L: I go by LaMarie. I’m Black and Cape Verdean, and I was born and raised in The Big Apple of The States, New York City.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
L: Technically speaking, I’ve been “natural” my entire life. I’ve never had a relaxer, texturizer or any other permanent texture-altering treatment applied to my hair. However, about mid way through junior high, I began getting my hair professionally pressed and curled at a local hair salon about once month. This went on for a good 5 years up until my last year of high school. I became attached to the idea of having straight hair despite the fact that I never saw any significant length retention. I couldn’t even fathom daring to display my own texture, lest my society-deemed value go down a few notches. Eventually, I just got tired of the appointments, the weather dodging, the feeling of obligation, and the fear of judgment, and—without even realizing it—started my journey toward healthy hair by eliminating straightening and heat from my regimen. Not knowing what to expect, I simply decided to let go and let my strands do what they naturally did.
How would you describe your texture?
L: My hair is generally a 3c texture, but there are some variations here and there. To start with, my strands gradate from the left side of my head around to the right, from the tightest of my curls to some slightly looser ones. I have some strands that are wavy/kinky from root to almost the very end (not heat-damaged), some whirly ones that start wavy at the root and become curly from the middle onward, and even some fully coiled strands around my hairline. The actual shapes of my strands include pencil-width curls, coils about half that size, and a very rounded yet sharp zig-zag pattern. There are even some weird areas of my strands that mimic that square kink that old school telephone cords used to get in random places as they wore in. Despite my wash-n-go’s appearance, I have medium density hair inclining a bit toward the thinner side, and my strands are somewhat fine with reasonable porosity. My hair isn’t particularly unruly, but it does tangle a lot when I wear it loose for extended periods of time.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
L: In colder months I like to preserve my hair and keep my ends safe, so I protective style most of the time in simple ways like buns, roll-tuck-and-pin’s, braids, etc. When I do this, I layer products generously for moisture and security on wash day, and re-moisturize my ends with water in a spray bottle and oil when my hair feels dry. I don’t wash my hair as frequently in the Winter and Fall. In warmer months I like rocking my ‘fro as an accessory, so I do a lot of wash-n-go’s and flat-twist-outs with anywhere from 4 to 9 twists. For my wash-n-go’s I usually use Shea Moisture Kids Curling Butter Cream or Curl Enhancing Smoothie. For my twist outs I use a creamy leave in like Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream. For either style I finger-comb the products through my hair for definition and always finish with an oil. My ‘fro usually lasts me up to 5 days with fluffing before I have to detangle the un-detanglable monster it can become lol. Then I co-wash and re-style.
What does wash day look like for you?
L: I usually wash my hair about 2 to 4 times a month. I rarely shampoo, so I normally co-wash with Suave Professionals Moisturizing Almond + Shea Butter Conditioner. I detangle in four sections with a wide-tooth comb while the conditioner is in my hair. Then I rinse and deep condition with whatever’s on hand (coconut oil, a hair mask, etc.) for anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. Afterward I apply my leave-in (currently Giovanni Direct Leave-In Conditioner) and either a daily moisturizer or curl enhancing cream depending on how I plan to style my hair. Lastly I seal my ends with oil. I tend to favor extra virgin olive oil and argan oil for my hair, but I usually apply Jamaican black castor oil or coconut oil to my scalp.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
L: I almost always make time to style my hair. But on the rare occasion when I don’t, I go for a typical ballerina bun, sometimes adding a scarf for extra cuteness.
How do you combat shrinkage?
L: I don’t find the amount of shrinkage I get to be a problem for me so I just let it happen.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
L: The problem area of my life is the lower part of the back of my hair. I experience breakage there, and the hairs there are weak. I can’t seem to retain nearly as much length in that area as I do on the sides. It’s a huge frustration and I feel like it’s noticeable.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
L: Do detangle hair when wet with a slippery product. Do give hair a break from time to time.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
L: Don’t use heat if it can be avoided. Don’t forget to re-moisturize throughout the days.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
L: My natural hair/beauty/style channel on YouTube and my Instagram account are both: @SheIsLaMarie (www.youtube.com/sheislamarie) and (www.instagram.com/sheislamarie). So subscribe and follow me! ;)