Natural hair exposé is a monthly feature on LME where I interview naturals both old and new to gain more insights on their natural hair journey, favorite products, hair regimen and advice for other naturals.
Related: Natural Hair Exposé: Sesima Kamara
How long have you been natural?
Actually, the last time I relaxed my hair was sometime around 3 years ago (2012), of course I did not become natural immediately because I still had my relaxed hair. I was not brave enough to do the big chop, neither did I wear my hair out. I had my hair in braid, especially in Ghana weaving. When my natural hair grew out more it started becoming difficult to do Ghana weaving. I switched to marley twist. I never wore my natural hair out, until before my wedding when I started looking into how to wear my hair, with the hope that I can do something with the marley hair, maybe a twist or anything. From one hair dresser to another, pulling my hair this and that way, led to an incident that hurt my scalp miserably, I was forced to wear my hair out for the first time due to the pain and at the same time let my scalp rest for a while from the pulling.
What made you decide to go natural?
Well, Linda, believe it or not, you inspired me to go natural. I am so grateful. We are friends on Facebook, and whenever I get connected and see my newsfeed flooded with your natural hair journey it was sort of an inspiration and encouragement.
What is your experience so far as a natural?
My experience so far, hahaha… I am happy, still learning and struggling. Though, I have retired from watching tons of Youtube videos of natural hair bloggers, I just stick to what works best for me. And I have learnt a lot. The best part of it all is that I do my marley twist myself, I no more rely on someone else to do my hair for me, I am saving my €€€ at the moment.
Please describe your hair texture/type.
I am not very versed in hair description. Although, I can say, from what I read out there that it is a mixture of type 4.
What are your favorite hair products and what have they done for your hair?
It may seem amazing but it is true, one of my favourite hair products is the one I make myself. A mixture of Shea butter + almond oil + coconut oil + olive oil + (essential oil). As essential oil, the last time I used rosemary. This time, I look forward to using lavender essential oil. I had some rosehip oil I use on my skin and I put some in the concoction. I spray my hair with water every day before applying this mixture and keeps it healthy, soft and manageable.
I also use Palmer’s coconut oil formula super control gel for edges, Pink design control gel (non-flaking) for my edges too, especially when I have run out of Palmer’s coconut oil formula. These are my favourites. I believe like many other women, I also purchased tons of hair products during my trial days which I am yet to consume, and sometimes I simply apply them.
Describe your hair care regimen and reason behind it.
My hair regimen is simple, I keep them in protective styles, marley twist which I do myself now. Early morning, before I go to work, after my make-up, I spray the root of my hair with water and apply my concoction. On the marley hair, I spray water too and apply serum reparador de argan by Mysalon (a local hair product) it contains argan and macadamia oil. My twist looks to healthy with it. On the edges I apply Coconut super control gel for edges, or if I have run out I use Pink design control gel. The former works better.
If I am wearing my natural hair out, I still spray water, conditioner leave in cream, my concoction, I twist and keep under satin bonnet before I go to bed. Next morning, I take off the twists and style.
Nevertheless, let me say I wear my hair in marley twist most of the time nowadays, therefore, managing is very easy. I do not do much actually.
What are your go-to hairstyles?
My Marley twist is everything. I love it, it makes life easier and I love the way I look in it. Most people here think it is my “real” hair. I am learning to use different colours of marley hair to get different looks. Since I’ve gone natural, I feel so relaxed with my hair. I am no more afraid if I have a party, a wedding, or any event coming up. Where I’d have to rush last minute booking appointment or looking for someone to help me do my hair, and at the same time spending a lot of money and most of the time going through pain. And sometimes, I end up not even liking the hairstyle in question.
Anyway, now I am beginning to be in full control of it. If I do not like the twists I take them out and slightly change the style for any desired event, or simply take them all out rock my natural hair and then gradually put them back again, I find it versatile. …Linda, it is amazing indeed.
I have also learned to embrace the nature of my beauty. In the past I just could not bear the view of a string of my curly hair, or the feel of undergrowth, I was always trying to straighten them all out. Which was quite exhausting it was just like swimming against the tide. And most importantly very harmful to my scalp, the relaxer burns. I feel so free and happy not having to fight the nature of what or who I am.
Nevertheless, this does not mean that I will not rock weaves (straight or not) from time to time. What I am actually referring to is simply not to alter the nature of my hair with chemicals, as in relaxing my hair.
What advice do you have for new or old naturals hoping to grow their hair healthier?
Go for it! The journey is worth it! I wish I did it earlier. Better late than never though. Take your time, do what works best for you, big chop, transition… Make sure you feel comfortable and fit whatever you do with your hair in your schedule. After all, our hair is not the only aspect of our lives.
Do you have a blog and/or social media page people can visit for more info?
I am actually an avid reader and I blog at www.maryokekereviews.blogspot.com
Follow me on Instagram (personal pictures): mary_de_queen
Facebook: Mary Okeke Reviews
I also blog on: Charming Yellow (My personal affair)