How long have you been natural?
I’ve been natural since 2003 but it wasn’t until around 2007 that I started wearing my hair in its curly state. I’ve always enjoyed colouring my hair and have done so for many years.
What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper& why?
It’s been a long journey to be honest. My first relaxer was at secondary school but when I started university I decided to colour it and cut it all off. I then went through a variety of short natural and relaxed hair styles for around 5 years. In 2003 I went to a friend’s hairdresser for a relaxer. She refused and said my natural hair is more beautiful than any relaxed hair could be. I said prove it! She started doing my hair and transitioned me to shoulder length natural hair with roller sets, weaves and braids by 2005.
However, from then I always wore my hair straight! Everyone presumed the flowing tresses were relaxed because the hair was….how do you say? Laid to the gods? In reality I still hadn’t fully embraced my hair. In 2007 I got a real desire for my natural texture. The journey of understanding what the heck to do with my mop was quite challenging and frustrating. I started really taking care of my hair and youtubing like a mad woman. I also vowed never to have my hair styled in a salon again and I haven’t since autumn 2007 – time has flown!
How would you describe your hair?
My hair is predominately 3b/c. It is fine but dense/thick. I used to lament my little hairs breaking or falling out but I can’t worry about maintaining every little strand in perfect condition. As I’ve learnt more about my hair it really is a joy (well apart from detangling!).
What do you love most about your hair?
I love that I have a relationship with my hair lol. I talk to it, touch it, shout at it, cuss it out sometimes but mostly love that it is part of me. At the moment I also love how my curls look with the colour I have.
What has been the most memorable part of your journey? Has it been easy or difficult or both?!
I don’t think I can pinpoint any particularly moments. It’s been good, bad and ugly! When I look back at some of the pictures of my weaves and braids I think how much my style has changed!
What are some of your favorite hairstyles?
I wish I could do more lol. The truth is there are 3 styles; WnG, twist out and bun/single braid.
What have your experiences been as a ‘natural?’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?
There have been a few comments from people which have been unkind but overall the response from my husband, family, friends and strangers is overwhelming positive. It’s always nice to get compliments and to share experiences with those wishing to go natural.
What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
I give my hair an overnight treatment before I wash with an oil mix on my scalp and Aubrey Organics GBP conditioner or Shea Moisture Anti-Breakage on my length. In the morning I’ll gently detangle with a wide tooth comb and split my hair into four sections. I wash each section with Shea Moisture Raw Shea shampoo and Shea Moisture cowash, apply Aubrey Organics HSR conditioner and work my way round. Once the conditioner is rinsed out I spray ACV rinse and then proceed to style.
To each wet section I add a Kinky Curly Knot Today leave in and smooth in from root to tip using flat palms. I then add Shea Moisture Curl and Style Milk and sweet almond, camellia or jojoba oil to seal. I’ll leave it to air dry for wash and go. After 4-5 days I’ll style into a twist out, leave that for 4-5 days and it will be wash day again. Once in a while I’ll straighten with flat irons after tension blow drying.
What are some of your favorite natural hair websites,YouTuber’s, or blogs?
Websites – Curly Nikki and Black Girl Long Hair
Youtuber’s – Mahogany Curls and Natural Neiicey
Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?
Don’t give up! Working with your natural hair definitely gets easier with experience.
Where can people find you for more information?
You can find me on instragram @marvadlcs. It’s an outlet for my style and love for art and architecture. Hopefully I’ll see some of you there!