Meet The Tribe


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, NY 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.

Currently I’ve found my niche 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!

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. Although this online family began with a humble 30 members or so, in the last five years word has spread and we have grown to almost the 12,000 member mark! Last year I moved into the next phase of my 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 Gillies is the Co President and acts as the Secretary of NONHWC.  She is a senior service provider and nail service trainer at the Mynd Spa, formerly Elizabeth Arden Reddoor Spa and certified natural hair stylist. As a mobile freelancer, April uses her creativity and experience to style natural hair and nails. Her favorite method is crochetbraids. She loves protective styling and this method gives the most versatility. As the secretary of NONHWC, April supports her fellow Admins in meetings, road trips, vendor events and magazine articles. Her natural hair fashion showcase can be seen annually at the New York Meetups. This year she will be focusing on promoting the Group along with selling her natural hair growth moisturizer.  As an artist, April can be found creating jewelry and other accessories in her spare time.


My name is Tanisha and I’m a 40+ yr. old Brooklyn girl, mom & naturalista. I am a strong black woman/Queen, with a Caribbean American background and a degree in Education who enjoys life and food. 

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

I became 100% natural 5 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. Sine I’ve always had a short pixie,  cutting my hair wasn’t a big deal but above all being the mother of a now freshman college student, naturalista & fashionista, I wanted to be the inspiration and example to my daughter.

As one of the Admins of NONHWC  I’ve met some beautiful women with different purposes & making their way just like myself and having the opportunity to be apart of great things. I’ve also gotten to meet bloggers/vloggers who I never thought I would meet and attend events I probably wouldn't have normally attended. 

Being apart 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 Taylor, created by a Bajan mother and a Grenadian father, born in Brooklyn, NY. My love for fashion, music, hair and my culture has been the force behind me uniqueness.


I am a mother

I am a wife

I am a sister

I am a aunt

I am a boss lady


In 2016 I was diagnosed stage 3D Hopkins Lymphoma. I under went extensive chemotherapy where I lost all my hair. As I was home recouping I did research on how to make my hair grow back healthy and vibrant; so began again my natural life.


As my hair was growing so was my knowledge for natural hair. Once my hair grew about 2 inches long I faced the world with my mini curly fro. My curly pattern changed to a 3A which I loved. Over my natural years I've worn weaves, crotchet braids, blown out and just a wet and go styles as protective styles.


Dec 2015 I decided to loc my hair after tons of research and support those around me. The freedom with being a Loc’d Queen brought on my love for everything natural from skincare to clothing.



I am not my hair

I am not this skin

I am not your expectations no no

I am not my hair

I am not this skin

I am a soul that lives within




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.


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…


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!


My name is Melissa, born and raised in sweet Trinidad & Tobago. I migrated to the United States (Brooklyn, New York) when I was 15 years old. I am the eldest child of my mother’s three children and I have two beautiful daughters of my own, ages 13 and 9 years old. 

I married my best friend in June 2018, and 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. I also love protective styles (faux locs and braids), so that I can enjoy the break of playing with my tresses.

Being a part of the NONHWC team 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.


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


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