-Were you a long term or short term transitioner, and why?
I am a long term transitioner. January 29th 2009 will be my one year anniversary.

-When did you BC? What was your initial reaction to your natural hair?
The last time I BC’d was in 2003. I didn’t have a specific plan that time. I just stopped relaxing for about 8 months, and the summer before I left for college I went to the local beauty school – had them cut it down to the curlies, and then box braid what was left. I kept it in box braids continuously until New Years Eve of 05 – 06.

I felt liberated. It was so simple to care for. I co-washed everyday – sometimes twice! My SO at the time loved it, he said it made me look like a “babydoll”. I would just spritz my damp hair with wonder 8 oil, scrunch and go!

-What was your transition routine? Staple Hair Styles?
During my transition I would twist my hair at night, and then in the morning unravel and pin it to the crown of my head. It had a messy, boho, grecian look. Nowadays I wear buns, french twists, curlformers sets and most recently – a full head weave (my first!).

-How did you moisturize your hair to prevent breakage at the new growth line?
My first transition I got moisture from the co-washing, and sealed with oil – although I didn’t know the science of what I was doing then, my instincts were good!

Now I wash/clarify with a baking soda, tea tree oil, and sally’s generic nexxus aloe rid. Then I deep condition with some crazy conditioner mix I’ve put together. I’m a mixer. I love Sodium PCA, Rice Bran Oil, Olive Oil, Honey, Salt, Citric Acid (lemon juice), Jherri Redding 100% protein, SAA and baking soda as mix-ins. My base is usually silk elements moisture treatment, or ORS replenishing pak.

In between I spritz with a mix of vegetable glycerine, dietary grade aloe vera juice/gelly, and filtered water with a tiny bit of SAA and an essential oil like lavendar or grapefruit for scent. I think of Aloe Vera and SAA as “soft” proteins, they really help reinforce the line of demarcation w/o drying out my hair the way more traditional proteins might. I seal with Vatika Oil, Coconut Oil, and castor oil on ends and edges.

-Why did you choose to go natural? Are you happy with your decision?
I’ve been natural in my life far more than I have been relaxed. Even so, I’ve hardly ever worn my natural hair free in public. I’m transitioning now with the goal of truly embracing my fro and developing the confidence to flaunt it. I never see large in-charge fros so I like the fact that it will distinguish me from everyone else.

Heat Styled 2005 (Natural)

Fro 2005 (Natural)

Protective Style 2008 (Transitioning)