Living No Lye | Tina (MissT1806)
What are your reasons for going natural?
Going natural for me was my attempt to redefine who I was and gain back some control in my life. 2010 was a particularly challenging year for me and it seemed all around me was crumbling. I felt lost but, thankfully around the same time, with a little prompting from my then hairstylist, I discovered YouTube and the natural hair community. As I watched women share their hair journeys I was moved by and attracted to the confidence they exuded and desperately needed a taste of it. The more videos I watched, the more I practiced with my hair and the better I felt. My self-esteem started soaring again and I knew I had to big chop. It’s been five years since my big chop and I still love it.
How did you transition (or did you BC)?
I transitioned for 7months with the help of my hairstylist. Each time I went in to see her she would trim a little more of my relaxed ends. As I continued watching videos, learning about hair care and seeing my new growth, I got impatient to experience the full potential of my curls. 7 months after I started my transition I reached for a pair of scissors and did my big chop in my bathroom. It felt both liberating and terrifying at the same time.
What emotional struggles, if any, have you faced since going natural?
When I first did the big chop I felt free but soon after, that emotion was replaced by fear and self-doubt. All of a sudden there was so much more face than I had ever known. I felt exposed. I had to redefine how I perceived myself and what beauty meant to me. Fortunately, I had a great core support system and with their encouragement I reconnected with myself as well as the person I wanted to be. I started feeling that confidence and pride I had perceived from other YouTubers and before I knew it, friends and family were asking me hair care tips. Starting my YouTube channel has been another source of strength as I am empowered by the hundreds of women engaged with my journey.
What's your go-to style?
I absolutely love my stretched two strand twist outs. I set my hair in twists once a week and then I can transition from twists to twist outs, to buns and updos. The versatility is truly amazing.
What’s your favorite product and why?
My favorite product is Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie. It leaves my hair smelling great and I can use it pretty much on all styles from wash n gos, to twists and braids to rod sets. I especially love it for refreshing an old twist out.
What piece of advice would you share with someone who is just starting out?
Be patient and enjoy your journey. Like a new job you have to learn skills in the beginning, which may seem like a tough uphill battle but everything levels out and becomes routine. Don’t focus so much on hair type. Watch people with different hair types and textures and focus instead on what products or routines they all seem to have in common and start from there with building your own hair care regimen. But most importantly have fun and wear your mane with pride! There’s nothing more powerful than a confident woman.
Where can we find you on the web?
I am a big healthy hair and healthy eating advocate. You can check out my journey on:
Youtube: MissT1806 - www.youtube.com/misst1806
Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest: @MissT1806