CN: Were you a long term or short term transitioner, and why?
My intentions were to be a long term transitioner, but alas, I only hung in there for a short while. The 9 month goal was cut short at 5– my last relaxer was Sept. 17, 2009 and I BC’ed on Feb. 10, 2010. Since I am a kindergarten teacher, I wanted to wait for the school year to end before I did my BC, that way I would have the summer to learn how to take care of my natural hair. However, as time went on, I grew tired of having to deal with two different textures and having to do roller sets as my transitioning style. Plus my friend Cassandra and my boyfriend encouraged and motivated me to chop sooner.
CN: When did you BC? What was your initial reaction to your natural hair?
I BC’ed on Feb. 10, 2010. I was somewhat anxious and nervous about what I would look like with short hair and how short it would be w/ the relaxed ends cut off, but when I saw my TWA, I was happy with my decision and happy to be free of relaxers!
CN: How did family and friends react to the new you? What was your response to them?
My friends were very supportive of my choice and new look. Four of my friends were already natural and have been for a while. My coworkers have nothing but compliments for me. My boyfriend at first wasn’t so sure, but he said that he likes it and that I am his beautiful African queen. My mom and I were transitioning together, before I decided to BC. She likes it and looks forward to when she is ready to BC. My younger sisters aren’t ready to embrace it, but that’s okay, maybe they will come to like it and understand it later.
CN: What was your transition routine?
At the beginning stages of transitioning I would go to my stylist every two weeks to get it washed and conditioned with regular shampoo and conditioner along with a trim to slowly cut out the relaxed ends. At that time, I was getting it flat ironed. As the transitioning process got further along, I started to do research on how to take care of natural hair and found CurlyNikki’s wonderful website. This and other websites made me aware that flat ironing the hair can cause damage and that it is better to have a transitioning style, so I started co-washing every week w/ Giovanni 50-50 conditioner and started doing roller sets. I also purchased Burt’s Bees shampoo and conditioner to clean my hair for the times I wanted a deep cleaning.
CN: How did you moisturize your hair to prevent breakage at the new growth line?
I moisturized my hair w/ conditioners, olive oil, and hot six oils.
CN: Why did you choose to go natural?
I chose to go natural for several reasons, one being that I wanted fuller hair. My hair always looked thin especially after a fresh relaxer. I also wanted healthy hair and with my workout regimen, my hair would be very dry especially in the winter and was prone to breaking off in the middle section in the back of my head. Plus, I can’t lie, the Chris Rock documentary “Good Hair” definitely made me think and reevaluate what I was putting on my hair and scalp.