-Were you a long term or short term transitioner, and why?
I was what I consider to be a long term transitioner. Wait, let me backup. I went natural three times but only the last one counts. The first time was 14 years ago, but I never showed my hair. I pressed it all the time so it doesn’t count. The next time I grew out the relaxer and wore my hair in braids for about six months to a year. When I took my braids out I did not know how to comb my hair and it looked ugly to me (just being honest). I didn’t want to give up so I tried to press my hair, well guess what…I smelled rotten eggs and come to find out I’d burned a section of my hair off. I cried!! I finished pressing it, put a phony pony on and within a week was at the shop getting a texturizer because I figured it was half-way natural. Not!!! My hair was never right with the texturizer. Either it had a jerry curlesque look to it or it was dry and frizzy. It was just weird and still was not healthy. So at this point I still knew that I did not want a relaxer and I did not want to press all the time as it was about this time I started seeing so many photos of beautiful natural women. Jenteel (she has a fotki album) was one of my inspirations to keep at this. So eventually I had the texturizer cut off. I’ve been natural ever since.
-When did you BC? What was your initial reaction to your natural hair?
I first BC’d when I tried to go natural the second time. I was sort of indifferent to my hair because I kept it in braids. It wasn’t until I took the braids out that I was shocked and honestly did not like it. It did not take me long to grow to love my hair but it was a process. The last time I BC’d (2005) was more successful. By this time I was already in love with my hair. I loved the thickness and the texture.
-What was your transition routine? Staple Hair Styles?
My transition the final time was straw sets and twists set on rollers. Sometimes I used to cornrow the front and blow dry the rest (pic included) It worked really well for me and no one really knew that I wasn’t fully natural.
-How did you moisturize your hair to prevent breakage at the new growth line?
Dudley’s PCA was a life saver for me. Also, my hair loves water so I did co-washes almost everyday. As long as my hair stayed moist I wouldn’t have to worry about breakage.
-Why did you choose to go natural? Are you happy with your decision?
I chose to go natural not because I was militant or Afro-centric or wanted to find myself or be myself. I went natural simply because I was sick of the relaxer tearing my hair apart. I simply wanted a healthy head of hair. I said above that my first and second time at going natural were unsuccessful. So the even better question would be why did I “STAY” natural. I stayed natural because at this point I then wanted to be me. I no longer wanted to deny what God made me. God doesn’t make mistakes so why should I be ashamed of my hair. I played in my hair and tried different things until I began to love it. And after long I truly was in love with my hair and wanted to kick myself for not staying natural the first time. I’m natural today because I like converting people who admire my hair. I’m natural today because I love to play in my hair, I love the way it feels and the way it looks. I’m natural today because I want God to know that I am proud of who he made Me. I’m natural today because my hair is so much more than my relaxed hair could ever be.