*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
T: My name is Ty or TraNaturally and I’m from Philly.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
T: I didn’t so much make as make a decision to ‘go natural’ as much as I made a decision to salvage what was left of my hair. I didn’t know anything about going natural at the time. I just wanted my hair healthy again. I’d had relatively healthy relaxed hair for years. But I did notice a lot of thinning. And then it happened…after years of successfully self-relaxing, I somehow severely over-processed my hair. My hair was horrible. But still I continued to relax it, even after that experience. It got to the point where the relaxer wasn’t doing anything for my hair. My hair looked terrible no matter what I did to it. Eventually I said “enough is enough.” So I decided to try growing out the relaxer and the damaged hair to see if it would help. I had no clue what to expect. At that point I felt like my hair couldn’t possibly get any worse. Little did I know it would be the best decision I would ever make for my hair. I got my last relaxer in June of 2007. I transitioned for 21 months and cut the last of the relaxed ends off in March of 2009. So I’ve been growing out my natural hair for 5 years.
How would you describe your texture?
T: I would describe my hair as a combination of 3c/4a. I have medium strands – not really fine and not really coarse. And my hair is medium density. My hair is curly when wet and shrinks to tight coils when it dries. The back is very dry, extremely coily, and loves to tangle and knot. The front left side does its own thing and curls when it wants to.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
T: I am typically wearing a twist out on any given day – sometimes on wet hair and sometimes on stretched hair. Or I may braid instead of twist, depending on how stretched my hair is. A twist out is the first curly style that I was able to master so I’ve pretty much stuck with it. Recently I’ve also started wearing my hair in a wash and go. The products I use are Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie or Blended Beauty Curl Styling Butter on my wet twist outs and Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque on my stretched twist/braid outs. I also apply either coconut oil or my shea butter/coconut oil mix to my hair prior to applying the leave-in. I retwist or rebraid each night doing anywhere from 2–5 twists or braids, and sleep with a silk scarf. Or if I’m wearing a wash n go, I do a low ponytail or a high pineapple for bed. Doing these things usually allows me to go at least all week with the same style. If not, I just cowash and restyle.
What does wash day look like for you?
T: My wash day starts with me cowashing and detangling in the shower using Trader Joe’s Moisture Balance Conditioner. I detangle in 4–8 sections and twist each section after detangling. Then I shampoo while still in twists. My shampoo of choice is Elucence Moisture Benefits Shampoo, which I’ve been using for about 2 or 3 years (the same bottle!). But right now, since I’m running low, I’m also alternating with Blended Beauty Soy Cream Shampoo. I deep condition after every shampoo with either Silk Elements Moisturizing Treatment or my own concoction. I just undo each of the 4–8 twists one at a time, apply the conditioner, and twist the section back up. I usually sit under the dryer with a plastic cap for at least 15 minutes, and then leave the conditioner in without heat until I feel like rinsing it out. The conditioner is rinsed out while my hair is still in twists. Then I style based on how I’m feeling that day.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
T: One style that I go to often when I don’t have much time to style is a ponytail/bun. It doesn’t get any easier than that. I also love to do an updo with my EZ Comb which is really cute and simple. Then there’s my wash and go ponytail which gives me a cute bob shaped wash and go in the days that follow.
How do you combat shrinkage?
T: One of the things I’ve learned to love about my hair is how extremely versatile it is. I can go from short to long and anywhere in between on a whim. When I want a really stretched look, I usually get it by smoothing my hair back into a ponytail and rolling the tail on rollers until it’s dry. I get a nice stretched blow out look without having to subject my hair to the blow fryer. Then I can style however I want.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
T: My front left side is looser than the rest of my hair so I have to pay special attention to make sure it looks uniform with the rest of my hair. Otherwise I pin it back. Also the back of my hair is extremely coily. Since it has a tendency to dry out faster than the rest of my hair, I tend to be heavy handed with products on this section of my hair.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
T: I always sleep with something covering my hair. And I always try to listen to what my hair is telling me it needs (i.e. moisture, protein, a trim, etc.) which I’m getting better at.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
T: Dry detangling and over-manipulating
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
T: You can find me on: