CN: How long have you been transitioning and why?
I guess I’ve been transitioning for about 7 months. It probably would have been a shorter amount of time if I wasn’t so afraid to cut all of my hair off at once! I’ve always wanted to wear my hair short or to try to wear an afro, but I’ve always been so self conscious about my curly hair. It’s so BIG and CURLY and draws so much attention, lol. People really notice it when you walk into a room! Part of my hair had been curly and part of it had been straight for years and the first step in my transition was to cut some of the straight hair off. I wasn’t ready to do the full on-cut all the straight hair off-because then I’d have a mini afro and that was not going to be okay. I had to take baby steps. The first time I cut my hair was in April of 2009.
CN: When did you BC? What was your initial reaction to your natural hair?
I bc’d on September 17th, 2009. I decided that it was time, and that ‘today was the day’. I went to a salon to have it done and I literally ran out of the salon and wouldn’t let them finish styling my hair. I drove home, and laid down in my bed and cried. I thought I looked like a boy and I could NOT believe that I had just cut all of my hair off.
CN: How did family and friends react to the new you? What was your response to them?
Every single person who saw my hair loved it. I could not believe that people were so into it. I would say things like, “Really??” and “Are you sure??!?!?” My best friend said: “My hair dream for you has come true!!!” LOL! My brother said a quote from one of his favorite movies: “Without change something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens.”-Dune
It took me a few days to get over the initial shock of not having longer hair, and of having this curly little fro on my head. Once I figured out how to style it, and saw the beauty, uniqueness and edginess in it, I fell in love.
CN: What was your transition routine?
Before I bc’d, I was still straightening my hair all the time. Once I bc’d, I completely stopped using heat. I went to the salon every 2-3 months to have my hair trimmed and have any remaining straight hair cut off. I still have some straight hair where my bangs would be (if I had bangs) that I need to have cut off. I wash my hair twice a week and I use Organix Fortifying Lavender Soymilk Shampoo and Conditioner. I towel dry my hair and then use a squirt of Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk Anti-Breakage Serum and 2 squirts of Tresemme Flawless Curls Curl Hydration for moisture. For styling I’ll use Tresemme Flawless Curls Curl Care Mousse if I want really tight curls. If I want looser curls, I’ll use Tresemme Sculpting Gel. I like to keep my fro standing up on the top, and it won’t do that on it’s own, so I sometimes use Frizz-Ease Hair Spray to keep it up. I usually just let my hair air dry, but for a quick dry, I’ll blow dry with a diffuser.
CN: What was your staple hair style during the transition?
Afro, and now I sometimes I wear a mohawk. I should try other styles though…
CN: How did you moisturize your hair to prevent breakage at the new growth line?
Blowdrying and flat ironing my hair really had a lot to do with my hair breaking. Now that I don’t do that anymore, it really keeps the breakage under control. I use Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk Anti-Breakage Serum. Also, I NEVER brush or comb my hair anymore, which is really kind of strange because I used to do that all the time when my hair was straight. The only thing I do is run my fingers through my hair to separate the curls. I think that has helped with the breakage problem as well.
CN: Why did you choose to go natural?
I went natural because I wanted to learn to love myself and see if I could be comfortable with my natural hair. I have NEVER been comfortable with my hair until now. Ever since I can remember, I always had my hair straightened. I remember being made fun of for having curly, big hair. When I was a kid, they would say I looked like I stuck my finger in an electrical socket. That’s the kind of thing that will make you, or at least me, hate my hair. When I look at myself in the mirror now and see myself with curly-fro-y hair, I think; this is me. I accept myself. I feel comfortable. I feel more myself now, than I have ever felt with straight hair.