Meet Stephany… she writes ‘getting a relaxer was never my choice, but it was something that I was forced to do to maintain my hair. After 15 years of conforming, I decided to make a choice to be me.’

CN: Were you a long term or short term transitioner, and why?
I would consider myself to have been a long term transitioner. I transitioned for about a year before I cut all my relaxed ends off (I trimmed a little along the way though). I decided to do a long transition because I had never seen my natural hair before, and I was afraid of what it might look like.

CN: When did you BC? What was your initial reaction to your natural hair?
I call it my “little chop.” By the time I cut the rest of my relaxed hair off, I only had about 2 inches of relaxer and I was at a natural length I was comfortable with. It was sort of a graduation present to myself. I haven’t been completely natural for long, but I LOVE it!

CN: How did family and friends react to the new you? What was your response to them?
My family and friends were very receptive to my transition. I had been getting relaxers since I was six years old and I was excited to find out what my natural texture would look like. I think everyone saw how much fun I was having with it and shared in my excitement. I even got other family members to decide to go natural, and now I can cheer them on!

CN: What was your transition routine?
I used heat in the beginning because I did not know what to do, but I wanted my hair to be as healthy as possible, so I cut heat out around month 4. I did a lot of wet sets (flat twists, Bantu knots, two-strand/three-strand twists). I even experimented and invented my own styles. I use heat for special occasions, but I’m learning that my natural hair is just as beautiful for special occasions. I used the Kera Care line, which made both my relaxed and natural hair really soft. I also used aloe vera and shea butter for moisture.

CN: What was your staple hair style during the transition?
Bantu knots! They gave my hair a curly fro look that I loved! When they got old, I was able to put my hair up in a cute, messy bun.

CN: How did you moisturize your hair to prevent breakage at the new growth line?

Aloe vera and shea butter mixed. I also used Garnier fructis’ leave-in conditioner that was great for revitalizing old twist sets. The Shea Moisture line is also AMAZING!

CN: Why did you choose to go natural?
I decided to go natural because relaxers were so damaging to my hair. I went from normal to mild relaxers. I even went three months between relaxers, but my hair was thinning and shedding too much for my taste. I had friends that had gone natural and they were so satisfied with the results. I wanted thick, full hair and I knew there was only one way to achieve it.