T: Hi! My name is Tia and I currently live in Texas.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
T: I initially began my hair journey wanting to learn more about growing long and healthy relaxed hair after my own relaxed hair started breaking. While I was looking up how to take care of my hair, I learned more about natural hair and the great experiences others had with their hair. I saw the range of hairstyles I could do with natural hair and its versatility, as well as how healthy and thick natural hair was. After learning lots of information on YouTube, forums and blogs, I was convinced that was what I wanted to do. I transitioned for 18 months and my last relaxer was January 11, 2010. I have been natural since July 24, 2011.
How would you describe your texture?
T: My hair is a mixture of type 4a and 4b. It is very dense, and I would say I have a mixture of fine and coarse strands. Overall it’s more coarse at the crown and fine in the front and back of my head.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
T: I shampoo and deep condition my hair every two weeks. My hair does not normally dry within one day or night after washing it, so I either let it air dry for a couple of hours then style, or I put it in a simple and quick protective style for a couple of days and then take it down. I normally do a protective style with two flat twists in the front and two braids in the back, then pin up the ends. I take this style down a couple of days later and it creates a braid out look.
About one week after I wash my hair I will moisturize, style and wear my hair in an actual braid out. I spray it with water, moisturize with Karen’s Body Beautiful Super Duper Hydrating Cream, seal in the moisture with shea butter, and put my hair in about 9 braids. I leave the braids in overnight and take them down the next morning. I like to do braid outs instead of twist outs because they stretch my hair more. I recently tried doing a flat twist and curl and it came out great, so I will probably start doing this style in between washes.
What does wash day look like for you?
T: I wash my hair in six sections every two weeks with Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Shampoo or Curlicious Curls Cleansing Cream. I like to focus the shampoo on my scalp and wash the rest of my hair with the suds. Then, I deep condition with Jessicurl Deep Conditioning Treatment and mix it with a cheapie conditioner like Trader Joe’s Nourish Spa for two hours or overnight. About once a month I deep condition with a protein conditioner like a greek yogurt mix or Aubrey Organics GPB, which I mix with a cheapie conditioner. After deep conditioning, I then apply my leave-in conditioner, which is Darcy Botanicals Sweet Cocoa Bean Curl Smoothing Cream or Giovanni Direct Leave-In. I then seal with shea butter.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
T: I like to do a hair roll or flat twist in the front with a side part and a ponytail in the back. This style seems to be the easiest style I can do and gets rid of some of the hair bulkiness at my crown.
How do you combat shrinkage?
T: I’m learning to accept shrinkage more and more each day. I always stretch my hair in some sort of fashion, normally in braid outs. Braid outs stretch my hair more than twist outs I feel. Also the braid outs I do in between washes stretch my hair more than braid outs done right after washes because my hair is already stretched.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
T: As many naturals experience, my hair gets dry and tangles easily. Deep conditioning is a must. If I skip this step my hair will become very dry and hard to manage. I have also learned that I need to detangle with something else in addition to a wide tooth comb. I normally detangle my hair first with a wide tooth comb, then follow that with a medium tooth comb or the Tangle Teezer. I only use the Tangle Teezer if I’m trying to get a smooth look for a blow out, Curlformers or some other straighter style. I also only use two detangling tools on wash day.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
T: Moisturizing and sealing is a must. If I don’t seal with some sort of oil or butter my hair will become dry the next day. Also thick moisturizers seem to work better on my hair than liquid or thin ones. I actually prefer to use shea butter over oils.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
T: I tried doing a wash n go once and my hair became a tangled mess, haha. It took a long time to detangle afterwards and I experienced some breakage. Also, the Denman brush has never worked for my hair either. I’ve tried a modified D4 and D41, and for each of them I could never get the brush completely through my strands without some breakage.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
T: You can find me on YouTube. My channel name is tiajonay and the page link is https://www.youtube.com/user/tiajonay.