My name is Tasha Branham and I am originally from St. Louis, but I now live in Columbus, Ohio.
2. What is your hair type?
My hair type is 4. I have all three textures of the type 4 category in my hair. I would characterize my hair as a 4b/4c texture.
I went natural in October of 2007 after transitioning for 4 months. My hair was long, limp and unhealthy and I was ready for a change. I had come across a blog online of a young woman that documented her natural journey and it was very inspiring.
I also found www.fotki.com, which had a very large natural community. Becoming a member of the natural Fotki community encouraged me to make the ultimate decision to become natural.
4. What was the most challenging thing about going natural?
The most challenging thing, at the time, was that there weren't many naturals (if any lol) in Ohio. There also wasn't a large selection of products available that were tailored for the natural hair texture. It took me some time to get used to the way I looked with a TWA.
I didn't realize how much of my confidence I had trapped in my hair. I struggled for a long time to feel pretty. I had to learn to love myself and my hair all over again. I also had difficulty accepting my hair texture for what it is. I thought that when I did the BC, that my head would be full of curls and ringlets. I had to accept the fact that...my hair will never curl, and to be okay with it.
5. What is your weekly regimen?
My theory has always been "less is more." I barely do anything to my hair. I moisturize every few days with MILK + HONEY products to help my hair retain moisture. Since I use all natural products, my hair doesn't have product buildup. This gives me the freedom to wash my hair less frequently. I typically wash every 3-4 weeks. I used to wash my hair every week. When I did, I battled with extremely dry hair and a dry scalp.
6. What is your daily morning regimen?
Depending on how I am wearing my hair, (I typically vacillate between 3-5 styles. That's it! lol) I un-braid and style. That's it. Nothing special!
7. What is your daily night time regimen?
I braid my hair every night in about 2-6 braids, depending on the style that I am wearing at the time. I have to braid it nightly because it helps to keep my hair stretched and tangle free. Because I have an extremely coarse and coily texture, my hair will often tangle around itself if it isn't stretched.
8. Do you use heat on your hair at all?
I have never worn my hair totally straight since I have been natural however, I have had a handful of blowouts for trims and certain styles.
I haven't worn braids since I have been natural. I have wanted to but I just haven't had the guts to do so. My edges are extremely delicate and I fear damage and breakage due to the stress and weight of the braids on my scalp.
10. Wide-tooth comb or Denman brush?
WIDE TOOTH COMB! The Denman brush takes out too much hair! I've even tried removing some of the rows of bristles. This made the bristles that were left on the brush too weak and flimsy to brush through my hair.
11. Is your hair normally loose or in a protective-do?
It's usually 50/50. I go through phases of wanting to wear it up, and then sometimes I want to wear braid-outs.
12. Have you ever had a hair tragedy? What was it? How did you recover from it?
Yes!! After being natural for about two years, I experienced major breakage around the nape of my neck. I had an entire bald spot. It was awful! I tried everything to get the hair to grow back and nothing worked.
I went to the doctor and he asked me what type of pillowcase I slept on. I told him that it was cotton. He suggested that I switch to satin and to then see if I experienced any regrowth. I'd say within about 2 weeks of sleeping on a satin pillowcase, I could feel my hair growing back. The friction of my hair on the cotton pillowcase and me sleeping on my left side caused my hair to break off. I've been an advocate for satin pillowcases ever since!
13. What's your biggest tip for maintaining healthy or long hair?
Listen to your hair! Moisturize, trim as needed, protect those ends and keep things simple! The less you do to your hair, the more it will grow. Hair responds to a routine. Be consistent. Eat healthy, drink lots of water and take vitamins. Healthy hair starts from the inside out.
14. Where can we find you online? (blog, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc).
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