Hi Nikki, I just did my big chop and am sooo excited!
My last relaxer was 10-31-2007. I took a break from doing my own relaxers and decided to go to a beauty parlor to get it professionally done as a treat to myself. At that time, I had bra strap length hair. I had been getting relaxers for the past 20+ years yet always longed for natural hair. I always said I would love to go natural but felt like my hair was too long to just cut off and start over. But I knew that if anything ever happened to my hair where I had to get it cut, I would not get another relaxer. When I went to the salon at the end of October of 07, I left out with a beautiful head of flowing hair. About a week later and every time thereafter, whenever I would shampoo and condition my hair, it would knarl and tangle up to the point where I couldn’t get a comb through it. My hair would shed in huge hunks and balls. This happened for the next couple of months. My hair shed and shed each time I shampooed it. Finally I found another beautician and told her my problem. She shampooed and deep, deep conditioned it and had the same problems with tangles and knots and shedding. It took her about 3 different sessions of this before it finally stopped shedding and tangling. By then, I was left with long but very thin hair. I told her that I was not getting anymore relaxers. Although this beautician was not a natural hair specialist, she was very understanding and supportive. I then started my journey.
I initially didn’t know the first thing about taking care of natural hair. For the first year, I continued to go to the same girl and she would either gel my hair and put it up in an updo, or she would flat iron it. It looked cute. As of 11-2008, I began to desire to wear my hair in it’s completely natural state. I decided to go completely natural and stopped going to the beauty parlor, I also stopped using heat all together and really began to search and learn about how to care for my natural hair. It wasn’t until 04-16-2009 that I did my big chop and I am completely in love with my hair.
During my transition , I mainly wore twist outs. I would co-wash about 2-3 times per week using Suave Naturals conditioner, or HH Hello Hydration. I would use Pantene R & N Moisturizing conditioner or Lustrasilk Cholestorol for a leave in. When I did my weekly deep treatments I used either Pantene R & N hair mask or Jessicurl WDT. And for moisture, I use pure shea butter, and Carol’s Daughter hair milk or hair butter. The first pic is my hair during the transition time period when I was blow frying and flat ironing my hair. Notice how thin the ends are. I hated it. By this time I had already had about 4 inches trimmed off. The 2nd pic is my last time going to the beautician and getting a half up half flat ironed hair do. 3rd pic is my early days of doing the twist and curl. Loving it. 4th pic is the day after my big chop with a knot out, last pic is wash n go the day after. Still experimenting.