CN: Were you a long term or short term transitioner, and why?
I think I would be considered a short to medium term transitioner. My last relaxer was April 23, 2009 and I BC’d on January 8, 2010; that’s about 8 1/2 months. I had originally planned on just growing out my relaxer while pressing my roots straight and trimming my ends regularly. But through my online research I became very intrigued about seeing my hair in it’s natural kinky state. I found out about heat damage and protective styling and Big Chops. So that’s when I decided that one day I would eventually BC, I wanted to wait until I had enough natural hair for a ponytail, but at 8 months I became very curious to see what my hair really looked like, so I decided to start off 2010 with 100% natural hair.
CN: When did you BC? What was your initial reaction to your natural hair?
I BC’d on January 8th 2010, my friend did it for me. I had been natural for the first 18 years of my life, but now at 28, it was my first time having short natural hair that had never been pressed or blow dried before. When I first saw it, I was a bit numb; it was a lot shorter than I thought it would be, and it didn’t really curl up even after I added gel. I wasn’t disappointed; I just knew that it was something that I had to get used to. After a henna treatment and a few days passed (maybe a week) my hair started to coil up and I started to love it, it was better than I expected. I couldn’t keep my hands out of it.
CN: How did family and friends react to the new you? What was your response to them?
I knew even before I did it that I had to be sure of my choice and not let people’s reaction sway me. My family and direct crowd of acquaintances (church and friends) are mostly Jamaican, and Jamaicans are very opinionated people; so I was ready for anything. Right before I cut my hair, my best friend told me that she thought I was making a huge mistake and that I should not cut my hair. She kind of seemed upset that I still decided to cut it, and she didn’t really comment on my hair afterward. After about a month we were going someplace and I had just co-washed my hair and was sporting a wash n go and she actually complimented me, she said she loved the curls. I think she is used to it now (I don’t ask her cause I don’t want to get upset ).
Most people love it and say that it suits me, or they want to touch my coils. Some people ask why I cut it and didn’t just let it grow out. I don’t think my mom really likes it, every once in a while she makes a semi-rude comment about how my hair looks. But I told her that it is just hair and hair grows back and that my natural hair is beautiful. She won’t even touch it, I think she thinks it feels like dry grass or something….lol!
CN: What was your transition routine?
I co-washed once or twice a week with Tresemme or Garnier Fructose Conditioner; I shampooed and deep conditioned once a week with various deep conditioners. I used a sulfate free shampoo most of the time (Everpure by Loreal) and Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Creamy Aloe Shampoo whenever I had build up or felt I needed to clarify. I used Castor oil on my scalp regularly (2-3 times a week) and baggied my ends every once in awhile. My routine wasn’t written in stone but I was consistent in keeping my hair conditioned and not manipulating it too much (mainly protective styles).
CN: What was your staple hair style during the transition?
Flexirods done on wet hair and buns in the end when my hair started growing. Braid outs and twist outs took too long to dry for me, my hair is REALLY thick.
CN: How did you moisturize your hair to prevent breakage at the new growth line?
Regular deep conditioning, moisturizing with water based products and sealing with oil (Castor or Olive oil), regularly baggying my hair at night (that’s moisturizing and sealing and then putting a plastic cap on before going to bed). I didn’t have a lot of breakage at all. My hair stayed very healthy and easy to handle, I honestly could have transitioned for a couple more years if I didn’t become so impatient.
CN: Why did you choose to go natural?
When my hair was natural, as a child and a teenager, I always had thick healthy, long hair. Once I started relaxing my hair, I could never grow it past shoulder length. So I stopped trying and I started cutting my hair short and wearing weaves and braids all the time. I gave up on achieving length and I settled with the fact that my hair can look healthy it just won’t grow. I transitioned for a year when I was 21 but then for some reason relaxed again and I have been thinking about going natural ever since. Relaxer is just not for me. I think my hair is best when it is chemical free, whether it be straight or kinky. I’m excited about not looking like everyone else and the versatility I will have once I gain some length. This is the most exciting thing I’ve done in a long time!
you are naturally beautiful. I love your curls…really pretty.
What products do you use on your hair now? What is your hair routine like?
Thanks again everyone!
@PJ – no I don't use henna very regularly. I tried to dye my hair black with henna and indigo 3 or 4 weeks ago, but it didn't really work. I'm going to try one more time and then after that I probably won't use henna anymore. I would like to have the option of colouring my hair later on and I don't think you can colour over henna. I do a baking soda conditioning treatment that I think gives me the same if not better results (it defines my curls, doesn't loosen them as much).
However, if you are a henna user or looking for a brand I reccommend Godrej Nupur Henna. It's mixed with 9 essential herbs (Aloe Vera, Amla, Brahmi etc…). The amla makes the dye a bit darker than regular henna and the other herbs help add shine and softness to your hair. If you can find it, it is awesome – I used it when i was transitioning.
You look great!! I love your hair natural, your curls are amazing! 🙂 Do you still do henna treatments regularly? What brand/recipe did/do you use?
Hi, You are looking good with all hair style its really working in your face and your discussion is to good..
Keisha your a beautiful lady, and I love your big pretty eyes. I love the last shot of the headband with the curly twa. I am about the same length. I am just trying to figure different ways to style it….because it is so short. But I do rock my headbands a lot, lol. 🙂 Be Blessed!
Your hair looks great and it has really grown. My last relaxer was april 9, 2009 and I BC'd early January but my hair is not as long as yours.
3 words immediately came to my head: clean, new and fresh. you look absolutely beautiful!!
Thanks so much for your compliments ladies! The 2 post BC pics in this article were the 1st and 2nd month after my BC. I've been natural 4 months now and I can't believe how much it's grown. I have absolutely fallen in love with my curls :)And I am so thankful for websites like Curly Nikki and KISS; the support is awesome!
Pretty curls and even prettier smile!
you and your hair are abs gorgeous!
u and ur hair are pretty! indeed Jamaicans are opinionated lol. I live in Ja …born and raised! I too experienced alot of rude comments when I big chopped 6 years ago.Congrats!
Wowwww. Gorgeous hair and face. Love the last picture.
I love your natural hair. Your curls are GORGEOUS!!
I love your natural hair!!!
Your hair's gorgeous! Congrats! I think we transitioned about the same amount of time. It is jarring when you first see it, but you fall in love w/your natural curls at the first touch.