Naturally Fierce Feature: Antonyia

Hey! My name is Antoyia, my friends call me “Toyia”. I was born and raised in Kansas City, KS. I recently relocated to Texas! I am a Social Work Professional who loves helping others. My hair journey started shortly after started college. Admittedly, I was a broke college student who could not afford to get my hair done every other week, nor was I willing to trust the girl I just met down the hall that claimed she did hair. 😉

How long have you been natural?
I “big chopped” in March 2005. I had always kept my hair short prior to going “natural”. So I guess in reality, there was really nothing big about my chop.

What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper& why?
I did not transition at all. I had my hair relaxed and colored and one day I decided I wanted to cut it all off…so I did. I haven’t looked back since. I will say the biggest motivator for me was that I have a soft grade of hair, so it is hard to hold styles. I was tired of getting my hair done every other week for it to fall limp after a couple days. I wanted something different and what I thought to be low maintenance.

What has been the most memorable part of your journey?Has it been easy or difficult or both?!
My most memorable part of my journey is my desire to change. I look for shock and awe when I think about what I want to do with my hair next. I cut it. I dye it. I let it grow. I cut it again. To add to it, not only am I natural, but my natural is blonde, I’m 6ft. even, African-American female-a fierce combination. I would say overall my journey has been easy. The most difficult are those moments of wanting to let my hair grow but it’s not growing how I want it to grow. Then you develop “hair envy”, you find all these other naturals that you want your hair to look like and you realize you have to love your hair as it is.

What are (or were) some of your favorite transitioning hairstyles or current dos?’
My favorite style so far as been my Mohawk and 2-strand twist mohawk. My favorite transitioning style has been kinky twists. Currently, my hair is two-tone black and blonde.

My hair has been burgundy, strawberry blonde, deep black, and blonde. It’s been a full fro, 2-strand twisted, kinky twisted, fade, and a mohawk.

 

What have your experiences been as a ‘natural?’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?
Being natural has caused an array of reactions. Some people constantly want to touch my hair. As well, there are a lot of misconceptions about natural care-particularly in regards to care. I think people assume that you don’t take care of your hair or wash it normally. I’ve had many people so “oh, your hair is so soft” or “it’s so soft to be natural”. What does that even mean? I usually respond, thank you and a smile.

Recently, a lady saw me in a nail salon and she was telling me that blonde was fierce on me and that she wished that she was bold enough to dye her hair. She then proceeded to grab my head and run her fingers through my hair-I was stunned. She had her entire hand in my head-I felt like I was on display somewhere.

In the workplace it is always interesting as a natural. Since I am always pushing the limits with my hair, often I think about the workplace well after my style. My friends and family fear when I say I’m going to dye it or cut it, because they never know what I’m going to do next. My hair is an expression of myself. I do often wonder how that effects others veiws on my professionalism, but I don’t allow that to stop me.

What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
The biggest part of my hair regimen is moisture and shine. In the morning-I use a leave-in conditioner, water spritzer (water and olive oil), and coconut oil. My favorite products include: Aunt Jackie’s Curl LaLa, Motions Leave In Conditioner, Miss Jessie’s Curly Meringue and Organic Shea Butter. At night, I spritzed my hair with oils and water and tie my hair up with a satin scarf to retain moisturize through the night.

What are some of your favorite natural hair websites,YouTuber’s, or blogs?
Websites:
www.curlynikki.com
www.kinkycurlycoilyme.com
www.naturallycurly.com

YouTube:
Godschild4evaful
Damian Walter
Sunshinelovespeace
naptural85

Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?
I’ve been natural for 8 years now, did I think about going back to the “creamy crack”, yes LOL. Did I? No! It can be frustrating but you have to be willing to experiment and find what products and styles work for you. Just because it worked for me, does not mean it will work for you. So try something else!

If you are thinking about going natural, please utlize your resources on natural hair. Educate yourself! Be prepared to take care of your hair-your hair is still hair whether natural or relaxed. Natural hair is a journey and be prepared for the ride. Love your hair as it is, don’t wish your hair is like someone else’s. Love YOUR texture!

Where can people find you for more information?
Twitter: @SarcasticArdor

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