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,hm...read 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?
.........next 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' Name...lol) 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 shy...to 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.