*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
T: My name is Toni. I live in Houston, TX and I was born in Woodville, TX. So, I have to rep Woodville along with Houston, but my heart belongs to Houston. I love Houston and Houston loves me (well, at least I like to think so)!:) I am currently pursuing my Bachelor’s of Science in Dietetics. I am a proud co-owner of MyNaturalSistas’s YouTube Channel (CHECK US OUT). I do my best to live, love, laugh and maintain a healthy lifestyle. I enjoy working out and adore spending precious moments with my family & friends.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
T: I decided to go natural because it made sense. I was not fond of going natural until my lovely sisters took me under their wing with their exploration and persuasions of the whole idea. I have always been a huge fan of BIG HAIR, so it all made sense after a while of denial, questioning and curiosity.
When and how did you transition into natural hair?
T: My transition wasn’t exactly planned. It was really spur of the moment. When I was addicted to the “creamy crack”, I stretched my perms every 4 months. My sisters were already trying to convert me into being a natural and I wasn’t exactly feeling that idea at the time. After seeing all of these amazing Black American women and their stories on YouTube and Fotki, I started to become more interested over time. So, I got my last perm March 2009. After that I became confused on what to do with my hair. My mom and I were on one team and my two sisters were on another. During this 4 month wait, I decided to get only roller wraps and use less heat. In May 2009, I was really contemplating on whether I should BC or not, but I was still scared and nervous about the idea. So, I weaved it up. I decided I was going to see how long I could go without a perm with it being weaved up.
To make a long story short, I became frustrated and angry with my hair. I woke up one day feeling like…it’s that time. I called up one of my girls and asked her to take out my weave, she did. We went to SuperCuts and next thing you know, BAHDDA BOOM BAHDDA BANG! July 13th, 2009 I was ALL NATURAL. Finally, I became ONE with my hair and I felt extravagant, phenomenal, and unique. Although the actual experience of sitting in that chair wasn’t so easy, it was actually very emotional for me. Until this day I do not regret one bit of my decision.
In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
T: Wearing my natural textured hair has affected me culturally, mentally, emotionally and socially. Knowing the story behind the perms, the weaves, the hows and the whys has altered my opinion about what is really beautiful and realistic in my world. This part of my lifestyle has led me to be more comfortable with myself. I’m proud to wear my natural hair; the freedom of showing it off reassures me of my culture and who I am every day. There is so much support behind this self-defining movement it’s awesome! I love it and I am pleeeased to be a part of it.
How would you describe your hair?
T: My hair is CRAZY FUN. I like to call her Red Hot because she’s smoking HOT! I love her. She behaves pretty well for the most part. We’ve only fell out twice that I can remember. I would say my hair is a mixture of 4a and 4b texture. She’s thick, course, sturdy and growin’ BIG. Although, the sides of my hair are thin. I am not sure if it’s damage from relaxing and weaving or if it’s genetics.
What is your regimen?
T: Since I re-dyed my hair, my regimen has changed. I wash and deep condition every 10–14 days. I alternate my product lines (I get bored easily…teehee). For the most part, I alternate between Miss Jessie’s and Shea Moisture’s hair product lines. Most of the time I two strand twist my hair or define my curls.
Tell us about your hair color?
T: My hair color is like the Red Sea, I just want to dive in it. I absolutely did not color my hair, haha. I got it colored by a licensed professional. I do not know the exact color, but I do know that it’s a mixture of colors.
How do you retain length and moisture in your hair, especially now that you have color?
T: I deep condition more often now to keep it moisturized. When it was first dyed it was dry, but now it’s back to its natural softness. Dying my hair has not changed my texture at all.
To retain length, I keep heat out! I get my ends trimmed every 3–4 months. I take care of my ends; I am a huge believer in healthy ends. I hate split ends, their gross and unproductive. One of the main things I learned is to not go without getting my ends trimmed for a long period of time. I went without a trim for almost a year. No bueno!
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
T: The best thing I do for my hair is take care of her. I like to spend quality time learning what she likes and what she doesn’t.
Anything else you want to add?
T: To all of the ladies who are transitioning, going natural is a wonderful experience. It’s like being in another world. Don’t let other people’s opinions reflect yours. If natural is what you want to do, then do it. And to all of the ladies who are natural…WORK. Keep inspiring others and keep inspiring me.:)