Living No Lye | @MsnaturallyMary
Hi everyone!!! My name is Mary Taylor, “aka “MsnaturallyMary.” I am a southern girl, from the small state of North Carolina, who recently made Houston my home. I am a former shy girl, whose had a side kick since birth; my amazing twin sister, Martha Dove. And , Yes…..I know what you may be thinking.. Yes!! Our names are Mary and Martha…lol I always get rather interesting responses when we tell people that..(: We are both educators and each other’s best friend. We used to do everything alike. We went used to dress alike up until our Senior year of college, and we went natural around the same time. Lame! I know.. smh But, I recently separated from her for the first time after I decided to make a huge leap of faith to move all the way on the other side of the country. It was difficult to leave my sister. But, I am very driven by purpose, so I followed the leading of the Lord. I am a lover of fashion and all things natural hair! I am a vlogger/blogger learning as I go and sharing along the way. Hope that you enjoy my journey!
What are your reasons for going natural?
Before I went natural my hair was extremely damaged.. Growing up my father urged my mom not to relax me and my sister’s hair, however we grew up as most girls do, in a society that promotes long straight hair. So… the rest is history……. We also got tired of our mom braiding our hair and the pain that came with it. So we begged our parents to let us get a relaxer.. In getting a relaxer we eventually craved them more than needed.. We yearned for bone straight hair. Every time that we notice the slightest frizz or naps lol, we wanted to get our hair relaxed.. In doing that our hair became pretty brittle, broken off, and began thinning really bad over time.
While in college, the most significant change that took place in our hair journey was deciding to get a relaxer and highlights in the same day… We spoke with a female who attended our church about our desire to get highlights, but also needing a relaxer. This individual shared with us that we could do both at same time.. Not really knowing any better we listened to her because she worked in a salon…. Needless to say, that turned out to be the worst hair related decision we ever made! We did such a disservice to our hair!!! It began falling out every time we washed it; became even more broken off, and thin.. It never reverted back no matter how much we tried.. We tried Dr. Miracle, hot oil treatments, etc.. Anything possible to grow our hair!!/But, everything failed.. Eventually we resorted to a nice sleek hair cut.. A year or so later the natural revolution began to evolve and I began watching the natural hair journeys of many YouTube vloggers. I saw the growth potential and the versatility of natural hair. So I thought why not.. I'm going to go for it
Ultimately, I went natural because I realized that the way that I was going about managing my hair was highly damaging. Really and truly, I wanted to see the growth potential that my hair could have organically. I learned through research that many of my beliefs about my hair texture was all wrong.. I didn't believe that any hair type could have the potential to have long hair, I didn't believe that all hair was good hair if properly maintained. I learned that I was ignorant to a lot as relates to my hair and through this process I was empowered to give it a shot
How did you transition (or did you BC)?
I transitioned for about 6 months and big chopped in the bathroom of my sister’s home after going to dinner with her and her husband. It was on April 14, 2012. I recall having a conversation over dinner with the two of them about going natural and deciding that night that I would do it. Her husband embraced the idea of my sister going natural. He shared with the both of us that we are beautiful, and that whoever I am meant to be with, would embrace my hair in whatever state it was in.
I was super nervous about the whole idea of cutting off all my hair! Prior to this event, I said I would never ever big chop. I felt that women who big chopped were super brave and that I just didn't have the courage to do so. I just could not envision myself with such short hair. I felt that others would look at me funny or that it would reduce my chances of being able to find love. However, that evening, I don't know what came over me.. I somehow just picked up the scissors and went to work. And Believe it or not, I thought that my texture would be amazing! Remarkable even.. Especially after following several YouTube vloggers journey who had also big chopped and seeing how curly and voluminous their hair was. Well, mine was the exact opposite. After, I cut my hair I could not figure out how to get it curly.. My hair was also very dry. It felt like a Brillo soap pad. lol I had no idea what to do with it! It was too short to do a twist out or anything because I only had about an inch of hair..
Having to go to work the next morning was the scariest thing ever! The thought of having to stand in front of my students or even pass my colleagues in the hall made me very nervous. I thought, what have I done?? How will I ever overcome this? And the next day… Boy, did I get looks. I remember one of my students saying “ Ms. Taylor, Why did you cut your hair?? You look like a boy!” So, of course, my already bruised self esteem at the time, was even more blemished. That same day I called a friend to beg her to install braids in my hair! I got those installed, wore them for about a month and continued to wear protective styles such as weave throughout the beginning stages of my journey. Although my hair is longer now, I still opt to wear protective styles to preserve as much length as possible.
What emotional struggles, if any, have you faced since going natural?
My biggest emotional struggle was doing the big chop.. I had never had extremely short hair. So that was new to me. I was self- conscious about my short hair when I first cut it. I felt as though I looked like a boy and would possibly be mistaken for a lesbian. lol I was able to overcome my fears because I have great friends (guy friends). They encouraged and motivated me throughout the process. My brother in law was the first to sit down with me and my sister about going natural. He gave his thoughts and expressed how it would be a good move for us. Two of my other male friends, which I’ve known since college, also let me know know that I am beautiful in any form, and that I could definitely rock the natural look in any stage. So eventually I began to embrace it. Soon after I big chopped, I began to notice many others in my small town having the motivation to do it as well.
In addition to the big chop, another emotional struggle was my hair texture. Sometimes I have a love/ hate relationship with my hair. It can be so difficult to manage at times and uncooperative, to say the least. There are many moments that I wish I had 3c with a mix of 4a hair….I absolutely love that combination!! It’s so ideal! But, I’ve learned to embrace the kinks God gave me, with all their quirks..(:
What's your go-to style?
I’ve really been enjoying perm rod sets lately. But, I still enjoy a good twist out and high puff.
What’s your favorite product and why?
My hair requires thick/ moisturizing products. The products listed below meet my moisture needs, and they are affordable, which is always a plus!
Some of my favorite products are as follows:
Favorite oils: Olive oil and castor oil.
Conditioners: Tresemme naturals conditioner because it doesn’t have silicones and Hello Hydration by Herbal Essence, which is very moisturizing.
Leave in conditioners: Cantu Shea Butter Leave in Conditioner and Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Leave in.
Styling products for twist outs and braid outs: Cantu Shea Butter Coconut curling cream, As I am double butter, Lotta body Moisturize Me milk, Au Natural coil Souffle , and eco styler gel.
What piece of advice would you share with someone who is just starting out?
To anyone that is considering going natural or is a newly natural, I’d say “You are fearfully and wonderfully made!” Embrace your natural texture no matter how loose or tightly coiled your curls may be; or even how straight or coarse your texture. Good hair is healthy hair. Eliminate the societal ideals of what good hair is, or even what beauty is for that matter. Let your perspective be based on what your creator says about you rather than the opinions of others! During this process, be patient. Rome was not built over night. With that in mind, your hair also needs time to produce the desired results, whatever they may be. Give your hair the time and attention it needs and it will grow healthy and beautiful! It will also surprise you in its length potential.”