didn’t have any specific reason for going natural either…it literally just happened lol but I found a system that works for me where I can stay natural. Weave in the hot months, blow out in the cold! Love your new look Queen…do you!!!

  28. Zephaniah
    January 10, 2018 / 3:07 am

    I love your hair! I didn’t do anything drastic to my hair, but I did make a drastic move. I moved from Houston, TX to Colorado Springs, CO. I’ve been dreaming of moving to Colorado for about 3 years. I said I wanted to do something big before I turn 30 this year, so I made my move and started LIVING for me!!! For the first time in my life I feel like I’m living and living for me! I hope your year is the best year yet, I know mine will be!

  29. Tangela
    January 10, 2018 / 3:50 pm

    Your hair looks great! I too relaxed after 10 months natural. It is your hair, do you and be happy 😉

  30. January 12, 2018 / 1:28 pm

    Love, love, love the cut and that you’re relaxing it! I understand the natural movement and support it but it’s not my hair journey. So do you and live a fabulous life – that’s the important thing!

  31. January 12, 2018 / 4:01 pm

    Love this post. I went through a similar experience with my hair. Went natural because I wanted to see if I would love it and I didn’t. Two and a half years after my big chop I went back to a relaxer and do not regret it one bit. Thanks for sharing your journey!

  32. January 12, 2018 / 4:32 pm

    This is REAL and a great reminder that everything in life is an exchange so the deal has gotta be worth it to YOU.

    This hair and cut of yours is absolutely gorgeous and I love how it’s taken your self-awareness to new heights.

    Win win!

    Thanks for sharing Ty!

  33. Angeliccurls
    January 12, 2018 / 8:40 pm

    I admire you for doing what you wanted to do to make YOU HAPPY. I’m natural and enjoy the freedom I have with my hair but that’s me and I’m happy with my hair for in became natural for the same reason most did. You look fabulous and not so much because of the decision you made with your hair but because you look happy and it’s show from within and that is what is important. Doing you Boo. ?

  34. Kim
    January 12, 2018 / 9:41 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. I cut my hair in a very similar style 2 years ago because my long hair lost its curl pattern after I had my son. I haven’t had a relaxer in 9 years. But I’ve been getting so much flack from people when I talk about going back to the creamy crack. “ you have a good grade of hair you don’t need a relaxer” But they aren’t with me in the morning when I’m trying to lay this stuff flat in between hair cuts. I was actually thinking about growing it back, until I read this. I kinda forgot a relaxer was even an option! Ive always done my own, so I’m going to the beauty supply in the morning so I can keep my short and sexy hair cut!

  35. Nathifa
    January 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    I just cut my hair and am wearing natural for the first time in twenty years…Yeah I’m not having fun. My hair has never been that “wash-n-go-ish” either. My hair is proudly African from the tight-knitted-stay-together tribe. I must say though that I cut it because I was tried of de-weaving everything. I was tired of the cost, time, and energy to maintain a totally artificial look…and alas here I’m threatening to reach for the creamy crack again because this hair is hard to manage. Not to mention the grey sentinels at my temples that are allergic to the PPD in black dye. Nature has me over a barrel I guess… I’ll learn to love this woolly stuff or maybe just shave it all off. (nah I’m not that girl)

  36. January 12, 2018 / 10:09 pm

    I love your new look!! I am relaxed and have no desire to go natural. I like my low-maintenance, my sister and my daughter have locs and my mom is natural. I know that I do not have the time to invest in natural hair. I like wearing my hair in protective styles and straight occasionally. I feel like you. Who is coming to comb this hair daily while they make comments about what I should and shouldn’t do to MY hair? Relaxed until forever!!

  37. Nicole
    January 13, 2018 / 12:58 am

    THank you Thanj you Thank you Ty!!!???? This post gave me my entire life. I’ve struggled for the past 5 years with my hair in its natural kinky none curly 4c state. Many naturals come for you hard if you even think about going back to “creamy crack” some even frown upon those who straighten their hair. At the end of the day everyone has the right to do what ever the hell they want to do PERIOD! Others opinions & judgement, negative nasty comment are not needed. I’ve been debating on relaxing my hair & getting a dope ass hair cut & color again. I love my hair short I thought I wanted long hair but honestly I don’t! No I didn’t need to read your post to give myself permission to relax my hair again, after reading this you made me evaluate my reasons why I haven’t done it. Or why I’m still natural and miserable af. I LOVE your cut!
    Keep being unapologetically TY!
    Love you to pieces Sis!
    Btw I have a whole folder of cut life hair inspiration photos LOL

    Oh and I can’t wait to read your thoughts for those who told you to loose weight before cutting your hair.

  38. January 13, 2018 / 7:24 am

    Singing along to that one line in Bruno Mars song “Finesse” and giving you a virtual high five. I’m currently running my fingers through my 3 inch natural curls and hating them. Planned to grow out my fade for 2018 and get some braids,but uuuhhh nope. I love not having to bother with hairstuff,and spend MY money on makeup/concert tickets and trainers instead. So my stormy cloudy puff is off to the barbershop, and then I’m getting my nails back on. Love the cut,and your honesty as usual.

  39. Jamilah
    January 15, 2018 / 12:05 pm

    I adore this post and all the transparency! I’m relaxed after periodic bouts of attempting to go natural. I was never happy dealing with my 4C hair. I don’t like to play in my hair. I wasn’t feeling sexy and I too was doing it for the trend. I totally agree we all have to do what’s best for us. That gets hard sometimes when you feel everyone is judging and by being relaxed you’re not helping the culture. But at 40 I live this life for me and mine. I’m one relaxed happy chick that is actually feeling pretty sexy and fly today.

  40. Tari
    January 15, 2018 / 10:10 pm

    I found you last year when I decided to embrace my grey. I was natural for three years and it was torture! My 4a-b texture was a lot of work for inconsistent results. One day it would look decent, the next a mess. From the twist, to failed wash and gos, I was miserable. And lets not mention the products. This past October I got a mild relaxer and it was the best decision I made regarding my hair. Its freeing to get up, unleash my wrap or pin curls and smile back at my cute old friend in the mirror! I missed her. Thank you Ty for keeping it 100 in these hair streets! #greyisgood #relaxedisback #justdoU

    • Val
      June 27, 2018 / 11:12 pm

      Totally feel you! ?

  41. January 20, 2018 / 10:25 am

    Your hair looks amazing and funnily enough my favourite “protective” wig is in the exact same style as your new pixie cut. I’m only natural because the salon prices I can afford = an entire day to relax, cut, blow dry and style. I really really can’t spend that much time (or £££) in the salon every 6-8 weeks plus going for treatment’s. I’m a student nurse at the moment, as soon as I graduate I’m going to relax my hair. I’m done with natural hair and wigs. You do you and you always look amazing.

  42. March 6, 2018 / 3:21 pm

    I agree its a tough decision to change your hair, relaxed hair looks good on you!

  43. Alayna
    May 14, 2018 / 2:14 pm

    Yassssssss!!!!! Everything about this post resonated with me!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

  44. May 29, 2018 / 9:04 am

    Your hair looks great! The cut is refreshing.

  45. Val
    June 27, 2018 / 11:11 pm

    I just relaxed after 8 years of breakage, unhappiness, and struggle for the people. I’m over it at 45 and want my sexy factor back. Hopefully with my mild version of a relaxer I can gain some length or whatever. It’s whatever for me in 2018 and RIP to my natural hair. Too old for power puffs and twist. I’m out ✌?

  46. SHARON
    September 25, 2018 / 10:20 pm

    Ty, you look beautiful as always. Which relaxer do you use? I am worried about going back to relaxing my hair now that it’s mostly gray because I don’t want it to be yellow or discolored. Do you use a vinegar rinse after relaxing?

  47. Jenny
    October 3, 2018 / 7:20 am

    You are a beauty, and like that you embrace your beautiful gray hair. Did your stylist use a lye or sensitive scalp relaxer, butter blend or classic?

  48. Ley Ley
    November 12, 2018 / 2:18 pm

    Interesting and inspiring read and you look fab . I am natural and have been for many years now. It was and is a cultural, spiritual, professional , and empowering move for me…. it was never a following of a trend. Plus I hated the relaxers and press and curls and all the other stuff that came with it. Hated the burning scalp and all lolol! Plus research shows a possible link with relaxers and fibroids ( don’t shoot the messenger) so I have completely let that life go. I have also let go of almost all forms of make up, lotions, hair products, perfumes unless they are organic/natural due to the possible links between autoimmune conditions and environmentally toxins. I love my ever kinky bush that is growing back into locs. ( I rocked locs for 6 years and had to cut them off due to underlying health issues that made my hair fall out ). Thee most freedom I have ever desired or experienced has been with natural hair. However, I support our freedom to choose and be who we want to be and do what we want to do. I feel like if it makes you happy and feel good then go for it ! Keep being fab and doing you!

  49. December 12, 2018 / 9:35 pm

    I love your post. I was natural for 2 years and relaxed my hair. I hated it because everyone had some thing to say. Needless to say I grew my hair out and did my 2nd big chop. Today after being natural for 3years I relaxed my hair. My hair never did what I wanted it to do. I spent 100’s dollars on products that didn’t work. Now I’m debating whether or not I did the right thing. Your post is helping me cope?. I may go back to natural one day, who knows. So what is best for you!

  50. December 14, 2018 / 2:43 am

    Your haircut looking really great. I was laughing when I was watching your video. Thanks for sharing this great article.

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