Braid-out during transition
Perm rods during transition
Flexi rods during transition
-Were you a long term or short term transitioner, and why?
I was a long term transitioner. I grew my hair out for 16 months before doing the BC. My relaxed hair was a few inches past my shoulders, so going from that to short kinky hair was something that took me a while to get used to. I had to do a mental transition. I feel like going natural is a very personal decision and people should BC when they’re ready. I went for a BC in May 08 and didn’t get it. It was a combination of me not being ready and a stylist telling me I wouldn’t have many hair options because of the heat damage. Then, in July I said I’m ready and I don’t care what any stylist says. Luckily, I went to my stylist and she gladly cut my hair and styled it and said that I actually do have options (which I do).
-When did you BC?What was your initial reaction to your natural hair?
I did the BC in July 08. My initial reaction was “wow…it’s so short.” LOL But it really was not that short. I probably had about 5 inches after the cut. I was also really nervous about what my boyfriend and mom would think. Then I got over it because it’s my hair and if they didn’t like it, I wouldn’t care and would have to let them know that.
-What was your transition routine (products included)?
When I was still straightening it, I would wash once a week, or go a little longer if I got lazy or tired, oil my hair and scalp, and flat iron it. After I stopped straightening I still washed and conditioned and styled it. If I needed to sit under the dryer so it could dry faster I did. Then I finally stop using heat all together and just pretty much wore buns and braid outs and let them air dry washing every few days or once a week.
-What was your staple hair style during the transition?
For a year I straightened my hair. After I stopped straightening it I mainly wore braid outs…which became puffs after a few days. I did a few buns and roller sets but 90% of the time I wore a braid out. I could make that style last for several days at a time. And I would set the relaxed ends on perm rods. I fell in love with tams so I wore these for a day or so when my hair was drying. I absolutely LOVE tams!!!
–How did you moisturize your hair to prevent breakage at the new growth line?
While I was straightening it I used the same stuff I used when I was relaxed. After I stopped with heat styling I mainly used Elasta QP Mango butter…which I LOVE! It really helped to keep my hair moisturized for days at a time. If I wasn’t so stuck on shea butter I’d still be using it.
-Why did you choose to go natural?
I just wanted to do something different. I had tried every kind of hair style or change that I liked with my relaxed hair and I just felt like I didn’t have a lot of options and I thought I could not do other styles myself. I’d had a relaxer since about 6 so I figured why not try it. So it began…many didn’t like it or didn’t believe I’d go through with it but I did and I love it. I didn’t go natural for a lot of the deep reasons that some do but I totally understand and respect those reasons but they just are not why I went natural. And a good thing is that as soon I put the flat iron down my dandruff went away immediately (this still amazes me). Plus a part of me wanted to show myself and others that I could commit to something and prove the doubters wrong. It feels really good to go against the grain and do something because you want to do it and not because everyone else is doing it or because you’re scared to try something new.