*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
T: My name is Tatiana and I am from Boston, Massachusetts aka THE BEAN! More specifically the Roxbury and Dorchester Area! I just graduated from a Boston area college as well.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
T: Well, when I got to college I was informed by my family that I would have to begin paying for my own relaxers/touch ups…and I decided because of my lack of funds, to stop relaxing my hair and straighten it instead. Then with humidity and my lack of desire to do my hair I realized that wasn’t working…and I decided to transition and stop straightening it. Then one summer, I was sooo fed up with my hair I got a five dollar perm and had a friend put it in. I immediately regretted it, and from then on I’ve been chemical free. Since then I’ve become more political about my hair and it not only reflects me, but my ideals on beauty politics, and maybe politics in general!
How would you describe your texture?
T: My hair is definitely thick, like THICK. It absorbs water almost immediately and it takes forever to braid…It also needs a lot of moisture. I would say it’s somewhere along the 4 spectrum. The edges of my hair are very kinky and I have many “S” curls in my hair as well. I also get A LOT of shrinkage…you actually can never tell the length of my hair at all. I once got it trimmed and the stylist was shocked at how my hair was much longer than it looks; which I call my hair’s secret weapon. It’s ambiguous and big when it wants to be.
I definitely have to detangle my hair when it’s wet because I hate pulling my hair and feeling any sort of intense pulling on my hair, but once detangled it’s flexible with hair buns, bantu knots and braids outs. I am still unsure if my hair is fine or coarse, I would say a mixture of both depending on the section of hair.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
T: I usually wash my hair once a week, and co-wash one to two times a week. I wash with Giovanni’s Tea Tree Shampoo when I want something clarifying, and then I usually use Yes to Carrots shampoo and conditioner. I also use Organix Macadamia Nut Conditioner for co-washing.
I then detangle with Jane Carter’s Leave In Conditioner and sometimes a Johnson and Johnson’s Detangler. Then I use Lush’s R&B to do twist outs or bantu knots, or Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie. Sometimes I do a blow out using Giovanni’s heat protectant. It’s PERFECT. It leaves my hair soft and not damaged! I also do a deep conditioner once a week with Carol’s Daughter Monoi Treatment and Lush’s Hair Doctor (for my dry scalp and flaky flakes). I usually do this over a month with a number of lazy days. I love wearing my hair in a fro, so I’m working on making myself wear protective styles and trying to stick to this regimen.
What does wash day look like for you?
T: A wash day includes what I mentioned before, but I also wash my hair in four sections because it is so thick, and when I’m not lazy it really makes a difference because my hair is already separated and isn’t so hard to detangle. I also do a wash and go in warm weather using Jane Carter’s Leave In Conditioner. I tie a scarf around the front and have a nice curly fro.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style?
T: When I’m pressed for time, I throw on a headband or a scarf and pull my hair back after spritzing it with some water/jojoba/coconut oil mixture, or I wet my hair and try to bring it into a bun (I try not to do this because I hate my hair being pulled all the time)…otherwise I just wear it out and free and usually I can take it out of a protective style and wear it wild and free. 🙂
How do you combat shrinkage?
T: I detangle and do about eight braids in my hair and that gives my hair some length. I also blow it dry once in a while, but usually I just accept my shrinkage and put a bow or flower or some other accessory in my hair. Shrinkage can be annoying, but I embrace it and condition myself not to worry about it.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require extra care and attention?
T: I can get really dry hair and my scalp has recently been dry and itchy, so I use tea tree oil with water and I also try to wash my hair twice a week instead of once. This usually occurs in the front of my hair, so I try to massage it with oil. Not only does it help my scalp, but it feels pretty awesome too.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
T: Protective styling, deep conditioning and moisturizing…three MUST DO’S!!!!
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
T: No chemical dying. I’ve done it before and my hair became so dry and brittle. My hair began to hate me. I also don’t straighten my hair (because of my hair politics), but sometimes I want to. I just don’t want any straight ends, which usually happens when I straighten my hair. I may do it soon…or not lol.