Hey ya’ll! I hope everyone has had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. I was so happy to have Monday off! But as always, back to reality (i.e. work)
How bout we start the week off with a little hairspiration :o) Meet Precious! She has a beautiful spirit and all around inspiring woman. You’ll get a sense of what I mean when you read her story below!
Introduction : : Do share a little about yourself!
My name is Precious and I love my hair! I also love my eyes and my body but that is another story all together, lol. I am a graduate of Howard University – BISON! – and I received my Masters from Duke. I currently work as a financial analyst and contract accountant for a major cable network. But, I am in the process of launching my own beauty product line and I am uber excited about it!!! Also, I love music. To that end I sing whenever I can and have done bg vocals for television shows (i.e. network singing competitions), award shows (i.e. Grammys and American Music Awards) and a Mazda commercial. And, last but certainly not least, I sing in church! And, I have had the honor of preaching on a few occasions. So, yes, I am a Christian. And, I daily strive to love as YHWH, Yahshua and Ruach Hako’desh – translation God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit – love. For as Jesus said in John 13:34-35, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
In the beginning : : What inspired you to go embrace your natural-ness? OR If you’ve been natural since forever, what inspired you to never get a perm?
My hair is very thick. So, when I was a pre-teen, my mother did what most mothers in the late 90s did – she put a relaxer in my hair. I did not know any better and neither did she. The goal was to straighten my hair so that it would be more “manageable” and the relaxer seemed like the best way. I maintained a relaxer throughout middle school, high school and my undergraduate years at Howard. And, over the years my very thick hair began to get very thin. By the time I arrived at Duke to do my Master program, I was over the entire “creamy crack” process. I was talking with a friend who convinced me to try to go without the relaxer, and I did for about a month and failed miserably. A month of “new growth” with relaxed ends was the craziest experience. I had no idea how to manage the new growth. I would get it pressed only to work out and have it wave/curl up. At the time wavy/curly hair that was “kinky” did not seem attractive. So, I caved in got another relaxer. This did not stop me from hating how thin was hair was becoming. My ends were atrocious and my scalp was constantly irate because of the chemicals. The summer before my final year at Duke, I finally decided “enough is enough” and made the decision to start over. I had an appointment to get my touch up relaxer and I called my stylist that morning and told her I was canceling my appointment. I was such a regular customer at the time that her response was “So, when would you like to reschedule it.” I laughed, very nervously because of course I had NO idea what I was going to do without the relaxer, I just knew I did not want a relaxer any more. After my nervous laugh, my response was, “No, I am canceling for good. I won’t be get a relaxer anymore.” Her silence at the other end was deafening and when she said, “Really…” for a split second I almost retreated but my instinct said, “stand firm” and my split ends said, “you don’t have a choice.” So, I said, “Yes, really. I’m going natural.”
That was 6 years ago. The journey has been interesting but fun. I transitioned with braids for a full year. And, that following summer I went to a natural stylist who washed/conditioned my hair and took me to a mirror and asked, “Are you ready to cut the rest of the relaxer out?” My reflection was so inspiring. I had about 3 inches of straight straggly hair. But, the rest of my crown was full of thick kinky curly perfection. When I smiled she grabbed the scissors and I have been 100% natural ever since. I enjoy everything about my hair. The texture. The thickness. And, the versatility. I can press it, blow it out, wear protective styles or wear my curl pattern and with every change it reminds me how versatile I am as a woman. And, I love that I am constantly learning new things about my hair and what it likes and does not like. My mother had the right idea when i was a pre-teen. I was a young girl who played sports and was constantly on the go. The idea of “managing” my hair was a good one. But, the approach was wrong. My hair did not need to be permanently straight. It needed to be styled in protective styles. But, American culture is and has constantly told black women that permanently straight hair is the standard of beauty and that straight styles allows us to better manage our day to day lives. Yet, American culture does not mention the studies that suggest “creamy crack” has a direct correlation to fibroids and other health issues. It does not mention the damage it does to our tresses in the long run. What I have learned in the last six years is that once I learned how to “manage” my “natural” hair with “natural” methods, life actually got a whole lot simpler.
Your uniqueness : : How would describe your hair and how do you like to wear/style your hair daily? i.e. wash-n-go’s, twists, straight, protective styles, etc.
I am versatile with my hair. I get it pressed about 3 times a year. Each time I never add any additional heat after I leave my stylist. My press lasts about 4 to 5 weeks. For the first 3 weeks I pin curl my hair so that I still have the bounce I had when I left the salon. By week 4 my natural oils in my scalp make the pin curls impossible so I will wrap it at night and wear it straight for the week and an additional week if I can get a fifth week out of it. I like getting it pressed because I can see the length. Right now it falls to about my bra strap in the back. So, that gives me a chance to shake it and really enjoy the length.
For the most part, I wear protective styles about 85% of the time. I love mini twists and my curly afro. I have not tried the micro twists yet. It seems like it would take forever to do them. But, I would love to try to sit still long enough to put them in. It take me about 4 to 5 hours to mini twist my hair but I love mini twists because I can style them in several ways. I also wear cornrows or braids. Sometimes, I will also moisturize my hair with my homemade shea butter souffle and put in big two strand twists that I will take down and wear my hair kinky. And, on a few occasions, I will wash and go but my hair requires so much moisture that the wash and go usually lasts a day or two at the most. So, I am not fond, or rather my hair is not fond of the wash and go. My texture doesn’t permit me to do it often.
Choosing favorites : : What are some fav products you can’t live without or would recommend to someone else? How do you use them?
Right now I am making my own products, which I plan to open an online store and sell in the very near future. I’ve tried many products but the more I read the more I see things in products that I, nor my hair, likes. Many shampoos and conditioners are full of chemicals or chemical subsidiaries that make my hair dry and difficult to detangle. This includes many of the products that have silicone free and sulfate free. For a while I was doing the co-wash method, which was much better than the shampoo method. But, once I started making my own products, I like the way my hair feels much better. One of my favorite products is my deep conditioner consists of yogurt extracts, avocado oil, vitamin e, honey, castrol oil, coconut oil and several fruit extracts and essential oils. My hair LOVES this conditioner. After I cleanse my hair with my special cleanser, I treat my scalp with an apple cider vinegar rinse (shout out to Coco Bella for the ACV Rinse suggestion) that has aloe vera juice, grapefruit extract and essential oils. Then, I deep condition my hair with my yogurt mix. For my deep condition I part my hair into 12 sections and two strand twist each section (3 twists front left, 3 twists back left, 3 twists front right, 3 twist back right). I take each section and smooth my yogurt mix onto that section until my hair is completely covered. Then, I place that section between my hands and place my hands in a praying position and slide my hands down my hair a few times to make sure the mix is on each strand. When I finish smoothing my yogurt mix a section, I two strand twist that section and move to the next. When I am finished I have 12 two strand twists soaked in yogurt. Then, I place a plastic cap over my hair and let it soak and absorb the yogurt and the oils for about 10 to 15 minutes. When the time is up, I rinse my yogurt mix out in tepid water doing one twist at a time (and I retwisting it once I am done). Afterwards, I add my shea butter souffle to each twist (also retwisting when I am done). I allow the 12 twists to air dry. If I have time I will place my hair in a protective styles (mini twists or braids) and let it air dry. Or, if I allowed to air-dry without doing a protective style, I will untwist each of the 12 twists and wear my hair in a curly afro.
Drop some knowledge : : Do you have an awesome hair practice/technique you’ve learned and wouldn’t mind sharing? OR is there something you’d like to learn more about?
I just shared my deep conditioner above *wink*
I would like to learn more about protective styles. I keep it simple but I am sure there are other styles I don’t know about and would love to try.
Shameless plug : : Do you have a hustle you’d like to share while you have the floor? i.e. business, project, etc. if not, that’s cool, no worries :o)
Of course! I am launching a line of beauty products that will be all natural. My company’s name is T’Sonja Beauty. I am perfecting my products and working on my website – www.tsonja.com. My desire and goal is to launch in late Fall of this year. So, I am working dilligently and I am so excited about it! I will keep you posted on when I will be ready to launch and would love for you or any one else to contact me in order to test the products for free. I would love to have feedback so that I can improve the products and know what products you like and/or love and/or dislike and think should be changed/revised.
K.I.T. : : How can we stay connected with you? i.e. website, e-mail, social media, etc.
Yes, my current email is firstname.lastname@example.org