This young lady I’m about to interview is a God fearing woman with a BEAUTIFUL personality which transcends to her outer beauty. I met her back in 2010 (I believe) while I was attending UWI in Barbados. We met on the UWI Shuttle one day and I just knew she was Antiguan (accent and all). Can’t believe I’ve never met her personally before. Seen her around you know, but never actually interacted with her. She’s a DIVA. And I admire the way she carries herself. Well, first thing I noticed about her is that she’s natural just like me and every time I see her she’s rocking a different, cute hairstyle. So let’s get to know her better….
IGC: Please introduce yourself and tell us how long you’ve been natural.
Heeeyyy!!! 🙂 My name is Maricia Samuel. I’m a teacher and a counselor and I have been natural for about 1yr 9 months.
IGC: Why did you make the decision to return natural?
Actually, I’m an individual who is in love with my hair and I enjoy having different things done to it. I have coloured, bleached, permed, weaved, cut, had extensions and grown my hair. I’ve done the full cycle – natural – relaxed/permed and have gone natural again. The only thing that I’ve never had done to my hair is the Jheri curls, which I have not regretted – lol.
I had healthy, medium length relaxed hair for a bit until they started to break in the middle of the head. I decided to sport one of my iconic short hair cuts – I love short hair cuts!!! Realizing how expensive this venture was to maintain, I decided to go back to my roots, hoping to save some money in the process.
IGC: Did you big chop or transition? Tell us a little about your decision.
I transitioned into the natural hair from the short hair cut hairstyle. Initially, several individuals helped me braid/weave the permed short hair: Judith Barry, Ousha James, Kim Jacobs and Terry-Ann Roberts. They helped me to start the transition process. Let me take the opportunity to publicly thank them for such a great start.
IGC: Name 3 things you love about your hair.
I love the fact that my hair has curls – as uneven as they may be – lol, the texture of my hair and its versatility!!!!! 🙂
IGC: Please elaborate a little bit about your hair routine?
My routine is quite simple. I wash them every two weeks. After shampooing, I use using deep conditioner, leave in hair repair treatment, oils, hair and scalp conditioner and gel (when necessary).
I normally would keep my hair plait for at least a week and if it’s a style that I love I would usually use water, one of the oils, Olive Oil for dry thirsty hair to freshen the plaits. Most of my styles are protective styles, where I ensure that my ends are moisturized and tucked under from the elements. Occasionally, I would free the hair a bit in some updos.
IGC: What are your favorite products to use on your natural tresses?
Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil (for dry thirsty hair), Doo Gro Mega Thick Growth Oil, Olive Oil, Hask Placenta (no rinse), TCB Hair and Scalp Conditioner, VO5 Repair and Protect Strengthening Shampoo, Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Nourishing Sheen Spray, Organic Root Stimulator Hair Mayonnaise a little bees wax and Ampro Protein Gel are some of my favourite products.
IGC: In viewing your photos I see that you’re very creative with your hair. Do you have a stylist or do braid yourself?
A matter of fact, I am my own hairstylist and I take pleasure in it!!! Persons tend to have “a jaw drop moment” when I tell them that I am my own hairstylist. YouTube and Essence magazine are my friends and so I keep them very close to me. I usually keep a file of some fun, funky, classy hair styles I come across and I try to replicate and or customize to my taste. Styling my hair takes hours but it’s worth it!!
IGC: Has natural hair influenced your sense of style and fashion differently?
Hmmm!!!! Has it really? I’d say yes! Some funky/classic hairstyles go well with certain outfits, as a result my hair has influenced my sense of style. Many times, I try to visualize how an outfit would match a particular hairstyle. My mood would also determine the hairstyle and the outfit.
IGC: What was your proudest natural hair moment?
Wow!! Pulling back my hair in a pony tail or up in one would be my proudest natural hair moment.
IGC: I see you rocking a color. Do you see/feel a diference in the texture of your hair? How do you maintain the color and do you plan on keeping it in for extended periods?
Yeah!!! Before the color, I had the ends of my hair bleached (it has a bright orange colour) which I love!!! Consequently, the bleached hair motivated me to colour my entire head.
On the 1st of March 2012, for the first time I coloured it!! I was so disappointed – it was suppose to be a vibrant orange colour and it wasn’t. Although the results were not to my expectation, I have grown to love the mild brown colour around my hairline. The texture initially was softer than before. Honestly, I really don’t see or feel a difference since I’ve coloured it, but knowing its colour made me more cognizant of the fact that the hair needs to be moisturized more than usual.
IGC: Have you ever regretted your decision to return natural? If so, why and how did you cope?
Nahhh!!!!!!! Regret is not in my vocabulary when it comes to my natural hair. A matter of fact, I’m seeing myself sporting my natural hair for a long time and I have the best of two worlds. By this I mean, I can have the straightened look when I think I’d like a change, without making that permanent commitment to the straightened look!! –via weaving and braiding. Now how many relaxed sisters can say they can have the best of both worlds? Really?
IGC: Once you decided to return natural did you get a lot of negative responses from your family and friends? If so, how did you cope?
I got some negative responses initially, however those who know me are aware that I am my own individual. I appreciate their opinion, because everyone is entitled to theirs. I like what I like and I do me!! My husband is so wise – he always says to me that he will never get involved with a black woman and her hair. He loves my hair natural for a number of reasons – lol!! But seriously, persons now seeing how I maneuver my hair have grown to love it and send the appropriate comments my way!
IGC: What advice do you have for other women who are considering embarking upon a natural hair journey?
If you’re thinking of starting the natural hair journey – GO FOR IT!!!!
Maricia, thank you so much for taking the time out to chit chat with me. Your personality is magnetic. I’m a big fan of your hair and the creative styles you rock. We’ll check back with you in about a year to see your hair progress.