|Marlana rockin' the Curly Mohawk|
What do you do?
I'm a high school math teacher and owner of a tutoring business for students ranging from elementary to college level.
When did you start your natural hair journey?I started in Dec 2009.
Why did you decide to go natural?
Initially, I did it because I wanted a permanent color and the only way to achieve that without my hair falling out was to not relax my hair anymore. I was going to keep it straightened because I didn't know what else to do with it. The only styles I'd seen naturally were on women who had looser curls or wavy hair, nonkinky curls, the type of hair society labels as "good hair" and the opposite of mine. Then I attended a seminar for teaching, and every black woman there was natural with my same hair type! I saw twist outs, wash n gos, TWAs, braid outs, all in different lengths.That was it, no more straightening for me! I went home that day and did the B/C!
|Big Chop 8/2010|
What kind of feedback did you encounter and how did you handle it? When I did the B/C, it was such a drastic change, that everyone was shocked. From that point, a lot of women stopped and asked about going natural. So I started posting pics every month showing my hair's progress and also how you don't have to have a certain texture or a certain shaped face to be natural. Now, just about everyone I know is natural.
Describe your hair.
I have 4a/4b curl pattern, which is tightly coiled and kinky curls. I have 75% shrinkage when my hair is dry. In the top, I have a patch of hair that is 3c, which is genetic. I have sebhorric dermatitis, which leaves my hair and scalp extremely dry.
What is your hair care regimen? Because I have dermatitis, I have to wash my hair every week. I wash with Shea Moisture African Black Soap and detangle with Suave Naturals conditioner, because it has no silicones and it's very cheap. No matter how I style my hair, I always use Giovanni Leave-In conditioner and Olive Oil to keep it moisturized. At night, I pineapple my hair to maintain the style, and apply a little water and olive oil to restyle on a daily basis.
What are your favorite products?I love, love, love the Shea Moisture line! I use the African Black Soap Shampoo to treat my dermatitis (it is excellent) and the Shea butter and Olive Oil to moisturize. Kinky Curly's Leave-in and Curling Custard are my second favorite products.
What are you favorite hair styles to wear?I switch between braid outs and twist outs with a braid "crown" in the front. After having a baby, my time has been limited even more for my hair, so I make smaller twists and braids in a style and leave them in for a week.
How do you handle bad hair days?I can honestly say that since I have gone natural, I haven't had one. But if I don't feel like braiding or twisting, there's always the Afro!
|Wash n' Go|
What is the most effective thing you have done to your hair?
One, I only use products with all natural oils and ingredients and I only straighten my hair or apply heat only twice a year to trim it. This has kept down dryness and breakage.
Any encouragement to upcoming naturals?I always tell women there's no such thing as not looking right in their natural hair. It's who you are so it will always look right. Don't be afraid to try different styles and products to achieve the look you want. There is no one right way. Get to know your natural hair and take care of it accordingly. I also encourage B/C. Having two hair textures makes care difficult and result in higher breakage; you'll be surprised how fast your hair will grow and how healthy it will become when all the relaxer is out.