CN: Were you a long term or short term transitioner, and why?
J: I was a short term transitioner. I felt that if I prolonged the process, I would become impatient with letting my natural roots grow from my relaxed hair. I was also nervous about how to tame the two textures, so I decided that this process couldn’t be drawn out.

CN: When did you BC? What was your initial reaction to your natural hair?
J: I BC’d August 2, 2009. As I cut away the relaxed pieces, I kept laughing and saying “OMG”! I couldn’t believe that I was actually brave and courageous enough to BC despite how some of my family members, friends and colleagues would react. I thought it looked beautiful and I was ready to embrace the “new beauty” that I saw reflecting back at me in the mirror.

CN: What was your transition routine (products included)?
J: After receiving my last relaxer in April 2009, I continued to follow my Dominican hairstylist method of washing, deep conditioning, roller setting, and a blowout with Phyto products. Informing her that I no longer wanted a relaxer, I was having this method done every 2 weeks with clipping of my ends every month. July 17th, I received my last blowout and had my hair cut into a short pixie. Afterwards, I would co-wash my hair every 2 days using Garnier Fructis Hydro Curls, Cantu SheaButter Leave in Conditioner, Garner Fructis Curl Mousse, and MyHoneyChild Mama’s Hair Grease for shine and a great peach smell.

CN: What was your staple hair style during the transition?
J: After I co-washed my hair, I would use the Curl Mousse and scrunch the relaxed strands, in which my hair would crinkle and become wavy…my hair had many textures while I transitioned.

CN: How did you moisturize your hair to prevent breakage at the new growth line?
J: I used the Cantu-leave in before leaving the house in the morning and before going to bed at night.

CN: Why did you choose to go natural?
J: I chose to go natural after struggling with relaxers for a few years. I’ve always admired sisters that were natural and but I was afraid of what others would say to me… so I kept returning to the “creamy crack”! LOL! But after having so much damage and watching my hair grow, then break off because someone over processed my hair, etc and paying $80-$100 a month for maintenance…It was like a rock fell out of the sky and hit me on the head…I woke up… and decided that it was something I always wanted, in search of the real me…I knew this would open my eyes. It also helped that my husband was very supportive and didn’t understand why women would subject their hair to such harsh routines. He grew up on small Caribbean island and said, “Relaxers were a luxury for women, and I think a woman is beautiful with the curls, knots, kinks and all!” With his support and my heart’s desire…I decided this is what I want regardless of what others may say. To my surprise, my family, friends, and colleagues all love the new look and think that “natural” fits my personality and who I am (physically)!