Dear Curly Nikki,
Where do I start. It has taken me months to build up the courage to share my story. The only reason I want to is because I don’t see many ladies transitioning for over a year. Maybe my story will help those who aren’t interested in doing a BC and would like to transition for some time. I follow your site everyday, looking for new ideas. I am married and my spouse works overseas, so I spend 3-6 months out of the country. The products that I’m able to bring to and buy in Europe are very limited. I do use different mixes and use many home remedies. When I return home to the States I always try something new that I have seen here on the site.
CN- How long have you been transitioning?
I started my transitioning journey Oct 2008. I have been transitioning for a year now as of Oct 24th 2009.
CN- When do you plan to BC?
I have always had long hair. Even when I wasn’t taking good care of it. I don’t plan on doing a BC– I’m not one for short hair. For now, I straighten and trim my hair once every 2 to 3 months…taking off a little at a time. For me the two textures aren’t that difficult to manage. I understand that this may not be the case for everyone. For me, this journey is about ME. I may wake up one morning and decide that I don’t want any of this relaxed hair on my head anymore. I doubt it, but if that happened, it’d be okay. The bottom line is that I’m doing this for me and I am finally listening to and getting to know my hair. I am taking my ‘journey’ slow and I am loving it, every step of the way!
CN: How do you feel about your new growth?
I have been amazed at how curly my natural hair is and how much I love it. I do have my days when I feel overwhelmed by my hair, however those are few and far between. After washing my hair I really notice the two different textures. I can’t wash & go without a little work. Once I do a braid-out, or use rollers on the ends the result is great.
CN: How did family and friends react to your transitioning? What was your response to them?
At first, they just thought I was crazy. I’m already a vegetarian and they thought it was just another one of my crazy ideas. I have tired to get different family members to transition without any luck…I think tranistioning is something that should be done when a person is ready and willing to do the research. This transitioning process isn’t something to be taken lightly. Do your homework and take the time to learn what your hair likes.
CN: What is your transition routine (products included)?
–I co-wash 1-2 times a week with Aussie Moist Conditioner or Hello Hydration
-I wash on Saturday or Sunday using Dr. Bronner‘s Magic Soap
-I deep condition with Silk Elements Mega Cholesterol, Lustrasilk Shea Butter Cholesterol or Hello Hydration (deep conditioner I found here while in Europe)
-I use protein 1-2 times a month (Aphogee 2min Reconstructor)
-I moisturize and seal my hair morning and night with a few different products
– I try to detangle only in the shower with conditioner and under running water. If fail to, I detangle with Silken Child Detangler.
I would die without coconut and olive oil. The number one thing that has been helpful during this process is actually a comb! But its not just any comb, it’s the best comb I have ever used. I was losing so much hair using regular wide tooth combs. I have 90% less breakage. The Conair thick and wavy comb is a must have for any transitioner.
CN: What is your staple hair style during the transition?
My staple hair styles are braid-outs and low buns. When I first started my journey, I wanted to try every single style I saw on youtube and hair sites– I quickly learned that my hair is fragile and breaks easily because I’m transitioning. I learned that styles like low ponytails that allow the hair to lay in its natural direction work better for me. I also learned how to dress up my buns and ponytails. *wink*
CN: How do you moisturize your hair to prevent breakage at the new growth line?
I use leave-in conditioners and a few regular conditioners as leave-ins EVERYDAY. I also make sure that I seal the leave-ins with coconut and olive oil. I always kept a spray bottle of water handy.
CN: Why did you choose to go natural?
I fell into this hair journey by luck or pure chance. I had a family member who was struggling with their hair and came to me in tears. That day I decided to research and learn everything I could about ethnic hair. From that moment I was like a kid in a candy store. There was so much that I didn’t know and was amazed to find out. A week later I vowed to never let another chemical touch my head. Your blog was one of the first blogs I started following, and I don’t miss a day. This site is like my morning cup of coffee. I LOVE THAT YOU UPDATE IT EVERYDAY…I feel like I’m part of a secret society and wish more woman knew the “art” of ethnic hair.
My relaxed hair broke off a lot and I always had hair breakage on my shirts. I even had friends ask me if I recently cut my hair. I thought this breakage was normal, I really thought I was taking good care of my hair. If only I would have known then the things I know now. There are so many natural products that I can’t wait to use! My hair isn’t where I want it to be, but thank God it isn’t where it was….. So thank you Nikki and all the other ladies you highlight, for inspiring me and my hair.
You can find me at: