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Curly Nikki

On the Couch With Scottie

By January 27th, 202125 Comments
Meet Scottie… relaxed most of her life and now enjoying the ‘swagger’ that natural hair has brought to her step!

On the Couch With Scottie
I am 40 years old and my hair has been relaxed for 34 years of my life. Even as a 3 year old, I was sporting a shoulder length pressed flip as I held my baby sister in a family picture.

In my family, relaxing is not a process that is given much thought. It just “is”. There was never a consideration of wearing hair in its natural state when I was growing up. It was more of a consideration of when we could move from the hot comb to the mild relaxer (Vigorol) to the real thing (Gentle Treatment). As my sister and I grew older, our radical moves involved trying new relaxers ourselves instead of going to professional hairstylists. Fortunately, we knew enough to
keep our hair clean, conditioned, and moisturized and it managed to flourish and grow long. Unfortunately, the hot NC climate was not conducive to maintaining a relaxed style.

Fast forward through grade school to college. I attended UNC-Chapel Hill and all of my friends had relaxed hair (except for the select few that had “good” hair). The only African American girls who dared to sport their natural hair were those who were heavily involved with the Black Student Movement or who were mature enough not to care what the masses thought. I was not one of those girls.

On the Couch With Scottie
Fast forward through two graduate degrees, corporate America, stay at home motherhood and now entrepreneurship. About a year ago, one of my closest friends transitioned to natural. Her hair was and continues to be absolutely gorgeous. However, her hair is curlier and finer than mine so I never really felt that I could achieve the same results. But then I had an epiphany! The same results were not about hair texture and curl pattern. But instead, the results were about self-love and embracing my God-given beauty. So on a flight on the way back home from visiting her (and getting a $125 cut on my relaxed hair in NY!), I decided to transition.

I must admit that my 8-year daughter was the biggest factor in my decision. Her hair is beautiful and versatile. She embraces it because it is all she knows and also because my husband and I have emphasized its beauty since she sprouted her first curls. She is probably the most stylish 2nd grader in her class with her flat twists, twist-outs, braids, and curly fros. Her teachers regularly inquire about who does her hair.

But back to me…So my younger sister (who loved long, full bodied hair) joined me on my natural journey. Both she and I have been surprised and ecstatic over our natural textures and the accompanying self-confidence it has brought. I thought that I would be afraid to leave the house with my kinky hair but just the opposite happened. My husband marveled over the new “swagger” in my step, my daughter loved that our hair was now “the same”, and I love my hair and love me!On the Couch With Scottie


  • Anonymous says:

    Fabulous story and beautiful curls! Oh yeah, the 40s does something for a woman in a positive way…I was 50 when I decided to go natural on a whim (had grown tired of everything relaxed since I have had a relaxer since I was 15…mom tried to discourage me) and when I started doing an Internet search discovered all the wonders of the natural hair community on YouTube and later found CurlyNikki and my determination was set. Now next month will be my 1 year since the big chop and a few scab hair snips here and there and folks can't believe how much my hair has grown (although I wasn't worried since I've always had a nice length of hair) but I'm very glad and have stopped obsessing over other naturals length and texture, since I have my very own now! 😉 It is definitely a process and you have to be patient and just focus on helping your hair overcome its dependency on relaxers something that at first can be a bit frustrating especially if you have a tighter curl pattern.

  • Anonymous says:

    Ur hair is beautiful and my hair type looks just like urs. Ive been transitioning for 1yr 4mo now. Whats ur hair routine and what products do u use?

  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks for your beautiful story! Isn't it amazing how beautiful your hair is(and was all that timebut you didnt know it)!Your hair looks nice and healthy!

  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks for sharing your inspirational story. I turned 40 this year, and began to transition last summer. I don't know what it was about turning 40, but I felt that after 7 1/2 years of relaxing, (and prior press and curls, wave nouveau, care free curls etc.), that it was time to get back to my natural state. All I can say is that my hair is flourishing!

  • Snook says:

    Go Scottie!!! You look great!! I remember the college days and your hair never looked this great!!!!

  • EllaMomi2002 says:

    Love your story and very similar to mine. My daughter has also been my "hair inspiration" Thanks for sharing.

  • Anonymous says:

    All I know is that when I saw your picture I thought you were mid 20s and nothing more. Congratulations! Your hair is beautiful and so are you! I'm 41 and just went natural this year. Same regrets(wishing I knew then what I know now) and same swag in my step now. NO ONE can tell me NOTHING!!! ha ha ha…Thanks for the story 🙂

  • Karen says:

    Thank you, thank you for sharing your story. I am in my mid 40's and it is just an inspiration to us, um, the "mature" community 🙂 You look marvelous! I BC'd about 3 weeks ago and was the best decision I have ever made. I have so much confidence and feel so free to be me. Stories like yours makes me keep coming back to this site. What a wonderful community!!!

  • natural cathe says:

    Wow, your hair and story is so inspirational. I b/c in 4/2010 and I have been natural since. I am also in my 40's so I can relate to how things were "back in the day" as far as natural hair was concerned. It must be great to have your sister to go natural with you. I am still working on presuading mine to come on the journey with me. Good luck and keep up the wonderful work

  • Ouidad Blog says:

    Wow, what a fantastic and inspirational story! Love that embracing your curls puts that extra "swagger" in your step. Keep up the great stories and curls!

    Katie for Ouidad

  • Basic Woman says:

    Thanks everyone for your positive comments. It feels great to share my story.


  • theboldandcurly says:

    Im a current Tar Heel…c/o 2011!!! Either way, its funny to read your story. At Carolina now, women going natural is a dime a dozen! There's so many of us now. We've built a great natural community.

  • Nyla Coils says:

    Great article!!

  • blkrose4ever says:

    Scottie you are inspiration to us 40 somethings. You hair looks beautiful and it reminds me of my own length and styles that I wear also. Sometimes it takes us awhile to see the beauty that we have possessed all along. 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    Yay!!! Someone my age! LOL! I really needed to see this today. Thank you so much for posting your story because I am also transitioning. I had been getting relaxers for 28 years! Congratulations to you – you look beautiful. 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    I wouldn't have pegged you at 40! Looking good, great story!

  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you Scottie for your story.I too am 40. My first relaxer was when I was 8. The second was when I was 9. The third was when I was 18. I have not seen my naps since then. I made the decision after finding this website to go natural in March 2010. Seeing how beautiful you look and how healthy and thick your hair is inspires me more!

  • Living Fly on a Dime says:

    Your hair looks amazing. I too was "relaxed" at an early age, 5 years old to be specific, so when I went natural I had no idea how to care for my hair. But three years later, I've become a pro at caring for and embracing my natural tresses.

  • curlytarheel says:

    great story fellow tar heel;-) though i've never had a relaxer, i was trying to maintain a press and curl in chapel hill because i never knew how to manage my hair in its truly natural state! oh, how i wish i knew then what i know now.

  • Basic Woman says:

    @kzharia and JenellyBean- Thanks! I really do enjoy my natural hair and cannot imagine putting chemicals in it again.
    @JustTrena – Something about being in my 40's makes me just want to "do me" LOL!

  • Laceebia says:

    Your hair is beautiful! I'm 35 and transitioning, I've been relaxed since 17. Your story is an inspiration. Thanks!

  • JustTrena says:

    I LOVE your story! I'm in my early 40s also and, like you, I've just recently (1.66 years) started wearing my hair natural since the age of 17 and it's been one of the best decisions I've made! I also get the part about having your children enjoy the journey with you! The best to you and yours!!

  • Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful says:

    Kudos to you Scottie for embracing the natural you!

    I can imagine the delight your daughter feels!

  • Unknown says:

    Hi Scottie! Kudos on your decision to be good to your hair…it is absolutely beautiful!!! I've been natural since about 2003, and I'm here to stay. My hair is healthier and happier than it's ever been…I love to see women who take this path…bless you!!

  • Anonymous says:

    what an insirational story. I have also had relaxed hair most of my life, but thanks to the natural hair sites like, curly nikki;I haven't put a relaxer in my hair in 15 months.

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