Ms. BonitaBrittany is sharing her long-term transition story in hopes that it will inspire folks that are on the fence about going natural, as well as ladies who are currently transitioning.
CN: Were you a long term or short term transitioner, and why?
BB: I am a long term transitioner. My last relaxer was for thanksgiving of 2008, so I’ve gone 9 months strong! I decided to do the long transition (at least a year) because I have NEVER had hair shorter than my chin and I just thought chopping everything off would be too much of a shock for me.
CN: When did you BC? What was your initial reaction to your natural hair?
BB: I have not big chopped yet, but I stalk my baby curls everyday and I have snipped at least 2 chunks of hair to see my curls free of the relaxed ends. LOL.
CN: What was your transition routine (products included)?
BB: I absolutely love the freedom of co-waching 2 times per week. My favorites are Herbal Essence Hello Hydration and Totally Twisted. I also deep condition once per month with Aubrey Organics Honey Suckle Rose mixed with Shea butter and a bit of honey. I often use ‘ Naked Naturals: Shea Butter & Avocado Smoothing Conditioner’ or ‘Smooth as Silk Extreme Protien Hair Infusion’ by Giovanni for hair treatment after I co-wash.
I use coconut oil with a little Giovanni Leave-In conditioner on my edges and hair when I want it to lay down more. I also use kinky-curly knot today when I need to get my curl pattern going. I also SWEAR by Kinky-Curly’s Transtioners Tonic. It helps keep the demarcation line strong and makes your new growth softer and more manageable as you work with both textures.
I sometimes go swimming, and I’ve found that using Suave’s 99cent Coconut conditioner before getting your hair full of chlorine makes a massive difference in how dry your hair gets. Pre-conditioning my hair is one of the best tips I can give for those who swim! I just saturate my hair with conditioner, put it in ponytail, and swim!
CN: What was your staple hair style during the transition?
BB: After my 3rd month of transitioning, I employed a full head of weave to skip months 4-7 when I felt my determination wavering. That really helped me. Now I know if I chop my hair tomorrow (which I won’t—I’m gonna do a full year like I promised myself! LOL!) I will have enough curls to be happy.
I usually wear my transition hair in a big chinon bun with a Grecian head band to the front. I hump my hair in the back alot since my naps make for great puff to give my hair extra volume! Another look I like is a hump in the front, leading into a low French-braided ponytail! Sometimes, I bantu knot my hair or set it on rollers for a beautiful curly fro. I have only flat ironed my hair 2 times in the past nine months of transitioning.
CN: How did you moisturize your hair to prevent breakage at the new growth line?
BB: I mist my hair with water, then rub in a little coconut oil or shea butter mixed with Giovanni Leave in conditioner. Also, I love the Transitioners Tonic by Kinky-curly. That is great for the new growth line.
CN: Why did you choose to go natural?
BB: My sister was my catalyst for change. She had to cut almost all of her hair off after a freak weave removal accident! She showed me some pictures of other women on your site and other natural sites and how they discovered their curls and how healthy natural hair was. That same night I saw the pics –I swore off perms!
I consider myself a fashionista and a trend-setter, so I knew I could rock whatever hair. In the past, I had always had nice hair, but I thought to myself “If my hair was kinda fly with a perm, think how much better it would be HEALTHY and NATuRAL!!” I was right! No one believed I’d follow thorough since I’ve been getting relaxers since I was 13. But I knew I could do it and I now make it my mission to turn other fashionista’s on to the beauty of natural hair.