21 February 2013

Hair Talk With Tina

Firstly introduce yourself? Where are you from and what do you do?
Hi my name is Tina, a young 20-something with a zeal for life. I am a nurse and graduate student by day but morph into a jewellery designer and vlogger by night. To share these passions with the rest of the world, I created Miss T Design, an Etsy store that showcases simple yet charming earrings, and a Youtube channel MissT1806 where I vlog about hair and food.

Earrings from Miss T Design

How long have you been natural?
I have been natural almost 3 years. March 26, 2013 will mark my 3rd year anniversary.

If you have transitioned to natural what prompted your move from processed to natural hair?
I hated going to the salon to get my hair done. Long days in a place that either smelled of chemicals or burning just wasn't appealing. I liked my hair curly and I found a new hairstylist who told me if I was grew out my perm then I could wear my hair curly any time I wanted. She told me to go search “natural hair” on YouTube: I was amazed by my discovery and I was hooked!!

How did you transition, did you big chop?
I transitioned 7 months (Aug 2009-March2010), lost patience and chopped randomly in the middle of the night March 26th 2010

What were the main reasons for your choice to wear your natural hair? 
When I was relaxed I kept my hair healthy and was able to maintain good length. I however, needed change! At the time I felt like I had mountains stacked against me and felt a little lost! I needed something I could control, something within my power. As trivial as that sounds now, looking back my decision to chop it all off and start again gave me the calm, the energy to refocus and the sense of control I so desperately needed.

What are your earliest hair memories? How did these memories influence your hair journey today?
There are so many! I was the little girl whose big thick hair broke many combs. Growing up in Cameroon, West Africa, there were not many hairdressers that showed your hair any TLC whatsoever! I spent many days sitting on the floor in between the baby-sitters legs crying as she tugged aggressively at my mane!

What does having natural hair mean to you? (Is it just a style choice or has it influenced your life on a deeper level?
Initially my going natural was out of a need to exert a sense of control over one aspect of my life but today it’s transcended more into a lifestyle. I'm not a natural fanatic, nonetheless, I find myself seeking more natural alternatives. This has impacted my nutrition and my beliefs about health in general and has also challenged me to be more creative and confident.

How do you keep your hair looking so good?
To maintain my hair I keep it simple. Wash every 7-10 days, either co-wash or cleanse with a mud wash. I deep condition every time I wash then rinse with a diluted apple cider vinegar mix (ACV) to seal my cuticles and maintain shine. I put in my leave-in and proceed to style as needed. I usually put it in medium twists, which I’ll then wear throughout the week or jumbo twists which I’ll separate for a twist out the following day. Then wash and start the process all over again. I do protein treatments, henna and trim as needed.

What products do you use in your hair?
Aussie Moist 3 minute miracle, Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, Coconut oil, Aloe Vera juice, Shea butter, Apple cider vinegar, Flax seed. I have videos on my YouTube channel for how I use these products to reap their utmost benefits.

What are your go to hairstyles? (favourite hair style’s, how do you achieve it?)
Two strand twists. I use these as the foundation for almost all styles; from twist outs, to buns, and updos. After washing, conditioning and de-tangling I allow my hair to air dry about 40-50% then place in twists using my curl enhancing smoothie and flax seed gel for more defined twists or just my shea butter mix for mini twists and more stretched styles.

How do you protect your hair in the winter months?
During the winter months I place more emphasis on moisturising. I steam more frequently with my budget friendly steaming methodMoisturise and seal more frequently. I also use more protective styles like mini twists and braids to keep my hair protected.

Do you have any advice for women starting out on their natural journey?
I think the first thing you want to do is decide for yourself why you want to take this journey as this will help you stay focus and be confident in what you are doing. This is especially important for those surrounded by negative people and comments. Talk to others you admire for direction on things that might work for your hair. Do your research, explore, experiment and have fun!

Tell us about your style? 
My style borders chic meets girl-next-door. In other words I’d pair a dressy top with flats, oxfords or sandals. I live for comfort! And being African, I love me some bright colors

What are your favourite places to shop?
I live in NYC and enjoy walking into small street stores but I also never miss an opportunity to spend time in chain stores like F21, Necessary Clothing, H&M.

How is your natural hair perceived in your job role?
To be honest I stopped caring after my first year being. I find that if you are a good employee, a team player and look presentable overall then no one actually pays attention to your hair except to ask you for tips because you look so fabulous on a whole. If you carry yourself with confidence then even on your bad hair days you are bound to receive compliments. All that to say it’s simply perceived as HAIR – no distinction about it being NATURAL HAIR.

Connect with me on:
Instagram/Twitter - @MissT1806


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