My name is Mariah Perryman, I am from St. Louis, MO, and I am a teacher and co-owner of an upcoming natural cosmetics line called Zola's Glory.
How long have you been natural?
I have been natural since 2003. I was natural before that as well, but my mom's arthritis hindered her from braiding my hair so she decided to put a relaxer in my hair. The chemicals caused my hair to break off horribly so in 2003 I began my own natural journey.
Why did you decide to loc your hair?
Honestly, I LOVE long hair. My hair always seemed to stop growing when it got to my shoulders no matter what. In 2006 when I was a sophomore in high school I began working at a boutique and the owner had these long blonde locs down to her waist (little did I know they were actually loc extensions). I always referred to her as the loc Beyoncé lol. So anyway, she was a loctician and she taught me how to start and maintain locs too, so shortly after I decided to loc my own hair.
How did your friends/family react to you locking your hair?
My mom told me I'd never get a "real" job. My grandmother referred to my locs as "those things in my head." My high school sweetheart broke up with me because he said I would look like a "dike." Had I not had enough confidence, self love, and courage at the time, I would have let those influential people in my life make me feel as though I was making the wrong choice.
What is your hair regimen? Favorite hair products?
I wash and re twist my hair every 4-6 weeks with the shampoo from my cosmetics line, which is my favorite product. The only time I use conditioner is when I color my hair. I don't like to use conditioner because it makes my locs soft and break off in thin areas. I retwist my hair with coconut oil, undiluted setting lotion, or Eco Style black castor and flaxseed oil gel. If my hair needs shine, I use coconut or olive oil.
How does your hair affect your career/lifestyle?
I've never had an issue in my career, just a lot of questions and attempts at touching my hair from white people. As far as my lifestyle goes, having locs is super low maintenance for me, so I'm able to focus on more important things and not have to worry about a demanding hair routine or failed hairstyle attempts holding me back.
What is your favorite locstyle, or protective hairstyle?
I love just wearing my hair straight down or in a low ponytail. My favorite protective style is rope twists.
How do you manage to retain length/moisture?
I honestly feel like my hair still grows slow, but it's healthy so that's what really matters to me. So I retain length by not over-washing and twisting my hair and I moisturizer with coconut and olive oil.
What advice can you give those who are thinking about locking their hair?
Do not loc your hair if you're worried about the opinions of others or if you're one who likes to change their hair often. Once your hair is locked, it becomes harder to mask the locs under other styles such as braids, weaves, and wigs and they can damage your hair if done too often. Locking your hair is a unique process so while others' locs can be inspiring, no 2 sets will be the same.
Would you like to add anything else?
If you are locked, natural, permed, or other, be on the lookout for my cosmetics line that will be available in a few months. The YouTube, Instagram, twitter, and Facebook pages are @zolasglory and the website is www.zolasglory.com.
Are you on social media?
My personal Instagram is @m_alex_p