/Editor's Note/ Being co-founder + creative director of CurlSistas has introduced me to so many intriguing natural hair'd women. Nieka is one of them. She' a budding photographer and her work is so beautiful. She's got an old soul and I love that.xo.Joy
Name/ Tanieka Harris ("Nieka"), 22
Background: African American
Where do you live?: Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio
What do you do?: I often find this to be a tough question, as I'm not yet where I want to be. But, to make a living, I work at a nursing home. And I'm currently stepping into freelance photography, which is a passion of mine.
How long have you been a natural gal?: I did my big chop in December of 2012. I transitioned for 10 months prior to that.
What do you love about being a natural gal?: Since I became natural, I am much more appreciative, and even more proud of the hair that naturally grows out of my head. When I was relaxed, all I cared about was length. Now, I'm more concerned with the health of my hair. I love how returning natural has forced me to educate myself on healthy hair.
What's your hair regimen?: I wash and detangle once a week using a co-wash. I'll use a leave in and seal with either olive oil or coconut oil. I usually try to style with a protective style afterwards, but like any normal human being, I, too get lazy sometimes. That's when I'm rocking two Afro puffs... At the end of the month, I like to "refresh" my hair by doing an apple cider vinegar rinse.
Top five favorite hair products?: In no particular order:
How do you describe your style?: I don't. I dress according to my moods. But, I do tend to gravitate towards oversized, men's clothing. I believe a woman dressed head to toe in men's clothing can be just as sexy as a woman wearing a body-con mini dress. I love the androgynous style. Almost as much as I love the color black... But like my personality, my style bounces in all categories.
What are your favorite stores to shop?: If I'm not shopping at a thrift store (which is what about 90% of my wardrobe consists of), I like to snoop around at H&M, Zara, and Urban Outfitters.
Do you have a fav designer?: Alexander Wang
One item you can't leave home without: Some sort of camera. I'm always snapping pics in attempts to document "moments". Therefore, I'm never without either my iPhone or Canon.
Fav thing to do on the weekends?:
DIY projects! I'm a homebody. If I'm not spending time with my ever-growing family, or boyfriend, I'm definitely at home trying to execute the next DIY project I've spotted on HGTV or Pinterest!
Fav travel destinations?:
Sadly, I've only physically traveled to Florida and Washington DC. But a few places I can't seem to get off my mind are New Orleans, Houston TX, San Francisco, and Mexico. Near future travel destinations, for sure.
What do you wish for?:
That feeling you get when you look back at the things you've done, and you're simply content; Genuine, blissful, happiness. Some people search their entire lives for that one feeling. I hope to feel that feeling often during my time here on earth.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?:
I see myself established in a profession that means something to me, with a degree I can actually utilize, and traveling with the current love of my life.
Words of wisdom you live by?:
Oh, there's so many! But I always go back to: "Love yourself, or no one will". I tend to never give myself enough credit. So, to me, this quote is reminding me that everything I'm passionate about, including myself, will shine. People will naturally gravitate towards the positive energy you put into the things you love, and eventually love them too.
What makes you smile?:
Lots of things. But lately, my nieces and nephews. I have a total of seven now! (5 nephews, 2 nieces) Seeing these children of our future always puts a smile on my face. I want so much for them. They make me want to do better.
I love writing. There's always so much going on in my head at one time, that I have to write it down. Usually it comes out in the form of a poem. Other times, just a bunch of random notes and gibberish.
Where can our readers find you (Instagram, twitter, website, etc?)