Tell me a little about yourself and your hair journey.
My name is Mariah and I’m from a small city located in northeast Ohio. I am multiracial – mixed with black, Puerto Rican, and white. I’m 21 and attending college for nursing. I have been wearing my hair in its natural state for almost 2 years. I guess you could say I transitioned from heat damage, although I still have some left near the ends of my hair. The more I wore my hair naturally curly, the more I noticed my natural curl pattern beginning to come back.
How long have you been natural?
I have been natural my entire life but began wearing my hair in its natural state since December 2011.
What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper? Why?
As I got older and entered high school I started to straighten my hair more frequently which led to breakage. I would wear my hair in its natural state maybe once a week and noticed that my natural curl pattern wasn’t much of a curl. After my first year of college, I decided that I needed to take a break from heat and start taking better care of my hair. My little “break” from heat on my hair ended up turning into almost 2 years without heat as of now. I trim my damaged hair as it grows out. I never had the courage to big chop.
How would you describe your hair?
I have different types of curl patterns throughout my hair. I’d say I’m between a 3c-4a depending on the products used on my hair that day. My longest parts of my hair being in the back reach the middle of my back when stretched so I’d say I’m about bra strap length.
What do you love most about your hair?
I honestly love the versatility with my hair. I love going from a defined curl style to a more loose curl pattern style such as a braid out to updo’s.
What has been the most memorable part of your journey? Has it been easy, difficult, or both?!
I was frustrated as ever in the beginning. My hair would barley curl. Finding the right products that worked well for my hair took quite a long time. After I figured out my own regimen and products that work best with my hair, I became more patient and and more dedicated to taking care of my hair. Dyeing my hair was an experience though.
What are some of your favorite hairstyles?
My go-to style is definitely just a regular old wash-n-go! I do like playing around with updo’s and pinned styles with bobby pins. I always keep bobby pins on deck.
What have your experiences been as a ‘natural.’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?
My experiences from being natural have been positive although I get bored very easily with my hair. I do have to hear the “when are you gonna straighten your hair?” mess A LOT. Some people just don’t rock with the natural look. But to each it’s own….
What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
I shampoo my hair about once a week with Shea moisture curl and shine shampoo. Love it! I condition after shampooing with Tresemmé naturals and finger comb my hair while in the shower. I also cowash with Tresemmé twice a week or as needed depending on how dry my hair feels. Every night I use an oil such as coconut or jojoba mixed with a leave in, none in particular. My favorite leave ins I use to style my hair are shea moisture curl enhancing smoothie, mixed chicks, and kinky curly knot today. My favs all day everyday. At night I wrap it up with a silk scarf or something like it. Got to. I try not to use gels or curl creams because they tend to dry out my hair, but if I do I use curls unleashed curl defining creme. Deep conditioning is SO important, I use shea moisture or the ORS olive oil deep conditioner about once a week.
What are some of your favorite natural hair websites,YouTuber’s, or blogs?
YouTube was definitely my teacher when starting off wearing my hair in its natural state. I don’t watch is so much anymore now that I do my own thing. One of my absolute favorites was definitely, the one and only, Taren Guy. I think that’s every naturals favorite lol. But my hair crush as of now is definitely FrenchyFatim. From her hair, to her looks, to her accent. She’s just beautiful!
Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?
I definitely encourage girls to go natural or wear their hair in its natural state. It definitely takes patience and self confidence to do so. You have to be comfortable enough with yourself. Once new to the process don’t give up and keep at it. Look up ideas and tips on websites and YouTube. There’s always people or information that will be useful in your natural hair process. It’s important to remember that just because a product works for ones hair does not mean it will work the same for yours. Experiment. I went through plenty trials and errors. It’s YOUR hair. Own it. Its yourssssss *drizzy voice*
Where can people find you for more information?
My contact info is limited but you can follow me on IG @_mariahmarie . I post a lot of hair pictures with different hair styles. You can also email me with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org