Name, College, Graduation Year
Taryn Daniels, American University, 2017
When did you go natural? Did you big chop or transition?
I’ve been natural all my life. My mom was really wild with her hair when she was younger but when she had me, she was team natural all the way. I guess I grew up knowing no other way.
What was the one deciding factor that made you go natural?
What made me stay natural all these years was the great appreciation I have for my hair. It beautiful and it works with me, even when I dye it weird colors and accidentally cut it. It sticks by me, like a partner in crime…Is that weird?
How has your perception about yourself, and others, changed since you’ve been natural?
I love my natural hair, always have. However now that I am wearing it out again, versus in braids or a weave, I find myself having to work a little harder to be confident in my skin. Having natural hair has made me much more observant of other naturals that I see on the street. I think I have like ten hair crushes a day. Seeing other women wearing natural hair with such swagger, make me want to stay confident with my hair at all times.
Have people approached or treated you differently with natural hair?
They like to touch my hair A LOT. But on a more serious note, I think there is a stigma in our culture about natural hair versus straight hair. It is perceived that straight hair symbolizes an ideal beauty, when in fact everyone should be seen as beautiful. I have noticed that with a weave or braids, sometimes I receive more blatant and outright attention from the opposite sex. While this isn’t always the case (nor is it an experience that everyone has), it has to stop! Everyone is beautiful! End of discussion.
What is your favorite part of your hair routine?
I love when my hair is fresh and clean, so my favorite part of my routine is definitely washing it. The only other thing that could top that is when I deep condition it, because then I get to start experimenting with styles.
What are your top 3 must have hair products?
Two of my three must have hair products are my Chargrin Valley shampoo and conditioner bars. I was wary of using shampoo in the shape of a soap bar at first, but it makes my hair so soft! I use the Babassu Marsh Mallow shampoo and the Butter Bar conditioner. My third must have hair product is my Cantu Shea Butter leave-in conditioning repair cream. I love the way it smells, and it makes my hair so soft when I want to style it.
What are your top 3 favorite hair tools?
My wide tooth comb, elastic hair ties, and my headscarf. I basically go everywhere with them. We are kind of a package deal.
Who is your current #MCM and #WCW?
I can never choose just one! At the moment, my #MCMs are Michael B. Jordan and Dylan O’Brien. What can I say? I am a sucker for hot guys who are also really goofy. My #WCWs are Zoe Kravitz because I am obsessed with her vibe, and Ariana Grande because I am OBSESSED with her music and her voice!