Chris-Tia Donaldson, founder of tgin

Chris-Tia Donaldson is the founder of tgin, Thank God I’m Natural beauty products. Her story began 10 years ago when she graduated from Harvard Law School and was prepared to start her career in Chicago, and as a black woman had a conundrum about how she was going to wear her hair.

She spent the first two years wearing a wig while researching beauty products and experimenting with ingredients out of her condo’s kitchen. Shortly after she moved on to another law firm, she wrote an Amazon bestseller, “Thank God I’m Natural: The Ultimate Guide to Caring for Natural Hair” that provided women with the information and resources they needed to go natural. This grassroots community fell in love with the information, and the requests for products grew louder, so she listened.

After partnering with a chemist, she launched a line of products called the tgin Moist Collection, which promised three things – softer, moisturized, manageable hair. I’m glad Chris-Tia listened, I’m obsessed with the way my curly hair feels after using her products, and the bonus is that they smell so good. I sat down with Chris-Tia and asked her about her favorites.

Chris-Tia, of all your products, which is your favorite?

tgin olive oil soapI love all of them, but especially our Moisture Rich Sulfate Free Shampoo and our Olive Oil Handmade Soaps.

Although our shampoo is sulfate free, it still gets a lot of lather, which a lot of other sulfate-free shampoos don’t have. It also leaves hair feeling moisturized and clean, but not stripped. A little goes a long way, so you don’t have to shampoo more than once on wash day. It’s gentle, but it does the job. I also really love the fresh scent because it’s not overpowering. This shampoo is especially great for curly girls, women who dye their hair, or women with aging hair that is somewhat wiry, because unlike commercial shampoos, which are chocked full of detergents, it’s very moisturizing and doesn’t leave your hair greasy or oily.

Our handmade soaps in 11 different scents are also great because they’re natural. Each soap is made with olive oil, African Shea butter, and other natural ingredients, and they last forever.  They also don’t dry the skin out like some other soaps. In fact, you actually feel like your skin has been moisturized after using our soap.

If someone is new to Thank God I’m Natural (tgin), what are the must-have products?

Our Honey Miracle Hair Mask, by far, is a must-have product. People literally tell me every day it’s their holy grail. Not only is it great at detangling and smoothing kinky, curly hair, it’s made in our factory completely by hand with real honey and real olive oil. I developed the recipe when we were still working out of my condo. I started with a hand mixer and the ingredients and moved up to a largest industrial-size mixer. People really love how it makes their hair feel, and they love the videos showing us making it in the factory. It’s like an instant repair for your hair, and works on all hair types, especially color-treated and relaxed hair.

Our Green Tea Super Moist Leave-in Conditioner is another fan favorite, because it … is great for people who like to layer other products on top of a light conditioner.  It’s one of our newer products, but it’s very popular. It really melts tangles away and keeps hair moisturized for days. It also works with all hair types, from fine and wavy to thick and coily. It doesn’t weigh hair down.

What makes your products stand out from the crowd?

Our products stand out from the crowd because they focus on moisture. Every product in our hair and body lines is designed to add moisture to the hair and skin. I spent over three years researching and developing this product line, which is specifically formulated to impart moisture to dry textured hair. Although we formulated the products for women with kinky, curly and wavy hair, we found out much later that women with color-treated (blonde) and chemically treated hair were using our products and loving them as well. Our products are made in small batches and infused with Shea butter, coconut and jojoba oils, and botanical extracts to give the user softer, shinier and most importantly more manageable curls. None of our products contain parabens, sulfates, petroleum, lanolin or FD & C dyes.

For retailer info or to purchase products online, visit the tgin store.

Eva Marie is a daughter of a hair stylist who from an early age was obsessed with fashion, colors and rubbing sample parfume scents from magazines all over her body. She is on the hunt to find the best...