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November 2, 2008

Josephine- A Story of Transition

-Were you a long term or short term transitioner, and why?
I transitioned for 9 months and I just couldn't take it anymore. It was hard dealing with two textures and my relaxed ends were breaking off. It took me hours to rollerset my hair because I couldn't easily part and detangle the hair. It was a HASSLE!!. It was also a hassle to style my hair with two different textures.

-When did you BC? What was your initial reaction to your natural hair?
I did the big chop on October 28,2008 and when I saw my natural hair i was shocked. I hadn't seen my natural hair for 9 years. I was relaxed when I was 8 years old and I am now 17. I was amazed with seeing MY HAIR, the hair that I was given at birth. It is so beautiful and it shrinks so much but I love it. I loved every second of my liberation to my natural hair glory.

-What was your transition routine (products included)?
My transitioning routine consisted of washing my hair weekly, deep conditioning, and doing rollersets. I used to style my hair in a pony and then attach fake hair. I used to use Lacio Lacio leave in to do my rollersets. I also used coconut oil, and silicon mix when I would wash it(it made my hair slippery and easier to detangle). I used other products as well such as shikakai powder, amla powder, amla oil and shikakai oil.

-What was your staple hair style during the transition?
My staple hair style during the transition was definitely doing a high ponytail with added fake hair and putting it in a bun. I also, got a weave for two months, which helped me managed my hair a little better.

-How did you moisturize your hair to prevent breakage at the new growth line?
I would use the Seyani hair butter and then seal with Wild Growth Oil. I also would apply this oil to my scalp, it would leave my hair extremely soft and shiny. Other times I used coconut oil.

-Why did you choose to go natural?
I decided to go natural because i just couldn't take it anymore. I was relaxed at the age of 8 because I didn't know any better. I saw my older sister getting a relaxer and I was young, so I begged my mom for one as well. I was at least Armpit length as a natural and as soon as I got the relaxer, my hair was never the same. I didn't have any idea of how to take care of my hair and neither did my mother. It wouldn't grow, it never looked healthy and I remember hating so MUCH getting the relaxers. My poor scalp was burning and I was told to hold it so that my hair could come out straighter, so I had to bite my lips and TAKE IT. I was told that I had 'pelo malo' which means bad hair. My parents are from the Dominican Republic, a country where women of color are lied to and deceived. The good hair, is the hair that is silky and wavy and the bad hair is the kinky curly type. I thought i had bad hair and i was taught that my hair was ugly, nappy, and well just BAD. Also, I didn't know it was possible to go from a relaxer to natural hair. So, i started my hair journey in 2007 and I was relaxing but I saw that my hair wouldn't improve no matter how much I took care of it, it looked THIN, my relaxed hair never made it past shoulder LENGTH. Until one day, I was stretching my relaxer and I saw my new growth while it was wet, I went to the mirror and saw it, and IT WAS BEAUTIFUL. I would had never in a million years thought that my hair looked like that, and I started playing with it and I didn't want to let go. I wanted that hair, that hair was MY HAIR, MY NATURAL HAIR. So, I decided never again to relax because I just couldn't understand how people are capable of letting a chemical burn their scalp. Why should I hide my natural hair? Why should I have to alter the texture of my hair because society says so? WHY WHY WHY??!!. I also had a friend telling me to stop relaxing, so that convinced me even more. My mother wasn't really pleased and even asked me if I thought I was African, and well I am AFRICAN!! I am of African descent and I am very proud of that. I feel so happy because never again will I put that LYE near my scalp, near my REAL HAIR. Why have artificial hair when you can have your own?.....



Pre BC


Post BC

2 Chime in!:

justme said...

Wow what an inspiring story, thanks so much for sharing. I recall travelling to the Dominican Republic on vacation with my OH and daughter and was struck by a few things - almost every womans hair was relaxed and I got the impression that natural hair was not widely accepted. Some people also seemed really color-struck and would say stuff to my husband (who is dark-skinned) like "you are my color so we are brothers" or "we darker people should stick together because we are the poorest in this country"!! I guess they assumed we were dominican. All in all, beautiful island, friendly people but I did find the colorism and hair issues sad to see.
I'm glad you overcame the stifling effects of that mindset and are embracing and loving your hair.
God bless! J

Maria said...

Hey Dominicana! I'm very proud to see your story. I remember when you reached out to me on Fotki when you were wondering whether or not to transition.
Thankfully not all Dominicans (including me) think about pelo malo/pelo bueno and we accept ourselves the way we are.

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