Where are you from?
T: I’m from Houston, Texas… I was born in H‑town but my dad went into the Navy when I was 2 yrs old. So I never actually lived there until I decide to go to undergrad.
Why did you decide to go natural?
T: I decided to go natural as a way of defining myself. I was defined by others by my physical attributes whether was my long straight hair or other things. I’ve always been pretty natural in the sense that I never really wore a lot of make up or weave.
I usually went about 3 months between relaxers so I thought if I went natural I would be ok. I mean I wouldn’t look too crazy. This was my rationale to encourage myself to stop the lye. ;0) I wanted to see what the real, unaltered, natural me looked like. I wanted to love that person and for others to know and love her too.
This transformation was not only physical but also spiritual as I began to see myself as God sees me. Everything the Lord makes is good including my natural.
When and how did you go natural?
T: I began my transition in the summer of 2006 which really isn’t fun in the Houston humidity. I usually went about 3 months between a relaxer. The first 3 months was pretty easy. Going into the 4th and 5th month was a little overwhelming. I would do twist outs, roller sets and flat iron it.
One night I was watching America’s Next Top Model cycle 7 and saw Jaeda’s hair cut on the makeover episode. She looked so beautiful and I really related to her “girl with the pretty long hair” story. I thought to myself ‘I’ma cut my hair.’ That’s exactly what I did after 5 months of transitioning. I really commend those ladies that transition long term because the 3 to 4 different textures were really testing my patience.
Could you describe your regimen? What products and ingredients do you use?
T: I think my regimen is pretty basic. It’s pretty frugal too. I recommend all natural products and not worrying about your hair because hey it’s natural. I shampoo with castile soap or Organic Tea Shampoo for The Original Fragrance Shop in Houston, TX. I condition with Hair Pudding Conditioner from The Original Fragrance Shop. A good leave-in conditioner is a must. I’m currently using Giovanni Direct Leave-In.
The most important product in my regimen is my moisturizer and I recently started making Shealoe which is a combination of unrefined Shea butter and Aloe Vera gel. This doubles as my moisturizer and styling product. I have dry scalp so I seal my wet scalp with olive oil. About once a week I deep condition with a moisturizing deep conditioner, Hair Mayonnaise and biweekly I do a hot oil treatment with olive oil.
What mistakes have you made in your natural journey that you’ve learned from?
T: Overlapping too many products; You get oil stains wherever you lay your head and sticky flaky hair. It’s not very pretty and you never learn which products are really working for you. Oh and not using enough moisturizer and wondering why it’s frizzy.
How is your hair an expression of your personality?
T: It’s a representation of who I am as a person because I have chosen for my hair to mirror my personality and characteristics.
My hair is natural, healthy and easy-going and these are all characteristics that describe me as person. My hair doesn’t define me but I define it. I describe my hair as the perfect accessory to my physical appearance; it accentuates my physical being. I’m not limited to one style or look.
My hair doesn’t (negatively) affect how I feel about myself on any given day. That’s why I can stand with my head up high with this beautiful crown.
Why are you pro natural hair?
T: Natural hair is not just a hairstyle it’s a lifestyle. Your hair reflects changes and needs of your body. Being natural is also about self love and acceptance. So I’m pro natural hair because your natural teaches you how to care for the holistic woman. To love the whole being.
Any parting advice?
T: Don’t worry about your hair ‘cause its natural. Let it do its thing.
Everyone’s natural is like a fingerprint in the sense that it is unique to you. Don’t judge your texture by comparing yourself to others. Allow your hair time to grow so it can express its full potential before reverting back to the lye. Most importantly, it’s your hair don’t let others define your physically beauty. You, do you!
Thank you Tamara! Your hair is GORGEOUS! Check out Tamara’s awesome blog http://www.naturalhairrules.blogspot.com/, and if you’re on Facebook join the Natural Hair Rules!!! Fan pages.