Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
My name is Tia. I would describe myself as a very open-minded, free-spirited individual. I love to laugh, to learn and I love hard. I’m also a Pisces.
How long have you been natural and why did you chose to go natural?
I have been natural most of my life. I say most because, when I was 13, my mom gave me a relaxer because she didn’t know what to do with my puffy hair and I was tired of wearing a ponytail. However, after that first time, she never did it again and my hair has never been the same since. My once mid-back length hair is now growing in two different patterns, a “natural layer,” if you will. I am now 27.
Did you transition or big chop?
Ummm, lol. I guess, technically, I transitioned since I’ve let it grow out since 13.
What is/was your biggest hair challenge/obstacle? How did you overcome it or what are you doing now to try to address the problem?
My biggest hair challenge is breakage and retaining the length. I have 3 different textures with the coarsest being in the middle that seems to stop growing at my neck, a very fine 3b in the back that grows on and on, and a 3c in the front that stops at shoulder length. I stumbled upon Naturallycurly.com in October of 2011 and learned a lot about my curls and how they need moisture and protective styling to retain length. My hair has grown 3 inches. Yaay!!
What do you love most about your natural hair and/or about being natural?
I love that I was natural before it was considered normal. I love the versatility of it, I can be curly or straight whenever I desire.
What is your current regimen? Has it changed in any major way since you first went natural? What are your Holy Grail and staple products?
I love WEN. I use it to cleanse, condition and as a leave-in. SheaMoisture Deep Treatment masque is my moisturizer and I use a JBCO and EVCO mix as my sealer. I love Elasta QP “Feels like Silk” gel for hold; I have been using that for years before I discovered the beauty in the naturalista lifestyle.
What is your “go to” style? Do you wear protective and/or low manipulation styles? If so, how often and why?
I currently wear my hair in a bun during the week as a protective style and then I rock a braidout or WnG on the weekends. Since birth until right before I discovered Naturallycurly.com, I wore my hair in a boring combed, brushed and pulled waaaay too tight pony (that probably had a hand in inhibiting growth).
How often do you cut/trim your hair? How do you cut it (salon, DIY, straight, curly, in twists)? Before I embraced my natural hair and knew how to take care of it, I got a press once a year. Usually, due to not knowing how to take care of it, I always had to get a serious cut (which always left my hair at my shoulders). I don’t recommend going to a salon, they always want to cut it all off and start from scratch as opposed to nurturing it slowly back to health with minor trims and deep treatments.
Has going natural impacted other areas of your life (i.e. health & fitness, style, environmental consciousness, etc.)? If so, how and in what ways has it affected your lifestyle?
Yes, embracing my natural has me working out more (circulation and growth), eating better and now I’m starting to drop this baby weight that I have been carrying for the year that my son has been here.
Do you have a “hair crush?” If so, who?
Yes, YOU actually. lol. I love that shot of your TnC with those beautiful red highlights. I also am in love with the luscious curls of Jess Of Mahoganycurls on YT.
Where can we find you online?
I’m new to the Naturalista game and I’m pretty low key. So, I can only be found in two places: Tia Ellisia on Facebook and last month I joined Twitter @Curlymami43. I’m following you Shelli. lol.
What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
I’d say go for it!!!. It was the best decision I’ve made to take care of my hair, because in turn I had to take better care of my body. My hair is growing and thriving and my waistline is shrinking. How amazing being in tune and loving oneself 😀 !
Anything else that you’d like to add?
Love the blog! Love the hair! Keep up the great work, you’re such an inspiration.