1. What's your name and where are you from?
Hi!! My name is Mary Taylor aka “MsNaturallymary” on most of my social media (: I am a North Carolina Native who has recently made Houston, Texas my home.
2. What is your hair type?
I believe I am a 4b.
3. When did you go natural and what made you do it?
I actually transitioned for about 6 months and big chopped in the bathroom of my sister’s home after going to dinner with her and her husband. It was on April 14, 2012. I recall having a conversation over dinner with the two of them about going natural and deciding that night that I would do it. Her husband embraced the idea of my sister going natural. He shared with the both of us that we are both beautiful, and that whoever I am meant to be with, he will also embrace my hair in whatever state it is in.
I was super nervous about the whole idea of cutting off all my hair! Prior to this event, I said I would never ever big chop. I felt that women who big chopped were super brave and that I just didn't have the courage to do it. I, also could not envision myself with such short hair. I felt that others would look at me funny or that it would reduce my chances of being able to find love. However, that evening, I don't know what came over me.. I somehow just picked up the scissors and went to work. And Believe it or not, I thought that my texture would be amazing! Remarkable even.. Especially after following several youtube vlogger’s journey who had also big chopped… Seeing how curly and voluminous their hair was.. I thought mine would look the same…. Well, mine was the exact opposite. lol After, I cut my hair I could not figure out how to get it curly.. My hair was also very dry. It felt like a Brillo soap pad. lol I had no idea what to do with it…It was too short to do a twist out or anything because I only had about an inch of hair.. I remember panicking…
Having to go to work the next morning was the scariest thing ever! The thought of having to stand in front of my students or even pass my colleagues in the hall made me very nervous. I thought, what have I done?? And the next day… Boy, did I get looks. I remember one of my students saying “ Ms. Taylor, Why did you cut your hair?? You look like a boy!” So, of course, my already bruised self esteem at the time, was even more blemished. That same day I called a friend to beg her to install braids in my hair! I got those installed, wore them for about a month and continued to wear protective styles such as weave.
4. What was the most challenging thing about going natural?
The unknown… Not know how I’d like it, what my texture would be, and how others would respond to this new look.
5. What is your weekly regimen?
I currently wash every one to two weeks. I always deep condition when I wash my hair. Wash day at a glance consists of washing my hair with apple cider vinegar, co-washing with Herbal essence hello hydration and deep conditioning with a mixture of hello hydration, an egg, olive oil, and honey. My hair loves it! I actually have not been wearing my hair out that much lately. I’ve been on a protective style challenge for the last 5 months. I just recently began to wear my hair out again for the holidays and sometimes on the weekends. But, I will continue
protective style with wigs. My go to style as of late has been a twist and curl when my hair is out.
6. What is your daily morning regimen?
Because I am in protective style mode, it is very basic.. I take down the two flat twists I did in the front the night before, give my wig a good shake and proceed to blend lol Protective styling has made my life pretty easy and my units have become my best friends (:
7. What is your daily night time regimen?
At night, I simply remove my unit, spray a mix of water and aloe vera juice on my hair that will be under the wig cap on a daily basis, and apply coconut oil. I try to really focus on my ends during this process. As far as my leave out goes, I spray the mix of water and aloe vera juice on my hair, apply coconut curling cream, along with olive oil eco styler gel, do a flat twist on each side, wrap my hair with a satin scarf and I’m ready for bed.
8. Do you use heat on your hair at all?
Using heat on my hair is very rare. I got my first professional flat iron last year on my birthday, which was in july and I have not used heat since then; until maybe december when I did a blow out.
9. Do you braid your hair? If so, how often do you do so in a year?
Although, I have worn braids at the beginning of my journey, I typically wear Marley twists as a protective style, which I do myself. The only time I braid my hair is when I’m attempting to do a braid out or when I’m feeling lazy after washing my hair and decide to do two large braids to wear under my units.
10. Wide-tooth comb or Denman brush?
I’d have to say wide tooth comb. Although I use a denman from time to time, I don’t use it often as it causes a great deal of friction, which can contribute to breakage..
11. Is your hair normally loose or in a protective-do?
Definitely in a protective do. Although I love loose styles, I have a hair goal in mind, so I am doing what’s necessary to achieve that goal.
12. Have you ever had a hair tragedy? What was it? How did you recover from it?
OK. I’m actually a bit afraid to admit this. But, early in my journey I had a rather interesting experience with nail glue. As I stated earlier, I did a great deal of protective styling very early in my journey. When I say protective styling, I am referring to wearing braids and weaves. I actually never used to wear weave prior to my natural hair journey. Therefore, I was a novice to all the ins and outs of installing weave. Well, I was planning to do a u part wig, with a closure that would be glued on to my hair. I had gone to the beauty supply store to purchase hair and all the materials needed to begin this project. I asked the clerk for hair glue and I trusted that’s what I was given. So I got home and I was super excited about attempting this process. I had watched a really good tutorial on the install and felt liberated that I was going to be doing it for my first time. Thankfully, the hair glue was only intended for the closure area. Well, I completed the part and was in the process of doing the closure.. I felt really good about it until one of my friends, who had soon arrived for a rehearsal that we were having at my sisters house, entered the bathroom, picked up the bottle and said “Uummm Mary, do you realize you are putting nail glue in your hair??” I thought, Oh my Lord!! I panicked. I was so excited and also oblivious, that I didn't even read the bottle. I trusted that the clerk gave me what I needed.. After all.. I had never dealt with weave or any products related to having weave.. I felt like an idiot to say the least.. Our rehearsal turned into a session or everyone helping to figure out how to remove the nail glue out of my hair. That was the worst experience ever. I never did that again.
13. What's your biggest tip for maintaining healthy or long hair?
I believe that protective styling has been my saving grace. Almost 70% of my journey has included protective styling. I also try my best to make sure that my hair is well moisturized. I do believe that my hair could be much longer after 2 yrs and 8 months. Especially after observing the journey of other naturals.. But, I have to remind myself that everyone’s hair doesn't grow at the same pace. But, I believe diet and exercise would really benefit my hair more. I plan to include that a lot more in year 3. Also, patience and some good old TLC (tender love and care).
14. Where can we find you online? (blog, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc).
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