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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Show Off September: Mary's Journey to Natural Hair...




NCJ: Hello Mary! Thank you so much for sharing your story, can you tell us a little about yourself?
 

Mary: I am a 28 yrs. old, small town girl that was taught at an early age not to despise humble beginnings. I have a twin sister, who is also natural and my best friend. We are singers, who have been singing since the age of 4.  We are both elementary school teachers. However, although we have been joined at the hip since we were little, it is my dream to move to a big city, switch career fields, maybe do something in fashion, be a worship leader at a church and potentially be a representative for natural hair; possibly a natural hair model. 
  
NCJ: How awesome is that?? You are a Twin and we have so much in common; we are both teachers and singers who love natural hair. I just love learning so much more about my curl friends. So, tell me about your hair before going natural. How did you feel when you first relaxed your hair. Were you frustrated with your relaxed hair?

Mary: Before I went natural my hair was extremely damaged... Growing up my father urged my mom not to relax our  hair, however we grew up as most girls do, in a society that promotes long straight hair. We also got tired of our mom always braiding our hair and all the pain that came with that. So we begged our parents to let us get a relaxer.. In getting a relaxer we eventually craved them more than needed.. We yearned for bone straight hair so everytime that we notice the slightest frizz or naps lol, we wanted to get our hair relaxed.. In doing that our hair became pretty brittle,  broken off and began thinning.. However, not extremely at first.. The most significant change that took place was deciding to get a relaxer and highlights in the same day while in college.. We spoke with a female who attended our church about our desire to get highlights, but also needing a relaxer. This individual shared with us that we could do both in the same day.. Not really knowing any better we listened to her because she worked in a salon.. That turned our to be the worst hair related decision we ever made! We did such a disservice to our hair. It began falling out every time  we washed it, became even more broken off and thin.. It never reverted back no matter how much we tried.. We tried dr. Miracle, hot oil treatments.. Anything possible to grow our hair, but it all failed.. Eventually we resorted to a nice sleek hair cut.. Later the natural revolution began to evolve and I began watching the hair journeys of many YouTube vloggers. I saw the growth potential and the versatilty of natural hair. So I thought why not.. I'm going to go for it.
NCJ: Oh no!! Not a relaxer and a color on the same day...What did you decide to do next?
Mary: I decided to go natural April 14,2012. I went natural because I realized that the way that I was going about managing my hair was highly damaging. Really and truly, I wanted to see the growth potential that my hair could have organically. I learned through research that many of my beliefs about my hair texture was all wrong.. I didn't believe that any hair type could have the potential to have long hair, I didn't believe that all hair was good hair if properly maintained. I learned that I was ignorant to a lot as relates to my hair and through this process I was empowered to give it a shot. 
NCJ: Nice, Did you slowly transition or did you do a Big Chop?
Mary: I transitioned for 6 months.. I actually didn't even know that's what I was doing at first. Shortly after my hair started growing back, after cutting my hair, I decided I didn't want to keep relaxing my hair.. I decided that I would Do something different.. I eventually began watching YouTube videos that informed me that it was actually called transitioning to natural and ways to do that! Initially I had determined that I would big chop, but simply cut my hair inch by inch as it grows.. However after a certain amount of time I got tired of the 2 different hair textures and decided to go for it.
NCJ: What was your biggest fear about going natural? How did you overcome it?
Mary: My biggest fear when going natural was the big chop.. I've never had extremely short hair so that was new to me. I was self conscious about my short hair when I first cut it. I felt as though I looked like a boy. I was able to overcome my fears because I have great friends (guy friends) that encouraged and motivated me! They let me know that I am beautiful and I could definitely Rock the natural hair in whatever stage it went through. So eventually I began to embrace it. Soon after I did it, I began to notice many others in my area also having the motivation to do it. 
NCJ: Lol at looking like a boy, I think all of us natyurals dealt with that fear. When my hair was at it shortest, earrings and bold lipsticks became my best friend. What are your favorite styles, favorite hair products and a couple of pictures of your best hair days.
Mary: My favorite styles are: twist-outs, pinned-up puff, and roll and tuck, updo's. My favorite products are beautiful textures curl control defining pudding, olive oil Eco styler gel and Murray's edge wax for my edges.
NCJ: Do you any advice for new naturals or those thinking about going natural?
Mary: The advice I'd give to a new natural is to embrace your natural tresses! You were created beautiful no matter what your hair texture! Also to be patient! Hair does grow and if you put in the time and effort it will surprise you! 

NCJ: Wonderful Advice!! What is the biggest lesson you have learned about yourself and your hair through your journey. 

Mary: I have learned that my hair doesn't make me who I am! It is only an incentive! I believe I have actually become more confident in my own skin because I have gained that awareness! I have also gained an increased amount of endurance and patience as relates to my hair.. I have faith that I will have long healthy hair, which is something I have always wanted, but never really felt that I could have.
NCJ: Beautiful!! Do you have any social forums that will allow other naturals to keep up with all of your fabulousness?

Mary: I can be found on 
Facebook: Mary Taylor
YouTube: Msnaturallymary 
Twitter: @marytaylor7
Pinterest: @msnaturallymary
Tumblr: @msnaturallymary 
Instagram: @msnaturallymary
Thanks so much Mary! You are such a sweet and gorgeous woman! I am so glad I got to know a little more about you! Keep dreaming and striving for your dreams, I know that they will come true. You are definitely another beautiful person that I have had the pleasure of showing off this September! Blessings!

Hugs and Love,
Jere'

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