Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hair Stories: Tameka

Hair Stories: Tameka

How long have you been the beautiful naturalista you are today?
My name is Tameka J. Harris and I have consistently been a Lady Of Nature (hehe...ok, a naturalista) since January 2006!!!! I have had every hair style known to man, and can say that I'm most comfortable as a Coil Queen.

What/who influenced you to start this journey?
 Honestly, my wallet influenced me to make the transition (lol). Us ladies know how expensive it is to maintain the merp (<<---mm, it backwards, or it can stand for Mess that Erases Real Pride), and as a new college graduate, I just didn't have the money to finance the crack. So naturally, (no pun intended) I began growing my hair out, chopping my hair off and experimenting with the new me.

Was it a hard decision to leave the relaxers?
Not really. Growing up, i was used to the fabulous world of braids, so I was able to retreat from the smerp often. Every once in a while I'd get that small urge to come back to the dark side...or shall I say, white side. But the thought of burning and spending 72 hours in a salon would always snap me out of it. I thought I would be judged by people who didn't look like me; therefore I would miss valuable opportunities to work professionally. But those thoughts I got over quickly. I simply grabbed myself by the clavicles and made the decision to move forward in natural hair, no matter what.Like India.Aire says, "I am not my hair".

What kinds of reactions did you get with the change?
Reactions were mild with my change. Now that was when I had natural growth of about 5 inches or so. But when I'd purposefully chop my hair off for a boy cut look??? My mother and grandmother would have twin bricks! They believed that a woman just shouldn't cut all their hair off like I did. Granny (God bless her) would always try to find or quote a scripture (lol--I know!) about how our hair is a woman's glory. So I've had to learn at an early age how I have to be completely happy with my hair moves, even if those around me may not like my look. I must remain comfortable and true to what makes me happy at all times. If when I look in the mirror and I love what I see, then that's all the validation I need in order to feel good about myself
LOL at your granny, but I like how you were confident enough to do what you felt was best for you.  Now I know that you once had locs, what made you chop them off?
Well, when I cut my locs, I had a few things go through my mind.
1) I wanted a new look
2) I had just gotten married so, I had stepped over into a new chapter in life and

3) I had hair damage.
All these combined gave me the strength to find a pair of scissors and go HAM on my tresses! And although the length I had with my 1st set of locs was thee longest I had ever accomplished in hair growth, it really did feel great to embrace the new me and let the hair go.

So now do you prefer locs or your new short cut?
Short cut all the way! I feel most free when I have a short cut....this kind of style goes forever against the grain in our society, and that's what I most adore.

That's awesome, so tell us, what your hair care regimen currently consists of? question???? Lolol. I really haven't mastered the big "R" word yet. I have about 4 inches of uneven, dry, rebellious, refused and confused hair. This is my next journey: to make the commitment to pay more attention to my tresses.

Yes paying attention to your tresses is very important. Have you learned anything about your hair so far on this journey?
If anything, I have learned that my hair does BEST in it's most natural state. It grows better, feels better and is thicker.....better (hehe). I've also learned that my hair is thirstier than a baptist preacher during communion! I constantly have to feed it and give it moisture.

With all you're learning about your hair have you faced any challenges with it?
Yes. My hair has it's moments in rebellion (and I rebuke it in Jesus' I randomly find small bald spots that will come and disappear every once in a while. My hair sheds terribly and my hair grows uneven. I also have what I call a "soul patch" in the center or crown of my head where hair is just too grow (ha!)

LOL Tameka you are too funny. What do you love most about your hair?
I love the texture of my hair. I just love randomly moving my fingers through it!!! That's what I like

What do you like the least?
I like least that it isn't as luxurious, long, thick and even....yet. And I say yet because natural hair, once trained is so resilient. Thus my journey begins to healthier hair!!

If you could use one word to describe your hair what would it be?

Oh no, not JACKED UP lol....well what’s the best advice you could give aspiring naturalistas so that they're not feeling like their hair is also"jacked up"?
Hang in there and be patient with your growth. Don't turn back to the merp what-so-ever!!!

What are 3 hair care products you can’t live without?
Wow! I can't---cannot live without Nature's Blessing...I have to have it!! I also love using the Dominican hair care system called Silicone Mix. For one this system makes my coiled "Amistad" tresses become a lot more manageable and soft on the washing and conditioning process. I have their shampoo, conditioner, treatment and polish.

Anything else we should know about you?
I just want to thank Naturally Yours for the space to share my story. I am very honored to be "blogged" about, so thanks Shakira! This is truly an honor (and my first time featured in a blog). Shakira and so many others like her in this all new natural hair care community (because they ain't have all this back in '06), have made me want to join in and begin blogging about my personal journey to happier, healthier coils. Look out for my future vlog "CoilClinic" on YouTube, an outlet dedicated to find answers for those dealing with challenging, damaged natural hair. Also follow me on Twitter @CoilClinic and/or @TJHarris12.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

MEETUP!!!!!!!! A naturalista's dream

Hey Ladies,

So I've heard from several transitioners that the process of going from a relaxer to your natural texture is HARD!!!!!!! Several women subscribe to youtube channels, "like" certain facebook pages and follow VARIOUS blogs (including this one lol). While all of that is good and is definitely helpful in navigating the journey back to natural sometimes the ride is a little easier when done with those we know (or live nearby).

Many chicas I know are now partnering up with friends and other like-minded ladies for much needed moral and emotional (YES emotional lol) support. For most women, the hair is our CROWN & GLORY. So when you transition from one texture to another, sometimes you're stuck and have no clue what to do, where to go, who to talk to. Ladies are now taking the plunge together, doing BC's (big chops), sharing product and styling tips, or simply giving an encouraging word "You can do it girl!!!!"

While we love facebook, blogs and youtube, there's nothing quite like meeting up with fellow naturalistas  and sharing stories, advice, products and SUPPORT. Recently, I've joined the site which connects you with naturalistas in your area. Chicas plan events, forums, and mini-excursions with other naturalistas and have a blast!!!! I am so excited to be attending my very first meetup here in NYC with the ladies from Darker Than Brown this Saturday. I'm sure this will be an experience to remember and I can't wait to come back and report to you all about how it went.

So join today and start connecting with naturalistas all over the world. 

Ciao bellas!!!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

30 Days of Curl Power

Hey Chicas

I'm back again with another chance for you to WIN BIG!!!! This is especially exciting for all you product junkies out there lol. The good people of are celebrating 13 years of curly hair goodness by giving us curly girls 30, yes THIRTY chances to win fabulous hair care products from brands like Kinky Curly, Ouidad, Mixed Chicks, hair rules and MORE!!!!!!!!!

I don't know about you but I'm pretty excited to get some FREE products. So click here for your chance to enter and WIN!!!

Later beauties :-)

                                           30 Days of Curl Power - Presented by NaturallyCurly

Friday, September 2, 2011

Feature Friday: Stacy Smith of I Design Beauty

Welcome to our first Feature Friday story. Today we're talking to Stacy Smith of I Design Beauty. Join us as we talk to Stacy about her product line and her personal journey as a naturalista 

Feature Friday: Stacy Smith of I Design Beauty

How long have you been a naturalista?  
I first went natural in 2005 after my second child but I wasn't ready, so I got a relaxer. Now I’ve been natural since June 2009

What/who influenced you to start this journey? 
I was tired and my hair was breaking off. I also wanted a change.

Did you decide to do a BC (big chop)?
It was kind of a big chop... I had been going natural for nearly a year before I did the big chop, so it wasn't a surprise.

Now I know that you’re not only a naturalista but a hair stylist as well.  How long have you been a stylist?
19 years

That’s a long time. What types of hair do you work with? 
I work with all hair types, from straight all the way to tightly coiled (what some call kinky).

I know some stylists don’t seem to have time to care for their own hair. How do you currently maintain your beautiful tresses?
Keeping my hair maintained is essential as a stylist. I am my own marketing tool! I get a lot of compliments on the color and texture of my hair, which helps to build my clientele. I typically make sure my color is refreshed every 8 weeks roughly. I co-wash my hair every other day or every three days, and I either wear it wet and pushed back in a pony tail or I do the twist out.

In addition to being a stylist you also have your own beauty line. Tell us about it
My beauty line is called I Design Beauty and I started it in 2010

What inspired you? 
 A friend of mine told me she saw me with my own product line in the future. I didn't really pay her any attention. Then one day I made a body butter and it came out pretty good. My inspiration comes from women who have broken racial barriers, started their own businesses, and have become icons for many African American women: Carol's Daughter, Oprah Winfrey and of course our first lady, Michelle Obama.

The name I Design Beauty is definitely a bold statement and pretty unique. How did you come up with that name? 
The name was originally I Design Hair. Sometime afterwards, I realized that there was no way to incorporate the beauty side of my business (I am a makeup artist as well). So in 2011 I decided to change the name to I Design Beauty, LLC so it would be all inclusive of hair and beauty.

Very smart!!! So where can we find your products? 
My website launch is scheduled for this September. You will be able to go to order products. You will also be able to go to and purchase products there as well.

What have you learned about your own hair so far on this journey? 
I have learned to appreciate my beautiful texture. If I had known at the age of 14 what I learned at the age of 34, I would've been relaxer-free all my life. I love my hair. I can go straight, where it tamed in a curly pony tail or let it loose and be wild with a twist out. It has so much personality and it is so versatile.

You sound like so many of us naturalistas out here (lol). What do you love most about your hair and what do you like the least? 
What I like the least about my hair is my edges. What I love most about my hair is the curl pattern.

Have you faced any challenges with your own hair?
After the birth of my second child my edges near my temples came out. It's been a challenge since then trying to grow them back.

If you could use one word to describe your hair what would it be? 

What’s the best advice you could give aspiring naturalistas? 
Don't Give up! Figure out the easiest and safest way to make the transition and stick to it. Embrace the change, be creative and have fun with your God-given tresses.

That’s great advice.  Anything else we should know about you? 
I am extremely passionate about hair and beauty. My aim is to help women seek out the inner beauty in themselves.

And lastly, when can I make an appointment to have my tresses pampered?!?!?!  
You can make an appointment with me starting this September! I can be found at the SimpleeBEAUTIFUL Boutique Salon in White Plains NY (

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hair Stories: Aaisha

Hair Stories: Aaisha

How long have you been rocking your natural hair?
I’m not definite but 7 or 8 years 
What/who influenced you to start this journey?
I had done everything to my hair. Braids, Jeri curl, weave. I got bored with my hair. I wanted something new. I wanted to see if I could pull it off. At first when I started my locs they were on the scalp short. N I was so mortified because I was so vain. But then a lady on the street thought they were nice and after that I was good. Now I’m so happy I made the decision

Did you ever do a BC (big chop)?
no I’m afraid to be bald I don’t think I have the head for it.

What kind of reaction did you get when you decided to lock your hair?
Everybody thought that it was a good move except my nana. She liked it on other people but not her baby. But once I got them she grew to love them and then when they got some hang time she thought they were amazing.

Since starting this journey what have you learned about your hair?
All the things that affect your hair .such as what you put in your body. Why you should be mindful. The vitamins you need.  I used to put so much lye in my hair to make it straight. Then in two weeks all that work was down the drain. I couldn’t get wet. Had to roll it. So much. Then it would fall out. Or I would wake up and not sure what it would look like. I have been reading books. Trying new products and I latest project is to start making my own jell, deep conditioner, hot oil and sheen. I have taken advantage of my hair for a long time but as I get older I learn to pay attention to my locs because if I don’t I won’t have them .  

What do you love most about your hair?
Its wake up and go. I never had hair to put in a ponytail. And even though I have recently been having problems with my hair due to a vitamin deficiency, I love the fact that I can pull it back or put it up and go.

What do you like the least?
I wish that it wasn’t so dry. It’s like the Sahara desert. It is normally itchy. I have to like drown it in oil. But at least there isn’t any dandruff.

LOL @ the last statement but I totally understand because dandruff is a BIG problem. Aside from having the issue of dryness have you faced any other challenges with your hair?
In June of last year had surgery. The result of my surgery made me take lost of vitamins. But one of the side effects is hair thinning. I spoke to my doctor she assured me that it was a normal side effect. But also told me to take some vitamins. I then went online to see what else I can do .And no, not potions that when I read the ingredients I have no clue what they are. So I looked into things like cinnamon, tea tree oil, and other herbs and oils.

What does your hair care regimen currently consist of?
I must admit I was a slacker till my hair showed me I couldn’t just ignore it and expect it to perform. But treat it like the love of my life. And give it some TLC.  I wash it every few weeks. I oil my scalp every other day. And I sleep with a satin cap.

If you could use one word to describe your hair what would it be?

What’s the best advice you could give aspiring naturalistas?
Try it, don’t over think it .And it you don’t like it you can always go back. Going natural can only help your hair not harm it.

What are 3 hair care products you can’t live without?
Olive oil, ouchless hair twisties, Shea butter

Anything else we should know about you and your hair?
Go forth and find your natural path. It’s out there just waiting for u to discover it.