*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
M: My name is Tameka, but I go by MeechyMonroe on all social media outlets. I live in the wonderful city of go-getters better known as the City of Wind, Chicago. Professionally I work within sales operations at a software technology company. I am also a Natural Hair Enthusiast and Blogger/Vlogger reaching out to women to help inspire and care for their natural hair and beyond.
When and how did you transition into natural hair?
M: I was natural up until I was about 16. I wore my hair in mostly straight styles, but I was always aware of my texture. After receiving a perm I noticed that through the years my hair wasn’t as thick and lustrous as it was before. I started to cut my hair and tried to have fun with it at different lengths while permed since the condition had worsened. My decision may have been a bit more random than others, seeing that it branched from a horrible haircut gone wrong. I decided to let my hair grow back without over processing it since it was so short. Around that time members of my family had already taken the plunge into a natural state of mind, which made me look into more details and the benefits of doing so as well. I began to do major research via Youtube, Blogs, and Natural Hair websites and I decided there was no turning back. I was so inspired and up until that point had not known the awesome styles I could have tried with my natural hair. Needless to say I was a tad upset that I’d EVER gotten a perm.
I transitioned for about 3 months total before I’d had enough and Big Chopped it all off. It was so hard to deal with two textures, and at times I can be impatient. LOL. Plus I was so eager to see what my hair looked like short and coily/curly. I wore two weave installs during my transition. One was a curly/wavy texture, which lasted about a month and a half and was very easy to keep up with. The other was a straight hair sew in which was taken out early since I felt I was straightening my hair too much and I did not want to compromise my natural texture. So I did it, I big chopped on July 10, 2009. It’s been bliss ever since.
In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
M: Becoming a natural woman has indeed affected me in numerous ways. After opening my eyes and being aware of self-acceptance and better practices with my hair I have become a bit more aware of my health and just overall conscious on so many levels. I have realized that while I am so concerned with my hair and what products I use I can also be just as concerned with what goes into my body and the functions that certain foods serve. I have also become more aware of my look. Natural hair can be funky and fun, yet elegant and chic. I take pride in being different when at one point I simply wanted to fit in. It also feels great to know that I am setting an example for those that are around me. I am a walking advertisement for natural hair and I’m okay with that. I have helped numerous friends and family members realize their true beauty and I continue to inspire others on a day-to-day basis.
How would you describe your hair?
M: My hair is highly textured and somewhat thick with several sections being different throughout. I have some wavy spots, some coily, some curly, some poofy, but I think the general consensus would be kinky/curly. My hair takes well to styles that set a certain pattern like braids and twists and sucks up moisture like crazy. I am also very prone to single strand knots since my hair loves to coil around itself…I am working on keeping them down.
What is your regimen?
M: I wash my hair every week to week and a half with a moisturizing shampoo like Shea Moisture’s Retention Shampoo or Original Moxie’s Get Clean No Foam Shampoo. I always follow up with either a deep conditioner like Shea Moisture’s Deep Treatment Masque or Original Moxie’s Intense Deep Conditioner. If I do not have time to deep condition I sometimes use conditioners like Aussie Moist, Herbal Essences Hello Hydration, or Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition to help with the detangling process since each of these products have amazing slip. After washing and conditioning of some sort I always twist or braid my hair to help stretch my strands while it dries. My go-to for twistouts are Cantu Shea Butter Leave In sealed with my whipped Shea Butter. These two in combination yield the perfect twistout results every time. Normally through the week each night I spritz my hair with water and retwist to help it stay uniformed and it actually stretches my hair in the process.
How do you retain length and moisture in your hair?
M: Since becoming natural I have learned what my hair likes and does not like. I have to wash my hair frequently because dryness and buildup for me do not mix. I also spritz my hair with water throughout the week and I make sure to pay attention to my ends, which is the oldest part of the hair and prone to breakage first. I try to use quality products that are designed to moisturize and I always seal with an oil like coconut oil or my whipped shea butter.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
M: When I was about 5 months natural I realized I could wear the infamous puff and wore it daily! LOL. I would slick and pull my poor fragile edges to death just to rock that style. I realized I was putting my hair in jeopardy and began to see minor breakage to the point where the headband had to be pulled to keep the hair up. I soon stopped and decided to branch off into more hair friendly styles and loose pinned updos. This is actually the point where I fell in love with twists and twistouts.
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
M: I think for me it’s keeping up with my set regimen that is tried and true and works. When you find something your hair likes, stick with it. I have been able to accumulate products and brands that my hair seems to love and techniques that give me desired results and yet still allow for length retention.
Anything else you want to add?
M: Yes, thank you so much for the interview and please keep up the great work that you do inspiring so many beautiful women with the information and outlet you provide. Awesome site! For all the women out there reading this, keep true to yourself. YOU all are my inspiration. Thank you.