Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper? What was your journey like?
I tried to be a transitioner. I really wanted to transition because my hair was long, but I was far too impatient. I wanted to see my curls far too badly. So I big chopped twice!
Had you always embraced your texture?
I hadn’t always embraced it. I have bigger curls in the top of my head, but the smaller curls in the back were much harder to tame.
How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them?
They were not happy about it, but my husband was and still is very supportive of my natural hair journey. My hair was always healthy and they didn’t understand why I would want to cut it all off to go natural. I didn’t care what they thought. I wanted to see who I really was, and no one was going to stop me from finding my true self.
Describe your hair (fine or coarse, thin or thick, highly porous, low, etc.)
My hair is very thick with finer hair on top and coarser hair in the back and sides.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to your hair?
The craziest thing has been literally grabbing the clippers and shaving all of my hair off twice. When my hair hit the counter top, I never felt so free.
What’s your biggest hair related regret?
My biggest regret was putting a keratin treatment on it the first time I went natural. My curls never reverted completely. The curls in the front stayed straight, which led to big chop number two.
What’s your current hair routine? How often do you wash, condition, and style? Favorite products! Deets!
I wash with shampoo once a month and cowash whenever I feel buildup. My leave-in conditioner is mixed chicks. My two styling favorites are Cantu Shea Butter Twist and Lock Gel and Jamaican Mango Lime Locking Crème Wax.
What’s your favorite hairstyle? Where do you get hairstyle inspiration?
I love twist outs! I usually tie a knot on the end for a little extra curl.
Who is your curl crush?
I love the “My Natural Sistas” YouTube channel. They have three different styles, and since they are from Houston (like me, I might be a little biased.) I crush on any curls that belong to a sista that is confident in rocking them!
How do you maintain your hair at night?
At night, I wear a silk bonnet and sleep on a silk pillow for double coverage.
How do you maintain healthy length?
Whenever I have free time I will twist my hair with moisturizer on my hands for extra conditioning.
What’s the best thing about being natural?
Versatility!!! I can rock a huge afro, and then look like a completely different person the next day.
Where can folks find you on the web?
I am on Facebook as Tina Curlyqueen Kelley and I just started my YouTube channel as “Curlyqueenkelley.” I will be uploading tutorials soon so look out for me in your feed.