Tales of a Transitioner: Tya’s HairStory

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Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
I am a vibrant, 32 yr old engineer and fitness instructor. My passions are reading and discussing the Bible, spending quality time with family/friends and serving others in various ways. I also love to dance and workout! I’m all about healthy living – emotionally and physically. I also love live music, especially jazz and R&B. My personality is versatile … fun-loving but responsible and no-nonsense.

When did you receive your first relaxer?
On Halloween at 13 years old – eery!

Why did you choose to go natural?
My hair goes thru cycles – long and flowy, then back to stringy with breakage. I went natural in graduate school. I couldn’t think of anything to do with my hair other than wear an afro. I did everything wrong, including texturizing very often, picking/raking while dry, sulfate shampoos, never deep conditioning, etc.

This time, I have done my research and am learning more each day. I HATE spending entire days at the salon. I also work out religiously and we all know that perms + sweat = a hot mess! I want to prove to myself and others that there is nothing wrong with or bad about my natural hair. Besides that, I’m in love with the versatility I see.

Are you a long-term or short-term transitioner, and why?
I plan to transition long-term – 1.5 years. I am currently a little over 6 months in!

What was your initial reaction to your growing natural hair?
 Hmmm…soft and delicious!

How did family and friends react to the new you? What was your response to them?
Reactions vary. Some people think I’m crazy. Others are very supportive and can’t wait to see the new me. I don’t really put too much stock into what people think. It’s not about what they think about me. It’s what I think about me!

What is your transition routine?
Truthfully, I am wearing braids and weaves often. I wash weekly with Kinky Curly or Shea Moisture shampoo. I deep condition weekly with my own homemade mix (mayo, egg, condish, EVOO). I moisturize with Cantu Shea Butter Cream and always seal with EVOO and pure shea butter. I did an ACV rinse a couple of weeks ago and saw an immediate shine. I have never used henna, but would like to try it.

What is your staple transition hair style?
Kinky Twists, Wet N Wavy Sew-Ins, Twist Outs and Flexi Rod Sets.

What techniques/products do you to manage the demarcation line between your relaxed and natural hair?
Just deep condition. It is probably time for a deep trim.

What is the most challenging part of transitioning and how have you been able to overcome or cope with it?
If I am wearing my real hair out, I have to constantly do my hair over each night (i.e., re-braiding, twisting, rolling). I want to be able to wash ‘n go!

What has been the most fun/best part of going natural? What do you love most about your natural hair and/or going natural?
Experimenting with different hair styles. I love being able to not sit at the salon for 4 hours, although I have a wonderful stylist :)!


Do you have a “hair crush?” If so, who?
Lisa Arindell Anderson and Jill Scott.

Who do you follow online (i.e. blog/website, YouTube, Fotki, etc.)?
Hairscapades, CurlyNikki, NaturalChica (NikkiMae), Glamazini (Roshini) and NapturallyCurly.

What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
Good things come to those who wait. Be patient. Also, don’t expect for your hair to turn out like another persons. Just like we all have different personalities and faces, we all have various tresses. Accept your own texture/curls and work with it. Do you!

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