Tanesha Townsend – SWAG STYLES

I am perfectly imperfect, and I am no longer afraid to be me. That makes me the ISH! 

Tanesha Townsend
Owner, Tanesha Townsend

Tell us about yourself.

I was diagnosed with Discoid Lupus at 6 years old and physician’s statistics often placed me at a disadvantage from limited mobility to possibly losing my hair. As a strong and resilient individual, I made the decision to strive to be my very best self. I am intelligent, trustworthy, thoughtful, loving, and respectful to everyone. I am also an optimistic, positive and kind person because I know what it takes to fight through debilitating discomfort to complete daily tasks.

I began the journey of living beyond the statistics and limitations of Discoid Lupus as early as middle school. I tried out for the basketball team because I was told that I would not have the physical strength and mobility to play and I was chosen. More recently I was told I would have temporary memory loss which would make attending school more of a challenge in comparison to others. I not only graduated High School, but I completed my Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree with honors.

Acknowledging my evolution of awareness that I am great and truly capable of living beyond the statistics of Discoid Lupus. I no longer consider my experiences a curse but a blessing to be shared across the world. I created a fundraiser for the Lupus Foundation of America titled “All Things Hair” to raise funds for research and raising awareness of the effects and stigmas associated with Discoid Lupus. I wanted to be able to encourage others that they can also live beyond any statistic that may limit their abilities. This fundraiser later transformed into the creation of SWAG STYLES Mobile Hair Styling where I specialize in waves to curls and kinks to coils.

Last year I took a leap of faith and resigned from my career in health to pursue dreams of hair and scalp education for women. Currently, I am completing a cosmetology license and instructor certification to ultimately obtain a trichology certification. I will continue to provide education to those with or without medically induced hair loss with the hopes of stopping the narrative of what is considered “good hair”.

You’re a mobile hair stylist and owner of Swag Styles mobile hair styling, tell us, what is the most rewarding part of being an entrepreneur?

After being employed for so many years, I enjoy the freedom to do what I love on my own time and schedule. Becoming an entrepreneur has forced me to have the discipline and respect for myself to match the energy I gave to previous employers. I admire my growth and willingness to learn.  

Where do you see your brand/business/passion in the next 5 years?

I am an educator and I aspire to travel the world educating women of color about learning how to care for their hair beyond YouTube University. I want to teach women how to maintain their hair between services, with protective styles, and through various medications.    

What has been your biggest challenge and how have you used it positively?

Owning a business is not for the weak and it has caused increased stress levels. Working throughout my lupus flare has been a challenge. Symptoms varying from extreme inflammation, fatigue, and lack of appetite are not the best recipe for a hairstylist on their feet. Recently, I experienced an extreme flare-up to where I was unable to use my hands and that was the most terrifying thing I have experienced. I have had Discoid Lupus the majority of my life so I do understand what’s necessary to move forward and hairstyling is the very thing that keeps going. Not to mention, I have the best clients in the world that are understanding of what could happen. My life has been an evolution of changing insecurities into steppingstones and I take pride in living beyond stereotypes. and I live intentionally. 

If someone asked you, who are you, and what do you stand for, what would you say?

I am a force to reckon with! I stand for women in all of our forms. I am loving, kind, fragile, strong, motivating, and supportive. I am a beautiful soul.

Where is your favorite place to go in DFW?

As a mobile stylist, I have the pleasure of traveling to places I would not normally frequent, and I am such a foodie! Anytime I travel I must eat. Recently, I have fallen in love with the Vegan Food House located in Dallas, Texas! I love their vegan tacos and nachos with a glass of raspberry sangria. 

How can people get in contact with you? 

Instagram : @_swagstyles

I am in the process of having a website at the start of the year. 

What’s up next for you?

Owning a natural hair institute where young children can learn about their health, hair, and beauty. Also, incorporating programs will assist families who struggle to get their hair done or parents of interracial children who need hair styling assistance. My ultimate goal is to eliminate the stress of “hair day”.

This is the She is the Ish magazine, so tell me, what makes you the ISH?

I am perfectly imperfect, and I am no longer afraid to be me. That makes me the ISH! 

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