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Curly Nikki

PetiteBebe- A Story of Transition

By January 27th, 202119 Comments
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.
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

PetiteBebe- A Story of TransitionPetiteBebe- A Story of TransitionPetiteBebe- A Story of TransitionPetiteBebe- A Story of Transition


  • Anonymous says:

    sandz!! i didnt know you were featured on this site.

  • Noveechops says:

    Your hair looks amazing natural!

  • Anya Posh says:

    I've only straightened my hair twice since I went natural 3 yrs ago. I went to a salon for a trim and flat-iron. The lady did a really good job as I got that bone straight silky look after. However, when I went to wash it out, the hair at my edges refused to REVERT! It was a HORROR.

    I used a lot of conditioner, protein, moisturizer; you name it, to get my hair back to normal but it didn't happen. These days, I have straggly straight ends hanging out of my 4B natural hair along the sides of my head. It is not funny – HEAT DAMAGE IS REAL! Although I must add that it loosened my texture and made my hair a lot easier to comb & detangle.
    Will I use heat again? Probably, but it won't be anytime soon. My hair needs to recover.

  • bacalove says:

    For natural hair, I love rollersets, it makes the hair so much more manageable for twisting or braiding, etc.

  • CurlyGigi says:

    I'm so happy you posted your story. It's a fact that direct heat styling DOES change and damage the hair. It's pure Science 101. I've found that rollersets combined with the silk wrap are great for straight styles w/o the damage. It's great that we have such versatile hair and now we're learning how to style it in various ways w/o the damage, which in the long runs gives length and beautiful, healthy hair. lol

  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you for posting this. I havent had a relaxer in over 6 years ( maybe more) and I would wash and straighten every 2 weeks or wear braids and weaves. After having my daughter ( postpartum shredding) I noticed how thin my hair was after years of straightening. I have been wearing my natural curls since November and love it. Now im taking care of my hair and have so much new growth but I dont plan on BC. There should be a new forum category for transitioners from heat not chemicals.

  • Anonymous says:

    gurl you are sexy…I want you…your hair is nice…can i have it?

  • Anonymous says:

    Love the "sweated out" party hair. You seem like you were rockin' it out and having a great time! That's when you know you have truly embraced natural hair when that bantu knot out, braid out, twistout, whatever, has reverted to a gloriously shrunken fuzzy, frizzy halo and you look in the mirror, see beauty and sashay off to have fun instead of hanging your head in shame like back in the creamy crack/ press&curl days!
    Stay Natural, Sister!

  • Anonymous says:

    This is my story! Oh my goodness. I grew up in a family where you were treated like you were going out in public naked if your hair was not straightened. So, I had chemically straightened hair for only a small portion of time. The majority of the years my hair was flat ironed or straightened with a pressing comb. I just knew there was a way to wear cute, socially acceptable hair without the heat. It is only in the past year that I found blogs and websites like to give me ideas and the courage to make accept my hair in its natural state. I am so grateful. I love my hair. By the way, I'm gradually cutting off the heat damage. I'm compensating by curling my hair when I wear twists/twistouts and wearing updos so the bone straight, stringy ends are not so noticable. I don't have anything against folks who want to use heat. It's just REAL nice to know there is another way. Thanks for sharing.

  • Anonymous says:

    It's funny you mentioned the thing about people who are chemical free but still wear their hair straight all the time. I can think of people who are natural but they get their hair washed and pressed every two weeks. LOL, no one knew they were natural until they said it on their FB stat one day.

  • Anonymous says:

    Love your curls! Eee-Yip, SoRhor!

  • Anonymous says:

    OMG…i love your story. Sounds like we're in the same boat. I'm 27 years old and have never had a relaxer in my hair but i've ALWAYS had it pressed out – every 2 weeks faithfully to be exact! Tomorrow begins my journey to going completely natural with my hair. I will start out with the two-strand twists and go from there. Thanks so much for posting your story, it just gave me that extra push! πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous says:

    Not sure y my name doesnt come up πŸ™
    Thanks soRHOr! πŸ™‚
    Sis, you know I am here for your questions/advice/tips…Most of them which I get right here from all these natural ladies

    Maybe I should clarify ….I don't think there is anything wrong w/ straightening hair & I dont want anyone to feel ashamed for doing so…it just really happen to damage mine. I am speaking to the women who press their hair repeatedly, not taking the time to really try and wear/embrace their natural hair. Believe me, if I really wanted to wear my hair straight, I would. I like that look, but I happen to love my curls.

  • Unknown says:

    Thanks for sharing your story. I really like your twist/bantu knot out.:)

  • Ishea says:

    I feel like this comes across as one of the heat "horror stories"… and in my opinion, there's nothing wrong with straigtening your hair… but instead this lady had to work on her deep rooted issues with wearing her hair curly. I just feel like so many times "natural" ladies get on bandwagons that all heat is bad and almost, even if not intentionally, cast this feeling of shame and disappointment towards those that choose to still straigten their hair. Everyone should pay attention to what their hair is telling them to do and work on nurturing their own locks. What does or does noto work for one may not be the same for another person.

  • Unknown says:

    that has to be one of the best things about being natural. you can sweat your hair out and still look fly. Imagine doing that with flat iron hair #yikes can we say #epicfail.

  • Anonymous says:

    Very cute!

  • Moonwalker733 says:

    Sis I always tell you how much I adore your curls, but this just gave me a change of heart about straightening. I guess your CN interview, plus our salon dryer AND our hand dryer burning out on me and mom are all signs from GOD that I need to stay away from straightening. I was planning to straighten after a year of these twists, but forget it now. I'm gonna deal with my curls THE WAY GOD INTENDED ME TO!

  • dopeCurlz says:

    Hey SoRHOr!!!!! I'm natural too πŸ™‚ loved your story.

    *Keisha B.

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