Naturalista Spotlight: Maria

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Naturalista Spotlight - Maria3 What inspired you to start growing natural hair? How long have you been natural? What styles did you wear before this decision?

I decided to go natural when I wanted to start having kids. I wanted to be my healthiest natural self, so along with an exercise and weight loss regime I went natural. Prior to being natural I wore my hair relaxed sometimes in long bobs other times short cropped. I should mention that I first went natural in 2000 before relocating to England from Trinidad in 2001. In England back then, I couldn’t find products for my natural hair and didn’t know how to look after hair it when it began to grow. After about 1 ½ years I returned to chemically processing my hair. This time around, I’ve been natural for four years, not turning back!

What were the responses you received in response to your natural hair decision?

I discussed going natural with my husband and while he was supportive he’d only know me with long hair. I agreed to not making my TWA too short. He loved it and used to play with my hair. I found that so sweet and comforting. At work I had no issues. When I braided my hair a few people asked to touch it. I didn’t mind it as it wasn’t likely they would ever meet anyone else they felt comfortable to ask. It was my small way to help end the ignorance one small step at a time. My mum was surprised at the texture she thought I’d chemically processed it somehow.

Naturalista Spotlight - Maria2 How often do you wash and style your hair? What are your favourite styles to wear?

On average I was my hair once per week on the weekend. If my hair is severely tangled I may cowash midweek. I mostly wear twist-outs for ease or one ponytail for speed.

What products do you use in your hair?

We don’t have as wide a range of natural hair products in the UK as in the USA. However, I used and had good results from: Shea Moisture Baobab & Yucca range, ORS Curls Unleashed, Mixed Chicks, Moroccan Oil Treatment and their Hydrating Styling Cream , Herbal Essence Bee  Strong (the conditioners only) and Mixed Roots.

Naturalista Spotlight - Maria4 What are somethings you’ve learned about your hair during your journey?

To be honest a lot of the newly natural stage went in a blur, as I conceived quickly and my attentions quickly moved on to the joy the pregnancy. However I did notice this time around the natural the texture of my hair was different.  It was soft and the curls were more defined. As my hair grew it was light but looked full and the waves were more pronounced. During both pregnancies I expressed postpartum shedding.It may be the second pregnancy had an impact I’m not sure but now my is past my shoulders its thinner and the curls are looser and even softer.

What advice would you give to women contemplating growing natural hair?

To any lady wanting to go natural, I suggest that she be sure that she’s are emotionally ready for the step. It may be wise to go through the transition phase for a while. During the transition stage refer to YouTube, natural hair blogs and speak to you hairdresser to acquire as much information and inspiration as possible in preparation for the Big Chop and life after it.

Naturalista Spotlight - Maria How do you feel when you see other Naturalistas?

When I see another naturalista I get excited. I feel like I’m part of this super cool group. I feel inspired and empowered to carry on my journey.

What are 5 hair items/products you can’t live without?

Mixed Chicks leave-in-conditioner, pure coconut oil, hair pins, hair bands and a stocking cap.

How can you be contacted?

I have a blog, it’s not specifically about natural hair but I have a natural hair page on it http://www.thetigertales.co.uk/ It’s called The Tiger Tales  . You can also visit me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.