-Were you a long term or short term transitioner, and why?
I guess I would be considered short term because I chopped after 6 months, my last relaxer was June 08. I had originally planned for at least 12 -15 months (i.e. wait for summer) but as my new growth started coming in more, I found it harder and harder in between protective styles to want to actually deal with my relaxed ends. I decided mid-way Dec 08, that once I took my rope twists out, I would BC. I started saying it a lot. This was to prepare myself and my husband. Once I actually got mentally ready, I ended up taking my braids out 2 weeks earlier just so that I could do the BC for the beginning of Jan 09.
-When did you BC? What was your initial reaction to your natural hair?
Jan 1, 09. there was something ‘moving’ with me starting the year all-natural. My initial reaction was I love it! But it was a bit shorter than anticipated (some of my natural hair was cut off in order to shape up/clean up the look- which I was NOT prepared for)
-What was your transition routine? Staple Hair Styles?
First was a sew-in…but I didn’t really like wearing a weave. I took a break in between and incorporated rod sets, braid outs and a lot of roller setting. On lazy days I wore a ponytail but this was usually not ‘neat’ enough for me (my hair is thick…has always been so the first month without a relaxer was really hard to pull hair back into a ponytail and make it look nice). My last style was braids. I had the rope twists put in and wore those for 2 months. I loved this option because I could easily touch/clean my scalp and it was less work overall to deal with. During this time, I began incorporating better products for washing, conditioning and moisturizing.
-How did you moisturize your hair to prevent breakage at the new growth line?
I didn’t have much problem with breakage during the weeks I wore my hair out but I began using a shea butter mix that I got from another transitioner to substitute for the ‘grease’ and other products I threw out. this was great for my roller sets, braid outs and rods. When in braids, I used Oyin Handmades Greg Juice as a spritzer/moisturizer.
-Why did you choose to go natural? Are you happy with your decision?
Going natural for me was more than just my frustration with the process of getting relaxers…it was about me gaining confidence to do what I wanted and be happy with it; it was my journey to take more risks and overcoming the fear of others’ opinions. It was liberating and self-affirming all at once. It takes great confidence to ‘go natural’ in a society that places natural persons in a category..usually with a negative connotation but I have always loved the ‘natural’ look and have been fed up with relaxers for the past 5 years. my hair just never seemed to conform to a relaxer and I was simply tired of hearing “when are you getting a perm” (a week after I had a relaxer). so I did it..with much skepticism from my hubby and friends but now everyone can’t help but to like it because I have found a confidence in myself that apparently is admirable!