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Taheerah // Natural Hair Style Icon

Avatar • Apr 27, 2010

I love that I have accepted what others may loathe about their blackness. I truly love my hair.

Where do you live?
T:
Maple Shade, NJ (considered a Philadelphia Metro area). This upcoming fall I will be attending Rutgers University for Early Childhood Education.

Why did you make the decision to go natural?
T:
My hair had been chemically processed since the age of 5. To me, the thought of being natural hadn’t even materialized because I knew no black women with natural hair. Finally, when I turned 21, I decided that I was tired of relaxing.

Sometime in June 2002, 3 weeks post relaxer touch-up, I had my father cut my hair very, very low, so I didn’t really have a transition period. I remember that I wasn’t entirely comfortable with my hair at that time so I went to get my hair professional braided but the woman told me it was too short to catch so I was forced to get to know my hair because I had never been a fan of wigs and weaves.

At the time, I got very few compliments and several negative remarks to my face, but I was determined to stick it out. Even the guy that I was seeing at the time told me I had issues like Lauryn Hill (she had just shaved her head bald) and told me to come back when my hair grew longer. I remember laughing it off because a new natural co-worker of mine told me that my natural hair would ‘keep most of the losers at bay’. She was so right!! That same co-worker told me that when it came to confidence “fake it till I make it’. And I did.

What’s your regimen?
T:
Every 7 to 10 days I wash with Giovanni Smooth As Silk Shampoo and Conditioner (thanks kimmaytube!), separate my hair into 6 sections, gently detangle and put in medium twists. For my twists I use Carefree Gold Curl Activator (shealoe in the winter time) because it is non-greasy but provides good moisture balance for hair. I also spritz daily with water/glycerin mix. I used to be a product junkie but it was too expensive and very wasteful.

What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learnt from?
T:
I had to stop with the constant big chops!!!! I have done this 5 times since 2002; I would let it grow to about 12–14 inches then get frustrated with the length…I think that was because I was doing too much to my hair and the length/volume was overwhelming to me. Now I keep it in twists, occasionally switching up with single braids, and this works wonderfully for me.

What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
T:
Twists, twists, twists, staying away from heat, daily spritzing and gentle handling; just because it’s highly textured doesn’t mean it’s teflon.

How does your hair express who you are?
T:
When I first went natural, there was no one around me to give me advice about it. It was truly trial and error. Now when I see my hair, I see my hard work and determination and it makes me feel good to know that I can persevere. As cliche as it may sound, going natural has been one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done and because of that, I really believe that I can do almost anything I set my mind to.

Though it has not been easy, I love being natural. I love running my hands over my twists and feeling the coils and springs. I love not having to carry an umbrella or using a shower cap. I love that I can manage my hair on my own and not have to wait for someone to make time to style it for me. I love that I have overcome the conditioning that in order for my hair to look beautiful it has to be straight and smooth. I love that I have accepted what others may loathe about their blackness. I truly love my hair.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
T:
Anyone interested can find me on Facebook.

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Eve
Eve
10 years ago

Great personal story. Very motivating. And your hair looks wonderful!!!

Anita
Anita
10 years ago

This is my best friend i love her and she helped me to stop being a slave to the relaxer and go natural. It was the best thing i ever did. I have so much more confidence and i love my curly afro!

Nikki
10 years ago

OMG!!! Her hair is sooooo beautiful. This was really encouraging to see, because I have the same texture. I BC about six weeks ago and can’t wait to have this length!

Nikki
10 years ago

Oh… I forgot to say that I totally agree about the whole “keeping the losers at bay” comment. The man for me will adore my natural hair… check out my progress at http://www.nikkiandthecityadventures.blogspot.com

DM
DM
10 years ago

i like

predestined010
predestined010
10 years ago

Nice and Thick and Healthy LOvin IT!

thelady
thelady
10 years ago

great story

Crystal
Crystal
10 years ago

I love you T! You are so beautiful; inside & out; and I hope your experience inspires others.

Aunt Toria
Aunt Toria
10 years ago

My beautiful niece helped me with how to take care of my natural hair.

Cecilia
Cecilia
10 years ago

Hi Taheerah! I love the length please please do not cut it. Your hair is so beautiful, so you.

Taheerah
Taheerah
10 years ago

Thank you all for the very kind words.

Lydia
Lydia
10 years ago

What beautiful hair! ^_^

Aunt Nanci
Aunt Nanci
10 years ago

That’s my beautiful niece! I’m glad I have her to help me get through my transition. It is definitely a process!

Meika
Meika
10 years ago

Good to see another natural Jersey native. Your hair looks thick and lovely.

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[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Black Girl Long Hair. Black Girl Long Hair said: taheerah: gorgeous #naturalhair http://bglhonline.com/2010/04/taheerah/ […]

Angela
Angela
10 years ago

Just wanted to say thank you for this wonderful information. I am a mother of 3 girls and I am always looking to better the quality of how I take care of their hair. Tracey Fields recommended this site and I will be passing this on to many. Natural hair to me is beautiful but I have had my hair relaxed for so long the idea of getting the process out scares me to death. That being said I want my girls to know the beauty in being natural. My mother relaxed my hair and I feel stuck with her… Read more »

SameerahRonye'
10 years ago

OMG YOU LOOK ABSOLUTLEY STUNNING YOUR HAIR LOOKS FABULOUS , I THINK OUR HAIR IS OUR VERY BEING JUST BEING ABLE TO EMBRACE THE BEAUTY OF OUR KINKS IS AN ACCOMPLISHMENT !!!!!!!!

Reagan
10 years ago

OMG I am the constant BIG CHOP girl!! I am really not feeling the TWA so its hard to just be patient and let it grow out so that it can be braided or twisted..I totally relate to that “mistake”..but your hair is beautiful now! Hopefully mine will turn out the same!

TheBeautifulOne
TheBeautifulOne
9 years ago

Gorgeous!!! Love, love, love the hair! 😉

rox
rox
9 years ago

How do you deal with the fuzziness/curliness of your hair? no matter what i do, i cannot keep the fuzzies away. lol

I understand it’s curly, but dang.

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