Meet Serena…military diva, and newbie natural stationed in Japan:

CN: Were you a long term or short term transitioner, and why?
S: I wasn’t a long term transitioner at all. I only lasted for for about 2 1/2 months.

CN: When did you BC? What was your initial reaction to your natural hair?

S: I did the BC 5 Sep 09. I am in the military and I am currently stationed in Japan, so transitioning was a little more challenging than I thought it would be. Especially being in the military, my hat is off and on all day, so I decided it was time. I went to the salon on base (it’s all Japanese women who work there) and told the lady to cut off all the relaxed ends. She didn’t quite understand what I was saying. I had some other ladies in the salon help me explain it, and the Japanese woman looked at me and said, “…are you sure? please don’t cry!” I think she was more nervous than me lol. I told her I was certain, and then she started cutting away. I just wanted to add that before I left my house, I went to and looked at some other BC stories and I said to myself, “I can do this”.

CN: What was your transition routine (products included)?

S: I didn’t do too much, I did more experimenting than anything. I tried bantu knot outs, twist outs, braid outs, ponytails, and buns (I’m kind of limited with the military regulations). I co-washed every 2 days with V05 moisture milk, added coconut oil, and styled with either my curl activator gel or conditioner.

CN: How did you moisturize your hair to prevent breakage at the new growth line?

S: Either coconut oil or conditioner

Why did you choose to go natural?
S: I remember when I was about 10 years old, my aunt did my hair into a french roll (so hot back then). My hair was natural at this time and we were standing in line at an amusement park and I remember hearing these girls behind me talking about how nappy my hair looked. After that, I begged my mother for a relaxer, and if she refused, I would sneak and save my lunch money for a few days and give it to my friend to buy me one. I never thought about the damage back then, all I cared about was that “white girl flow” as the girl from the Tyra Show put it. But now, I’m just so tired of the whole relaxer process. I want to see the “real me”. I never thought I would go natural, but I’m so glad I did.


1. My beautiful hair when I was younger
2. Relaxed hair
3. One of my transition experiments (Bantu knot out)
4. My hair now after the BC