My name is Tiffany Jackson. I’m a 23 year old full time college student (majoring in Graphic Design), also working full time. I’m from Maplewood, NJ.
How long have you been natural?
I have been fully natural for a year and two months now.
Where you a big chopper or transitioner?
I was a transitioner because I was too afraid to start off with close to no hair, lol! I thought my head was too big for really short hair, so I transitioned for about two years until I gave in. I was relaxed literally all of my life. My mom started relaxing my hair when I was in daycare. She was sick of my crying and complaining while she combed my hair. Up until a few years ago, I thought that she made a good decision. I had thick, long hair that over the years became very fine with the constant relaxers. While transitioning, I got sick of looking at the frail, thin hair just hanging off of what was beautiful to me.
How would you describe your hair?
I believe I’m 4A, according to the natural hair charts that I’ve seen before.
What do you love most about your hair?
What I love most about my hair is the versatility. Naturals have so many hair options. I can go from my natural coils to loose and curly, to bone straight whenever I like. My hair has the ability to transform whenever I want. At the moment, my hair is bleached. Thankfully, my hair was able to take the processing, while suffering very little to no damage at all. I did not even notice a change in my curl pattern. From there, I went from “Purple Haze” to “Fuchsia Fatale” easily with just a few weeks in between. I love having the freedom to change the color of my fro whenever I please.
What has been the most memorable part of the journey?
The most memorable part of my hair journey? Hmm.. I think that I have had two top most memorable moments of my journey so far. The first was definitely the day I decided to let go of the relaxed hair on my head and finally chop it off. I was afraid for so long to cut it off. I was too attached to something that was not even healthy to begin with. As I saw the hair fall, I never felt more empowered. I rocked out with that short hair and I did it with pride. I felt like a queen. It just felt right. The second most memorable moment was just recently when I decided to do a spur of the moment tapered cut. I’d admired the style from afar, but it was with following “thecutlife” on Instagram, I gained all the courage I needed to make that move. Literally the very next day after the idea, I headed to the local barber and said, “cut it off.” It was possibly the best hair decision I’ve ever made, after going completely natural. Cutting my hair was surprisingly easy for me. Extremely easy. I had been so attached to the length of my hair, that I wasn’t even paying much attention to the quality. After my semi-big chop, my hair has gotten so thick and healthy.
What were your favorite transitioning hairstyles?
It took a good while to get into the swing of some protective styles for naturals. I’ve made so many [failed] attempts at twist and braid outs, haha. My signature hairstyle, however, was my frohawk. That was my go-to style when my curls just weren’t sitting right. If I didn’t feel like retwisting/rebraiding my hair at night, I wouldn’t, then I’d just pin up the sides the next morning and keep it moving. My frohawk never steered me wrong. Now that my hair is cut into a tapered style, I haven’t stopped the flat twist outs and bantu knot outs. I’ll do those sometimes, or I’ll just rock out with my blown out afro puff, along with my fresh cut on the sides and back.
Any memorable reactions from others?
Since I’ve been natural, I’ve gotten a slew of different reactions to my hair. At first, my mom wasn’t too happy about my decision. She kept pressuring me to get a perm time after time. Aside from her, I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from my family members and friends. Even complete strangers stop and go out of their way to tell me that my hair is awesome. I don’t really mean to look for attention but it feels good to know that others love what I take pride in. Of course, with that, I’ve gotten many requests to touch my hair, which I’m not exactly okay with lol. I love my hair in its entirety, and my boyfriend does too, and I’m fine with that. I have an aunt who had been growing dreads that are down to her butt for years now and just recently chopped them off. She’s actually my number one supporter in my natural journey.
What is your hair regimen?
I love Cantu products. I moisturize my hair daily. I try not to wash my hair too frequently (probably every 2.5-3 weeks) because of my demi-permanent hair dye. I use Ology’s Sulfate free shampoo and conditioner that you can get pretty much from any drug store. I get mine from Walgreen. I always make sure that I sleep with either my satin bonnet or on my satin pillowcase. I deep condition and detangle my hair once a week using Cantu’s leave in conditioner. I really try not to get into my hair too much since it is so much work. I’ve gotten the best curl definition from Dark & Lovely’s Au Natural Anti-Shrinkage Curl Defining Creme. It smells really good and doesn’t create a weird buildup. It leaves my coils super soft and shiny.
Who are your favorite bloggers and vloggers?
Favorite Youtubers/Natural Hair Bloggers:
Jenell Stewart (founder of www.kinkycurlycoilyme.com – IG: blakizbeautyful)
Susy, also known as ‘African Creature (www.hairbysusy.com)
The Cut Life (www.livethecutlife.com)
The Doux (www.TheDoux.com)
Curly Nikki (www.curlynikki.com)
Sherry Blossom (www.sherryblossombeauty.com)
Any advice for other naturalistas?
I’m not exactly a natural hair guru or anything, but for naturals: don’t be afraid to try new things! Remember that length does not equal health. Always take proper care of your hair. If you just big chopped, congratulations and welcome to the good life. Don’t get discouraged if it seems like your hair is taking forever to grow, not everyone’s hair is the same. Some take more time than others. Some people have it easy! It can be in their genes. Hair growth can also rely on what you put in your system. Eating healthy will promote healthy hair growth. Healthy body, healthy hair. Good luck!
Where can we find you on social media?
I’m on Instagram: chillarybanks | Twitter: @chillvrybvnks | Facebook: facebook.com/polobandit