Today’s Feature Friday is a very special one–and I don’t even think she realizes it :). She was one of the very first ones who introduced me to the whole natural hair community that existed on social media. I started following her when I first got an Instagram and I remember her reposting a picture of my hair. I was sooo sooped and excited lol. She definately inspired and encouraged me. So with that said, I am so excited to be featuring her on my website that was partly encouraged by her! Plus she has amazingggg tips and advice on protective styling, retaining length, and life! Check it out :).
1. Name and where you are from:
2. Tell us about yourself!
I’ve been natural for about 6 and a half years. What made me go natural was looking at pictures of myself as a young girl and falling in love with my huge, full, perfectly curly hair. After 2 attempts to go natural, 1 after graduating from high school and 1 other time in college, I finally decided at the age of 21 that I would no longer relax my hair and I’ve been in love ever since.
I’ve nicknamed my hair Ms. Frizzle because she loves to get wild and frizzy, especially in the more humid months. I have about 3 different textures in my head which is absolutely normal for natural ladies. My loosest curls are in the very front center of my head, I’d say those curls are about a 3C in texture (if we must hair type. I don’t particularly care for the hair typing system.). My curls in the very back of my head at my nape are not as loose as the front and they are about a 4A, while the rest of my hair is the tightest and I’d say those curls are a 4B.
5. What is your natural hair regimen?
For the past 8 months, I’ve been wearing my hair in protective styles that range from Marley Twists to box braids to weave installs. I do not exceed 5-6 weeks wearing any of the above mentioned. With the twists and braids, I make sure to spray them down every other day concentrating mainly on the areas where my real hair are and my scalp with a water bottle filled with half water, half an oil (coconut or olive), and some drops of an essential oil (peppermint or tea trea). With my weave installs, every few days, I take a bottle filled with the same mixture above but I use a bottle that has a narrow applicator tip so I can get the mixture in between my cornrows and I massage my scalp. I actually wash my hair about every 2 weeks when I have my weave installed and I sit under a hooded dryer afterwards to ensure that my cornrows are dry. When I take my protective styles out, I wet my hair down and prepoo with olive oil and Suave Naturals Conditioner for about 30 minutes, then I shampoo my hair with Moroccan Oil Hydrating Shampoo and I deep condition with the Moroccan Oil Intense Hydrating Mask.
6. How do you retain your length and keep your hair healthy?
I’m retaining my length and moisture by doing these protective styles. By keeping my hands out of my hair, my hair is not only growing but it has gotten thicker as well.
7. I know you are doing a 1 Year Protective Style Challenge. What made you decide to do that?
I decided to do a 1-year protective style challenge because it felt like my hair wasn’t growing because I have serious Hands In Hair Syndrome. The truth about our hair is the less you do to it, the more it will flourish. So, by doing these protective styles, which is truly a challenge for me, it gives my hair a chance to do what it wants to do instead of doing what I want it to do.
8. What is your favorite protective style?
My favorite protective style has to be the Marley Twists. They are fairly easy to install and super easy to remove. Plus, they look like they could be my real hair. The styles one can create with them are endless.
9. What is your favorite natural hairstyle in general?
10. Who is your hair crush?
This is going to be a long list. I was 1 of those girls who would spend hours on YouTube watching natural ladies and learning from them. LongHairDontCare2011 (May your soul rest in peace.), Naptural85, My Natural Sistas, Alicia James, CharyJay, Saleemah Cartwright, BeautifulBrwnBabyDol, Africanexport, Chime Edwards, these are just a few of the ladies I subscribed to and learned from during my journey. They all have beautiful hair and I took something away from each and every one of these ladies.
11. What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned during your natural hair journey?
The greatest lesson I’ve learned is that I have to do things to make Maiya happy. That doesn’t just pertain to my hair and going natural. Sure, I had people telling me that I was crazy for chopping off my hair. Even the men in the barber shop were like, “uhhhh… Are you sure you want to cut all this hair off???” I went natural because I found beauty in that little girl in those pictures. Yes, she screamed and kicked every time she had to get her hair combed but, hey! No pain, no gain! I still wiggle a little when someone else does my hair and I’m a grown woman fighting back tears, lol. But that lesson also extended over into my professional life. I studied biology in college and had intentions on becoming a pediatrician… Until I learned that I had a natural talent and passion for hair. I went against my parents wishes and pursued a career in hair artistry and couldn’t be more happy. My mother even realizes my passion for hair and helping women and has said that she is proud of the choice I made. It is our duty to do what makes us happy. Do what feeds your spirit.
12. How would you describe your personal fashion style?
I just wear whatever I like. Fitted, baggy, cropped, mixed patterns, whatever. I love shopping at thrift stores and consignment shops because it’s always nice to find pieces that nobody else will have. Being 5’10, I’ve had 2 choices in life. Either find a way to blend in or just be yourself and stand out.
13. Where are your favorite places to shop?
As stated above, I love thrift stores and consignment shops. Thrifts stores I frequent- Value Village off 450 in Bladensburg, MD, The Salvation Army off Kennilworth Ave. in Kennilworth, MD, and Value Village/Unique Thrift off New Hampshire Ave in White Oak, Md. Consignment shops I frequent- Mustard Seed off Wisconsin Ave. in Bethesda, MD and Buffalo Exchange off 14th Street NW, Washington, DC.
14. Is there a website/blog/Twitter/Instagram where we can find you?
Unfortunately, I am a 1-social media-woman, lol. I get stressed out trying to run an Instagram, a Facebook, a Twitter, a YouTube channel, a blog… But I will be getting back on YouTube very soon and my name on there is LoveMaiCurls. I am always on Instagram and my name is MaiChickBad. And I’m actually working on developing an app. I’m pretty excited about that.
16. Is there any other advice you’d like to leave us with?