Friday, August 30, 2013

Feature Friday - Tiffany in the Spotlight


Today on my blog I have the beautiful and genuinely sweet, Tiffany, sharing her natural hair story with us today. 

Tiffany, I want to first thank you for taking time out to share with us today.  I discovered you on Instagram a while back and I knew I had to have you on my blog. Not only do you share pics of your natural hair, but you share fashion and beauty as well.  I just love that about you. 

Well let’s go ahead and get started…..Can you introduce yourself to everyone?

 I'm Tiffany, a married woman, mother of 1, retired US Marine.   

 Here's a little about my natural hair story:  Unlike most, my "going-natural" story is a little different.  I didn't really have a choice in going natural.  It was either go natural or go bald.  In 2010 I suffered from hair loss.  I have to shamelessly admit that I noticed thinning around the temple area at the end of 2008 but I wasn't too alarmed.  By the beginning of 2010 I could no longer deny that it wasn't just thinning, it was flat out hair loss.  I had a lot of bald spots in many areas of my head.  I was always able to conceal the bald spots because I had long hair.  I wasn't sure if my hair loss was due chemically relaxing and coloring my hair but I decided that I should stop.  I didn't want to go natural but I knew it was best to stop relaxing my hair.   

Wow….I am glad you shared that with us.  There are a lot of women suffering from hair loss and thinning of the hair, but they still continue to relax and/or color treat their hair, not really stopping to think that those two things could very well be the cause.

So when you finally decided to go natural did you transition or did you do the Big Chop?

I was a very slow transitioner.  I believe that was due to my lack of confidence with going natural. I transitioned for 18 months. I held on to those relaxed ends for a while.  As I think back on it, I feel silly for doing so.  


After you finally let go of those relaxed ends how did you feel?
 
I Am Able To Say That I LOVE MY NATURAL HAIR.  (Huge Smile) 

It wasn't until I joined Instagram that I started to really embrace my natural hair. The natural hair community is large and welcoming with such beautiful ladies and men who are so inviting.  Recognizing how important and necessary the community is on Instagram, I decided that I should be actively apart of it. Instead of just pulling from and receiving from the community, I wanted to give back, even if it's only in a small way.  I put more energy into inspiring other women who were newly natural or thinking of going natural.  It's amazing how my attitude changed once I realize that I could help others.  Especially those who's story/journey may be similar to mine.  I started learning what works best for my hair and experimenting with different hair styles because I knew my followers, who I affectionately call my IG family members, were waiting for another inspiring style.  

I've always had a passion for women.  I've always loved to encourage women in many ways.  IG gave me the opportunity and outlet to uplift, motivate, inspire and encourage through social media; spiritually through posts, through fitness posts and even the more superficial things such as makeup and fashion but I never imagined that I would find so much joy in encouraging women to embrace being natural.  I receive lots of positive feedback and lots of love. I’m so grateful to my IG family members for their love, support and kind words.  It was through each post to encourage my sisters that I learned to embrace being natural.  I LOVE MY NATURAL HAIR.   

That is awesome!  Instagram is definitely a great source for naturals new and old.  Like you said, the community there is very welcoming and encouraging.  I think the natural hair community as a whole is very encouraging and inspiring.  You are definitely one of the many that I enjoy following and getting information and tips from. 

So, we know that the natural hair community embraced you, but how did your family and friends react to your decision to return back to natural?

My family was/is very supportive.  My husband shows his support in many ways.  He sometimes twists my hair for me.  He often gives me compliments on my hair and it seems he gives compliments at a time when I feel that my hair is acting a fool. LOL!!!  My daughter has just recently started her journey back to natural.  She's transitioning.  Two of my three closest friends were already natural and my third closest friend decided to go natural in support of my decision.  I have very supportive and loving family and friends.  
 
 

That is truly some great support coming from your husband.  Not too many men when twist a sista’s hair up for them. You go girl!!! LOL! 

So how would you describe your hair?

I have a combination of 4B/4C hair.  My hair is healthy.  That is what's most important.  My hair has lots of personality now.       

 LOL….can you share your current hair routine with us?

I believe in keeping it simple.  I have the simplest hair regimen ever.  I wash/cowash may hair only when I feel it needs it.  I try hard to stretch it 4 weeks if I can.  I deep condition every other wash.   When my scalp is itchy, I do a ACV (apple cider vinegar) rinse.  After washing, I use a leave-in and a moisturizer and I seal in the moisture with oil.  Nothing more than that.  

 

That may be the simplest hair routine I have heard thus far.  I don’t know how you can stretch your washes out to 4 weeks.  I can barely make it 2 weeks.  LOL!!

What are your favorite products?

My favorite/staple products are Hair One Conditioning Wash for washing, As I Am leave-in conditioner, Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque for moisture and coconut oil to seal in the moisture.   I’m not a product junkie.  I don’t have an arsenal of products in my bathroom cabinet. (smile) The only product that I change often is my conditioner/deep conditioner.  I don’t buy another bottle without finishing the one I have.  I haven't found a deep conditioner that I would consider a staple product yet. So I will probably keep trying conditioners/deep conditioners until I find one that I absolutely love.      

 Other products I have but use on occasion are:

Argon oil
Aloe Vera Gel for my edges
Eco Styler Gel for a strong hold when I do a sleek afro puff
Chi Silk Infusion heat protectant for blow drying and flat ironing 


 At night how do you maintain your hair?

 I maintain my hair at night by moisturizing, sealing in the moisture with oil and twisting. Twist-outs are my absolute favorite styles.  There are so many ways to style a twist-out.   This is why twisting is part of my nightly routine.  I cover my hair with a silk scarf or satin bonnet before going to bed.  

Twist-outs are my favorite too. They are so versatile, like you said, there are so many ways to style a twist-out. 

 In closing, please tell my readers what the best thing about being natural is?

The best thing about being natural is its versatility as shown in my pictures.  The second best thing is being apart of the community and meeting/interacting with other naturals.  It is such a loving community.  There is ALWAYS someone offering support, suggestions, ideas, compliments, encouragement and love.  We come together to give product reviews, share sale promos and to introduce naturals to other naturals.  Isn't it a beautiful thing?  I love it!! 

Thanks again Tiffany for taking time out to share your journey and hair care with use today. 

 For more information about Tiffany, you can check her out on Instagram @TIPIAM (www.Instagram.com/TIPIAM)