CN: When you first chopped, what were your thoughts and feelings? How do you feel now?
T: I first chopped October 28th, 2009, and I loved it! It was so fun and crazy! Unfortunately, I had an unwanted chop in September when I went in for a trim, and that experience was awful. After that horrible haircut, I thought as soon as my hair grew back I’d get a relaxer. It’s growing out now, and I’m back on track.

CN: How did you cope with the responses from your family and friends?
T: I was ready for them. My nieces and sisters-in-law had done it previously. It deeply confused the men in my family, but I had the full support of most of the women in my life. A lot of people were very disappointed to see me lose my longer bouncy relaxed hair. My husband says he likes my curls. I was definitely concerned about his response, but he really surprised me.

CN: What are your plans for your hair?
T: My goal has always been to grow my hair out into as big of a fro as possible. I love Rachel True and Tracie Ellis Ross’ amazing manes. Even as a kid, I had a little obsession with Chaka Khan’s wild mane. I’m going to try some protective styles this winter until I find someone in my area that I trust to shape my hair.

CN: Do you find it necessary to ‘doll up’ your look to feel more feminine? If so, what are your favorite accessories, or go to ways to glam up your look?
T: After my second chop, I had to get my hair cut very short to fix what the barber had done. I wore earrings and makeup every day to try to feel and look more feminine. Now that it’s grown out enough to wear headbands again, I don’t use any of the other products daily. I also really love to wear a flower pinned in the side.

CN: How do you keep it moisturized?
T: I’m still learning in this area. My hair is braided now, and I spray it with a jojoba oil mix. I enjoy trying different mixes that I find in the forums.

CN: What products and techniques do you use to style? How often do you style?
T: I use IC Fantasia Gel and Eco Styler Gel. I love the shine and definition my hair has with Eco Styler Gel, but not the crunch. I wash and go a couple of times a week. Now that it’s super cold, I’m switching to twist-outs and braids. I have some aloe gel that I use to twist my hair while it’s wet, and I untwist with whatever oil I have on hand. I can wear a twistout for 4 to 5 days.

CN: How do you get your waves or curls popping?
T: Eco Styler Gel provides the best curl for me. There are lots of products that I want to try, but I’ve tried to keep my tendency to become a product junkie to a bare minimum.

CN: How do you preserve your curls at night?
T: I don’t. I just go to sleep, and it’s great when I wake up! I use curlychica/nikkimaes technique with the coconut oil to fluff my hair back out. Then, I put on my headband, and I’m on my way!