Naturals To Know: Ronnie Tyler
Ronnie Tyler is co-founder of BlackandMarriedWithKids.com, the largest independent African-American marriage and parenting site on the web. BAMWK has attracted over 5 million readers in 5 short years and has been featured on various media outlets, including Essence Magazine, Parenting Magazine, and The Washington Post. As a wife, business owner, and mother of four, Ronnie juggles many priorities. Keep reading to find out when she decided to stop relaxing, how she gets the most out of her natural styles, and why BMWK is not just for married people.
How long have you been natural? What made you decide to take the leap?
I’ve been natural a little over two years now. I felt like my hair was thinning so I kept it short. I had resorted to wearing a (hair weave) track in the front so I could swoop it over [to hide my edges]. One day I was like, maybe I should try going natural and maybe my hair would thicken up. [I thought] maybe I just had too many relaxers.
And it worked. At first I said I’m not doing the big chop. I didn’t think that would look good, so I just stayed away from the hair dresser. Big mistake. I didn’t get my ends clipped or anything. The first time I went to the hairdresser my hair was breaking off at the new growth and it was really damaged.
So she cut my hair and flat ironed it. I had no idea I had just had the big chop. She had it all spiky and cute. But then a week later my naturalness just burst through the flat iron. When I first washed it I didn’t know what to do with it. I wasn’t upset but it just didn’t register with me that it was going to be all new growth and no relaxer.
As a mom and a business owner, what is your hair routine like? Are there any products that you particularly love?
I wash my hair every 4-5 days. I really just do twist out styles. I like the Shea Moisture shampoos and conditioners. I get with something and I stick with it. On certain days I’ll use Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Moisturizing Conditioner and wash my hair with that.
So I wash, condition, use a leave-in conditioner and use Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea Curl Defining Creme to create my twists. I found a video online for three-strand twits and I’m loving that now instead of two-strand twists. They last a little bit longer.
I found different things to do to make my twist out last. I’ll wear it out, and then I’ll pin it up on one side one day. And then maybe three days later I’ll have all of the back up and just the front out. And then when I feel like the curls don’t look right any longer I’ll wash it again and twist it again.
Tell us about Black and Married With Kids. How did that get started?
My husband Lamar and I started BlackAndMarriedWithKids.com back in December 2007. We started it out of our desire to promote more positive images of marriage, particularly in the African-American community. It was a passion that we both felt passionate about. Since we were both writing on the blog it had to be something we were both interested in. And it just took off from there.
What can we expect on BMWK? And is it only for married people?
BMWK provides articles that inform, inspire, uplift, and encourage black couples and those in various stages of relationships (single, dating, engaged, etc.). We discuss parenting from the African-American perspective, dealing with all the challenges and joys of raising happy, healthy, beautiful brown babies.
BMWK is not just married couples. It’s for anyone who desires to be in healthy relationships. And we have content on the site specifically for singles.
What advice would you give to a new natural or someone thinking of going natural?
Find a professional hairdresser or stylists that can clip your ends and treat your hair from time to time. The biggest mistake I made when I went natural was skipping my trims.
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