CN: Were you a long term or short term transitioner, and why?
I was a short term transitioner. I was just done with limp, thinning relaxed hair and I have always wanted to be natural anyway, so I finally made the decision to cut it all off. I know this sounds cliché, but it really was a liberating feeling. It was like some weight dropped off of me, and not even meaning the weight of some social, cultural, racial, political (and whatever other kind of ‘al that you can think of) issue. But the idea of not having to go to a salon anymore if I didn’t want to, not having to get that stuff that burned and left scabs on my scalp, and not having to waste all that time sitting around in a shop was just so freeing.
CN: When did you BC? What was your initial reaction to your natural hair?
I BC’d in 2003 and my initial-initial reaction was like WOW! This is what my hair looks like. It’s crazy because I had about 2-3 inches of new growth and it was very silky and kind of straight at first. However, I’ve found that the longer I’ve been natural (minus straightening too) the more curly/kinky my hair becomes. It’s almost like the texture changed because it’s more spongy-like now. I love it either way though. I know people say to never say “NEVER”, but that is one thing that I truly know for sure – I will NEVER go back to the relaxer. I love my hair in its natural state over relaxed hair any day – even on days when I don’t know what in the world I’m going to do with it! =0) Now, back when I first cut it off, after my initial-initial reaction, I did have a moment where I was like “OMG, what have I done!”. That was after a few weeks when it started growing a little more and I just didn’t know what to do with it. But as you can see, I crossed that mountain victoriously. I didn’t go back…
CN: What was your transition routine (products included)?
As I stated previously, my transition was very short. I didn’t give myself much time to grow my hair out. I was just ready to get those relaxed strands off. But if I remember correctly, I
wore braids and wet-sets a lot during that time.
CN: What was your staple hair style during the transition?
The braids and wet-sets, such as the straw set. Very cute!
CN: How did you moisturize your hair to prevent breakage at the new growth line?
At that time, I didn’t know much about caring for natural hair and was not privy to the wealth of information that we have now. So back then, I was still using the same products that I used on my relaxed hair, which I think was KeraCare. That quickly changed. I became an instant product addict trying to find that product that would help me tame these coils. For a long time, I was washing or at least wetting my hair every day. I discovered that that was a big no-no for me. I started getting more sores and scabs on my scalp. However, once I found out about sulphates and the no-poo method (Thank God!) the scabies soon went away.
CN: What advice would you give another natural on her journey?
Stick with it. If this is what you really want, don’t give up and turn back. In some cases, it will take some time to get to a point where you are just really happy with your hair. But when you get there, it will be awesome! Know that there is a learning curve. You have to learn how to take care of it and learn what products, tools, and styling techniques work for you. Love your hair, be gentle with it and enjoy the journey.
For the pictures – the 1st pic was sometime several months after my BC. For pics 2, 3, and 4 – those are more recent pics (last month or so) of some styles that I tried (the bantu knot -out and some twisty thing that I did on old hair).