I went natural in 2004. I had been getting perms and noticed my hair was thinning and not growing due to damage from the chemicals.
Profession: Model/ PharmD Candidate, 2013
Location: Chicago, IL
What method did you choose and why?
I simply stopped getting perms, but I would get my hair pressed. Then I would braid it, wet it, and take it down to wear a crinkly look with straight tips. Eventually, more of my hair became an afro so I cut off the last 3-4 inches of straight hair and started rocking my AFRO!!
What was the worst part of your journey?
The hardest part was thinking of styles, my arms would hurt due to the long styling time, and the ridicule/questions of why are you not getting perms like everyone else, you must be gay (since straight hair is more “desirable” to guys) or broke.
And the best part?
The best part was being able to wake up, fluff my hair out, and just go outside feeling carefree, confident in myself, and fly even with my “$2 hair-do” as some girls tried to tease.
What did your hair journey teach you?
My journey taught me how to be healthy, that I can be in love with how God made me and not try to get straight hair to look like anyone else, and that I can do any style I want to match my personality! Love yourself and enhance your natural beauty! People will respect that and even try to follow after you. Many girls around me started to rock afros and dye their hair my color to tap in to that confidence.
Describe your worst hairdo and your best hairdo and please include a picture if you can.
My worst hairdo was when I first went natural and tried to dye my hair a golden brown that came out pink on my edges, purple spots, and the rest was orange or blonde…I have no idea how that one color made all of those! My best hairdo is when I do a type of french roll that encompasses my entire head: straight in the back and leads up to a “Janelle Monae” roll in the front for height and a sheek, bold look.
Looking back, has your perception of your hair or black hair in general changed? Please elaborate.
My perception of black hair has definitely changed since I have been natural and became a chemist. I have seen how these dangerous chemicals alter our hair proteins and burn through aluminum cans…not a pretty sight. I want MY hair to be healthy. I am not against weave so if you want straight hair, buy it, but keep your REAL hair healthy 🙂
Most girls loved their first perm. Do you remember yours? Was it a special occassion, how old were you and how did you feel about it?
I don’t remember my first perm, but I remember I was young (around 8) and I always felt pretty after the painful process and sores healed. I felt normal for getting it, but embarrassed if my roots started to grow out and be curly since other girls would make fun. Very unnecessary teasing for your girls since society taught black girls that curly/nappy hair was bad and unmanageable, so we should have straight hair like the people on TV to fit in.
What is your favorite hairstyle?
Two strand twist out
How long have you been a member and how did you find the going-natural.com homepage?
A few weeks and I came across it browsing the internet
What is your favorite youtube video?
I love my hair because: God made it
You can see more photos and natural hairstyles of Tiffany Mahogany’s at: www.modelmayhem.com/642122