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Curly Nikki

On the Couch with VH1’s Tanya Young Williams

By January 27th, 202130 Comments
On the Couch with VH1's Tanya Young Williamsprepared by Taneica Phillips for

I LOVE Vh1’s Basketball Wives! I sit and watch in amusement and sometimes horror as these ladies go about their day to day lives dodging gossip and accusation like bullets. Anyway, one afternoon while tuning into the 1st episode of Basketball Wives LA, I caught glimpse of a stunning bronzed woman with blond locs, piercing eyes and the most luminescent complexion we’d EVER seen. It looked like she literally glowed! I was taken by her style and her “I am too grown and too fabulous for the cattiness and the fighting” attitude. She became my favorite, but then she wasn’t in much more of the episodes! Last week, I got the opportunity to interview Tanya Young Williams and found her to be just as delightful as I imagined. We talked about her projects, her charity works and projects, her hair, and of course, her time on the show. Read on! About being the celebrity spokesperson for the National Domestic Violence Hotline:
TYW: I had the opportunity to go on the CBS Early Show and atually offered commentary on Mel Gibson and his alleged domestic violence. Having a history of dealing with domestic violence, when I finished with that, the producer said, “you really should align yourself with the National Domestic Violence Hotline so that your voice and message can empower others.” After a year and a half of communication, they asked me if I would be a celebrity spokesperson. I felt that would be the greatest opportunity because the more people you can help with your story, the more lives you can possibly save and the more family dynamics can be improved.

Her advice for women who may be in abusive relationships:
If you’re in a situation where a person makes you feel less than yourself, that’s not good. Love doesn’t hurt. If you are in an abusive relationship, it’s important that you have a friend that you can trust completely to talk to. It’s important to have that support system and someone that you can talk to and be 100% comfortable with. Also, you have got to have an exit strategy. Where can you go if things get very bad? Is there a safe place for the children? Do you have any money put away? Everything is about strategy when you are ready to get out of an abusive relationship. Also, call the National Domestic Violence Abuse Hotline for help. The number is 1-800-799-SAFE.

About her book I’m tired! Carry Your Own S#!t (Oops, I Mean Bags) A 7 Day Journey to Peace, Passion and Purpose:
It’s a self help book for people who have been carrying other peoples baggage for so long, that they have forgotten about their own passions and their own purpose. It’s a workbook and an easy read. You actually go through seven days of asking yourself questions that you’ve probably forgotten the answers to; Who were you when you were happy? Who were you when you weren’t stressing and carrying other peoples baggage? Essentially, what baggage are you carrying that doesn’t belong to yourself? This workbook is very dear to me, I am very passionate about it and anyone who has read it and has responded to me has said that it has helped change their life. I believe that each of us was created for a specific/unique purpose, and the goal of this book is to allow you to tap back into your God given purpose for your life. Love yourself enough to buy the book because it will change your life.

About her hair journey:
I’ve actually been natural for many, many years, but have worn my hair in the dreads style for eight years. My hair before that was just wavy. During the early 80s, I was an athlete and I was getting it wrapped. But you know what that’s like, I’d get my hair wrapped, and the second I’d run up and down the floor, I would perspire and my hair would revert to being wavy again! At some point, I believe I was in college, I said, ‘you know what, I can’t do this anymore’. At the end of the day, I couldn’t keep my hair the way I wanted it to look, so I had to change and say ‘enough with the wrapping’. The thing is, I didn’t want to have a perm, and there was a period of time where people were doing a thing called texturizing. I would texturize it to make it straight, and then I would wrap it and I thought it looked fabulous! But, if it rained, or I perspired, I was done, so two and a half hours in the salon was wasted!

On the Couch with VH1's Tanya Young Williams
About Her Locs:
It wasn’t easy! My hair is naturally wavy and curly, so me wanting to have locs was not easy, but it’s still something I like! Because my hair was thinner, when I started twisting it, it became heavier and took on a fuller look. It’s just something I like! I use Aubrey Organics products as well as Kiehl’s Care products. Another thing that I do is apply vitamin E to my scalp.

On the Couch with VH1's Tanya Young Williams
About her daughters (Tryumph 8 and Whizdom 7) and how she cares for their natural curls:
Both of my daughters have wavy/curly hair like mine. I am very fortunate to have two very good girls, but the only time we don’t get along is in the morning when I’m combing their hair [laughs]. “Mommy, are you hurting us on purpose? No, I’m just combing through your curls!” When I was younger, my mother would put Johnson and Johnson No More Tangles in a jar with this very heavy cream called Baby Cream, and she’d shake it up! So of course, years later, we’re laughing like “she was making Carefree Curl Moisturizer before it even came out”! But as moms, you continue to test and see what works in your childrens’ hair. I laugh because my mother did it when we were little, and that was just what mothers do. Even with my two girl’s hair, I’ve gone through so many different products to find out what works best for them. It’s really tough to find products for children’s hair that is curly, not coarse. My favorite product to use is Aubrey Organics B5 Design Gel. I am trying to find other products though. I have been having a difficult time finding things that will not weigh down their hair… others are too fragrant. Maybe your readers will have some suggestions!

On the Couch with VH1's Tanya Young Williams
On that gorgeous glow and fit physique:
[laughs] As for that “glow” that everyone says I have, I feel that it’s just the spirit of God that’s inside me. I don’t eat red meats and stay away from sweets, though I love Champagne [laughs]. For exercise, believe it or not, I don’t have time to visit the gym! When I play with my girls, that’s when I exercise. I put them on my legs and do leg lifts and lift them up. They think it’s fun, and I stay toned!

On what she expected when she joined the cast of the Basketball Wives of LA:

When I met the producers, we talked about focusing on the lives of basketball wives as moms and business women. Though it’s glamorous, there’s more to being a basketball wife.

On whether or not she was accurately portrayed on the show:
I actually only watched the first show and haven’t watched since, so I honestly don’t know how I was portrayed.

On her absence from the Reunion Show and whose idea was it for her to not be included:

Both myself and Vh1 decided that it would be best if I was not a part of the reunion. It was a mutual and amicable decision.

Do you communicate with anyone from the show?
I talk to Jackie about business and I also talk to Imani on Twitter.

On whether she’ll be returning for another season:
No, I have other projects going on right now. I am a Legal analyst for KTLA, write for the Huffington Post, and am a Celebrity Spokesperson for the National Domestic Violence Hotline. It was in the best interest of all involved that I did not return.

Don’t be bummed though dolls! Even though she won’t be returning to the BBWLA cast, she promises that she’ll be back on the small screen in due time! At the end of our interview, I promised Ms.Tanya that I would send out an APB on product recommendations for her two beautiful daughters. They need products that will moisturize, but not weight down the hair. Also what products would you all recommend for effective detangling?

Also, visit her website:

So what products would you recommend for her daughters?!


  • Anonymous says:

    Maybe her girl's hair is not kinky (tightly twisted or curled). Maybe they have coils or ringlets (Curly hair). Either way, let's not split hairs. :)

  • Anonymous says:

    Agree with Anonymous 11/2, about the wavy/curly. I have bi-racial hair and I wouldn't call it wavy curly. More like curly/kinky. What's wrong with kinks? It's not just her; Anonymous commented because it happens too often. She speaks some truth.

  • Tanya Young Williams says:

    Hello ladies. Tanya here. Thank you for your suggestions regarding products for my daughters. I hadn't heard of a few, so I am excited about the possibility of finding something that works for us. I also want to thank you for your kind words. I continue to believe that there is a greater demographic of women of color who think like we do, act like we do, and live like we do. I want to continue to represent US in the best way possible. Have a wonderful and safe holiday season. God bless you and your families. Thanks CurlyNikki…keep paying forward!!!

  • says:

    I strongly recommend Barry Fletcher's moisturizing and detangling spray! It detangles even the knottiest knots. It can be purchased online at or at specialized beauty supply stores. I stand behind it!

  • Anonymous says:

    I really like Tanya. It was refreshing to have an intelligent person on a show like that. I knew she wouldn't be embraced by that ignorant group of sad women.

  • candice/natural dancer says:

    I think Ms. Tanya & her little ladies are lovely! I'm also one of those that missed her presence on the show; she made a difference.
    It looks like she may be able to try the tightly curly method by just leaving a good conditioner in their beautiful curls. Ms. Tanya, please go to You Tube & look up Mahogany Curls "How I Wash & Go" video. This may be the simplest way to maintain your girls' tresses.

    ….and thanks for being YOU!


    Natural Dancer
    The Frizzness

  • ShoeHOTLINE says:

    Great interview ladies. It really taught me something about Tanya as, I had no clue she was an advocate for such a worthy cause.

  • I Am Your People says:

    The REAL reason I was disappointed Tanya wasn't on the whole season is because her brother is Norwood Young (who Fresh of Crunk-N-Disorderly just LOVES) and I was hoping he'd be on the show

  • nappy headed black girl says:

    Wow, those legs without any excercising? Color me impressed.

    Her daughters are cuties, though I side eye their names lol

  • Anonymous says:

    i wish i stopped watching the show when she left. i really regret watching the whole season. i feel like years have been taken off of my life lol

  • Anonymous says:

    She was the only classy one on that show. Glad she distanced herself from that hot hood mess.

  • cygnet says:

    @Anon 3:55, Ms. Williams described her children's hair as wavy/curly for a very good reason, as far as I can see: It's because their hair IS wavy/curly :-). And because it's naturally so, that's acceptable in this "natural community". Indeed, Ms. Williams comes off in the interview as enough of a class act that if she thought their hair was kinky, she'd have said so.

  • Anonymous says:

    I had a feeling Tanya wouldn't be there for long. She came off way too classy and sensible. LOL

  • Anonymous says:

    Love Tanya's hair. BTW, regarding LA BBWives I think the other ladies did not get Tanya. She's a back to natural type of lady. She not a drama queen, so she would not have work out on that show. She's laid back, natural, and down to earth. If the show was all about her, she would get a rating, people like drama. As for her daughers (so cute), try Bee Mine products. Love it and it does not weight anyones hair down. A little goes a long way. Try Bee Mine Moisturizer and curly butter. You will love it!!

  • L says:

    I'm sorry it was Anon 3:55 I was addressing in previous post.

  • L says:

    @Anon 1:24…perhaps she was simply telling her hair story (typing without the classification system 3A, 4B, 4C etc) nothing more..nothing less. Perspective is everything. It sounds like you may be projecting.

    Great interview!

  • Anonymous says:

    I would recommend the Curls product line for her girls. It's great for wavy hair and very kid-friendly.

    Tanya looks great and sounds very grounded. I can see why she wasn't the best fit for Basketball Wives (and I mean that in the most complimentary way).

    She looks very fit and it is obvious that she takes care of herself. The walking model of what you eat and what you do shows up in your appearance. I only wish that the TV examples of black women would highlight more women like this.

    Now, compare her to the Horses (excuse me, "Housewives") of Atlanta and the difference is striking. It is obvious that Tanya doesn't sit around all day, eating bad food, drinking cocktails and being totally negative/hateful. Makes a BIG difference and it certainly shows.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think it's funny (and a little sad) that she seemed to emphasize that her hair was WAVY and/or CURLY before loc'ing and that her daughters' hair is WAVY and CURLY but not "kinky" (bad word, apparently)… Otherwise an interesting interview but I just love how we seem to loathe the words "nappy" or "kinky" when describing our hair in the natural community.

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow so positive! Loved the interview and Tanya sounds very grounded. She sounds like a person that has done/is doing her inner work. I loved her on BB wives, she presented a different perspective. We are not all the same. Maybe we will have a show one day that displays that (our differences) and just maybe we will tune in. Tanya good work and I will be looking for your book!

  • Taneica says:

    *blushing* Thank You Ms.Tanya! It was such a pleasure speaking with you! You're truly an inspiration! Best of luck to you!

  • Anonymous says:

    Great interview!! Even though I watch the show I think it was a good decision for Tanya not to participate. The show is about drama and clearly Tanya wasn't on the show to bring drama which was good. Keep doing what you're doing Tanya…much success to you.


  • Anonymous says:

    I only made it through 3-4 episodes of that show because Tanya was the only one I liked and she wasn't on anymore. I too immediately picked up on her "I'm too grown for this" attitude and don't blame her one bit for not wanting to be involved anymore.

    I don't have any advice for her daughters' hair but the title of her book is really speaking to me right now. I find that black women are often expected to be everybody else's pack mule. I'm in the process of dropping other people's s**t left and right and they are NOT happy…but I must say I'm definitely enjoying the lighter side of life…I think I may have to pick up that workbook! :)

  • Anonymous says:

    A class act, even down to her responses about the show as I suspect that when they discovered she wasn't willing to downgrade herself as a women when the show was pitched to her as something entirely different they eliminated her
    I like carols daughter detangler, its for kids but works on my kinky curly hair like a charm….also the shea moisture hair milk is awesome and not heavy (coconut and hibiscus)

  • Pecancurls says:

    Great interview! Keep up the good work Ms. Williams on your work against domestic violence. Your legs are fierce girlfriend!! I co-sign on the Qhemet cocoa tree detangling ghee and the amla and heavy cream. I love the stuff!

  • Anonymous says:

    Qhemet Cocoa Tree Detangling Ghee for detangling & Qhemet Amla and heavy cream or Burdock Root Butter Cream followed by an oil of your choice. These products do not weigh the hair down and does not have a buildup. It's worked wonders on my 13 yr old's hair!!!!! Hth!

  • Oniea says:

    Ironically I feel like participating in Basketball wives is almost like an abusive relationship, lol. Her hair is beautiful! I think that's even more beautiful that she's a spokesperson against Domestic Violence.

  • Elaine D. says:

    I really think the Shea Moisture curl enhancing smoothie is light (for me though) and I've heard a lot of people say it doesnt' weigh down the hair. I often have to add more stuff to it since it's sooo light…

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    wow! Thanks Tanya! I'm a HUGE fan and I love your hair… and your body is ridic. Your daughters are GORGEOUS! Thanks for agreeing to the interview and please keep in touch!

  • Tanya Young Williams says:

    To Tanieca, keep up the good work. It was a pleasure to speak with you and I am very proud of your work product. RE: – how wonderfully impressed I am with your website, its inception and the business model that makes it popular and relevant. I will spread the word although it seems like the world knows that you are a great entertainment and information source. G-d bless you and your readers. Tanya

  • Hershe_82 says:

    She is stunning, fierce and divalicious!! Great interview. Her girls are dolls! I want her legs, lol… I'll be looking out for her.

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