Hey everyone! I am so excited to be back with you for another blog! Pampered Pretty has embarked upon another year of business and we are celebrating 2 years of amazing business! Yay!!! I am super excited about what God is doing for Pampered Pretty! As a celebration of our 2 year Pamperversary I decided to celebrate other natural beauties and have a "Beauty of the Month"! This month our beauty to highlight is Tara Carmichael. I had an opportunity to interview Tara and discuss her natural hair journey and how her journey has impacted her life.
Tara had an amazing outlook on her journey. This is what she had to say:
Corene: Thank you so much Tara for interviewing with me today! How are you?
Tara: I'm doing great and excited about this s opportunity!
Corene: Awesome! I am so excited that you submitted your beautiful photo into the contest to be featured on the Pampered Pretty website! What does this feature mean to you?
Tara: This is so amazing, I’m concentrating on living fearlessly. I normally over think and analyze everything, which has kept me from doing a lot. So, I have really been focusing on living a fearless life and living life to its fullest. Years ago, I would have never posted my picture to enter a contest or to be featured on a blog. But so far, this new lifestyle has really lead me to some amazing places and it feels great to see that it’s still working in my favor. It’s a blessing to be recognized for something positive and I thank you for this opportunity!
Corene: Oh wow! I love it!! I am so extremely proud of you for having the boldness to post your picture because as soon as you did, God told me that you were the one! I am in awe of how God works.
Tara: OH WOW!! I just literally got goosebumps! I feel the spirit all over this right now!
Corene: Yes! Me too!! It is amazing how the natural hair community is connecting so many of us beautiful women together. I have met so many ladies over the past few years that I have lasting relationships with today. Tara, tell me about your natural hair journey and how you embraced your journey?
Tara: I started my natural transition in November of 2011, I was having a lot of breakage, shedding, & scalp issues. My scalp was always dry and itchy *hair wasn’t growing, and my stylist suggested that I maybe having a reaction to the relaxer. I wanted to wait before getting the chop in September of 2012. However, once I got the chop, I knew that there was no turning back. Once I started it was kind of frustrating, I had a lot of issues dealing with the different hair textures. I’m a gym person, I love working out.
Corene: Ok I see. So it was almost as though you were “forced to embrace your natural hair journey”?
Tara: Yes you could say that. I wanted to save my hair and knew it was the best option for me at that time because of what I was experiencing with my hair.
Corene: Tara, a lot of women say that they are enlightened by embracing their natural hair journey. It may sound cliché or funny but some women say that they are awakened or feel a sense of freedom once they embrace their natural hair. Did you experience any of those feelings?
Tara: I have discovered a since of empowerment, strength, freedom, and self- acceptance. It’s an inner strength and empowerment that reminds me that I’m a Queen, I’m beautiful and that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to. I have the freedom, because my hair is versatile, I can wear my hair anyway I choose (straight, curly, twists, etc.) I feel beautiful when I leave the house. I have learned and is still learning self-accept; accepting the real me… not who I want to be or who people think I should be, but the person God wants me to be…. learning to love all the parts of me (my flaws, the good and the parts I don’t like). If I can truly accept me then I can focus on working on the parts of me I don’t like and I can change for better. Like putting too much pressure on myself, because I have truly accepted that part of me I can now work on showing myself a little more compassion. I experienced inner growth. I am a person who once I start something, I like to complete it to the end, not worrying about what people said about my decision. I had to learn to accept my natural beauty after years of being relaxed with long straight hair.
Corene: That is powerful! There are so many women with similar testimonies of experiencing freedom and self-acceptance. It is definitely a beautiful journey and one that can’t be entered into lightly. I believe when we embrace the journey for ourselves, that’s when we have the best results. I am married and my husband LOVES my natural hair. How does your boyfriend feel about your natural hair?
Tara: My boyfriend loves my hair. He said my natural hair was one of the first things he noticed about me when we met. We met at the gym and he said “I saw you in the gym working out and I noticed your hair and it was natural hair and I liked that”. He prefers woman that wear their hair natural.
Corene: That is a beautiful story! I love that he loves your hair. With the society that we live in today with the media glamourizing beauty and the beauty industry, long straight hair is the symbol of beauty but things are changing in a major way! Natural hair is becoming more common and accepted because we are rocking our natural hair with confidence and pride! Not I am not going to sit here and say that every day is easy because we all know that it is not. There are days when I get frustrated with my hair but I never have a day that I want to go back to the relaxer. Do you ever experience frustration with your hair or have days when the “struggle/journey is real”?
Tara: The struggles I have is just on deep conditioner days. I make my own deep conditioner and I like to take my time, so it normally takes almost a whole day. As a result, I normally deep condition my hair on a Saturday and I break down the process. I’m not good at sleeping with conditioner on my hair so I apply it early in the morning and leave it on for a few hours or more. I normally go to the gym and workout for an hour, and sit in the steam room or sauna for about 20mins. Before washing the conditioner out, I will go through and detangle, then on to washing and styling. The struggle is not exactly my hair but the process and time. The great thing is, I deep condition only once a month.
Corene: Time is always of the essence when it comes to our hair. I have to schedule a day for my hair because it is below bra strap length and my 11 year old daughter’s hair is almost waist length so you can imagine how much time that takes. I try to separate the days so I can recover. It’s funny but I wouldn’t trade our hair for the world. Products play a huge role in making the process easier when it comes to styling our hair. What products do you use?
Tara: I use Coconut oil, Black Castor Oil, Cantu leave-in-conditioner, Eco Argan Oil styling gel, and Organix Renewing Argan Oil of Morocco Shampoo & Conditioner, and other natural ingredients. My stylist use Design hair products. I don’t spend a lot of money on hair products, although I have in the past. When I was in Grad school funds were limited and I need to find a way to get natural products for my hair that I could afford. So, I start using natural ingredients that I had in my fridge. That’s when I stop buying so many products and start making them myself.
Corene: I love it! I also make my own all natural hair product. What is your hair regimen?
Tara: Wash or co-wash every two weeks and at the end of the month I do a deep conditioner. I make sure I go to my stylist every 3 to 4 months for a trim and get my hair straighten once a year, normally around Christmas. I eat a clean and healthy diet that includes a lot of water and a multivitamin.
Corene: That is extremely inspiring. I have also embarked upon a journey of eating healthier as well as being mindful of what I put in my body. My natural journey has awakened me to be more self-aware and more health conscious. It’s like a journey of self-love, self-acceptance, and self-awareness. Thank you so much Tara for this opportunity to feature you! If you could leave any encouraging words to someone who is wants to embrace their natural hair journey but maybe hesitant or afraid, what would you say?
Tara: I would tell her my own story. It wasn’t an independent choice of my own. I couldn’t worry about what people would say. Of course I was concerned about what it would look like but I had to experience it on your own to see if its for me. If you decide it’s not for you, then you can move on but you will never know until you experience it and give it a try. It has helped me to grow as a person and save time.
Corene: Well said Tara! There you have it ladies! I am so grateful for this opportunity to feature you Tara! I appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to speak with me and allow me to highlight you as “Beauty of the Month”. I look forward to seeing you at the Pampered Pretty Presents Natural Hair and Beauty Expo on October 21, 2017 @1pm. I am excited that you and your boyfriend will be apart of the Husband/Boyfriend Tag for the Natural Hair Panel. I can’t wait!
Until next time ladies, be blessed and Stay P.R.E.T.T.Y !