CN: Were you a long term or short term transitioner, and why?
I intended to be a long-term transitioner, but this summer proved to be too great a challenge. Being an unemployed college student, I wasn’t able to get my hair braided as I had hoped. As any transitioning girl knows, swimming with two textures of hair gets to be a worrisome process.
CN: When did you BC? What was your initial reaction to your natural hair?
I BC’ed on July 2, 2010. I was alone. I didn’t tell anyone but my sister that I was going to do it. The day before, I went swimming and went to bed without washing or detangling my hair. I woke up frightened to say the least. So I washed my hair and tried detangling it with out going bald. Frustrated and tired from combing, I called my sister and asked her what I should do, jokingly she said cut it off. It was like a movie. I sat there and looked at the jar of relaxer in my mom’s bathroom, which was conveniently next to the scissors. I stared at myself for about 30 minutes and finally picked up the scissors and without looking cut a section of my hair off. And I immediately loved it! I was excited and didn’t care what it was going to look like. I saw tiny curls springing out at me and I knew I made the right decision.
CN: How did family and friends react to the new you? What was your response to them?
My dad didn’t notice for about 20 minutes when he came home. He just kept talking to me and completely missed my hair. But when he did he was very supportive, but he said, “Did you tell your mom yet?” My sister was the second to see it and she was really excited for me. Now my mom on the other hand was shocked. She went a few days without really talking to me. Not because she was mad, but she was genuinely shocked and I don’t think she wanted to hurt my feelings by reacting out of hand. A few days passed and finally she told me she had always wondered what her natural hair looked like but never had the courage to transition.
Outside of my family, friends were pretty accepting. I think my favorite reaction is “OMG you’re bald!!” And some people don’t care for it on me, but at the end of the day I love it and that’s all that matters!
CN: What was your transition routine?
Cowash twice a week. I loved Cantu Shea butter leave in conditioner and Aphogee shampoo and conditioner. I washed with shampoo once a month and that was usually with Aphogee and Crème of Nature.
CN: What was your staple hairstyle during the transition?
Two-strand twists were my main stay. And then towards the end I started getting creative and doing twisted updos that I found on YouTube.
CN: How did you moisturize your hair to prevent breakage at the new growth line?
I deep conditioned once a week and I ran Shea butter through my twists daily.
CN: Why did you choose to go natural?
I have had a relaxer since I was 5. And I always tease my mom about that day. I tell her it’s the day I lost my innocence, because I didn’t know I couldn’t go back to my puff ball after relaxing my hair. I chose transition now because it really just symbolizes this next phase of my life. I will be graduating this year from college. And as I transition into adulthood I wanted to do it being 100% Roddrea Smith. No tricks or smoke and mirrors. And relaxed hair isn’t how I was created to be.