Fro feature: Magical Messy merls

It’s like I get a buzz whenever I see/read or interact with another natural.

First I stare. I really drink how gorgeous they are (and I know it’s not acceptable but I can’t help myself… It’s impossible for me to look away) and then I marvel at how this hair “really suits” whoever the person is. Like they were meant to have this hair…

And then I get excited. I imagine their hair journey and the paradigm shifts that led them to this point.  I wonder if their hair decision was anything like mine. Sometimes I awkwardly say hello (Like that one time I met Wisaal in Kauai in the CBD and of course I literally said: “I stalk you on insta – k thanks bye”. I know right – how mortifying!) other times I keep my distance and promise to say hello next time.

One thing that stays constant is my sheer delight to see another person accept themselves for who they really are!

Several months back, I interacted with a fellow natural who was giving me so much love on Instagram… Marlene I see you girl and I thank you for the insta love! It makes me feel hard vet. As a result, I stalked her page, read her blog and promptly decided I was going to feature her on my blog.

Today is that day

Meet Marlene aka Magical Messy Merls


Tell me about yourself – describe yourself just using nouns

My name is Marlene. Wife, mother, entrepreneur, and coffee- drinker.


Why did you go natural? Was it a sudden realization or did you always know you wanted to embrace your hair naturally?

I got the aha moment a few months after losing 20kg’s. I decided I wanted to be mindful of what I put in my body as well as my hair and skin.

weight loss

Was there ever a point where you regretted gong natural? What helped you push through?  Was your family/friends/boyfriend supportive?

Not at all. My soft coils that spiraled out of my scalp is what helped me to push through. I honestly didn’t want to squeeze into society’s mould anymore. Some of my family members were a bit skeptical but they soon got over it. My husband loves my natural hair.


How long are you natural for? Walk us through what your hair journey has been like…

I’m two years and four months natural. I felt liberated when I did the Big Chop. Returning natural took me back to my roots lol…It’s been a journey of self-discovery. At the beginning of my journey I got caught up in the natural hair cycle of routines, products, methods etc. I would spend hours watching videos and tutorials about natural hair. I learned by trial and error. I learned to master what works for me.


Describe your hair in as much detail as possible (if your hair was an animal or movie character – who would it be?)

Low porosity thick, coily and kroes textured. It would definitely be Garfield – ha! My hair is so unpredictable – the more misbehaved and messy my fro became, the more I loved it in that state!


Specifically, as a coloured woman, what does the natural hair movement mean to you? Hair is currency – how have you navigated this journey in a community like ours that’s obsessed with “straight hair”? Do you think we’ve delved into the politics of black hair enough?

As a coloured woman returning to natural hair helped me to also accept my quirks and imperfections. By embracing my natural hair I’m accepting who I am completely. Being a women living in South Africa does not mean you need to conform to a certain standard.


What’s your thoughts on colourism, if any?

I think that Colourism is a bigger issue for women than for men because of beauty standards. We place so much weight on outer details, when the good stuff is inside. No matter what shade of brown you are – You are Beautiful…


The natural hair community in gowning in leaps and bound in South Africa – what’s your thoughts on this?

We are seriously on the forefront of a revolution!  The journey to self-love is a struggle but I know that in the coming years women will be wearing their natural hair with pride.



Share your favourite style?

I love twists. They are simple and so versatile. Recently I’ve been playing around with wash n go’s. I just refresh with AfroBotanics Conditioning Moisturizer in the morning and fluff. It lasts me about three days thereafter I just ‘ puff n go’. Wash n go’s are great as a low maintenance styles as well.


What’s your hair regimen like (products, methods)? What are some of your favourite products that you can’t live without?


I have a weekly regimen. I sometimes adjust my routine as my hair changes. The day before I pre- poo. I use Parachute coconut oil. This oil has the ability to penetrate the cortex of the hair. I always warm the oil first. I lightly mist my hair  with water first then apply the coconut oil. I cover with a  shower cap.
The next day I cleanse.
I cleanse  weekly – with Dudu Osun black African soap or Bentonite clay. It depends on the feel of my hair.
I co- wash weekly.  Conditioner is my boo thang -(I have a variety of conditioners not all are silicone free).
I keep my hair happy by deep conditioning every time I wash it. Our type of hair is naturally dry so using a deep conditioner every time is very important. I alternate between the banana purity deep conditioner which my hair adores. I like to play around a bit. Honey, molasses, yoghurt and coconut milk are great treatments. I cover with a  shower cap and apply heat.
I don’t detangle. I use my fingers if I must.
I do tea rinses twice a month. I try to do an ayurvedic powder treatment at least twice a month for strengthing purposes. I like to play around a bit.
I always seal my ends.  I religiously use coconut oil, almond oil, grapeseed oil, my diy amla oil and castor oil. I also do the Baggy Method quite often.
I absolutely cannot live without conditioner or Coconut oil.


Lastly one – what makes your blog unique – why should other naturalists as check your page out?

I’ve created a space that is informative and positive. What makes my blog unique is Me! I offer myself – There is plenty of room for everyone as long as we give the best of ourselves!


Author: Amy, authentically

Radio Producer. Mom. Feminist. Proudly Natural.

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