Hello Beautiful Chic-istas!! Today I have another inspiring journey to natural hair by one of my fav bloggers, Tiffany Shawn, better known as My Natural Reality. Just like me, she is a teacher, who finds the time to be Nappturally Chic regardless of the crazy schedule that this occupation brings (YAYYY FOR EDUCATORS!!). She is a beautiful naturalista with an amazing and informative blog and I am honored that she is sharing with us. Meet, Tiffany of My Natural Reality...
Nappturally Chic Jere: Thank you so much for sharing your story with us! So let's start talking about that beautiful hair... Tell me about your hair before going natural. Were you frustrated with your relaxed hair?
Tiffany: I’ve been on my natural hair journey since the summer of 2010. Like most, I began getting relaxers as a child because my texture was just too much for my mom to handle. Many in my family have been natural since the early 90s, so it’s something I’ve been exposed to for a long time. I just didn’t think it was for me until I began seeing women wear twists. I fell in love with twists and wanted badly to be able to do that to my own hair! So I first tried to go cold turkey with giving myself relaxers in 2008. But after five months of frustration with two textures, I gave up. I didn’t do my research that first time around…I only knew I wanted to twist my hair and that relaxers were beginning to negatively affect my scalp so I needed to find an alternative! My second time around in 2010 I began watching YouTube religiously to find out what I needed to do to be successful. I still believe hair can be healthily relaxed, but I needed a break from it and loved the versatility of natural hair. I didn’t turn back that second time around.
NCJ: Twist are beautiful... besides wanting to achieve that hairstyle, were there any other reasons for returning to your natural texture.
Tiffany: I am a schoolteacher and am consistently complimented by children. They have such big hearts and tend to be people pleasers. But I was beginning to feel like they were only complimenting me so much because I had hair slightly past my shoulders. I felt some kind of way about the image of [physical] beauty I was giving off. I wanted to show them, and others who cross my path, that long, straight hair doesn’t make a woman beautiful.
NCJ: I can totally relate, I questioned the same thing after watching my daughter's early reactions to my long straight hair as well, very admirable!! So, did you slowly transition or did you do a Big Chop, please share your experience.
Tiffany: I tried to transition because I did not think I’d look right with super short hair. So I wore braids/twists and rod sets. After six months of growing out my hair, I couldn’t handle it anymore. I wanted to be free of the straight hair! So I cut it. I cried! *Lol* I felt I looked like a boy. It took me a couple months to get used to it because I’ve never been one to have such short hair. I’ve always had my long hair to make me feel beautiful. So I really had to grasp hold of the concept that “I am not my hair” and the fact that I am beautiful on the outside because of who I am inside.
NCJ: What are your favorite styles, favorite hair products and a couple of pictures of your best hair days.
Tiffany: I don’t have a signature style; I’m more of a chameleon. Some washdays I twist, others I braid. I think my favorite is twists because I can pin it up during the week while focusing on work, then let it down on the weekend for a different style!
NCJ: Love to versatility of natural hair! So many options!!! Do you have any advice you would love to give to other new naturals or those thinking of going natural.
Tiffany: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” This is a quote by Oscar Wilde that I like to tell my students. It applies to adults as well! We need to focus more on what makes us wonderful human beings while giving credit when it’s due to others but NOT having envy over what others have (especially when it comes to their DNA). If you find yourself looking at others and thinking, “if only I had her ________”, stop! You can find twice as many awesome traits about yourself than you found about the person you hardly know!
NCJ: Beautiful advice!! What is the Biggest lesson you have learned about yourself and your hair through your journey.
NCJ: Do you have any social forums that will allow other naturals to keep up with all of your fabulousness?
Thanks so much!! It has been an absolute pleasure getting to know you and your natural hair journey!! Be sure to follow Ms. "My Natural Reality" She is amazing!!!
Hugs and Love