Meet Andrea… proud natural and proud mama!

CN: Were you a long term or short term transitioner, and why?
I was a long term transitioner…….not as long as I wanted, but I couldn’t take it anymore, lol! I wanted to go for 1 year but ended up cutting it off myself after 9 months. I was in the shower one day trying to detangle that stuff when I saw something black fly by me….it freaked me out until I realized it was my hair. After I calmed down some, I hopped out of the shower and grabbed the scissors, and got to cutting!

CN: When did you BC? What was your initial reaction to your natural hair?
My last relaxer was on January 1, 2009. I BC’d October 1st through October 5th of 2009. I kept seeing more pieces that needed to be cut everyday so I was in the mirror clipping away over the course of a few days. At first I didn’t really like it. It was extremely dry and very kinky and I didn’t know what to do with it, so I kept it covered under a head wrap and wigs and only wore it out occasionally. Now, I’m loving my hair!

CN: How did family and friends react to the new you? What was your response to them?
Well, both my sisters were excited that I went natural. My oldest sister lives in another state so I sent her pictures of my hair. She loved it and actually decided to go natural as well. My middle sister also liked my hair……more than me. She told me how cute it was and how I should go ahead and wear it out. My Dad asked me what I had done to my hair. He lives out of town and every time I’d see him he would ask me that question so I would just explain to him that I went natural and cut off my relaxer. One day I was rocking a twist-out that I thought was cute and I saw my Dad and he asked me the same question and after I gave him my standard answer he said, “Oh, you have to get it done”? lol! I said, “No, Daddy. It IS done”. He is hilarious. My cousins and aunt have all given me positive feedback. I think it’s gonna have to grow on my Granny though…..she said it looked nappy. I told her that’s because it is nappy! I try not to think of that word as negative.

CN: What was your transition routine?
I would co-wash and condition my hair once or twice a week (depending on how long my style lasted) and I would make sure to deep condition once a week. My hair is very dry so I put something moisturizing on it at least twice a day….maybe coconut oil, shea butter or a water based moisturizer.

CN: What was your staple hair style during the transition?
While transitioning I would cornrow my hair to the back and then wear a braid-out. I would co-wash once a week and do this style. When that didn’t work for me anymore (I guess because of all the new growth) I started roller setting my hair and letting it air dry. The bantu knots never did do right by me……:-(

CN: Why did you choose to go natural?
Going natural was something I had tried to do 3 times over the past 6 year, but was never successful at until now. I’ve always loved natural hair but just didn’t know how to do it. In December of 2008 I ended up in the hospital and I got out on Christmas day. At that time I had already decided I was going natural but didn’t know how to care for my hair and just getting out of the hospital, I didn’t have the energy to figure it out. So I relaxed on January 1st knowing that was going to be my very last relaxer…..and I’m happy to say it has been!
I have a 6 year old daughter who would constantly tell me she wanted long, straight hair like mine and I felt like a fraud. I would tell her I want hair like hers. So my baby is another reason for me to go natural and stick with it this time. I want her to know that the hair God blessed her with is beautiful.

Relaxed

Transitioning with kinky twists
Twist out on me and my daughter