Intro­duce your­self!
My name is Omo­tara Arikawe, but I go by Tara. I was born and cur­rent­ly reside in Lit­tle Rock, Arkansas. How­ev­er, I grew up all over Mis­souri and went to col­lege in Kansas, so I can’t tru­ly claim a home­town. I guess I’m from the South/Midwest!

Why did you make the deci­sion to go nat­ur­al?
I began tran­si­tion­ing my sopho­more year attend­ing the Uni­ver­si­ty of Kansas in fall of 2010. I wish I had made note of the day and month so that I can keep track of my hair growth, but at the time I didn’t think it was too impor­tant. I cut all of my relaxed ends off in the sum­mer of 2011. I went nat­ur­al because I thought it would be eas­i­er to take care of my hair. I had met sev­er­al girls on cam­pus with gor­geous nat­ur­al hair, and want­ed to have my own afro. I also want­ed to achieve longer length. My hair has nev­er real­ly been past my shoul­ders, and I knew it was because the relax­er was dam­ag­ing my hair. My par­ents are from Nige­ria, so for them it was very impor­tant that I a) focused on my stud­ies, and b) looked pre­sentable in any sit­u­a­tion. My moth­er can attest to the fact that I spent a ridicu­lous amount of time on my relaxed hair, and she would often catch me styling it in the bath­room mir­ror instead of study­ing. When I told my moth­er I was going nat­ur­al, she thought it was very odd. The fun­ny thing is, when she was in pri­ma­ry school in Nige­ria, she was not allowed to relax or press her hair. She hat­ed it, and actu­al­ly thought her hair was ugly. At that point, show­ing my moth­er that nat­ur­al hair could be beau­ti­ful became anoth­er rea­son to con­tin­ue on my nat­ur­al hair jour­ney.

How would you describe your tex­ture?
I sup­pose I am in the type 4 cat­e­go­ry, but I have no idea what let­ter I fall under. I am still very uncer­tain about the hair typ­ing sys­tem. When­ev­er I look at pic­tures of type 4 hair, a lot of them either look the same, or look like type 3 hair. My hair in the front and crown forms more of a tight “S” shape, the sides form very tight “O” coils (like the met­al spring in a pen, but some larg­er or small­er), and the back forms larg­er “O” coils than the sides. My hair is lean­ing towards dense, and I believe I have a mix of fine to coarse strands depend­ing on where you look on my head!

Describe your styling reg­i­men over the course of the month.
I love to try new things with my hair. Where I cur­rent­ly work we have to wear “team col­ors” (fan­cy term for uni­form), so I like to express my indi­vid­u­al­i­ty through my hair­styles. I love updos, retro styles, and “out” styles. Once my hair gets longer, I will start to wear twists more often. To mois­tur­ize dur­ing the week in warmer weath­er (and depend­ing on the dew point), I use DevaC­url One Con­di­tion or Beau­ti­ful Tex­tures Tan­gle Tam­ing Leave-in Con­di­tion­er. In cold­er weath­er I mois­tur­ize with DevaC­url Heav­en In Hair or Beau­ti­ful Tex­tures Rapid Repair Deep Con­di­tion­er. Regard­less of the time of year, I always spritz with a mix of water and aloe vera juice, and seal with either raw Ghana­ian shea but­ter or grape­seed oil. I’ve start­ed to work out 5 days a week, so I use DevaC­url No-Poo Quick Cleanser to keep my scalp under con­trol between wash­es.


What does wash day look like for you?
I wash my hair once per week. I used to be strict­ly Curly Girl, but I’ve found that my hair responds well to nor­mal amounts of sil­i­cones. I recent­ly start­ed to deep con­di­tion on wash day, and boy has that made a world of dif­fer­ence! Detan­gling and cleans­ing used to take me well over an hour, but now it only takes about 30 min­utes when I deep con­di­tion first. I begin by deep con­di­tion­ing for 20 min­utes with either my DevaC­url or Beau­ti­ful Tex­tures deep con­di­tion­ers, and then I detan­gle and sec­tion my hair into eight sec­tions. Next, I either co-wash with Yes to Car­rots Scalp Relief Con­di­tion­er or thor­ough­ly cleanse with Ter­ressen­tials Left Coast Lemon (or an apple cider vine­gar rinse), depend­ing on the needs of my hair and scalp.

Describe your favorite go-to hair­style for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
I love high buns, but I’m begin­ning to love low buns just as much!

How do you com­bat shrink­age?
I always try to keep my hair stretched. I love to use ban­tu knots, flat twists, and two strand twists. If I’m short on time, I will dry my hair with the ten­sion method on the coolest set­ting with a con­cen­tra­tor noz­zle attach­ment. When I do blow dry, I use grape­seed oil as a heat pro­tec­tant, and I nev­er blow dry my ends com­plete­ly.

What are some of your prob­lem areas (if any) that require spe­cial care and atten­tion?
My ends def­i­nite­ly require extra care and atten­tion, so I make sure to mois­tur­ize that part of my hair first, and thor­ough­ly. My scalp has also start­ed to give me trou­ble, espe­cial­ly when I work out. If I don’t feel that the DevaC­url dry sham­poo I men­tioned is com­plete­ly sooth­ing my scalp, I will occa­sion­al­ly dab a bit of pure apple cider vine­gar on the irri­tat­ed areas.

What are 2 do’s for your tex­ture?
Do deep con­di­tion before wash­ing, and do remain patient when seal­ing and styling my hair.

What are 2 don’ts for your tex­ture?
Don’t attempt any­more wash and go’s because it’s always a hot mess, and don’t ignore my scalp dur­ing the week.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
Work and home keeps me pret­ty busy, so I’m not sure about start­ing a blog or YouTube chan­nel just yet. For now, you can check out my hair­styles on Insta­gram as lit­tle­mis­s_red­girl.


Just anoth­er lover of nat­ur­al hair and expres­sion.
— Style Icon Coor­di­na­tor for BGLH

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38 Comments on "Tara // Multi-Texture Style Icon"

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Love her hair!


Rockchalk Jay­hawk KU!!!! I miss Lawrence :(

I’m also Niger­ian and a KU alum. Looooooove your hair :)

Lol @ your mom and her reac­tion. I live in Nige­ria now and get the same reac­tion from my mom, col­leagues and every­one else that has an opin­ion about hair. Some have even gone as far as say­ing I look real­ly poor espe­cial­ly since I have a good job and can afford a relax­er and pret­ty weaves.


you’re soooo beau­ti­ful! so cute :) real­ly, love your look and the old throw back hair styles. once my hair gets longer i would love to try out these styles. i wan­na book mark ur page!! :) cool


Gor­geous hair


and great post too.


Argh I seem inca­pable of styling. My hair is just like yours but when­ev­er I try to style it nev­er looks right or my hair won’t co oper­ate. I am just not gift­ed in that way. I nev­er learned the basics of corn­rows or flat twists either. I need to try again. Your styles are cute.


Very beau­ti­ful lady. The hair­styles are awe­some!


Lit­tle Rock woot woot! Beau­ti­ful hair lady and great way to rep­re­sent the southern/midwest nat­u­ral­is­tas :)


Anoth­er niger­ian beau­ty!!! Love the retro hair­styles. Beau­ti­ful com­plex­ion and love­ly bone struc­ture to her face. Awe­some hair too.


These hair­dos are just … EVERYTHING! I’ve obvi­ous­ly been slack­ing LOL! Time to up my styling game.


all that styling prac­tice on your relaxed hair paid off! I’m so impressed and inspired and I’m still rock­ing a TWA lol…


pret­ty hair.

Kaila P

Those curls are per­fec­tion… woww


There’s so much ver­sa­til­i­ty! Hot, hot, hot­ness, girl!


Thank you!


It’s inter­est­ing that you men­tioned deep con­di­tion­ing before sham­poo­ing as a means to detan­gle & decrease the amount dur­ing the wash part of your reg­i­men, I might try that next time.

I’m con­sid­er­ing col­or­ing my hair for the sum­mer and I’d LOVE to know what col­or you used! It’s very flat­ter­ing to your skin tone :D


Thank you! This is actu­al­ly my nat­ur­al hair col­or. I’ve want­ed to dye it since child­hood, because I’ve had sil­ver hairs since I was sev­en years old. My moth­er wouldn’t allow it, and I’m glad she didn’t! I’ve grown to accept my grays, but I make sure peo­ple don’t look too close ;)


Wow, what an arse­nal of updos you have! Your hair looks great!


Thank you!


absolute­ly gawjus


Why, thank you dar­ling!

Miss T

How did you do your bun in pho­to 68? or pic #13 from the top?


I just dou­bled a hair band and tucked my ends under :)


You are so pret­ty and you come up with some awe­some hair­styles!! I am total­ly try­ing them out…and thx for the tip on apple cider vine­gar; I just start­ed work­ing out and my scalp is giv­ing me hell!!


Thank you! Also, make sure to use just a small amount on a cot­ton swab or pad to apply. I used too much once, and my boyfriend said that I smelled like mus­tard all day :[


Love her cre­ativ­i­ty!!


Thank you!


Pret­ty girl pret­ty hair


Aww, thank you!


We have the same tex­tures but she’s tried so many styles I haven’t! She has great hair!


Thank you!


Love it love it love IT!!!


Thank you!


You are a nat­ur­al-hair styl­ist extrao­d­i­naire!!


Thank you!


bor­row­ing, not steal­ing all of your hairstyles…so cute!!!


Feel free to take them all :-)


Hel­lo Tara my name is Marie I’m using shea but­ter but my hair is not grow­ing is just becom­ing too much is look­ing like afro so I don’t know what I will do to make my hair nat­ur­al grown .