CN: Were you a long term or short term transitioner, and why?
I transitioned for 11 months. I originally set out to transition for at least a year, but I eventually started to feel “weighed down” by my relaxed ends. Braid-outs, Twists-outs, and other transitioning styles looked awkward to me with my relaxed ends – and I was dying to see my full natural head of hair. After the chop, I didn’t regret a thing. The whole experience was really freeing.
CN: When did you BC? What was your initial reaction to your natural hair?
After my BC, I immediately fell in love. To be honest, the first thing I thought was “Why did I wait so long to make this decision?” I got my BC done at the Hair Rules Salon by Anthony Dickey, so even the hair cut experience was tons of fun. Everyone on his team loves natural hair, so I honestly wasn’t even nervous as he started cutting my hair. I walked out of that salon with my head held high, feeling naturally fly!
CN: How did family and friends react to the new you? What was your response to them?
I’ve always loved to see big beautiful curls and coils – and I’ve unofficially transitioned many times over the years. I’ve always contemplated going natural, so this really wasn’t a huge mental leap for me. It was more about learning styles, experimenting, and figuring out what works for me.
My family is supportive, and my grandmother has commented on the health and thickness of my hair since I stopped relaxing. I’ve also had many natural friends in college, so natural styles were definitely not a foreign thing to me…I just needed to figure out how to do them! lol
CN: What was your transition routine?
During the summer, I co-washed 3-4 times a week rotating conditioners. Some of my favorites: Herbal Essence Hello Hydration, Organix Coconut Milk conditioner, and KBB Hair Milk. During the colder months, I still try to co-wash 2 times a week and I LOVE braid outs.
I’ve recently begun to do ACV rinses about 1-2 times a week – and my hair LOVES it. Sometimes I’ll use my tried and true Creme of Nature shampoo though.
After I wash, my routine is: HE Long Term Relationship Leave-In, seal with coconut oil, then style as desired. I think EVCO has really changed my hair, so it’s a staple of mine.
Some stylers I love: IC Fantasia gel or Lekair styling gel (for lighter hold).
CN: What was your staple hair style during the transition?
For the most part, I wore my hair in my signature up-do. My ends were protected, and I got a lot of growth retention with this style. When my hair grows out enough, I’ll be wearing it again. Other than that, I did buns or just wore my hair straight.
CN: How did you moisturize your hair to prevent breakage at the new growth line?
I think co-washing and coconut oil gave me moisturized hair and protected me from breakage.
CN: Why did you choose to go natural?
I always hated getting relaxers. I did horrible things like using box perms and then getting relaxers at the salon (rotating no-lye and lye: a big no-no), since I would only get relaxers on a whim (and infrequently) when I didn’t know what to do with my hair any more.
I’m also a lover of curls, and I wanted to have healthier, stronger, longer hair. When I was relaxed, my hair never grew past my shoulders. I had faith that this would change, and so the journey began!
my blog/site – www.blackstrands.com
my fotki – http://public.fotki.com/TwistyTops/