CN: Were you a long term or short term transitioner, and why?
I was a short term transitioner. I was a SLAVE to the salon from the age of 9 until about age 24, (I’m 32 now). I was getting my hair done EVERY week to 2 weeks depending on the style I donned. It was cool when I was in high school and my hair was my main focus, but after I started working and having children, being in the salon all day on my off day from work was NOT the business.
I had never really thought about going natural until I made friends with someone who had locs. I thought they were all of that, but I wasn’t even thinking about going natural because, “that wasn’t me”. I had gotten fed-up with my stylist of 7 years because she kept me waiting one day and I missed a very important appointment trying to get my hair laid. This had become a regular problem along with sitting 8+ hours weekly. I vowed while I was sitting there that it was my last time doing so. When my style faded, I went to my best friend at the time who was a barber and told her to scalp me! She thought I was playing, so I took the clippers and shaved a big a*! chunk down the middle of my head! I didn’t know what I would find under the perm, but it had to be better than wasting my life in a salon. Surprisingly, my texture of hair wasn’t “bad” at all. I hate the whole good hair/bad hair thing, but that’s another story. I wore 360 degree waves for about 2 years and I LOVED it!!! I felt sooo free! A trip to the barber for 30 min. & 20 bucks was on time!
CN: When did you BC? What was your initial reaction to your natural hair?
I didn’t know how to handle my natural hair, so I kept it very short for 2 years. I didn’t want to deal with it honestly, so keeping it short helped me re-focus my energy on other things. It was just easy. One day I decided that I wanted to let it grow and stopped cutting it and let “her” do her thing.
CN: What was your transition routine?
My transition routine was very simple…head wraps…lol I had every color and style imaginable! I rocked those bad boys to death. I just washed/conditioned my hair whenever I felt the need and didn’t do anything extra. I was also getting zillions every 3 months, but because I hated sitting for that long, I stopped doing that too after a while. In Detroit where I’m from, you didn’t see many natural people often. Either you had locs or a perm and there was really no middle ground, so I was scared to let my natural beauty show. Once I got comfortable with me, I said F-it and let “her” loose. This is me! It’s been a very rewarding experience to go natural for sure. It made me get in touch with myself an what I like instead of emulating things around me and not just with my hair, but with all aspects of my life.
CN: What was your staple hair style during the transition?
I didn’t have one… Did I mention the head wraps??? It was by accident that I stopped wearing the head wraps. I had gotten some comb coils one day trying to do something different, so when they got old I had started uncoiling them so I could wash it. The result was AWESOME!!! It was like a curly fro and I loved it. From then on, the head wraps were banished and I started experimenting with my natural hair. I tried traditional locs a couple of times, but I didn’t have the patience for that. My hair texture and my need to wash my hair daily wasn’t conducive to that process, so I tried Sisterlocks. All I can say about those is HATED THEM!!! It was a waste and time and money for me. I like to change my look up too much, so I decided to just stick with my natural hair.
CN: How did you moisturize your hair to prevent breakage at the new growth line?
I’m just starting to focus on that. I was never concerned with retaining length until a few months ago, so I’m still learning. Now, I want that big long hair! After being natural for almost 10 years, I can honestly say that I have loved every minute of the journey…good and bad. I’m free after all and I’m not a slave to anyone or anyone’s salon. The health of my hair is directly linked to my hands! I dig that!
Pic #1- Me with Sisterlocks
Pic #2- Zillions
Pic #3- The fro
Pic #4- My hair today