Tawana // Natural Hair Style Icon

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Introduce yourself!
T:
My name is Tawana Johnson. I was born in Jamaica and have lived here my entire life. I am a University student studying psychology. I am a pretty simple lady who appreciates the small things in life and is trying to live life her way!

How long have you been natural?
T:
My last relaxer was in August 2011. I transitioned for 9 months, then big chopped in May 2012 and have been natural ever since.

How and why did you transition into natural hair?
T:
I transitioned for more than one reason. Firstly, I didn’t start out with the intention to go natural. On the day of my last relaxer I was very frustrated with my hairdresser and my hair after she told me it was breaking. I was annoyed because it seemed like it was always breaking and I was always getting trims and cuts. So I told her I was never coming back and that I would not relax my hair again. While that relaxer grew out I started discovering YouTube videos of natural hair ladies and I loved how it looked on them. Also my friend Chantel had just went natural, so I was inspired by her as well. I started to research more and natural hair became more appealing to me. I loved the idea of a big chop and a drastic change of my look because I had been craving a change in my life at that period. So I finally decided to go natural and impulsively chopped all my relaxed hair off by myself one day in my room.

What are your must-have products for shampooing, conditioning and styling your hair?
T:
I must first start out by saying I am NOT a product junkie. I like simple, and that includes my hair regimen. When I find something that works for me I stick to it. My favorite shampoo is Tresemme Naturals Vibrantly Smooth Shampoo. I use it once per month to clarify and remove buildup. My favorite conditioner is Tresemme Naturals Vibrantly Smooth Conditioner. I use this every single weekend to deep condition my hair. I mix it with coconut oil, castor oil and honey. I also use it alone to cowash my hair the few times I do cowash. For protein treatments, which I do once per month, I use an egg, honey, castor oil, coconut oil and mayonnaise mixed together and let sit under plastic caps for an hour. I always deep condition after I do this.

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My favorite leave in conditioners are Cantu Shea Butter and Beautiful Textures Tangle Taming Leave-in Conditioner. I prefer the Cantu Shea butter for its consistency (a little goes a long way) but I love the ingredients in the Beautiful Textures. I use either one depending on how I feel. I use them after I wash my hair, before twisting, or braiding, and apply them with an oil of my choice and Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel. For moisturizing, I use a spray bottle filled with water and coconut oil to refresh my hair and Organic Root Stimulator Smooth n Hold Pudding. I use these like about week to give my hair a boost before retwisting or rebraiding, or just on my afro while it’s out.

What is your signature hairstyle?
T:
Because my hair is still short, it doesn’t give me a big enough puff when I put it in one. So I just stick to my afro most times. That is my go to hairstyle, just to wear it out. Or I may do a turban wrap or a crownbraid.

What is your style philosophy?
T:
I dress to suit myself. I go through different phases with my style so I never stick to one way of dressing. I guess you can say I dress for comfort in my own skin because everything I wear appeals to me and what I think flatters my body shape and ideas of womanhood. My mood also has a lot to do with my style. Lately I’ve been very into the androgynous look so a lot of my outfits have reflected that. So I don’t think I have a philosophy; I really just wear what appeals to me at a particular period in time. Today I may feel like a hippie, tomorrow I may feel hood, lol.

What are the three favorite things in your closet?
T:
Right now because it is approaching summer in Jamaica and it’s getting very hot I would say denim (I love denim anytime of year, I’m obsessed), a nice pair of brown sandals and a good pair of shorts. I hardly ever shop in Jamaica because I find the things to be very overpriced and not worth it, but sometimes I see little pieces I just can’t leave the store without. I do most of my shopping when I travel in the summer to the States. I am a bargain shopper, lol. I do not stick to one place. I look for the best things, at the best price. So I looooove thrift stores. I shop at H&M, Forever 21, Banana Republic, little no name stores in New York, Macy’s, Express, Charlotte Russe, Marshall’s (I love Marshall’s) and some others. I literally just go wherever something catches my eye. Brand matters to me, but hardly. It’s mostly how it looks and how well I wear it.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
T:
You can find me on Instagram at TawiJ. You can also find me on Twitter @TawanaAJ.

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Meosha

Meosha

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

 

24 thoughts on “Tawana // Natural Hair Style Icon

  1. Gorgeous woman, gorgeous hair! I think that you are my hair twin! Our transitions started the same way. My hair kept breaking off in the center and along the edges. At the time, my hair stylist was not offering me any solutions other than trims as well…..I started my tranisition and didn’t look back. Coming up on my one year anniversary next month :)

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