T: Hola chicas, my name is Tiffany and I am from Philadelphia–born and raised ::insert Fresh Prince of Bell Air theme song:: lol.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
T: Why did I go natural…well I went natural after noticing that my hair was becoming thin over time from getting relaxers for years. For the most part when I was still getting relaxers my hair was healthy due to my aunt who is a professional cosmologist doing my hair, and my mother. I started doing my hair on my own when I was about 16, but still was able to get it done professionally from time to time, however when I moved back home after graduating from college I felt like my hair was getting thinner. I tried different methods of trying to regain my thickness back by using the bazillion different hair growth oils offered on the market and getting my hair cut in layers to give the illusion of thicker hair.
I was really inspired by a coworker who was natural (but at the time I didn’t know what “natural” was) and thought her hair was gorgeous, but thought that she was just blessed with the “good hair”. After one day I asked her about her hair and she told me that she was natural and stopped getting perms for the last 3 years. I became intrigued and found out more with the help of my cousin who was also natural and knowledgeable about the world of various natural hair blogs. I became utterly obsessed with natural hair blogs to the point that I was reading and watching videos from the time I was at work (sssh) till the time it was time to go to bed. I decided that I too would eventually transition to go natural. I decided that I would do a big chop, but wanted to transition for about 6 months. That dream only lasted 2 months because I could not deal with the two different textures. One day I just had enough and asked a friend of a friend who did hair to cut off all of the relaxed ends. It was a complete shock to everyone the following day, because I had a short crop the day before and I walked in with a baby fro the following. I have been natural officially 3 years and 2 months as of March 12, 2010.
How would you describe your texture?
T: I think for the most part my hair is like 90% 4a, my crown is a hybrid of 4a and 4b (if that even exists lol) and a smaller portion of the back of my head is 3c. So over all I have various textures going on throughout my head. My hair overall is thick, but my strands are fine.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
T: My styling regimen over the course of the month mainly involves twist outs and more twist outs. For the first two years I rocked my hair in a curly fro because I am not gifted in creating the various hairstyles I see on YouTube or the different hair sites. Also, I think another reason I stuck to a fro was because it was easy to just roll out the bed, spritz or wet my hair, and keep it moving. When I hit the two year mark I decided to get a lil adventurous and try some of the basic styles such as the puff and eventually I tried a twist out and became hooked once I figured out how to get the results I wanted. It’s a very rare occasion in which you will find me wearing my hair in a curly fro or wash n go because my hair takes forever to dry and the detangling process is ridiculous.
What does wash day look like for you?
T: Wash day happens once a week, however the process can vary depending on how my hair is looking and feeling. For the most part I have gone back to using Terresentials Pure Earth Hair Wash because I find that my hair likes products that are simple and don’t contain a whole lot of processed items within the ingredients. Typically because my hair is already stretched out from wearing it in twist outs I find it easier to detangle. If I am using Terressentials that day I will wet my hair to get it damp, apply it throughout my hair, and let it sit for about an hour. I find that this helps to remove any product buildup from any products (i.e. Oyin Handmade Whipped Pudding, my oil mix, or my faux leave in mixture) I’ve used throughout the week. After an hour has passed I hop in the shower and do an additional 2 washes of the Terresentials shampoo.
Once done I blot my hair with an old t-shirt and section my hair into 4 or 5 big separate sections and apply about a dime to nickel sized amount of oil to each section from mid shaft to the ends. I work it in, twist it up into big mini buns, and go back to the first section and begin to detangle and twist up my hair. The oil makes it easier to detangle and penetrate my hair without it getting overly greasy. While twisting I will seal with either castor oil (moreso during the winter months or if my hair is extremely dry) or a lil bit of the Whipped Pudding. Oyin’s Whipped Pudding is the only shea butter based product that my hair likes. My hair is not a fan of shea butter products, but for some reason it can tolerate that one.
If I find that my hair needs to be clarified (I may do it once or every other month) I will use apple cider vinegar and co-wash with Tresemme Naturals and deep condition under my Huetiful Hair Steamer with a mixture of conditioners on hand (i.e. Aubrey Organics Rosa Mosqueta Nourishing Conditioner or if I feel like splurging Komenuka Bijin Moisturizing Hair Treatment / Conditioner with Natural Rice Bran). I mix a small amount of the conditioner (s) about the size of a half dollar, my oil mix, and some honey. I warm it up for about 15 seconds in the microwave, apply it to damp hair, and sit up under the steamer. I then rinse and section it as mentioned earlier. My oil mix consists of: olive oil, grape seed oil, avocado oil (which is already mixed with coconut oil), jojoba oil, a bit of castor oil, a few drops of rosemary oil and lavender oil. If my scalp is itchy I use the same mix, but add a few drops of tea tree oil.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
T: My everyday style is just wearing my hair out in twist outs. As I said, I’m not the best at creating styles so I just let it be, or if the weather is crappy or my hair is looking dry I will throw it up into a bun.
How do you combat shrinkage?
T: Some days I embrace my shrinkage because it allows for me to put it in up styles that I used to do when my hair was shorter. In the instances that I want my hair to look a bit stretched I usually keep my hair in twist out styles so usually if not on the first day when I’m twisting them or the second day at night (while your hair is twisted and slightly damp) I will pin my twists to the other side of my head and let them dry completely so the following morning when you let it down it’s a bit stretched.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
T: I don’t really have any problem areas. I will say that my crown (where it’s like this weird 4a/4b hybrid) requires for me to take my time when detangling and twisting that area and I believe that I may also be slightly tender headed in that area.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
T: Moisturize and keep your hairstyles simple and let it be. As I said I wash my hair once a week, but throughout the week if I see that my hair is getting or feeling dry I will mist it lightly with some water and work a little bit of my oil mix through my hair and retwist and seal it with a tiny bit of Oyin’s Whipped Pudding or castor oil, or I’ll use this spritz mix of a bit of Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave in Conditioner, my oil mix, water and re-twist. I find that the drier my hair becomes, it’s like a welcome party for single strand knots to form. I also find the less product I use and “simpler” the product is, the better my hair feels and cooperates with me…lol.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
T: Because my hair is longer now wash and goes are a hellz no. My hair is too curly and I feel like my hair is trying to have parties with other areas of my hair, which equals tangles and a longer time to detangle. The other no no is not moisturizing when your hair is apparently dry and going longer than a week without washing it.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
T: I used to have a blog but I no longer update it, however you can definitely find me on Instagram at @tiffso.