After building a career as a senior communications analyst, Tanaye White made the decision to pursue another passion – modeling. In 2018, after being named a finalist in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit’s 2018 model search, she pivoted full-time and hasn’t looked back since.
Recently named a 2021 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Rookie, White has worked for brands including Fenty Beauty, Urban Decay, and Victoria’s Secret, all while continuing to advocate for greater diversity and representation in the industry. For her Sport Illustrated shoot, she made a point of wearing her hair out in a natural afro to showcase that Black hair is not only beautiful, it’s sexy too.
For White, the journey of going natural started in 2016. “For pretty much my entire life I was getting my hair straightened with a hot comb,” she tells Glamour. “I got my first relaxer at six, so I actually never knew the true texture of my hair until I cut it all off in December 2016. I was just ready for a change and had been slowly growing out the relaxer so I could already see little curls coming in. I was like, Okay, let me just go full throttle. And it has definitely been a journey of self love in and of itself.”
White describes herself as being “very diligent” when it comes to her wash day routine. “I set aside either Sundays or Mondays, always washing my hair at least once a week. If I have a photo shoot where I have a lot of extra products in my hair I might even do it twice.”
After a photoshoot back in 2018 that left her hair significantly heat damaged, the model has been working on restoring it’s natural bounce and softness which takes patience and consistency. To strengthen her curls, she does a rice water treatment at the start of each wash day. “I wash the rice, then I’ll soak it for two to three days. I’ll like to add an orange peel in it just to make sure the smell doesn’t get too bad. Then, before I go through my wash and conditioning process, I spray the water in my hair section by section and let it sit in my hair for one to two hours before rinsing out.”
For the latest Wash Day Diary , White breaks down the rest of her routine, from the shampoo and conditioner duo that have left her curls feeling soft for years to the curl gel she swears by for avoiding white flakes post-twist out.
For my washing and conditioning, I really love the Shea Moisture Manuka honey line, the one with the blue label. I’ve been using it for the last few years and I just love how soft and bouncy my hair feels afterwards.
Sometimes, if I really need a deep treatment, I will go ahead and apply Camille Rose’s deep conditioning cream and I’ll let that soak in my hair for an extra 10 minutes before I rinse it out.
My favorite go to style is a bit of a twist out are or finger shingling – there are a few different names for it. I section my hair in four quadrants and then I start with moisturizing. I love the Curl Love Moisture Milk by Camille Rose, it has rice milk in it, as well as macadamia oil. I add a small amount to my hand and start to apply to each section.
Then I’ll follow up with their Cocoa Nibs & Honey Growth serum, which has helped my hair maintain moisture.
Then finally, to get really defined curls, I will go ahead and use Camille Rose’s Curl Maker, which has marshmallow and agave extract. I really love this particular gel simply because it doesn’t leave a cast on my hair. A lot of times, with other brands that I’ve tired, if I put the cream in my hair and then pick it out, I’ll start to notice these white flakes after it’s dried down. And I’m just like, Oh, this is so sad because I worked this hard and now it looks like I have dandruff all over me which defeats the whole purpose.
I feel like in the last five years or so, baby hairs have become a thing again. And I’m a person who was, for a long time, against them. But during quarantine, I was able to master the art of baby hairs – adult hairs that just happen to be small and in the front of your head.
For lot of girls who have 4C hair, I feel like they think they can’t achieve the look because they feel like it’s for a specific texture. And I want to combat that idea, because it’s not true. My two favorite brands to use are Ebin’s 24 Hour Edge Tamer and Style Factor’s Edge Booster –I get the white one, which is coconut and banana. What has worked for me is using a toothbrush to lay down the edges on the side or the front, however you like it, and then laying your edges with a silk scarf or wrap for about 20 minutes.