*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
M: Hello, all. My name is Maiya. I am a 25-year-old Maryland resident and native. I am a hair apprentice with the goal of becoming a hair care professional who is able to care for all hair types with a focus on naturally curly hair. I have also set goals to use my background in Biology and Chemistry (what I went to college for) to create natural hair care products and to own my own natural hair salons.
How long have you been natural?
M: I have been natural for 4 years.
How and why did you transition into natural hair?
M: I transitioned for about 5 months with braids and weaves. This was my 3rd and final time going natural and this time it just clicked. I went natural because I realized I didn’t need a relaxer. I’d see pictures of myself as a young girl with huge, long, thick, beautiful curls and knew that is how I was meant to be.
What are your must-have products for shampooing, conditioning and styling your hair?
M: I no longer use shampoo. I only cowash and my hair has benefited greatly. I use Aussie Moist and Tresemme Naturals Conditioner to cowash and condition. I like to mix extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and castor oil for hot oil treatments and daily moisturizing.
I was a faithful user of the Shea Moisture line for styling, but my coworker introduced me to Hairvèda and Qhemet Biologics products and I’ve fallen in love! Particularly with the Hairvèda Vatika Frosting and Qhemet Biologics Aethiopika Hydrate and Twist Butter.
Tell us about your hair color?
M: My hair is currently dark brown with dark and light copper, and blonde highlights. It was done professionally by my coworker. Last summer and fall, I dyed my hair red myself with box color and I want to advise people against self-dying. It is very difficult to correct box dye so please, if money is what you are concerned about, save if you want to get color. It’s best to start off getting professional color than having to gradually correct box color which means more visits, which = more money! My hair texture has not changed. My curls are still in tact. But my hair is dryer and that is normal for hair that has been lightened. But with upping deep conditioning and daily moisturizing, it can be soothed.
What is your signature hairstyle?
M: My signature hairstyle is a blown out twist out or blown out braid out. No, I’m not afraid of heat damage because I do many things to ensure the health of my hair. 1. I deep condition and give myself a hot oil treatment EVERY time I wash my hair. 2. I make sure to do protein treatments about once every 2 months. 3. I apply a heat protectant to my hair every time I blow it out. 4. I put my blow dryer on low heat. 5. I only blow my hair out like once a month.
Did going natural affect your style choices at all?
M: Going natural did not affect my style choices. I’ve always been pretty carefree and “if I like it, I wear it!” with my style. Since going natural, my style has been enhanced, but nothing negative or drastic.
How would you describe your personal style?
M: People tend to call me vintage and I’m always asked if I’m from New York, which is a compliment to me because I LOVE NY and want to live there. But as stated in my previous answer, I wear what I want! I tend to frequent thrift stores and consignment shops and I often tweak the things I purchase to fit my figure. I’m all about enhancing what you naturally have and flattering your body type.
Wear what makes you feel good. Wear what makes you confident. But it is important to flatter your figure as opposed to adhering to the current trends. Don’t be afraid to alter something to fit your curves. It makes all the difference.
What are the three favorite things in your closet?
M: Oh, goodness! Just 3? Well, I’ll narrow it down to 3 categories mostly purchased at thrift stores. I’m a tall girl — 5’10. So finding long pants is hard. Category 1 would be my premium denim collection because I can often find them in long lengths and they are of good quality. Seven Jeans, Joe’s, Citizen, etc. And remember I said that I frequent consignment shops so I have never paid more than $40 for an authentic pair of jeans. Category 2 would be my collection of handbags. I have found so many cute purses at thrift stores! And a nice bag can tie any outfit together. Lastly, category 3 would be my collection of jewelry. I LOVE earrings! The bigger the better! Especially with natural hair. It gives a nice regal feel. Very Queen Sheba, Queen Nefertiti-esque. Because we are all queens!