LJ Kelly, a long-term transitioner, and STL curly writes:

Hello Nikki,

I did the BIG CHOP on December 23, 2009 which was also my 20-something birthday! 🙂 I had been transitioning for 17 long months but I chose my birthday to chop all my relaxer off because I wanted the date to be significant, and also so I would have a decent amount of length. I have never had extremely short hair so doing a drastic big chop was pretty much out of the question! My transition taught me many lessons in self acceptance and confidence but the best lesson I learned was PATIENCE! I very rarely used direct heat in my transition; I mostly did protective styles, flexirod sets, roller sets and at the end braid outs.

My story:

This has truly been a journey for me. I decided to stop getting relaxers (my last was July 9, 2008) because I wanted my hair to be in the healthiest state possible. I found Healthy Textures website where I learned about co-washing and how unhealthy mineral oil and petroleum was for my hair so I threw out all of my hair products that contain them (which was A LOT)! In my “cabinet cleaning exercise” I began to think about the damaging ingredients in relaxer. I thought about stretching my relaxers to just 4 times a year but that still did not solve the problem so in August 2009 I decided that I would stop getting relaxers but still straighten my hair with flat irons.

Soon after I decided to stop relaxing, Healthy Textures format changed so I was forced to search for other knowledge of healthy hair on the internet and I found tons of natural hair blogs that began to change how I viewed my hair. CurlyNikki was a God send for me & it really shaped my transition as far as attitude, styling techniques and even products. Soon after I found the site, I began to rethink my ideas on natural hair and I decided that I would embrace my natural curl!

Pictures:

1: Relaxed hair
2: One year in my transition w/ a flexirod set at the CurlyNikki natural hair meet up in STL
3: My favorite picture & first successful Twist ‘n Curl! 🙂
4& 5: 100% NATURAL in my birthday dress! 🙂

Take a look at my fotki here: http://public.fotki.com/ljkelly/

Thank you, Nikki for your site and all of your support! 🙂

Happy Holidays!