Meet PetiteBebe… her story is not one of transition, but of her decision to actually wear her hair natural and stop straightening.
CN: Were you a long term or short term transitioner, and why?
Long term but not your average story of being relaxed. I have been natural almost my entire life. There was a period in college when I let this girl relax my hair because I was thrown into a pool during the 1st week of school & my SUPER STRAIGHT press n curl that was supposed to last a good 4 weeks, was ruined. My roommate tried to save it, but my old trusty stylist from back home used to get my hair so straight w/ that comb. So yea, I let this girl who had gorgeous hair do it (Relaxed Aug 2003). Then I got bold; dyed my hair blonde in December of 2003. HOT MESS. I just quietly transitioned w/ braids and trims. But that’s not what I want to talk about πŸ™‚
CN: When did you BC? What was your initial reaction to your natural hair?
I haven’t really had to BC; my issue was I was stuck on flat ironing my hair! And that turned to heat damaged ends. I had washed my hair a few days before and I was disgusted at the straight pieces that hung down past my curls. Last April (2009), I was sitting at work (watching YouTube videos and reading blogs hehehe) and got the sudden urge to cut off the damaged ends and stop straightening. So I went to this Dominican shop, the only place who could do it on such short notice and not charge me an arm & a leg…I carefully explained that once they washed it to cut off the straight pieces. The woman did an excellent job and I walked out w/ a cute lil fro. Was too self conscious to wear it like that to work the next day, so I called out. I was so disappointed w/ myself because I had been so confident and bold the day before. But I didn’t know how to deal w/ the shrinkage and it seemed that she cut more than I anticipated off. Of course that wasn’t the case because when I blow-dried it out, it was maybe an inch shorter, which isn’t a big deal to me.

CN: How did family and friends react to the new you? What was your response to them?
Honestly, I didn’t really notice their reactions. I love my hair and no one, especially a negative opinion, is going to get any play from me. Hmpf!

CN: What was your transition routine?

I decided I needed to find some styles that didn’t require me putting heat on my head….bantu knots, 2 strand twists, WnG’s…I’m still experimenting w/ products and I basically used anything that was in my hair cabinet. I was/am a product junkie because I am still learning what my hair loves. It is taking me a long time. BUT! I have noticed that my loves the natural shea butter my ex’s mom would bring me from Nigeria (which is like, the main reason I was upset when we broke up cuz I wasn’t getting that hookup anymore), aloe vera gel for curl definition, suave coconut conditioner. Lately, I have been wanting to switch to organic products, so I bought some small sample’s of the Giovanni Moisturizing shampoo & Tea Tree Conditioner. I DC w/ Aubrey Organics and moisturize w/ Palmers coconut milk/seal w/ coconut oil.

CN: Why did you choose to stop straightening?

I hated washing my hair and seeing my curls ruined by straight ends; they looked so ugly to me. I knew I was ready to quit w/ the flat iron when I was in the shop and my stylist was blow-drying my hair and I wanted to seriously apologize to her (my hair). Then when she started to flat iron, I felt terrible. Even when I did a length check and trim in December of 2009, I still felt horrible, and it had been months since I was even near a flat iron.
I guess my point is, there may be women out there who don’t have a chemical, but are just addicted to the straight look. Maybe too self conscious to wear their hair in its natural state or just don’t think they can do it. I don’t have any profound knowledge to drop or words of wisdom…All I know is my hair was ruined because of the heat and I am still paying for it. Yes, the ends are gone, but some parts of my hair just don’t curl like they used too. Its been almost a year, but I have broken down maybe like 3 times and straightened. That was when I first started tho. Proudly, I haven’t straightened since early December 09, and that was for a trim and length check. I just cant wait for the day when my hair is totally back in its original/natural state. I have some pieces that are completely ruined but because the majority of my hair is in decent shape, I just can’t cut it all off.
If you have the smallest inclination to stop using that heat, PLEASE STOP. Even w/ protectants, my hair was still ruined πŸ™ I guess things in moderation are okay, but even that didn’t seem to work for me.
Pictures
1. orange tank- flat ironed hair
2. profile pic- after I had my straight ends snipped off
3. me and ls- Bantu knot out, hair was 2 strand twisted then knotted; my ls is rockin twists
4. me- after my hair got sweated out at the party I went too….Ppl were like, ‘omg what happened to your hair” But I LOVED it lol