Hi, my name is Tiffany. I'm originally from Queens, NY but was raised in Orlando, FL. I am the founder of LoveEmbraceInspire.com which originated from my personal blog LoveEmbraceInspire.blogspot.com. I have a Masters Degree in Higher Education and work as an adviser at a local college. My passion and skills in advising has not been limited to college admissions, but has expanded into providing natural hair tips as well as self-esteem building and personal & spiritual enrichment through blogging and vlogging. My desire is to help educate, uplift and inspire women.
How long have you been natural?
I've been natural now for 2 years and 4 months. Prior to my chop in September 2011, I transitioned for 11 months.
What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or Big Chopper & why?
For me, going natural was not intentional but accidental because I wore a lot of wigs and sew ins. Pretty much since January of 2009, I have had about 1-2 relaxers. I started transitioning in October of 2010 after taking braids out of my hair. I decided to grow out my natural hair because I was never satisfied with my relaxed hair, and covering it up with wigs and sew-ins started to become irritating not to mention costly. I just wanted to be free and liberated.
What has been the most memorable part of your journey?
The most memorable part of my journey was when I cut off the relaxed ends. One day after washing my hair, I just got so frustrated with the two textures that I just went for it and chopped off the relaxed ends. I made sure to start right in the middle - no turning back. It was so liberating but at the same time I was a bit nervous. Because I was in love with my curls, I did everything I could to take good care of them. I put a lot of TLC into it and it paid off.
What are some of your favorite transitioning hairstyles?
During my transition, I wore a lot of high buns, and continued to wear wigs to keep myself from constantly playing in my new found head of curls. I figured the less manipulation the better. Now Marley Twists are my favorite protective style, but I also rock updos like the RTP (Roll, Tuck and Pin) You can find a video of that style on my YouTube channel www.youtube.com/Naturallytn
What have your experiences been as a ‘natural?’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?
When my family saw that I was going natural, I had 100% support. My parents would always tell me that I looked prettier wearing my own hair and that they were proud to see me blossom into my own. I gained more confidence in myself and was able to express my creative self through my hair and personal style.
One of the experiences I didn't enjoy so much when I first became natural is how both relaxed and some naturals would always ask me if my hair was real and would try to touch my hair because they just couldn't believe that this hair was all mine! At times I would get frustrated but then eventually got over it. Those same women today, ask me for advice as they too, have made the decision to go natural. I am happy that my journey and my natural hair has inspired others to take that leap of faith and try something they never thought they would ever do...
What is your hair regimen (including favorite products)?
I wash my hair every week. I start out by prepping my hair for washing by mixing castor oil and raw Shea butter together and adding it to every strand in my hair to soften it prior to washing. Lately I've been a bit of a product junkie because I like to try new things, however I do have staples. I currently use Aussie's Conditioner for my co-washes and wash my hair with shampoo about once to twice a month to get rid of product build-up. I moisturize and seal my ends every night by using the LOC Method. (Liquid is usually a leave in spray or simply H2O, Oils - Castor Oil/Jojoba/Grapeseed mixture and Cream I've recently been using Alikay Naturals' Shea Yogurt Moisturizer because my hair loves anything Shea Butter. I'll then twist and wrap my hair with a satin scarf or cap when going to bed.
Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?
Whether you are a new natural or transitioning I want to encourage women to stick to their journey because it'll be worth it in the end. When you need strength and encouragement, get support from other transitioners and big choppers. Seek support from other naturals who will help cheer you through. And always remember no matter what your hair preference is, we are all beautifully and wonderfully made!
Where can people find you for more information?