CN: How long have you been natural?
June 2010 will mark my 4th year natural. My transition was pretty unintentional in the sense that it wasn’t a conscious decision. It was my senior year of college and at the time, I was so fed up with getting relaxers that i kept putting off my touch up month after month until after about 4 months, which is when I officially made the decision to give up relaxers for good. I cut all of my relaxed ends off shortly after that. I recently did another Big Chop this February.
CN: What is your current regimen?
As I mentioned above, I recently did another big chop so my current regimen is pretty simple. Despite the fact that i’ve been natural for 4 years, I don’t actually have a strict regimen. At the moment, I wash my hair about once a week with either Cream of Nature shampoo or Giovanni Direct shampoo. I cowash almost daily using one of my favorite conditioners which are Pantene Hydrating Curls, Herbal Essences Hello Hydration, or Giovanni Direct Conditioner. After cowashing, I blot my hair with a towel until damp, then I apply Giovanni Direct Leave-In Conditioner. After that, I apply about a quarter size amount of Paul Mitchell Foaming Pomade throughout my hair, shake my head a bit and that’s it. I deep condition whenever I feel like my hair needs it using Organic Root Stimulator (ORS) Replenishing Pack. I also like Neutrogena’s Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask.
When my natural hair was longer, my regimen was pretty much the same as above except that I used Fantasia IC gel for my wash and go’s instead of the Paul Mitchell Foaming Pomade. Also, I used 100% Raw African Shea Butter for my twists and twist-outs.
CN: How do you maintain length? Moisture?
I maintain length by keeping my ends trimmed and as healthy as possible. I maintain moisture by co-washing almost daily and deep conditioning whenever my hair feels dry. Shea butter also really helps in terms of moisture, but I’ve yet to find that miracle product that keeps my hair super moisturized all the time.
CN: How do you protect your curls a night?
I sleep with a satin bonnet on or if I’m not wearing the bonnet, I make sure to sleep on a satin pillow case. When my hair was longer, I would sleep with my hair in big twists.
CN: What would you tell a new natural, or transitioning diva?
I think one of the most important things to know about going natural is that you need to be ready to accept your natural hair no matter what. There are a lot of women who are disappointed with they’re hair texture once they are fully natural. Not everyone’s natural hair will look like Tracy Ellis Ross’s or like CurlyNikki’s or like mine, for that matter, but that’s no reason to be disappointed. By no means am I saying it’s easy, but in a way, you need to change your mindset and prepare yourself to embrace and be happy with your natural hair no matter what. Stay strong ladies!
Also, I think that it’s really important to focus on keeping your hair moisturized whether you’re transitioning or fully natural. Natural hair NEEDS moisture to thrive and stay healthy. Take time to try different products and find one that helps keep your hair as moisturized as possible.
CN: What’s the best thing about being naturally glamorous?
Although I do get frustrated with my hair sometimes, there’s so many things that I love about being naturally glamorous. I love the fact that I don’t have to panic and run indoors when it starts raining. I love the fact that I can scratch my scalp whenever I want to. I love the fact that I don’t have to endure a burning scalp and the chemical burns that would usually follow my relaxers. I love the versatility that natural hair allows. I love the fact that I am showing the world an aspect of who I really am.
CN: Anything else you ‘d like to add?
Just because I wear my hair natural does not mean that I look down upon women who do not do the same. I think that some women make assumptions about other women based on their hair which is unfair. I wear my hair in a way that makes ME happy and I think all women should do the same.
What do used to keep your edges so smooths?
Gorgeous! It just goes to show you just how beautiful our hair can be!
Great interview from a gorgeous, glamorous, gifted sistagirl. I love all of your photos because each one expresses a different aspect of your personality; courageous, vivacious, wonderful and happy. But overall, your pictures exude self confidence. Any style that you wear you rock it. I'm so glad you're a natural woman otherwise we probably wouldn't be such great friends today considering we met at natural hair meetup… and knew each other in a past life at XU, lol. Maria, it's Anonymous Ci!!!!!! I heart your hair!
i'm in dc now…can yo give the name of the stylist? and location?
oh never mind i just read through the comments haha
I love this very well said> "Although I do get frustrated with my hair sometimes, there's so many things that I love about being naturally glamorous. I love the fact that I don't have to panic and run indoors when it starts raining. I love the fact that I can scratch my scalp whenever I want to. I love the fact that I don't have to endure a burning scalp and the chemical burns that would usually follow my relaxers. I love the versatility that natural hair allows. I love the fact that I am showing the world an aspect of who I really am.
Beautiful Lady, and I love her various hair styles. I adore the first and last picture.. Keep it up!!
@ Juices-n-Berries–I actually did go to Xavier! Maybe we know each other. I graduated in 2006.
@anon—If you're nervous about the environment at the salon that mothereartha mentioned, you can try the salon that i actually went to, Uzuri Braids in Northwest DC. I think the lady who did my hair is named Denise. She's really talented and the salon environment is pretty good. She did have to blowdry my hair to achieve the look, which i really don't like to do, so that's definitely something to keep in mind if you're not a fan of using heat on your hair.
@ mothereartha: thank you for the stylist information and for being honest about the work environment and all. If she did a good job though, I still want to go just to see how it would look on me. I think I may know where that salon is on Georgia Avenue. Thanks again! And Maria you're gorgeous! Thanks for encouraging me to wanna try this hairstyle!
Hey! You look really familiar. Did you go to Xavier?
love the style with the purple flower in your hair
Beautiful hair girl !!!!! and very incouraging words . thanks !
OMG I'm loving that fro picture at the bottom! Gorgeous hair.
@ anon: the stylist is khadi (pronounced heidi – she's senegalese) at naturally yours on georgia ave. i think benet also does the style. i haven't been in years but she would hook me up with those flat twist updos anyway my heart desires. it wasn't the most professional environment but she got the job done. you can also come with your hair co-washed but she did blow dry my hair to do that style.
after seeing maria a. i just might make an appointment:)
I did some web searching and was able to remember the name of the salon where I got my flat twist updo done at. It's called Uzuri Braids and its located in Northwest DC. http://www.uzuribraids.com/. Again, thanks for all of the kind words ladies!
Your hair is sooo healthy and really beautiful! And so are you sister. Thanks for speaking the truth when you said: "Not everyone's hair will look like Tracy Ellis Ross. Change your mindset and prepare yourself to embrace and be happy with your natural hair no matter what."
Hi ladies. Thanks so much for all the comments. You all really made my day 🙂 The hairstyle in the first pic was done at a Natural hair salon in dc (but unfotunately i can't recall the name of it!) Also, to all who are interested, my fotki name is Icanonlybeme. (I haven't updated in quite a while though). Thanks again!!!
@ mothereartha: I'm in DC and I LOVE her two strand twist updo. Can you tell us where that stylist is?
her hair is beautiful!!!! the twist in the first pic are the bomb dot com!!
now that's some beautiful hair! i love the two strand twist updo. i know a stylist in DC who does this style as well. so pretty!
Hey Maria! I am sooo proud of you and your gorgeous hair! Keep doing big things…OO-OOP! Your big sister, Plezetta
ok how about I need a how-to tutorial on the pic at the very top! LOL!
this is great!!!
Absolutely LOVE your hair! The shine is awesome and it looks SO healthy!
YOUR HAIR LOOKS GREAT 🙂
Loveliness! I just knew you were gonna say something about the Karen's Body Beautiful line. If she did ads, you would definitely be in one! Such shiny, healthy hair! I'm really thinking about getting a do like your first picture. Magnifique!
Gorgeous! You look like Angie Stone in the first pic.
Great interview and gorgeous hair!
Her hair looks great!! What's her fotki name?
Love the first and last pictures! Beautiful cornrows and fro, and you rocked them!
Hi Fotki Friend :o) I didn't know you did another big chop in February. Your hair looks absolutely fabulous. I really like what you said about 'accepting your natural hair no matter what.' There is a woman I have known for several years who was constantly complimenting me on my hair and saying that she could never go natural. Well, I encouraged her to let her perm grow out and start wearing her hair in it's natural state. She did a big chop and I think she's regretted it ever since. She doesn't seem to like it at all and always compares our hair, saying things like "But your hair is so much nicer than mine." I feel bad for her and I don't know what to say other than exactly what you've said. You absolutely must accept your own hair. You can't compare yourself to others, otherwise your hair will never be good enough.
This is by far one of my favorite interviews. Your hair is fabulous and you def. spoke words of wisdom:
"Just because I wear my hair natural does not mean that I look down upon women who do not do the same. I think that some women make assumptions about other women based on their hair which is unfair. I wear my hair in a way that makes ME happy and I think all women should do the same."- I could not agree with you more, thanks for sharing this perspective!
Your hair is gorgeous ! I love it 🙂