MG Spotlight – Tyesha

.....Category: MG Spotlights
MG Spotlight – Tyesha Spotlight - Tyesha

Q: Where are you from and how is the natural scene there?

A: I am from Baltimore, Maryland. but now reside in York, Pennsylvania. For the most part, the natural scene in York doesn’t exist very much because there are very few African Americans here to begin with. Finding great hair care products in my area is non-existent. I rely on homemade recipes and ordering online from the Kinky Curly product line. I do find some great products from Whole Foods along with (Every Day Shea) at Trader Joes as well.

Q. How has your experience been with natural hair?

A: I have been natural since April 2009 and I transitioned for a short time. I finally did the big chop back in August 2009 because I fell in love with my natural hair texture!

Q.How much support did you receive when you decided to go natural?

A. I received a lot of support from my family and stylist. However, my husband was not a happy man. He has never liked short or natural hair therefore, that was a little discouraging to deal with. During my transition, I had to stand my ground with him and although he does not “love” my hair, he supports my decision. Spotlight - Tyesha

Q: In your opinion, what has been some of the best things about having natural hair?

A: Since becoming natural, I have noticed a change in my own self image. Naturally there are days when I am not in love with my hair, for example a day after wearing an afro without sleeping with my hair bonnet is not a pretty sight. Overall, I love the way my natural hair feels, along with the way I feel about it. It has also helped with my 8-year old daughter’s self image. Keep in mind, we are surrounded by Caucasians with long, straight hair. Seeing Mommy with the same type hair keeps her from feeling isolated and like she has “bad” hair because it’s kinky. For this reason alone, I will NEVER relax my hair again especially since she has become so proud of who she is.

Q: Have you had any negative experiences while wearing natural hair? How did you cope?

A: I have been battling mental illness for the past several years and after the birth of my last son, it had hit its peak. There were many days I just felt “ugly” and thought the cure to it all was a relaxer and my red hair weave. Rather than suffer through that experience and actually submitting to denial, I simply bought a red, long-haired wig. I use it for those days when I feel like being “straight.” I refuse to put heat on my own hair, so this solution has been a great way to cope with my down days as far as appearance goes.

Q: What is your weekly hair routine?

A: I condition my hair at least every 2-3 days. I detangle 1-2 times per week and I use natural oils on my scalp. I am still searching for the perfect leave-in conditioner recipe because my hair does not absorb oil well and loves creamy products. Cantu Shea Butter used to have a great Reconstructive Cream, but they changed the ingredients and now it doesn’t agree with my hair. I only wear protective styles and afros. I never use heat on my hair and I clip my ends twice a year.

Q: What advice would you give someone who was thinking of going natural?

A: Do it! It was a very liberating decision for me. I had been back and forth with it for over a year and finally I said, go for it! Now that I am natural, I feel like I’d be doing my hair a disservice by putting harmful chemicals on my hair. My curls are beautiful and I never want to ruin that. My natural stylist also informed me about the medical harms with chemical relaxers. It contributes to Alzheimer’s Disease in African American women. Also, relaxer particles crystallize and are found embedded in the brain during an autopsy. Love the hair that’s there!

Q: Do you have any final thoughts?

A: I never thought I’d be natural for my baby girl. Overall, I wish more moms would embrace our beauty and educate our daughters on what true beauty really means. Hair comes and goes. Chris Rock said it best: “It is not what is on our head that counts… it’s what’s inside”. Spotlight - Tyesha

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