T: Tann Parker, raised in California, residing in Brooklyn.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
T: The reason I started to wear my hair in its natural texture isn’t this moving, inspirational story… my blower dryer broke and I couldn’t do my normal hair regimen. I decided to try out wearing my hair natural and have been since May 18, 2012.
How would you describe your texture?
T: My hair is about 3c/4a. It can be a lot to deal with at times. I’ve always had a lot of hair, so detangling is the longest process. It does make it a lot easier with my hair being finer, or else detangling would be a nightmare. I am prone to shrinkage a lot quicker though, which means I have to always re-stretch before going to bed.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
T: When I first started out wearing my hair natural I was a lot more experimental with my styling because I needed to find what worked best for me, but now I’m a lot busier with school and work, so I need something fast. Now my styling regimen is braiding my hair before bed and letting it out before I leave the house. This way I don’t need to use as many products in my hair, just something to moisturize every other day. Coconut oil is a very good friend of mine!
What does wash day look like for you?
T: I wash my hair every other two weeks with a couple of wash methods. I have my co-wash, where I just wet my hair fully and put in leave-in conditioner after, my full wash day, which is where I will use shampoo, and I am excited to share that I will be testing out an Apple Cider Vinegar wash very soon!
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
T: I will always live and breath by the braid out. If I wanna get fancy I will pull out the bantu knots.
How do you combat shrinkage?
T: We are still in a battle and it keeps getting the upper hand on me. But I can restore my length by doing a nice tight braid out at night.
Tell us about your hair color?
T: I do dye my own hair and will continue to do so, but I have switched to a dye that works better with natural hair. I now use the Shea Moisture line of dyes. Previously I was a steady user of SoftSheen-Carson. I went from ‘Vivacious Red’ to “Red Hot Rhythm’. Using that hair dye I felt a layer of coating on my hair that weighted it down. I could only do it about twice a year.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
T: I’ve always had dandruff, so keeping my hair moisturized is key. Also, detangling is always hard work that I must spend a couple of hours doing if I want to get my hair 100% detangled…(and that has only been done once on account of I was getting my hair done in twists).
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
T: DO always braid or twist hair every night. DO not overuse hair products.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
T: DON’T sleep on hair without anything protecting it. You can wake up from a nap lookin all kinds of crazy with a lopsided fro! DON’T let people touch the fro…there could be loose shed hairs in there and it will be awkward when they end up in the other person’s hand…