We spoke to Tatiana, a 19 year old student, YouTuber and beauty blogger from Boston MA, about her hair journey. Tatiana embodies a Waeve girl: confident, independent, fun and down to try new things and experiment with different looks. Her full hair story is below. You can follow Tatiana on Instagram @tatianaajd and subscribe to her YouTube channel by searching Tatiana JD.
My name is Tatiana and I am 19. I am of Dominican descent - my parents are Dominican and I was Puerto Rican born so I’m a mixture. I am dark skinned so I’m not the typical Puerto Rican/Dominican that you often see. My hair is pretty kinky. People would often be like “you're lying you're not Hispanic,” but I am Hispanic. My hair is type 4. It’s a lot to take care of. My mom often would, I’m not sure how you call them, we call them “bolitas.” She would part my hair in 4 or 6 or 8 and she would wrap them around each piece of my hair. She would braid each and then wrap the bolitas around. They’re cute with colors like blue, and green and everything, and that would be my hairstyle. But it came to the point where my hair got hard to deal with. She was a very busy woman - a single mom, so it was kind of difficult for her to keep up with my hair as well as her job. It got to the point where she started to perm my hair as a way to make it easier to care for my hair. I was about 6 years old. She would still take very good care of it. She'd perm it and treat it and trim it every three months. My freshman year of high school my hair reached all the way to my back, that’s how much it had grown. I got to a point where I was like “I don’t want black hair.” So I made the biggest mistake: bleaching my hair. My hair got very damaged. It was terrible. I started having to trim my hair more often and then letting my new growth out. I thought okay, maybe I want my natural hair out. I started to grow my hair but it got complicated because I have two different textures in my hair. I had the perm texture and then my type 4 hair. I was like, “I don’t know what to do.” I wasn’t ready for the transition so I permed my hair again. My hair started to get thin so I just cut the bleached part out. Like “I don’t care if it’s short, at least it’s healthy. Then my actual hair started to grow out. I was like “You know what? I’m just going to let it rock now and I’m going to let my hair grow out.” I started to transition faithfully. I searched online “How to Transition Your Hair” on google. I even searched videos on YT like how to keep positive about transitioning. Like “you might feel like you might want to back off from it but this is not the final phase. You're going to be happy with your outcome.” So I kept going, I kept doing treatments, I kept cutting it shorter and as months went by and my new growth came in. It came to the point where about this past year I became natural! So now, I’m really happy with my outcome - I treat my hair all the time and I love my natural hair. It’s short and healthy. But, it’s hard to manage. I’m a busy college student who's always doing 5,000 things at once so I can’t be like “Oh I’m going to do a wash day at 6pm” because it’s just not going to happen. I was like I don’t ever want to perm my hair again, so I would do lots of protective hairstyles. I’m a wig fanatic. I started wearing wigs in the past year. I have all kinds of wigs - lace fronts, half wigs. I’m always wearing a wig. My goal is to keep my hair in hibernation with this wig on and then as summer comes, I’ll wear my hair out. I dyed this wig myself with the watercolor method. I love it. And I love my natural hair, I adore my curls. It’s like - “How is this my own hair and I never got to experience it.” Often in society it’s controversial because as that one Hispanic girl who’s dark and has kinky hair, you're considered less attractive. But for females out there that are hispanic and dark like me - you shouldn’t be having to perm your hair because of society. You’re always going to be pretty regardless. Even when they say oh your natural hair is not “preferred.” Don’t do anything to your natural hair, don’t damage it because other people want it “pretty.” It’s not worth it - keep it. I wish I could go back and make my mom not perm my hair because of beauty standards. I could’ve had a big fro for all you know right now *laughs.* At the end of the day I’m still embracing my hair. I am embracing myself more often. Black girl magic is beautiful - we have the ability to do all different hairstyles - we can do straight hair, we can do curly hair, we can do wigs, sew-ins. That’s what I like about us. We have such a beautiful versatility as black women.