Meet The Tribe

Carol

Namaste! Hailing from the twin-isles of Sweet Trinidad and Tobago, I came into this world on a Christmas Day as the eldest daughter of Arthur and Monica. I migrated to the United States in October 1969, after my parents laid the groundwork for our new life. I was fortunate enough to make that fantastic voyage with my paternal grandmother. I spent what everyone affectionally calls my “formative years” in Brooklyn, New York where I married and gave birth to the JOY and LOVES of my life, my two sons.

 

After my sons came into my world, I felt that I needed to give them a chance to live, grow, learn and be the men that I envisioned them to be in a different environment, so we moved our family to the suburbs of New Jersey, a blue ribbon town where they could spend “their formative years”.

 

I have always been quite an optimistic person. As a child I enjoyed public speaking, singing, writing poetry and stories and making things “just right”. As my sons say, I “can organize something to death”! I choose to take that last part as a compliment.

 

Although I originally began my college studies as a biology major with plans to be a physician, I quickly changed my interests to psychology. I spent many years working in Hospital Administration and then created my businesses after moving to New Jersey so that I could be more present in my sons’ lives.

 

I’ve found my passion in three areas, Motivational Speaking, Event Planning and my newest love, using my leadership skills by being the Founder/Creator and Administrator of Natural or Not…Hair We Come! This Tribe is about more than returning natural to me, although that was why I originally created it. It has now shifted its focus to include what it takes to have a healthy mind, body and spirit as well as healthy hair. Although this online family began with a humble 30 members or so who just wanted to ask questions, get ideas, share routines and just not feel so “out there alone” about not understanding their journey back to natural hair, in the past years word has spread and we have grown to over the 12,000 member mark! We’ve learned together that length, size of your fro and texture of your hair does not determine what is “healthy hair” just as external products alone do not constitute how healthy your hair will be! We have even included Meetups in various states to meet our members up close and personal and give workshops on various topics pertaining to growing healthier hair. We also show our support to small businesses by having vendor marketplaces, style demos and food courts at our events which may be indoors or open air. Stay tuned for how to get involved in one of our future events!

 

My own natural hair journey began around 2007 after my mom was suddenly diagnosed with Stage IV Metastatic Gallbladder Cancer in the Spring and passed away in the Fall of that same year. I became the caretaker for my mom, who was stricken with a very rare illness, and I knew that I had to make healthier choices in my own life. Removing relaxers from my hair routine was just my first step. Two years ago I moved into the next phase of my natural hair journey by loc’ing my hair. I’ve got to say that I LOVE LOC’D life!

 

I see such amazing things coming in the future involving all three of my passions! Worldwide trips, awakening the minds, hearts and bodies of women far and near and creating a Sistuh-hood and bond that allows us to lift each other up and not tear each other down are only a few! Ase...

April

April Gillies is a Certified Spa Trainer, natural hair stylist and licensed nail technician. She has been in the beauty industry for over 10 years providing mobile professional beauty services to both corporate and private in home locations. Born in Trinidad and Tobago but raised in Brooklyn, New York, she is definitely “trini to the bone”. As a shy child growing up in a huge family household, April was often found in a corner creating and crafting things. Having a natural inquisitive mind, she obtained her college degrees in Business Management and Human Resource Management. After working in corporate america for over 10 years, April decided to take the leap, enter the beauty industry and never looked back. She worked as a spa trainer and senior nail service provider for the MYND spa formerly Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa corporate partner locations. Most recent clients were Viacom,  Morgan Stanley, Tiffany's, Macy's, Marc Jacob's, Louis Vuitton to name a few. She also offered freelance services at birthday, spa parties and corporate wellness events. April managed her services through Instagram: @nailsandhairbymissg but decided to revamp and rebrand her services with additional skincare products hence GODDESSVYBE was born. Goddessvybe mobile natural beauty services, haircare, nailcare and selfcare packages. 

Tanisha

Tanisha,  a mom, daughter, aunt , friend, naturalista, fashionista, Dj in training, a sheprenuer/boss babe & a Brooklyn queen .

I am a strong black woman with a Caribbean American background and a degree in Education who enjoys life, food and all things that make me happy..  Being over 40 I am tapping into everything life has to offer!

​I enjoy meeting new people, traveling, enjoying time with family & friends and laughing .  My fun, crazy and sarcastic personality makes me the life of the party lol… I  love hair, fashion & everything in between… I would describe myself, my hair & my style as funky & cool yet comfortable.

​I became 100% natural 6 years ago after going back and forth with a texturizer and wanting to do something I’ve never done which was cut my hair off into a dark Caesar (BC) and I never looked back.

Cutting my hair wasn’t a big deal but above all being the mother of a now sophomore college student, naturalista & fashionista, I wanted to be the inspiration and example to my daughter because being you, loving you and having your own style is key!

​As one of the Admins of NONHWC  I’ve met some beautiful women with different purposes, making their way, growing as individuals and queens just like myself & having the opportunity to be apart of great things.

NONHWC is a powerful and beautiful thing. We encourage, laugh, cry, support, & push our own, push each other on/with everything from hair, fashion, healthy living, parenting, entrepreneurship or just every day struggles/celebrations.

I am she, she is me... a Noire girl making her mark in this world!

Rholda

Hello Kings and Queens! My name is Rholda (pronounced Ralda). I was born in Brooklyn New York to Caribbean parents, who always taught me to embrace my uniqueness and my identity.  I am a mother, a wife, a boss lady, a provider, a naturalista and a strong black woman. I tend to come off very assertive yet self-less, always willing to help others, always willing to see others smile; it's the Pisces in me :) 

 

In 2006, I began my natural hair journey due to chemotherapy. As my hair grew so did my knowledge of my crown, my temple and my soul. The freedom of being a natural queen for many years led to joining the Loc Queendom in 2015. Having locs has been a roller coaster ride of ups and down, twists and knots but one that I embraced to the fullest. 

 

In my spare time I enjoy listening to music, meditating, reading, traveling, crafting and spending time with my friends and family. I am also an active volunteer for local charities and cancer research organizations. Giving back is a rewarding part of my overall journey. 

 

Kings and Queens, I look forward to interacting with you, sharing with you, inspiring you and uplifting you. 

 

"Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye." 

Sincerely Yours,

Rholda 

Paulette

My name is Paulette Byfield. I was born in  Jamaica, West Indies and currently live in Brooklyn, New York.


I started my Loc journey  in May 2011 and believe me, there were days I was frustrated looking at at my hair because it looked like I had worms on my head. Eventually they turned into my Beautiful Golden Locs.

I'm divorced and my two sons live with me. I was born the youngest of five and the only girl. I am now the youngest of three, since I lost two brothers back to back within two years of each other and my dad right after. I have my beautiful mom who will be 90 next year, God willing. Out of the five of us, we've Blessed her with 15 grandchildren and over 20 great-grandchildren.

Obina

I LOVE BEING ME!!!!!!!
A generation X, Renaissance woman, Obina Escort beholds many gifts and talents. Her uplifting spirit of entrepreneurship is marked by her many years of professional training and experience in the fashion, skin-care and real-estate industries. A mother of two, following in the creative steps of her late grandmother, Irma Escort. Boundless in ability and creativity, Obina is also a licensed esthetician with New York State certification from Aveda-Carsten Institute. Her healing Hand are most talked about custom facials that includes a mini massage, Aroma-therapy, deep-pore cleansing are just a few of the services Obina renders at LA BELLE BOUTIQUE in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, Committed to her clients looking and feeling their best, Obina only uses all natural and organic skin-care products and also have handmade skincare line called DAILY REGIMEN. Simple regimen for lazy people want radiant skin. Get a personalized skin coaching to help maintaining radiant skincare at home.
About Obina…
Favorite color is purple (for now)…
Favorite cities to shop are Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Richmond…
Lives for classic, retro and vintage pieces because they are affordable and endure the test of time and trends…
​Obina

Shareen

Shareen Hall was born and raised in Hollis, New York. She is a product of Caribbean parents; Her mother being from Trinidad and father from Jamaica . Many would describe her as being the life of the party. Shareen's presence demands attention from the moment she steps into a room, without her having to say a word. Her bright smile and welcoming heart attracts people to her.


Shareen is free spirited and enjoys doing anything as long as it brings joy to her heart. She enjoys traveling and interacting with new people. Shareen works full time as a dispatcher for the NYC police department. In her spare time she does event planning, decorating and custom printing. Despite her busy schedule, she finds time to volunteer with nonprofit organizations such as habitat for humanity, KaBoom, and the NAACP.

 

She embraced her natural hair at a very young age. As a child, Shareen's mother would comb her hair once a week in two strand twists or braids with bright beads at the ends. As she got older, she wore her hair out in its natural curly state. She just wasn’t interested in a relaxer. She loved her kinks and curls, despite being teased by her peers. She enjoyed not looking like the rest of the girls in her class. She really adored the thickness and volume of her hair. Shareen started her loc journey at the age of 21. It was the best decision for her. It is by far not a “low maintenance” hairstyle everyone thinks it is. It takes a lot of patience and dedication to keep her locs healthy and cute. And she absolutely loves them!

 

Shareen’s mission is to cultivate space and conversation that encourages unity and honor amongst women. She grew up in a family of strong women and seek to continue that legacy. She is honored to have been chosen as an Administrator for NONHWC and look forward to interacting with her fellow Naturalistas! We must strengthen our community by uplifting one another!

Sonia

I Am...a perfect imperfection.

I am originally from Georgetown, Guyana and migrated to New York with my family at the age of three. I grew up very shy, introverted and reserved. This was my personality but I also had insecurities many young Black girls face. Over time I grew to see, embrace and appreciate my uniqueness.

Many would call me "The Quiet Storm".
I am a lover of natural beauty, fashion, health, fitness, and overall wellness. I enjoy a good conversation, learning, writing, traveling, music and fellowship.  By profession I am an elementary school educator but my passion is in mental health and developing the whole child. In addition to teaching, I enjoy being creative. I enjoy creating crochet clothing for women and organic skin care products.

I am a proud mother of teenage twin girls and I aspire to be the best I can be in this life experience as Sonia Alita Bourne not only for my daughters but also other young girls and women. 

I truly believe it is my purpose to inspire and motivate other women to live and walk in their Truth by embracing their uniqueness, loving their whole selves, and living their best lives.

I enjoy everything about being a woman, better yet a woman of African descent. From my strength and resilience… to my sun-kissed complexion… to my curves… to my curly-kinky hair… to my ability to reproduce and bring forth life.

I may bend but I do not break and I welcome a challenge. I am excited about life and living. Everyday I'm "Queenin": tastefully embracing my individuality; leading by example, living as a muse and a advocate of limitless possibilities.

Before I step out and face the world, I make sure I lift my chin, adjust my Crown and make sure this Light of mine is blinding. You should too!

Melissa

Born and raised in sweet Trinidad &Tobago. I migrated to the United States in Brooklyn New York when I was 16 years old, and moved to Georgia Summer of  2020. I am the eldest child of my mother’s three children, and I have two beautiful daughters of my own age 14 and 10 years old.  I’m just out here trying to live my best life. I enjoy singing, dancing, laughing, and listening to music. Sometimes just Netflix, with a lit candle or incense burning and wine constitutes as a BESS day. Other times, heading out to dinner, a concert or to a party would do.

My favorite saying is “make memories”, because we all know life is short. I love taking care of me! “SELF CARE” is a must and it is extremely important in my line of work. By profession I am a Licensed Social Worker working in the Mental Health field. I’ve always been the “Social Worker” in the group. The great listener, always empathizing with others, showing others the respect they deserve and being very resourceful. I also find myself to be a very positive and optimistic person.

I am extremely proud of my natural self and beautiful black skin. I wear my crown every day, and I am raising my little girls to always love their natural hair and melanin skin. If it’s Afrocentric, I probably I love it. The food, the music, the clothing, the jewelry, the décor… ah mean I just can’t help it!  As for my natural hair, I love to color my natural crown! Name the color and I’ve probably had it…red, purple, blue, fuchsia, green etc. Started my loc journey via micro locs summer of 2020, and I love it!! 

Being a part of the NONHWC Tribe, has been an awesome experience thus far. The sisterhood, love and respect, are the qualities that led me here in the first place. We are beautiful women from different experiences in life sharing, and learning a wealth of information about natural hair, healthy living and so much more. 

From yours truly,

Mel Keisha

My name is Dionne Roberts, named after the incomparable Dionne Warwick. I was born to Trinidadian parents in Brooklyn, New York. I have two handsome young men, that I have the pleasure of saying are my sons, and a wonderful husband.

I am an entrepreneur to the bone, currently owning Brunswick Boxing Stars, a family-owned and operated boxing gym located in the heart of New Brunswick, New Jersey, Secret Place Boutique, an online personal and home accessory business and Unified Management Solutions. There will probably be more to come!

I’ve been a natural Queen for about ten years now and I’m still loving it!

Dionne

Parker

Parker James is a vivacious and adventurous 7 year old. She is a serial entrepreneur who started her first business at the age of five. Parker used some of her money from the her business, a lemonade business called “Lemons Meet Parker”, to create her latest business venture into the world of cosmetics. Thanks to the support of her Auntie Kerry of Kerry Kosmetics and her family, she is now the owner of Parker Schools You, Inc. Parker Schools You is a kid-friendly skin care brand that anyone can use. It reminds the world that it is never too early to self-care and be proactive with your skin care. 


After a year of exploration, Parker is now a budding model who has already appeared in Harpers Bazaar Kids. She is a homeowner and a champion of entrepreneurship in her community. Her brand is growing and so is she. When asked what she wants to do next she responds “build my own store”. Let’s welcome Natural or Not...Hair We

Come!’s newest JUNIOR

AMBASSADOR!

Christel

Greetings! My name is Christel, I’m 19yrs old and currently a nursing major and ROTC cadet at The College Of New Jersey. I’m from Montclair, New Jersey but I spend most of my free time in Brooklyn, New York with family and friends since that’s where I attended boarding school for high school.
I love meeting new people and trying new things. I’m pretty creative and have a passion for the arts, food, and photography. I have a really chill and outgoing type of personality and love adventure.

A recent accomplishment of mine is that I have been granted the opportunity to be featured on the recent 2020 Thin Mint Girl Scout cookie box for the next 10 years! I have been involved with girl scouts for 10+ years and earned my gold award.

In regards to my hair journey, I currently have sisterlocks. I have had my sisterlocks for almost 6 years and have a small group of clients that I consult/ install/ retighten by appointment. I love my sisterlocks and the freedom it has brought me. I initially struggled with loving my hair. It was short and unmanageable at the time, so I knew that that this lifestyle was the perfect fit for me! Now I inspire and promote natural hair to others, and I’m constantly learning about my hair and love to share my knowledge.

Overall, I’m a boss lady with constant hustle and am always seeking out new opportunities, adventure, success, and knowledge.

Honor earns a Crown...

Sadé Adams, named after the world renowned Nigerian singer, was born June 8th, 2001 in Brooklyn,New York. Sadé is a 19 year old student at Kingsborough Community College, who hopes to obtain her Associate D Degree in the coming year. Her plans are to further her education at Cornell University where she will continue her studies at the School for Nursing.

Sadé is an avid dancer and was once a member of the Something Untouchable dance group. She also enjoys playing steel pan and has received numerous awards and certificates of achievement for her participation in Pan Evolution Steel Orchestra’s many competitions.
If you could describe Sadé it would be bold and tenacious with a style of her own!

Sadé

My name is Kiara Alexander I am a Sophomore at Berkely College. I major in Legal Studies and I am studying to be a Divorce Lawyer because I would like to help couples who are not happy to settle whatever issue they have with each other. I started my loc journey in 2014 when I was a freshman in high school. I became a Junior Admin in 2020, and I am very excited to see where this hair group will take me in the future. As a cancer, I believe that I am joyful, optimistic, loyal, and persuasive.

Kiara

Hey! My name is Brianna Edwards. I'm 16 years old. I love all genres of music ranging from old music made in the 80s to rap music. I'm a fan of action movies, especially from the Marvel franchise. I would love to travel the world and interact with different cultures. I also like taking care of my hair. Every since I was younger, my mom would always love to do my hair. I was her little doll. As I got older, I made it a mission to take care of my hair.

Brianna

Heyyy! My name is Amayah and I’m a 19 year old from Brooklyn, New York. I’m a sophomore in college majoring in early childhood special education in hopes of becoming a great teacher. I’ve been natural for 6 years and my favorite thing to do is listen to music and throw down in the kitchen.

Amayah

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