My curls, kinks and coils make me proud and I seem to have confidence in how it and I look. I also seem to have reconnected with my African side even more after going back natural. I can’t really explain it, all I can say is I LOVE my hair.
Our feature today is Marianne, she runs Mai Curls, a blog where she shares her experience with natural hair , identity as well as numerous DIY hair and skin care recipes. After being natural for about four years, she made the decision to become more conscious about what she used on her hair and skin. After ditching many store bought products, she began her journey with DIY, describing it as a problem, but a problem that she very much welcomes, embraces and enjoys. Marianne also uses her blog to connect with other natural hair bloggers, connecting the natural hair community from all over the world online as well as highlighting businesses that cater to natural hair care. She very graciously featured AJANI Handmade as this week’s Mai Curls spotlight feature. Based in the middle east, we love that we were able to connect with another natural thousands of miles away! Read ahead and get to know more about Marianne!
Tell us about yourself…
Hi! My name is Marianne, I am German/Nigerian currently living in the Middle East and I am a Marketing Manager in the Travel and Tourism Industry.
How did you fall into wearing your hair in its natural state?
I actually decided to go back natural for two main reasons: first I got sick of my damaged relaxed hair that was in such bad shape. It was super thin and oddly coloured due to the fact that I was also using chemical hair dyes. The second reason was because I absolutely loved how healthy my younger sister’s hair looked after she got rid of her relaxed ends and stopped using relaxers. I decided I wanted to do the same and started to transition by mind 2009 to about mid 2010 by trimming my ends as my hair grew out.
The overall perception of others in regards to my hair has always been positive. My family were very supportive, my parents actually never wanted me to relax my hair in the first place so when I decided I wanted to go back natural they were all for it. My friends were positive too, so along as I was happy they were too. It was more a personal struggle in the beginning because I didn’t know what I was doing. All I knew is I wanted to stop using relaxers but I was naive and never researched what to do and how to take care of my hair. I was walking blindly my first year natural and almost caved when I stumbled upon a few natural hair blogs and YouTube videos. They are what saved my hair! After the research, trial and error, product obsessions etc I started to learn about MY hair and it started to thrive. I was sold!
Has wearing your hair differently impacted your confidence in any way?
My curls, kinks and coils make me proud and I seem to have confidence in how it and I look. I also seem to have reconnected with my African side even more after going back natural. I can’t really explain it, all I can say is I LOVE my hair. I am also really proud when I see other naturals rocking their hair. It makes me happy to see others embrace their true natural side.
What does your natural hair regimen look like?
I basically make 95% of what I use on my hair myself, so I try to keep my routine simple. I use Shikakai to cleanse once every two/three weeks depending on how much products I use and clarify with Apple Cider Vinegar every week. I Deep Condition once a week, do a protein Deep Condition every five weeks and I use henna at least once a month (but I am trying to increase that since it does wonders for my hair.) I moisturize my hair at least 2 times a week at night and will co-wash when I need to since I workout.
Have you always dabbled in DIY hair care recipes?
No not always, I turned to my DIY-Junkism after 2 years of product obsessions and trial and error. I really got into it by the end of 2013.
How did you learn to do DIY hair and beauty care?
By trial and error and research. I did A LOT of research and keep a hair diary where I write down recipes I find and note down things I try and how my hair feels afterwards. I LOVE experimenting so the whole mixing process is actually relaxing for me and gives me a chance to learn more about my hair.
Would you recommend it for other naturals?
Absolutely! It is really liberating. I love knowing exactly what I am applying on my hair and this actually lead me to make DIY skin care mixes too. You get to use ingredients you know your hair likes so you are in control of everything.
What tips would you give those thinking about wearing their hair in its natural state?
Start off small. Do not try to do something requiring a lot of ingredients so you are not overwhelmed and write down everything you do, everything! You don’t want to make large batches of mixes unless you have proper preservatives otherwise you end up wasting your products and most importantly have fun with it!
Anything to add?
I would like to thank AJANI Handmade for the opportunity to share my story. I love reading about other naturals and think it is a great learning and sharing experience so Thank You!
To read our Spotlight feature on Marianne’s blog as well as get numerous recipes skincare hair care, food recipes and work out routines, check out her blog: Mai Curls
All pictures courtesy of Marianne at Maicurls.wordpress.com