This St. Louis beauty recently big chopped…like last week! Check out her story below:
CN: Were you a long term transitioner, and why?
A: My last real relaxer was around Valentine’s Day (Feb) 2009, then I attempted at another relaxer around Easter (Apr) 2009; however, the relaxer did not take because it was old, so as soon as I washed out the chemical, my hair waved back up. So I guess you can say that I last had chemicals in my hair April 2009. So approximately 4 months of a transition, not as long as I originally planned, that’s for sure. I initially wanted to transition long enough to have some new growth that could go into a ponytail, but me being impatient and wanting to see my natural curls, I couldn’t wait that long. I had hoped for the end of the year, but my birthday month had sounded a little better.
CN: When did you BC? What was your initial reaction?
A: I BC’d August 13th, 2009 at 1:30 PM. Which was 4 days ago, lol and 5 days before my 26th birthday. My initial reaction to my hair was that I looked like a little boy and that I didn’t like it. But when he put some curl foam or setting lotion in it and I saw the curls, I was highly impressed because I did not know I had curly hair like that. I had 4 of my good friends there with me, and they absolutely loved it. They were so supportive and honest, I love my friends. I was nervous and apprehensive, not so much about me cutting my hair off, but because I hadn’t been to a shop in over 4 years. I was not used to giving 100% control of my hair to another person whom I did not know or trust. But Bernard did a good job. I did not know I was that brave to be honest. It’s growing on me though, lol. It is taking my husband a little longer to get used to me being without hair and the drastic decision of cutting it off all of a sudden, but as it grows and he sees my personality coming through my hair, he will learn to love it, as am I.
CN: What was your transition routine?
A: I didn’t really have a set routine, which is sad to say. Once I decided that I was going natural I didn’t do things much differently. After speaking to friends who were natural (Jamie), I found out that straightening my hair was not a good idea because it could ruin the new growth, so I limited that to once a month. I cowashed my hair regularly (like twice a week) and I would do a deep condition whenever I would remember to with the Pantene Pro V Relaxed and Natural Defensive Mask Conditioner. I used products like HEHH, Cantu Shea Butter, Giovanni 50/50 Shampoo, and my number one product was the IC Fantasia gel.
CN: What was your staple hairstyle during the transition?
A: I was a major ponytail person. I would slick it back with my Fantasia gel, and slick down my little baby hairs in the front, put it in a bun, and keep it moving. To spice it up, I always wore cool headbands with flowers and such. Some styles that I did try was the Twist N Curl, which was cool, it just required some extra work and because my hair is so thick it would take forever and literally 2 days to dry. I also frequented the 2 French braids down the side and then I would do a braid out once my braids started looking fuzzy. I work at MAC Cosmetics so any crazy hairstyle is definitely accepted and encouraged lol, so I would rock the braids at work with a cute Native American looking headband. I was pretty boring, as I normally was when I had my relaxed hair. I was a big wrap person then. I didn’t do all those crazy styles that would require me to “sleep cute.” No, not me…
CN: How did you moisturize your hair to prevent breakage at the new growth line?
A: I don’t think I did anything special. Like I said, I would cowash twice a week, or once a week and I would leave the HEHH in. So I guess that’s it… I probably should have done something because my hair sheds anyways, and with those two textures I saw a little more shedding and breakage than normal.
CN: Why did you choose to go natural?
A: Well ever since I was young, I knew I had long thick wavy hair, so thick that my hair thickness was the reason my mother started me out in relaxers, that and her best friend was a hair dresser. She just couldn’t maintain the thickness of my hair. When they would try to press it, it would last for a split moment, but because I was an unruly tomboy I would go out and play and come back with an afro again. When I used to go to the beauty shop, they would ask me, “Why don’t you just go natural?” and all I would remember was the struggle my mother went through, so to me it was out of the question. Since moving here to Atlanta in October 2008, natural hair is really embraced among the black community, or all communities for that matter. A few of my natural friends told me to check into it and recommended me to CN website and that opened my eyes to a whole new world. I watched youtube videos, joined forums, and even made a fotki account of my transition (www.fotki.com/fierceladybutler.) I was so excited and had become completely obsessed with natural hair. At the MAC counter, whenever natural women would come up to get makeup, I would ask them millions of questions about their hair and they were so passionate about it and were so confident and beautiful. They had a whole new aura about them. So I decided that I wanted to go forward with it, and honestly I am 1113% glad that I did, I have never looked back for one second. I honestly (and secretly) curse my mother for ever putting the creamy crack in my head, but everything happens for a reason, right? I wanted my hair to be very healthy and I wanted to get to know MY hair again without the chemicals, and I believe this is the best way to do so. Besides, I always loved the texture of my new growth so I always wondered what it would look like if my whole head was filled with nothing but new growth.