Meet Taniah…a natural diva that used braids to aid in her long-term transition.
CN: Were you a long term or short term transitioner, and why?
T: I transitioned for 8 1/2 months with braids because I wanted to retain length and I wasn’t confident in my hair texture. See, I was looking for work and I was very nervous and unsure of the reaction and or judgment that I may receive. At the same time, I was anxious to see this “new” hair of mine and why I was spending time researching and carrying all this emotional baggage.
CN: When did you BC? What was your initial reaction to your natural hair?
T: 08/20/09 is when I removed my braids for the last time in the transitioning phase.
Well I didn’t technically BC, while transitioning every time I redid my braids, I would cut an inch off until my natural hair was long enough to grasp and braid. When I finally removed the braids it was comforting to see the new frame around my face and it is still taking some getting used to! The comforting part was the fact that this is who I am, and I have never known this image or texture– its beautiful and very much the conversation starter.
CN: What was your transition routine (products included)?
T: My routine was braids, braids, braids. I didn’t want to deal with the two textures, so I just put it away until I was ready. As for products, I used essential oils (tea tree, jojoba, olive oil, coconut oil and vitamin E) mixed into a bottle with a leave in conditioner (Elasta QP’s H-two O or Carol’s Daughter Vanilla bean leave in). Also cleansing my scalp with Aubrey’s Organic shampoo once a week. In between braids I deep conditioned with Queen Helene Cholesterol.
During the transition, I also loved me some Kinky Twists and after 3 weeks I would rock the twist out– big hair was a must.
CN: Why did you choose to go natural?
T: My hair was very damaged and brittle so I had cut it short. I’m also very tender headed and for years every time I got a touch up, it burned and I was grew tired of it. Not to mention that my hair was very thin when it was relaxed and I always had to add hair to get the full look. After doing this for long periods of time, I started to notice how much money I was spending and needed something a bit more recession proof. So here I am!
Second picture- braid out during transitioning
Fourth picture- Twist out