What is your name and your profession?
Hello to all of you beautiful Curlies out there! My name is Marley, also known as MsThickHair. I’m currently attending college to become a Registered Nurse; although, sometimes I think that I should be a professional hairstylist because I’ve loved styling or playing with hair since I was a kid. I even use to try to style my dolls’ hair too.
Why did you go natural?
To be honest, I didn’t know what “going natural” or “transitioning” meant when I first started in the end of May of 2010. One week after my June 10th high school graduation in Florida, I was on my way to spend a little over a year with one of my elder sisters in Oklahoma. Before I went, I realized that my Mum would no longer be around to perm my hair for me and my sister did not feel comfortable doing it. At the same time, I knew I had only a certain amount of money saved up and that it would cost me less if I stopped buying relaxers. So that’s when I decided to cut the relaxers out of my budget and out of my life. Looking back now, I didn’t know how to take care of my relaxed hair anyway; it was breaking off and seemed to have shortened from chest length to chin length.
I had box braids in from the end of May until September and I would always re-braid them with the same hair. Wow, that’s about 4 months! By then, I had been living with my sister since June 17th. In September my sister came while I was re-braiding again and as she played with my new growth, she said, “Hey, Marley. Why don’t you just go natural.” What is this “natural” of which you speak?! She informed me that it’s, “When you stop getting perms and cut the relaxed ends off.” I immediately agreed and later that night, I proceeded to unravel my braids one at a time. I carefully cut off the broken, split, and heat damaged hair at the line of demarcation. When my sister came back from work, she saw my disheveled, 4 inch Afro and said, “What did you do?!” I cautiously replied, “I cut my hair off like you said.” She laughed and said, “I thought you’d transition and cut it off slowly.” How was I suppose to know? Ha ha I was so naive. Oh well, too late now, right?
How long have you been natural and when did you BC?
I’ve been natural for over 4 years; since the end of May 2010. I big chopped in September of 2010. Unfortunately, the nice lady I went to to clean up the rest of the stringy bits seemed to have cut off about 2-3 inches out of 4 inches of perfectly good natural hair! (I’m still mad about that.)
What are your staple products and hairstyles?
Right now, my staple products are coconut oil, 100% ivory Shea butter from Green Planet Organics, my fluffy whipped Shea butter and coconut oil, Garnier Fructis Pure Clean Fortifying Shampoo and Conditioner, and I’ve somewhat recently introduced a new combo which involves rice and coconut, but it’s a secret right now. I’ll reveal it later in a video.
What are your natural hair goals?
The most important goal for me is to maintain healthy hair. On my 4th year natural hair anniversary in May, I reached waist length (WL). Yay! My next goal is hip length (HL) and my ultimate goal is to reach classic length (CL)/below my butt. After that, I’ll let it grow to the floor or at least to my ankles. However long it wants to grow, I’ll let it.
How do you keep your hair intact overnight?
Both of my pillows have satin pillowcases. I always place the shiny part of my satin scarves against my hair. If I have my hair in twists or braids, I usually put them into a ponytail and tie a satin scarf around my head allowing the excess of the scarf to cover the ponytail to reduce frizz. If I’m wearing a braid out, twist out, or flat twist out, I either 1) put my hair into a pineapple with a hair tie, 2) put my hair into one or two ponytails, 3) ditch the hair tie and make a pineapple with my scarf, allowing my hair to stand up and fall forward, or 4) ditch everything, sleep on my satin pillows only, and hope for the best.
How do you maintain length?
To maintain length, I use water as my first line of defence against dryness, breaks and splits. I make sure to lock that moisture in with an oil. I also use the No Pain Rule when styling my hair. If it hurts, I stop immediately and tweak my approach. I hate regular combs and even wide toothed combs because they always manage to rip and snap my hair, so I use the Tangle Teezer Original. I’m glad Shaun Pulfrey’s created that beautiful comb because without it, my hair would seriously be one big dread lock.
I put my hair into protective styles such as braids and twists and I try to keep them in for at least two weeks at a time. I like to stay away from extensions, weaves, and dyes. The only time I detangle is during a hairstyle and never while washing, otherwise I’d have to rush through it to conserve water. I mainly style my hair while it’s wet. As a leave-in with slip when styling, I use either my conditioner, coconut oil, or my whipped Shea butter and coconut oil. Every time I style my hair, I use the Search and Destroy Method to get rid of those annoying single strand knots (SSK’s). If I come across a multi-strand knot, I gently pull on each strand individually to try to undo the knot. The only time that I cut my hair is when I directly cut off split ends or SSK’s; I don’t even do an annual trim. Lastly, if I’m in a room with a ceiling fan, I tend to put my satin scarf on to avoid premature and extreme dry-out of my hair.
Name 1 reason you went natural and why you love being natural.
I went natural because I needed to save money at the time. Some people might say that going natural still costs money and yes, it does, but my yearly cost of hair products while natural is about $65 per year as opposed to when I had relaxed hair, which cost almost $200 a year. That may not be a lot for some people, but a difference of $135 is a lot to me.
The reason why I stay natural and love being natural is because I fell in love with those cute, little, deep chocolate colored 4c, 4b, 3c spirals on my head after I washed my hair for the first time as a natural. They were so springy and shiny, I couldn’t resist having hand-in-hair syndrome. I genuinely love my curls and my natural hair journey has taught me a lot about myself and about other people too. It has opened the door for me to grow into a young woman in a different way than I had expected to. I have learned how to be more confident in myself, which was something that I never had before. I feel like being natural has allowed me to stop hiding behind the me that simply wasn’t ME. No more conforming and no more hoping and wishing for super long hair because I know I’m gonna grow it. It has allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and say, “Here I am! I laugh loudly, my body has curves, my hair is big and curly, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. I love me the way I am.” I thank God for my natural hair and thank you to all of those who have and are supporting me. Thank you all for reading my story.
Where else can we find you on the net?
You can find me most frequently on my YouTube channel here as MsThickHair and my Instagram is @msthickhair. My twitter is @msthickhair, and here is my Google+ page.