*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
T: My name is Tayarisha. I’m from Philadelphia! Well, outside of it. Currently attending Swarthmore College. Broadly speaking, I tell stories. Specifically, I make movies, take photos, and write fiction (mostly). I’m a senior with a major in Visual Ethnography.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
T: I’ve actually had natural hair all my life, and I thank my mother daily for that. I got locks when I was fifteen because my least favorite thing about hair is having to comb it.
In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
T: It hasn’t. I love all that I can do with my hair and I joke every now and then about experience hubris because of it. It’s strong, fun to play with, and reflects how I feel about myself.
How would you describe your hair?
T: Unceasingly thick. It grows rather quickly (thanks to lots of water and a clean scalp), but the main descriptor would have to be thick thick thick.
What is your regimen?
T: I wash it twice a week with Organix Shampoo. I’ve got tons of the different types because they all smell so delicious. I use Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter conditioning milk as a leave in conditioner (again, thanks to my moms. A long time shea butter believer.) When it’s wet I braid it into a bunch of smaller braids and often use Shea Moisture’s Curl & Style Milk when doing that. For the scalp I use coconut castor oil, which my hairdresser loves, as do I.
How do you retain length and moisture in your hair?
T: Drink lots and lots of water! TONS. Love water. It’s pretty much the nectar of the gods. That, and castor oil on my scalp, plus leave in conditioner in the morning if my hair feels dry.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
T: When I was thirteen I secretly bought a hair straightener before my first day of high school because I desperately wanted to fit in. My mom found out before I used it though, and as teenagers and moms do, we got into a huge fight over it. Almost getting into the habit of straightening it was perhaps my biggest mistake. These days I don’t even use a hair dryer unless I absolutely need to. Let the air do its work. Don’t let heat damage your luscious follicles!
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
T: Leave-in conditioner and leaving it down and free without any particular style.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
T: My blog is http://invokethedope.wordpress.com. I mostly post photos and videos of folks I know who are invoking the dope in their lives, and then rant about my thesis film in other posts. My portfolio site is http://www.tayarishapoe.com, where you’ll see lots of photos of my baby nephew. Also most pictures of me on the internet were likely taken by Kat Clark (http://katclark.org).
Anything else you want to add?
T: Have fun with your hair. Don’t obsess over it! You’re just stressing yourself out! Also, if you’re gonna dye your hair red, don’t use a white towel on your shoulders. Bad idea. The red dye however, is a good idea. :]