Meet Laila… a current long term transitioner who despite resistance from her mother, is pressing forward.

CN: Are you a long term or short term transitioner, and why?
I’m a LONG term transitioner for two main reasons.. 1) I have a small egg shaped head and if I BC’ed I’m so positive I’d look ill… and I mean sick .. 2) I’ve never had short hair before…ever… the shortest it’s been is probably APL and that’s because I got brave on time and had my hair shaped. I just think short hair is not for me…. I mean I like it, I really do but just not on me.

CN: When are you going BC?
I’ve really thought long and hard about this and the date has changed so many times… originally I wanted to hold out till my graduation ceremony in January 2012 which would make me 2 years and 6months post, but I’m pretty sure that might not happen so for now let’s just say I’ll BC at my 2 year mark on 6th July 2010.

CN: How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural?
Where do I start ladies!?! …. My friends and random strangers are so supportive but my family, not so much. It makes me really sad sometimes, especially my mum. I strongly believe that her and other family members live vicariously through my hair. I remember the day I told her I was going natural… I heard it all….

“Are you crazy… what’s come over you?….why would you do this to me?….. you wont look like my daughter anymore….how will you get a husband”… it was endless really.

I remember thinking wow.. is this real? All this over hair ?, over the fact that I want to let my hair be what it is?

She never has anything nice to say to me about my hair any more and it can be dis-heartening but i’m not doing this to please anyone but myself.

When I first decided to transition, it wasn’t about making a statement about my race, skin colour or culture, but the deeper I got into my transition and the more time I had to analyze peoples reactions to my decision, I realized this transition was about more than just hair… it goes deeper, so much deeper…. Anyway, I feel like all the negativity will be worth it one day when my little girls can look at me and think ‘my hair is big and beautiful just like mummy’s .’

CN: What is your transition routine?
I like to keep it real simple. I shampoo my hair once a week in 4 sections and deep condition… that’s it, LOL… I air dry in 4 bantu knots to stretch the new growth if I’m having anything other than a bun, if Bunning then I do it while wet. I don’t use towels anymore just t-shirts and the hair turban thingys (this has changed through my transition, when you find what works just stick to it, too many experiments will lead to unnecessary breakage *I know this* ) oh… I only detangle under running water with condish… a comb never touches my hair unless it’s wash day.

Products I Use

VO5 Herbal Escapes Kiwi Lime Clarifying Conditioner ( Staple…)
Aussie 3min Miracle Reconstructor DC ( Staple… )
Aussie Miracle hair insurance leave-in ( Staple… )
HE Hello Hydration Shampoo
Lustrasilk Shea Butter Cholesterol ((DC, mixed with oils and herbs))( Staple)
Shea Butter Mix ( Staple…)

IC Fantasia Gel ( mixed with moisturiser and oil) for braids and twist ( Staple…)
Eco styler Krytal clear gel ( for bunning and edges ) ( Staple…)

Oils & Herbs ( Used on occasion)–

Dabur Vatika Enriched Coconut Hair Oil
Extra Virgin Coconut, Olive & Avocado oil & Jamaican Castor oil
Indian Ayurvedic Herbal Powders : Amla, Brahmi, Methi, Hibiscus & Fenugreek & Henna

CN: What is your staple hair style during the transition?
French roll with Victoria Rolls at the front or variations of it…. I also bun a lot out of laziness

CN: How do you moisturize your hair to prevent breakage at the new growth line?
I spray my hair with water and glycerine every morning and seal with my shea butter and EVOO mix (My pure shea butter is from my homeland GHANA.. we went there February and I bought A LOT, LOL!). To reduce breakage I try not to play in my hair a lot… LOW MANUPULATION… you read it everywhere because it really works .

CN: Why did you choose to go natural?
I woke up one day, took my head scarf off and looked in the mirror, looking back at me was a young woman with healthy long bsl hair but i wanted more…. I was no longer happy with my hair. I’d always loved my natural hair and thought it was time to go back ‘home’, i’d come to a point in my life where i was making changes. I have nothing against Relaxer of any kind… after all i’d loved my own texturized hair and the compliments that come with it but it was time for a change, one that i thought was going to be just physical but ended up being so much more. I’m loving every part of this journey, from the tears to the smiles, the love to the hate and i hope i can inspire someone to keep going.

I love social networking so i’m everywhere–

http://twitter.com/NeffyFroFro (not really hair related but i like to think my tweets are interesting lol)
http://members.fotki.com/Laila-Jean/about/ Follow my journey

http://keepitsimplesista.ning.com/profile/LailaJeanWashington (shout out to all my KISS Siters )

http://www.youtube.com/user/FusionofCultures (More videos to come… just been very busy)

Thanx & good luck to everyone out there!