"My mum was sure Asa was a bad influence." Mane Matters with Maryanne Ogunleye

Can you tell us who you are and what you do?
Officially, I'm Maryanne Ogunleye but friends call me Deola. I'm a Law Student in. I'm an Ijebu girl who's been living in Lagos for most of her existence. I love trying out new foods, music and creative arts. I BC'd last week of October 2013. So my mane is about a year and three weeks old. She's a type 4C and a little over 5 inches.

What's your thoughts about natural hair?
It's so pretty :-D. Natural hair takes whatever form you want. It's versatile plus it has an attitude of its own.

Why did you decide to go natural?
I was tired of my neck length hair.  A friend introduced me to a Ghanaian Hair stylist that treats hair in Dugbe market. He is a biochemist so he knows his stuff. I embarked on a six weeks hair treatment. He treated my hair with eggs, onion juice, tomato juice, his DIY deep conditioner and creams etc. He used onions for my edges. The result was awesome; my hair was shiny and I was starting to see my edges grow. But he was expensive, so I went on the Internet and tapped into the awe of the natural hair community. That's when it hit me, "Why not start from scratch?"

With relaxed hair
Did you do a BC or you transitioned?
I went to the barber's and chopped it all off. Truthfully, I left an inch of hair. I didn't want to go bald. My dad's face that night was priceless.

Big Chop
Any fears about the BC?
Hell yeah! I have a small stature, people tell me I look 16 so I feared I'd look even smaller with a haircut.

What has your experience been?
For someone who never liked attention, I must say my hair calls out without permission oh.
I like that we naturalistas bond fast. We smile at ourselves and do mind talk (telepathy) and stuff. Others that are on protective styles go as far as showing you their pictures just so you don't think they're lying. It's been fun getting to know my hair and myself. The one time my mum saw me trying to twist my hair, just after we had a dreadlock argument, she was sure Asa and Jumoke Olawode-James were my inspiration and bad influence.

What was/is your biggest fear about going natural?
Err... That it won't grow. The boy next door still looks at me and says, "Your hair is not long now".  (insert angry face). She seems stagnant at times but a watched kettle doesn't boil, does it? I've learnt to free her.

Do you think you are in it for the long Haul or is it just a phase?
Of course, it's for the long Haul. I don't see myself going back. I don't miss the struggle for super relaxers and burnt scalps.

Do you have any regimen you stick to?
When I started I'd wash my hair once a week, do the onion, honey, orange juice, banana, avocado treatments and egg treatment monthly. But now, o ti re body ( the girl is tired ), ain't nobody got time for that, I wash weekly, do tea rinse and deep condition.  Se finis.

What's your go to protective style?
When my hair was in the awkward phase, I loved fixing skull caps and wigs with my hair in "didi"  underneath. Now, Buns all the way.

Didi style

Covered up in a wig

In buns

There are people who definitely have negative comments about your hair, how do you deal with that?
Just a few persons and they know their opinions don't matter. Everybody else thinks you're locing the hair or doing "dada". Apart from these, I get good comments and many questions.

What's your must-have product and accessory?
Castor oil (to replace the onion juice), olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil and scarves.

What's your advice to anyone planning to ditch relaxers?
Try spontaneity. It's the new spice of Life.

Thank you for your time.
Thank you too.


  1. LOL @ Asa being a bad influence. Like you can't make a decision on your own :p

  2. Africanaturalistas team... abeg oooo. could u help me get the number and adress of the ghanaian man she spoke about from her??. who knows dat might be d solution to my poor edges problem that iv been actively working on for over a year now without results.

  3. I'm so sorry I am just seeing this. 😱. I don't have his number anymore but his shop is popular in Dugbe. "Uncle Joe Ministries" or something funny like that. It's very first bend where the cabs stop at Dugbe bus-stop. That bad Road that goes down. Where the ibo cloth stores are, that lead to the market. I hope I haven't confused you the more.


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