My name is Tonoya. I am 34 years old from Grand Rapids, Mi.
How long have you been natural?
I have “officially” been natural since April 2012.
What motivated your transition? Were you a transition or a big chop? Why?
I was always the chick that had to have the straightest wrap by any means I would get a fresh perm then flat iron & wrap my hair up then it was good to go. Over the years this very unhealthy regimen of chemicals , heat and no moisture got the best of my hair (damaged very bad) so I decided to get it cut very short tapered with some on the top (1st Big chop). So after wearing the really short chic/punk look my beautician said “ Tonoya you have a really nice grade of hair I so let’s not perm it anymore and try to get it healthy, I agreed and over the colder months I started wearing braids and sew-ins & warmer months I go back to short cuts. Winter of 2011-2012 I got a sew-in with micro braids around the front, back and sides. It felt very heavy so while oily my scalp about a week later I took the ponytail down only to find that my braids were falling out from the roots right before my eyes because they were braided to tight and the weight was from the 2 bags of hair that had been sew into my head. Ooooh was I ever livid!! Gave my beautician a call made an appt for April 16, 2013 to do my second Big Chop the rest is history!!
What have your experiences been as a ‘Black natural professional’?
For the most part it has been good and accepted at my workplace however I do get the funny stares and whispers from time to time but nothing major. I hate when people start to ask questions about my hair like is it real? How did I make look this? Only to get to the final question Can I touch it??? LOL and my answer is always “Hell No, what do you think this is a petting zoo?” LOL
What is your hair regimen? (including favorite products)
I really don’t have a regimen I co wash my hair when it feels heavy and it’s not bouncy. After a few co washes and product build up I wash & condition with Tresseme Natural or sometime I use shampoo & conditioner by Kinky Curly. I love Curl custard by Kinky Curly, jojoba, olive, Jamaican black castor oils although Shea Butter it’s my favorite but it’s really harsh on my face. I’m a product junkie like most natural so hopefully I will find what products that will not only work good for my hair but also my face.
What are some of your favorite natural hair websites? Youtuber’s, or blogs?
Honestly I don’t have any favorites but when I began my journey one of my besties Patricia introduced to CurlyNikki.com so she is my go to when I want know how to!! I also like MsVcharles she is very informative.
Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?
It’s hard in the beginning but don’t give up and remember what works for one may not work for you. So the key is to find what works for you and run it!!