Hair Diary: Tanisha Renee

12:49 PM

When and why did you decide to go natural?
I went natural in June of 2007, so it's been about two years and some change (it definitely feels longer).  As far as why I went natural, it wasn't a profound realization of the beauty of natural hair at first.  I was starting college and I realized that no one would be be there to keep up with my hair, and I was never really attached to my hair to begin with.  I was the one who begged my mother to cut it, and she had a much harder time with it than I did.  My plan was to transition for a year, but I only made it about 5 months before I got sick of my permed ends.

Were your friends and family supportive of your decision?  If not, how were you able to move forward?
My mom was the only one in REAL protest.  She had a hard time letting go of my hair because it wasn't like my permed hair was unhealthy, I took good care of it and it grew well.  But I was ready for a change and I needed to save money.  The more I found out about natural hair, the stronger my attraction to it became.  Overall everyone was very supportive of my decision, which made it so much easier.  When I first BC'd I got a couple of looks and snide remarks from many black people.  Unfortunately, the craziest times were when I had to explain to other black people that the hair that grew out of my scalp wasn't naturally straight.  But I was able to ignore it and move forward.  I was finding a strength in being natural that distiguished me from many other people around me.

What is current hair routine?
LOL..This question can't be answered straight.  My routine changes depending on my wallet and my mood.  I go through moments of product junkyism....

My first routine is the one found on TightlyCurly.com, which is the conditioner only method.  I can say this is mainly my summer routine..pretty much its leaving in a heavy conditioner, like herbal essences ( the color treated one is my FAVE, the smell is to die for!!), and using my trusty Denman brush to define my curls as I de-tangle.  I can't remember the last time I used a comb.  Many people complain that the Denman takes a lot of hair out, and my trick was removing three rows of bristles.  It gave me the same results with none of that "snap-crackle-pop", if you've ever used a Denman on 4a/4b hair then you know what I mean...lol.  After de-tangling the hair I twist it , then let it out the next day.  I sleep with a satin bonnet, and I'll do it all over again 2 days later.
My second routine, mainly for the winter, is kind of the same except I use an all natural conditioner (which I rinse unlike the first routine) and a leave-in conditioner.  My main products are the Aubrey Organics line and the leave-in I swear by is Giovanni Direct Leave-In Conditioner.  I use the Direct Leave-in to twist and I usually leave my twists in for the whole week, sometimes two weeks and have a fly twist-out by the end of that.  I really stress my hair in the summer with a lot of manipulation because of the frequent washing (sweat + natural hair = gross).
I'd say overall my 3 main rules for hair care are:
No Shampoo - No Heat - Condition, Condition, Condition!!
And my secret weapon is Coconut Oil!

What are your hair goals?  What steps are you taking to achieve them?
You know its funny because I used to be obsessed with with length in my early stages.  I would look at those with length ("hangage"), and wonder when I would get there.  I definitely went through my stages of curl envy.  I've realized along with embracing my 4a/4b hair that length is not really something I care to entertain.  I actually am very tempted to cut my hair again, but I going to wait and see how big this bad girl can get :-)
I actually think I have reached my hair goals, which were to have beautiful, full, thick, healthy hair.  I'd say my next goal is to stay healthy while coloring, because while I was a permie and in more recent months I've frequently experimented with color (with good and bad results) and I miss that.  I've been patient waiting for a new color but I think the time is right, so you'll have to visit my Fotki soon to see my new one.

How do you protect your hair in cold and warm weather?
In both warm and cold weather, twists are my haven.  I have been able to find cute up-dos and styling aides with twists that for the summer keep me cool and gives my hair a break.  For the winter twists protect my fro from the frigid temperatures.  I use to swear by braid outs, but I realized twists are what my hair really loves.

What is your definition of "Good Hair" ?

HAHA!  You know I haven't seen this movie yet, and I keep correcting my little sister (who's natural as well) when I hear her saying certain people have "good hair".  It can't be denied that in the black community, what we have considered good hair is what is hanging off the weaves of Beyonce, Tyra and almost all these black female celebs.  Good hair to me is when I see a woman who isn't fighting her hair, whether that's curly, straight, whatever it is.  I like seeing people comfortable with what they have, and it saddens me seeing so many black women (not just to single us out, but because I am a black women, and I believe we all represent each other) walking around with damaged hair and bad weaves thinking they have that "guud herrrrr" when they look a hot mess! Embrace what God has given us! :) 

In closing, my hope is that more black women will begin to embrace their natural hair.  I've said this before, and I'll say it again, I am pro-natural hair because I think it’s amazing that God gave us this hair as our distinct feature.  The black race in America is so disconnected from our roots.  We look at other races to see their defining features..eyes, noses, height, language, but we have been stripped of many of these connections.  So for me, rocking my natural hair is what distinguishes me and my people.  No other race has hair like ours, and it’s absolutely beautiful! I t defies gravity, and it’s a representation of who we are!
For more info on Tanisha please visit the links below...

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