M: My name is Marenna Nicole. I’m a 26-year-old free spirit currently taking root in DC. I grew up in Michigan, but I live in DC. The job that pays my bills is in the music industry reaching out to recording artists and record labels about their digital royalties. As for my real work — I am passionate about race and diversity issues. I am actually in the process of starting up a meet up near me that will focus on learning about other cultures, exchanging dialogue and promoting racial diversity.
When did you go natural?
M: I went natural about two years ago. I was tired of having relaxed hair, of paying for relaxed hair and having my hair weak and damaged all the time. I also took on a more holistic and organic lifestyle after I lived in Austin, Texas that just naturally extended to my hair. My instinct to cleanse the chemicals from my hair came as natural as the urge to cleanse them from my body. Plus, people will tell you that my wild curls match my personality more.
In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
M: This may sound corny, but being natural has actually made me more confident. I can be a quiet wallflower sometimes, but my hair automatically forces me to stand out. It has made me aware of my individuality and how precious that can be. It has also made me take notice of other naturals! It’s like my eyes are automatically drawn to a natural head of curls when I am out and about now. I never knew there were so many different types of curls, and haircare routines and hairstyles for natural hair. I find it all lovely.
How would you describe your hair?
M: Moody! I have fine, wavy, dry hair in the back, loose curls on the sides and shiny tight curls in the front and at the ends — and that’s just on “good” days! On bad days — anything goes.
What’s your regimen?
M: I just recently (about 6 months ago) found a regimen that works great for me. I co-wash every 2–3 days with Organix Moroccan Argan Oil. I then spritz a leave-in conditioner in my hair before taking Organic Coconut Oil and lathering it all over my curls. I seal with Aloe Vera juice, define with Shea Moisture’s Curl Smoothie and style with Kinky Curly’s Curly Custard gel. It’s a lot of work sometimes, but I have seen extensive growth in my hair in this last year than I did in the year before when I didn’t have much of a routine. To make my routine a little quicker and easier, sometimes I cut out the coconut oil.
How do you retain length and moisture?
M: I sleep on a satin pillow. I also find that staying hydrated and drinking more water has helped. I haven’t really gotten into protective styling or found one that suits my hair.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
M: Oh geeze, so many mistakes. I think the worst one before I was natural was putting relaxer in it and that Pink Oil stuff. That stuff was heinous on my hair. After becoming natural, my biggest mistake has been leaving my hair in messy buns for days. My hair needs to be moisturized everyday or it gets really dry. Add a rubberband snagging at my dry hair and I end up getting really bad knots and some breakage.
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
M: Honestly, just letting it do what it wants. As long as my hair is moisturized, I let my curls go free. I don’t try to force them to do anything they aren’t trying to do on that day.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?