Meet MsZaree…a long term transitioner who discovered her natural hair while on a journey to recovery.

CN: Were you a long term or short term transitioner, and why?
M: I guess I’m considered a long term transitioner because I did it for just under13 months. The first half just kind of happened. I was in a terrible car accident in June 2008 and couldn’t walk or even put my foot on the ground for 5 months. My husband was great but he was not willing to carry me around a beauty shop. So my hair was left without it’s usual every 2 weeks maintenance and every 6 weeks touch-up. After the first 5 months I figured I might as well keep going and get a little more length. My goal was a year and I did it.

CN: When did you BC? What was your initial reaction to your natural hair?
M: I did it on May 24, 2009. My last relaxer was May 1, 2008. I was shocked at how I looked at first. I felt I looked like a boy and I was a little bit scared. Even with all those negative thoughts in my head I never once regretted what I had done

CN: What was your transition routine?
M: When I was still bed ridden I had friends come and corn row my hair a few times. Once I was able to do my own hair I started wearing braid outs which was my staple style all the way to end. The early ones were rough, but I got pretty good at the end. I co-washed twice a week with Trader Joe’s Nourish Conditioner. I deep treated with Lustrasilk Cholesterol + Shea Butter & Mango Conditioner at least twice a month. I used either Giovanni Direct Leave In or the Cantu Shea Butter Leave In. I put about 16 braids in my hair and used Shea Butter along the way to seal and put a roller on the end for a curl. It took about an hour at my quickest to braid, but on average 1 1/2 hours.

CN: Why did you choose to go natural?
M: I had been going back and forth on doing it for years. But honestly was scared about how society would accept me. I didn’t know what my real texture looked like, since I’ve been getting my hair relaxed consistently since I was 7, but I knew it was truly what was considered “bad hair” because even with a touch-up every 6 weeks my hair always was super thick. It was one thing to have natural “good hair” and another to have “bad hair”…..or so I thought. After my accident made me literally sit down and take a break from my hair routine, I had a chance to think about why I felt tied to it in the first place. I realized that if there was ever a time to reconsider how I looked at myself the time was then, when I had nothing but time to think. I found so many resources online and so many beautiful inspiring pictures of natural, kinky hair that I decided the time was now. And if I truly didn’t like it….well it’s only hair, just do something different. Luckily for me I love it and it has helped reveal a strength and confidence I didn’t know I had. It will always be one of the positives I take away from my car accident.

-First is me in April with my braid out.
-Second is the day after the BC
-Third is one of my better twist outs
-Fourth is a close up of a wash and go