Meet Tanya Jean-Baptiste! This beauty I actually met (well sorta–I’ve never actually met her in person yet lol) through a friend! He told me about her and how awesome she is and I was like “wellll you have to introduce me to her, duhh!!” Lol and she is just as awesome as he said! You’ll also notice that she has an awesome sense of style! So besides getting hair advice, you’ll enjoy looking at all of her outfits and getting some fashion ideas as well ;).
Name and where you are from:
Tanya Jean-Baptiste. I was born and raised in upstate NY and have recently relocated to Brooklyn, NY.
Tell us about yourself!
I am a proud Haitian American girl next door. My day job is working at an outpatient cancer hospital. I am a huge YouTube junkie I LIVE for a good clothing haul and product reviews. I am also a huge (no pun intended) foodie. I love cooking with my fiancé aka taste testing and trying different cuisines. As a child I was one of the only kids in my school that did not have a perm I was teased for having “ dodo braids” and finally gave in and tried to get a perm so I could “fit in.” The perm did not take. That experience always reminds me to BE MYSELF. I started a blog about six months ago as a way to express my sense of style. I love putting different outfits together and showing that you don’t have to be the richest girl to look like a million bucks.
How long have you been natural?
I have been natural all my life but only started to really care for my hair about two and half years ago after a traumatic heat damage experience. After that I did a semi big chop, did some research and started using more all natural products and went cold turkey for about a year on heat styles.
How would you describe your hair? What does it mean to you?
I know nothing about hair typing and do not think it applies to many naturals because I do not think all naturals have one consistent hair pattern throughout their whole head. My curls are tightly coiled with the curls being tightest towards the back of my head and at my roots. Shrinkage and I have been tight since ‘87.
What is your natural hair regimen (including the products you use)?
I wash my hair every three to four weeks. On wash day I part my hair into four sections and lightly damped each section with water. Then I detangle each section with Hair Rules Quench Ultra Rich Conditioner and twist up each section. After that I put on a shower cap and let the conditioner do its thing for about two hours or more. Sometimes I will deep condition for 24 hours. I get to be lazy and my hair loves it. Then I will hop in the shower and wash my hair section by section with Ouidad Ultra Nourishing Cleansing Oil. I use Kinky- Curly Knot Today in the shower for further detangling. It provides amazing slip! Definitely a natural’s must have. After I have washed, detangled under running water and re-twisted each section in the shower I dry my hair using an old t-shirt and apply my products to damp hair. I rewet my damp hair with a mix of water, aloe vera juice and vegetable glycerine from a spray bottle and then apply my product of choice. Most of the time I apply Oyin handmade Hair Dew. I re-twist or braid my hair into smaller sections. I use flexi rods or do bantu knots to stretch my hair. The following day I grease my scalp (yup all of that) with coconut, avocado or olive oil.
How do you retain your length and/or keep your hair healthy?
Protective styles in the winter, moisturizing everyday if not every other day and staying away from heat(I cheat from time to time) . If you do prefer heat styles heat protectants are a must!
Who is your hair crush?
I draw inspiration from all hair types, lengths and textures so I cannot pick just one. Natural hair is so versatile it can do anything. With that said Instagram, YouTube and Tumblr are my favorite sites to find inspiration.
What are your favorite natural hair styles?
The mohawk, pineapple with a bungee scrunchie and twist outs. The pineapple is my go to I wear this style most of the time. It is so easy and can be done on stretched or shrunken hair.
What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned during your natural hair journey?
Healthy hair IS beautiful hair. After my heat damage experience it took me months before I could even think about cutting it but once I did I was so glad. It was liberating and my hair sprung back to life after that AND a whole lot of research on a different approach to hair care that I had never had before. Ladies don’t hold on to some dead ends for length focus on health and it will grow. When I cut my hair 2 and a half years ago I couldn’t even make a pony tail, now… “poppin scrunchies in sweatin’woo!” *Trinidad James voice*Also patience. Patience when washing, detangling and styling. With my hair texture I’m not “washing and going” I’m washing and staying… in my house. It has taken me a long time to realize what my hair likes and what works for me. As our hair grows we need to grow with it and learn what works for us.
Is there a website/blog/Twitter/Instagram where we can find you?
Oh social media…
IG – clothesconscience
Tumblr – clothesconscience.tumblr.com
Blog – clothesconscienceblog.wordpress.com
Twitter – closconscience
12. Is there any other advice you’d like to leave us with?
Love your OWN texture. No two strands are alike. My hope for all the natural ladies out there is to look at one another and be inspired but remember your hair is unique and your OWN. Do not look at another natural and put down your own beauty in comparison to hers. Oh and heat is the devil. ;)
I hope you enjoyed reading about this lovely lady! I sure did ;).
Until next time,