CN: Were you a long term or short term transitioner, and why?
S: I am a long term transitioner. My last relaxer was February 25, 2006, so I’ve gone 3 ½ years without being a slave to the ‘no lye’, lol! I decided to do the long transition because I knew I had no intention of getting a relaxer again and was not in the right frame of mind to BC.
CN: When did you BC? What was your initial reaction to your natural hair?
S: I did not big chop. I have always had long hair and the thought of chopping everything off was just something I couldn’t wrap my mind around, we all know our limitations, I couldn’t handle it. I faithfully got my ends trimmed every 6 – 8 weeks and got a few inches cut earlier this year, after a trimming session gone bad, lol.
CN: What was your transition routine ?
S: I absolutely despised doing my hair because it was a tangled mess and quite a bit of hair. I was totally overwhelmed and it would take all day for me to do it, so without fail, every other week I made a visit to my local salon for a blow dry and flat iron to get my tresses silky straight. I love Kera Care products and that’s what was used mostly. I kept saying I would change my hair routine after my wedding (it was in May), but was still hesitant. After a color job gone bad for the second time this year, I was told I needed to cut my hair – NOT. I decided to embrace my natural curl. In the back of my mind, I’ve always wanted to rock my hair Joan Clayton of Girlfriends style. After talking for several months with one of my girlfriends, she armed me with enough information on products to use and advised that I watch YouTube videos to find the technique of getting my naturally curly hair to last overnight.
Well, I did it and have been hooked ever since. It’s only been 3 weeks with my new healthy routine, but I’m loving it. I’m doing Wash n Gos with with Kera Care Humectant and Kinky Curly Curling Custard to style. My hair was really cute the first go round, but I didn’t get the memo about not touching it, so it was really big and frizzy. By day 4, I pulled my hair back in a cute curly pony puff. The next week, I co-washed with Suave Tropical Coconut Conditioner and used Suave’s Humectant as my rinse out conditioner. For a leave in, I used Kinky Curly’s Knot Today, along with Kinky Curly Curling Custard. I didn’t play with my hair this time and I could tell my hair was not as big and frizzy. Unfortunately though, it was left somewhat dry. So, I once again reached out to my girlfriend who has been my natural hair guru and she suggested that I get some Shea Butter and even offered to pick me some up. Fortunately, she also pointed me in the right direction to pick some up myself! So yesterday, I co-washed with VO5, Strawberries and Cream, and conditioned with Suave Humectant as my rinse out conditioner. I used Kinky Curly Knot Today as my leave in, and the Curling Custard. It looks great today, but this time I will also use the Shea butter or my Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine if it starts looking dry.
CN: What was your staple hair style during the transition?
S: Straight, flat-ironed hair was my staple style because I love the look of silky hair, but I’m now trying to embrace big curly hair.
CN: How did you moisturize your hair to prevent breakage at the new growth line?
S: I must say I’ve been very fortunate to have stylists that took really good care of my hair and made sure to deep condition every visit with Kera Care’s Humuctant.
CN: Why did you choose to go natural?
S: In 2005 I had to relocate to Charlotte, NC for my job. I had no friends, family or a stylist there. I was very fortunate that I traveled for my job and had a work site in my hometown, so I would schedule an appt with my stylist every opportunity I got, lol. Truth be told, I didn’t need a relaxer, but I wore my Mother down when I made it to high school. In hindsight, I should’ve left well enough alone, but I always felt that my hair was not done and I didn’t look good if it was not straight.
When I first got to Charlotte, I would do a Twist N Curl, had no idea that’s what it was! I finally went to someone in Charlotte to get my last relaxer and praise GOD I got another job and relocated back to ATL shortly thereafter (that place is a Mecca of Natural hair). Initially, when I first moved, I didn’t have a stylist, so I attempted to blow dry my hair to flat iron it at home and a spark flew out of the blow dryer. I threw it away and haven’t owned one since. Luckily, I found a stylist that didn’t push relaxers on me! I sometimes went to a Dominican salon too to keep those tresses silky straight as well. My girlfriend suggested the CurlyNikki site to me after I did my first wash n go a few weeks ago and I’m hooked. I have a new passion to have healthier hair and to love me, big curly hair and all! It helps too that my hubby loves it. I only wish I had found this site and was open to my natural curl before my wedding in St. Lucia. You live and learn. With my girlfriend, Trice, just a phone call away and this great site, I’m armed with enough information to be dangerous, lol.
I'm so in love with your natural look! It really REALLY compliments your bone structure well! Thanks so much for sharing your story! 🙂
To Anon who said "What's with people on natural hair boards (ie those who should know better) saying that they don't need a perm? NOBODY needs a perm, not just those who have a certain hair type or texture."
Learning to love ourselves is a process. We've been brainwashed for generations that straight hair is good hair. Let's give our sisters some room to grow and really internalize our new love of our own hair texture. After we truly love our own hair maybe then we can appreciate the fabulousness of other textures. Patience sister, patience!
Great story! Like Shara, the BC is not in my cards. I did a 3 inch cut in March and my last relaxer was in February 2009. Still haven't gotten my curly style down yet b/c of about 3 inches of relaxer left on the ends but continuing my transition process.
Hi Treonda, in response to your inquiry. I'm in Atlanta also and my hair stylist is great with natural hair, as most of her clients and herself are naturals. Her name is Mahogany and she's over at Shea Salon off of Howell Mill Road. You can google to get the info. Hope this helps!
Hi Shara! I loved your story and your hair is beautiful! I'm in Atlanta also and have long and very think curly hair. Is there a stylist here in town that you go to when you want your straight look. I have been searching for years and haven't found one that can handle my hair properly. Any info on stylists would be great. Thanks!
i love the natural look on you…your hair is beautiful
You look younger with the natural hair! Very nice
Wasn't sure how to flag this for you, Nikki. Interesting article on Michelle Obama's hair over at Time.com. Just fyi.Here's the link
whats ur ethnicity/background?
luv her color
Very pretty! Face and hair!
I can't believe you've been transitioning for so long! God bless your patience!
I love your hair and color. How many inches of relaxer do you have left? I would imagine after almost 4 yrs it should be almost all gone. Good luck on the rest of your transition!
beautiful! love the texture and the color
I am considering doing "A Story of Transition" once i get more pics up of my hair on my blog.
Might e-mail Nikki as soon as i do!
Beautiful hair! The curls are very pretty…embrace them! ~KF519
hi shera, congrats on your transitioning i am also transitioning, its been 13 months since my last relaxer. are you on any hair board sites?
OMG That's a Trendy Tee. How excited I am to see it.
What's with people on natural hair boards (ie those who should know better) saying that they don't need a perm? NOBODY needs a perm, not just those who have a certain hair type or texture.
Wow, her hair is so long! Very beautiful, curly or straight. Congrats on your decision to go natural 🙂
OMG! you've got GORGEOUS hair. Curls to die for! Never straighten it again! To keep the frizzies at bay, use plenty of leave-in conditioner under the Kinky Curly. And use a spritz to refresh your curls in the morning. Try a small water bottle with a pump with a mixture of a little conditioner, coconut oil, water, and glycerin. Nice job!
Very pretty hair. Your like me I have long hair and was not going for the BC. I took it nice and slow trimmed off a little at a time. The color is cute on you too!
You look lovely with curly hair! Congrats