My name is Tenesha, most people just call me “T”. I’m from the burbs north of Chicago, Il. I’m a wife, mother, and future nurse. I transitioned to natural from June/July of 2009 and did my big chop August of 2010.
How long have you been natural?
I have been natural for 3 years! I can’t believe how the time has just flown by.
What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper& why?
I had always been curious about my natural hair texture, but it took the birth of my daughter to really give me that push to just stop relaxing my hair. I remembered my own hair as a child, very thick and healthy, but it became unmanageable. I got my first relaxer by the time I was in first grade. Now that I had a little girl of my own, I thought of how I would care for her hair. Thankfully I stumbled across CurlyNikki.com. It was a done deal after that! I transitioned my hair to natural over the course of a year. Doing a big chop right away was out of the question. I never had short hair in all of my life, so sporting a TWA terrified me. Besides, I was curious to see how long I could last before I wanted to cut it. I was excited to try transitioning styles and different products. So I accepted the challenge! I made it to just over a year, and it was plenty of time for me. I was so ready at that point. Ready to experience the real me. So, in August of 2010 I cut off my remaining relaxed ends and never looked back. Today, my daughter is so happy to see that she has beautiful natural hair just like her mommy. Exactly what I wanted!
How would you describe your hair? What do you love most about your hair?
In one word? THICK! I have so much hair, it’s ridiculous! I do battle dryness and frizz on the regular, but that’s an easy fix. I’ve got coils, curls, spirals, and waves in the mix. I love that my hair does not fit in one ‘specific’ category. That is why hair typing does not work for me. What I truly love the most about my hair is that it is MINE. I may find similar textures and qualities in other naturals, but no one has MY hair! That’s pretty awesome.
What has been the most memorable part of your journey? Has it been easy or difficult or both?!
Every milestone in my journey is memorable! From my first puff, to my first flat iron, my hair continues to amaze me. This journey has been quite the learning experience, but I’ve managed to have a lot of fun along the way. Having tools like curly hair blogs and YouTube has actually made being natural so easy. If there’s anything you want to know, hop on a computer!
What were some of your favorite transitioning hairstyles?
My favorite transitioning hairstyle was a flat twist out. I would flat twist my hair and put perm rods on the ends. My hair was always so cute! I can’t believe I never thought to take any pics, I am so mad at myself right now!! Right now, you can almost always find me sporting a braid out. If my hair isn’t down and out, it’s up and away in some sort of bun. Outside of my occasional flat iron, I don’t do any other styles. But this year, I can just feel it, this is going to be the year I experiment with more styles. I bought rollers, rods, and a hooded dryer. Watch out now!
What have your experiences been as a ‘natural?’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?
Family and friends have been quite receptive to my natural hair. I get lots of compliments, even from complete strangers. My biggest supporter in all of this has been my husband. He’ll tell you in a heartbeat how glad he is that I went natural. He loves my hair! I even inspired my mother and both of my sisters to stop relaxing their hair. My two younger sisters are now completely natural, and my mommy is still transitioning. Having my mom transitioning is quite monumental, talk about someone who I thought would never in a million years consider giving up the relaxer. I’m overjoyed!
What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
I wash my hair once a week, deep condition when I have time, and I baby the mess out of my ends! Right now I’m loving CURLS (professional line) products. I wash with the Curlicious Creamy Curl Cleanser, detangle with the Coconut Sublime Conditioner, and use CURLS Milkshake as my leave-in. I always set my braids with my favorite styler, Kinky Curly Curling Custard, then seal my ends. Right now I’m using Oyin’s Burnt Sugar Pomade for sealing and it’s great for my edges.
What are some of your favorite natural hair websites,YouTuber’s, or blogs?
I love Curly Nikki’s blog CurlyNikki.com, where it all started, lol! Hairscapades.com, ManeObjective.com, and iamnaturallycurious.com. MahoganyCurls, HeyFranHey, Naptural85, 101LadyT, KimmayTube, and DenimPixie on YouTube.
Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?
I want readers to know that there are no ‘rules’. Just you, and YOUR hair! Cut it, grow it out, dye it, straighten it, use silicones, don’t use silicones, bun it, weave it, braid it, define your curls, don’t define your curls, cowash, shampoo, heck RELAX it..WHATEVER!! Do whatever works for YOU, and you can’t go wrong!
Where can people find you for more information?
I have a YouTube channel, MissTenesha623, stop on by! I’m also on Instagram @Pretty_Curl_Swag.