My name is Mardia Powell. I’m an artist and graphic designer working in Atlanta, GA. Originally I’m from Nassau, Bahamas.
How long have you been natural?
My natural hair journey started back in Summer 2003.
What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper& why?
I was one of those girls that had a new style every week. One week I would have a long do, then I would cut it . I can go on and on about the colors I have experimented with, but I would have to say red and blonde tones have been my favorite.
My motivation for transitioning to natural hair came when I realized that I could have the best of both worlds in a healthier way. When I would color my hair, I noticed that my hair did not thin as it did with relaxed hair.
It was not until 2006 when I first decided to ‘loc’ my hair. The dreadlocks that I have now are my third set of locs. When I began locking the first time, I did it for a change and soon after learned that I missed my ‘fro’, so the commitment was not there. The second time, I had a few skin breakouts, and my dermatologist thought it had something to do with the products that I used in my hair and also the process it took to get my hair to lock, so I went back to my afro once more. Both times I used a safety pins to unloose my locs; which were shoulder length.
This third time that I decided to ‘loc’ was to give off a more mature look. I felt that my afro started to give off a young and “cute-sie” look, and I wanted to be taken more seriously, specifically when I worked as a teacher.
I told myself that I would trim my dreads every time they reached shoulder length. But once I saw how nicely they were growing, I decided to embrace each stage of growth. So far it has been exciting.
How would you describe your hair?
I would describe my locs as medium sized in thickness which makes them more manageable for styling.
What do you love most about your hair?
I love seeing my hair as hair, and not just stuck as my “dreadlocks”. My hair is so versatile and I am allowed to embrace it far beyond the confines of what some may view it as; apart of a religion, a movement, or being “earthy”. I’m just being me.
What has been the most memorable part of your journey? Has it been easy or difficult or both?!
I enjoy seeing the expressions on peoples faces when they compliment me on my hair with amazement. I also LOVE sharing with others how I attained a certain style, or what new products that I have tried. The only difficult part about the entire journey has been in the earlier stages when I had banquets or weddings to attend. At that time I did not discover much elegant “locstyles”, but now there are so many classy ways to style dreadlocks.
What were some of your favorite transitioning hairstyles?
Most definitely my favorite transitioning style, from “fro” to “locs”, has been the pin- up / up-do.
What have your experiences been as a ‘natural?’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?
Always compliments. Also I am always hearing the question ” Is that all of your hair? ” lol .
What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
Honestly, the main products that I use are-
- Olive Oil ( after shampooing )
- Aloe Vera ( moisturizing )
- Ecostyling Gel – Blk # 10 max hold ( for tightening )
- Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk Anti-Breakage Serum
- Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk Anti-Breakage Shampoo
What are some of your favorite natural hair websites,YouTuber’s, or blogs?
When I’m in need of some hair inspiration , I usually turn to Chescaleigh (Franchesca Ramsey) and MsVaughnTv.
Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?
Lots of times ladies want to branch out and come over to the natural world. Yet they are afraid to take that leap because they don’t think that their hair type is manageable or attractive enough. It's all about learning your hair type, and what styles are best for you. When you learn to embrace your hair type everything else after that is a breeze. It’s your hair and that makes it beautiful!
Where can people find you for more information?
You can contact me via email – firstname.lastname@example.org
My design/ art – https://www.behance.net/gallery/Mardia-Powells-Portfolio/6774599