M: My name is Marva and I’m from London, England. My parents are from the wonderful little island of St. Kitts in the Caribbean.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
M: My last relaxer was in 2003. I turned to the relaxer in secondary school. I believe I was trying to conform to a standard of beauty in which the longer and more straight the hair, the more attractive the person. Oh how wrong I was! When I started university I decided to colour it and cut it all off. I then went through a variety of short natural and relaxed hairstyles for around 5 years. In 2003 I went to a friend’s hairdresser for a relaxer. She refused and said my natural hair is more beautiful than any relaxed hair could be. I said prove it! She started doing my hair and transitioned me to shoulder length natural hair with roller sets, weaves and braids by 2005.
However, from then I always wore my hair straight. I mean religiously! I had found a new hairdresser who roller set and blow dried my hair to perfection. Everyone presumed the flowing tresses were relaxed because the hair was….how do you say? Laid to the gods? In reality I still hadn’t fully embraced my hair. It just felt too difficult and too time consuming. In 2007 I got a real desire for my natural texture. Also I got fed up of paying £50/$80 every time I did my hair. I was 27 at the time and working in a fairly rigid environment, so the journey of understanding what the heck to do with my mop was quite challenging and frustrating. After the excessive blow drying my natural hair was limp and lifeless; something I never noticed because someone else was always doing my hair. I started really taking care of my hair and youtubing like a mad woman. I also vowed never to have my hair styled in a salon again and I haven’t since autumn 2007 – time has flown!
How would you describe your texture?
M: My texture is predominately 3b/c. It is fine, but dense/thick. I used to lament my little hairs falling out, but I can’t worry about maintaining every little strand in perfect condition.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
M: Now I have to say some of the ladies on BGLH are pretty awesome when it comes to styling. I wish I could do more but the truth is there are 3 styles I’ve accomplished; WnG, twist out and bun/single braid. I’ve had a funny journey with WnGs. I’ve gone from hating them to loving them. This is down to the use of good products and simple styling techniques. After I wash and condition my hair I split it into four sections. To each wet section I add a 50p (quarter) size of Kinky Curly Knot Today leave in and smooth it from root to tip using flat palms…lots of smoothing in the section to make my curls clump. I then add Shea Moisture Curl and Style Milk and yes you guessed it…more excessive smoothing. I finally add sweet almond, camellia or jojoba oil to seal. I do this to all sections and leave to dry with no touching. It’s very quick and easy. This will last me 4–5 days.
When it looks birds nest-ish I dampen with water and reapply the same products (minus excessive smoothing) and make 5 twists. I leave these to dry overnight and in the morning I’ll separate and shake for my twist out. This will last another 4–5 days and then I wash it. In the event that I really can’t be bothered I’ll either bun or do a single braid on damp hair with the same products as above. Once in a while I’ll straighten with flat irons after tension blow drying. Although there are a fair few pictures of my hair straight-ish, the majority of the time my hair is in a WnG or twist out.
What does wash day look like for you?
M: Wash day starts the night before – my husband calls it overnight marinating – just like you do with chicken (lol). I apply an oil mix to my scalp, finger detangle with coconut oil and apply Aubrey Organics GPB Conditioner or Shea Moisture Anti-Breakage Masque to my length and cover with cling film (Saran Wrap). In the morning I gently detangle with a wide tooth comb and split my hair into four sections. I do everything from this point in sections – sections save me from tearing my hair out. I wash each part with Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo and Shea Moisture CoWash Conditioning Cleanser, apply Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner and work my way round. Once the conditioner is rinsed out I spray ACV rinse and then proceed to style.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
M: My regime keeps the time I spend on my hair to a minimum. I like the slightly disheveled look, so unless it’s straight it always looks carefree.
How do you combat shrinkage?
M: I don’t mind shrinkage at all – it’s like the 8th wonder of the world.
Tell us about your hair color?
M: I love coloured hair and have always had it done professionally. I had t‑section highlights for years, first in caramel blond and then red. This was done at Toni and Guy. I then grew this out and dyed it a rich mahogany brown with Aveda in 2010. When this grew out I started to get the itch for red again and went to Aveda in August 2013 to get the colour I am now. I have to say this is by far the nicest shade of red I’ve had. The highly skilled technician knew what I wanted and more. Although it’s expensive it’s worth it as I get the vivid results I desire. I should mention that I never have my hair styled in these salons – I did once and left looking like a haggard lion. I leave with lightly towel dried hair and style at home. I should also mention I do not use any particular products to maintain my colour and my texture has not changed as a result or colouring. My regime allows me to maintain healthy hair. Overnight deep conditioning is all I really need.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
M: During the winter my scalp can become dry, so oiling my scalp is important.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
M: Overnight conditioning and applying product generously to my ends when styling.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
M: Do not ever go more than 5 days without restyling, otherwise detangling is torturous. Also, I don’t go to bed without my trusted pineapple to maintain my curlies.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
M: You can find me on Instragram @marvadlcs. It’s an outlet for my style and love for art and architecture. Hopefully I’ll see some of you there!