Meet CurlySwan…she decided to go natural after an accidental relaxer stretch!
CN: Were you a long term or short term transitioner, and why?
I was a long term transitioner (one year). Why? Because my head is too big for a TWA.:-
CN: When did you BC? What was your initial reaction to your natural hair?
I BC’ed May 1, 2009. My reaction? “I DID IT! I DID IT!”:-D LOL! Seriously, there was something so liberating about cutting off the last of the permed ends. Like so many others have said, I felt free! 🙂
CN: How did family and friends react to the new you? What was your response to them?
Surprisingly, I received mostly positive responses in the beginning from family and friends (and now that my hair has grown out, they like it even more). The few who didn’t care for the new me, didn’t bother to comment one way or the other but I could tell they weren’t feeling it…it just didn’t matter to me 🙂 . There was only one person that actually said something to me about not liking my natural hair. It was my boss. Actually, I had prepared myself for any negative comments so I really didn’t take offense to what she said plus she was as gentle as she could be with all of her honesty. LOL! She said, “I like your hair better straight. Is this a phase you are going through or something?” I told her that it was not a phase and that I will be wearing my hair natural from now on. I think she’s use to it now that it’s grown out but who cares. This is me…take it or leave it!:) Sidenote: My boss and I get along very well so I don’t want you to think that she was nasty to me about it. I expected the comment from her b/c I know how she is. 🙂 Moving on to the next question…
CN: What was your transition routine?
Ummmm, well I had a dermatological (is that a word?) issue during the last 5 months of my transition and it seemed that most of the products I tried irritated my situation so I switched to several prods in that time frame. Can’t remember all of them but the one constant was and still is Herbal Essence Hello Hydration condish. I also used and continue to use Pantene Relaxed and Natural Deep Penetrating Mask or whatever it’s called.:- You know what I mean…LOL! They should consider shortening the name because it’s too long. (rolling my eyes) Oh and I can’t forget about my precious shea butter! Can’t live without out.:)
Routine? I washed and condished once a week, did a blow out and flat ironed once a week until the 9th month into my transition. Then I began to alternate that routine with the TNC. Post transition, I did wash-n-gos for 4 months until it began to dry out my hair considerably. That’s when I had to enact ORH (Operation Repair Hair). I decided to minimize all products by keeping it simple because in addition to washing my hair everyday, I was certain that one of the prods I was using was contributing to the dryness (and it was). ORH included washing and deep conditioning twice a week, Giovanni Direct Leave-in (GDLI for short) conditioner and shea butter. That’s all I used for 2 months until I restored the moisture back into my hair. My hair was greasy from the shea:-…as I tend to be a little heavy handed plus my hair holds on to that stuff…but it wasn’t dry anymore…LOL!:-D I’d twist my hair after washing and every night thereafter sleeping with a satin cap.
CN: What is your current weekly routine?
-Pre-wash with Suave coconut naturals (this is just to get the extra shea out so that I have to use so much shampoo…told ya my hair holds on to that stuff)
-Shampoo with Giovanni 50:50
-Deep condish with Pantene Relaxed and Natural Deep Penetrating yadda yadda…
-Condish with HEHH (I do this to help with volume as my hair tends to be more flat if I just use the Pantene deep condish)
-Butter my scalp, seal ends, then apply GDLI and twist and curl…I use sponge rollers b/c I can’t sleep in the hard rollers.:-
CN: How did you moisturize your hair to prevent breakage at the new growth line?
As previously stated, I had a dermatological issue going on during the last 5 months of my transition which caused some breakage and hair loss anyway. So to be honest, I couldn’t tell you if my method worked in that regard given the circumstances.:- With that said, I just made sure I deep condished once a week and buttered my scalp (that’s my term for applying shea butter to my scalp) and sealed my ends with shea as well.
CN: Why did you choose to go natural?
Well, I ‘d been noticing for more than a year that I had been going longer and longer without “needing” a relaxer. The standard for me was every 3 months. Then I was able to stretch it to 4 months and then 5 months…which worked out well for me economically. Anyhoo, my new growth had me curious and I wondered what it would be like if my entire head was full of waves. Fast forward to October 2008…I was planning to attend a high school alumni event and I knew I’d be seeing former classmates that I hadn’t seen in a while…some since we graduated. Of course I wanted to look my best, hair included (I had just moved back to my hometown months earlier after being away for 7 1/2 years). So, I went to the local beauty supply store the day before the event to pick up a do-it-yourself kit (which I had done many times before so it wasn’t new to me) but I must’ve picked up an old jar b/c the darn thing didn’t take at all and normally the relaxer would start to work within a few short minutes of application! What a total waste of money! I was heated b/c now I had a hair emergency and there wasn’t anything I could do about it. All I could do was blow dry, curl it and wrap it up and that’s what I did. It all worked out the next day anyway.:) BUT, that’s when I decided to go natural. I figured if I could go 5 months without a relaxer, then it’s possible that I could do without it altogether.:)
1st pic (May 2008)- Last time I had color and 2 weeks after my last relaxer
2nd pic (Oct. 2009) – twist out
3rd pic (Jan. 2010) – bantu knot out
4th pic (2/17/2010) – TNC
5th pic (2/28/2010) – Side swept TNC