*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
M: I’m Mariama, born and raised in Boston. Corporate workin’ girl by day. After hours I work on brownbelle, an internationally distributed accessory brand that I started October 2010.
How long have you been natural?
M: I’ve been natural for about three years now.
How and why did you transition into natural hair?
M: I rocked a short relaxed haircut that I LOVED. But my hair was falling out, so I made the decision to go natural in order to preserve my hairline. I tried to transition with braids and weaves for a month or two, but I hated it and just cut all my hair off.
What are your must‐have products for shampooing, conditioning and styling your hair?
M: I love Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Castile Soap to clarify. Year round if I’m not clarifying I like Shea n’ Honey Shampoo from Butters and Bars (http://www.butters-n-bars.com/shshamp-01.html) and Giovanni Deep Moisture Shampoo. Since my hair is on the thinner side, I find that washing once a week especially in the summer time is a necessity.
I try to deep condition every week with Natural Girls Rock Deep SOULutions Deep Conditioner or a mixture of BASK Y.A.M. Nectar Intense Honey Hair Nourisher and Cacao Bark Deep Conditioning Hair Treat. When I don’t deep condition my two favorite conditioners at the moment are TRESemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner and L’Oreal Ever Crème Conditioner.
After conditioning I use Giovanni Direct Leave‐in, Kinky Curly Knot Today or sometimes I use TRESemme Naturals as a leave‐in and seal with olive oil or Oyin Burnt Sugar Pomade. I then twist out or braid out with Eco Styler Gel.
What is your signature hairstyle?
M: My signature style is a fro. I generally don’t do styles because I don’t have the patience for them and I never end up liking them as much as my loose curls.
Did going natural affect your style choices at all?
M: Not at all, I think my hair accentuates my style, but then again afros are like leopard print. They go with everything!
How would you describe your personal style?
M: I wear a lot of bold prints and some may label my style as Afrocentric, but I also make and wear bow ties for brownbelle, which can be very preppy. So I guess I’m Afro‐prep!
What are the three favorite things in your closet?
M: Anything leopard print. My chambray denim collared shirt from H&M, and my Steven Madden for LF limited addition black and white tribal print platform sandals.