CN: Were you a long term or short term transitioner, and why?
Long term! I had perms (curly), a relaxer years ago and used Perm lotion to remove curls in the past (last time Feb. 2010). I have chopped my hair off to get it healthy in the past, but still flat ironed, causing damage.
Actually, I’m now transitioning because earlier this month I went on holiday to Ibiza with the girls and didn’t want to have to straighten my hair every night after the beach, or otherwise avoid the water etc., so I was looking for easy ideas as I could not do a W&G because of the straight ends. Luckily, I came across Braid-outs and CurlyNikki.com, and decided to go natural again– I haven’t had a perm on my hair to straighten it since about Feb 2010, but straightened with GHD’s once a week!
CN: How did family and friends react to the new you? What was your response to them?
Actually, unlike what I read on other Transition stories (but not all of course), my family LOVES that I’m going back curly, they all loved and love my hair curly, it’s how I was made and they miss it when it’s straight! My Nan always loved it, and when she passed, I not long after had it chemically straightened and cut really short (BC with different purpose!) and the Medium I saw said ‘your nan said your hair is short – it suits you but she liked it better before!” I felt sad about that.
CN: What is your transition routine?
Well, its only really properly about 3wks in and so far, I have basically slung out all of my old products or anything with ‘cones’ in them and swapped for Hello Hydration Shampoo, ‘Naked’ 97% Natural Shampoo – Balancing and Clarifying – I actually use this first then HH after in the same wash, then Naked 97% Natural Shea Butter and Coconut Oil Intensive Condish, which I leave in for 5mins and rinse. I use Organix Coconut Milk Intensive condish (bi-weekly), which heats up in your hands as you apply it to you hair… it’s like a serum based treatment – it’s lovely and leaves the hair really soft.
I also aim to co-wash once a week. I’m loving this and really getting into it! I will try first with the Naked Condish mentioned above but it might be too thick, we’ll see tonight!!
Product wise, I add Organix Coconut Repair Serum on Wet Hair, Dark and Lovely Moisturizer, then Boots Curl Creme to style then once Braided or Twisted, Coconut Oil on the ends now. If tying up in a Bun, I’d probably stop at the Dark and Lovely Moisturizer and bun up damp.
CN: What is your staple hair style during the transition?
I’m in the throws now as such early days, but prefer Braid Outs, but my hair holds better so far with a 2 Strand Twist Bantu Knot-Out. I’ve taken a few tips from you guys to leave my hair wet, not damp for Braid-outs and add Flexi Rods to the ends – hoping this works as I love the look of the Braid-out personally!
CN: How do you moisturize your hair to prevent breakage at the new growth line?
Since my hair doesn’t have a ‘traditional’ relaxer on it, it has Alkaline perm (used mainly for curly perms), it’s not as harsh, so I don’t get a lot of breakage at all, but I do have the odd little dry patches at the ends. I have avoided straightening over the last 3 months or so and have had it trimmed twice, about 3” in total since then too, and have only a couple of ‘crispy’ ends left, thank goodness!
But I did spend most of the last 3 months or so in a Bun, with Olive Oil Serum and Coconut Oil on my hair as well to keep it moist -even before I realized or decided I was transitioning, I guess I kind of already was subconsciously!
CN: Why did you choose to go natural?
Why not! I love Curly hair, whenever mine used to be curly, I loved it, but never really knew how to handle it. I often had Curly perms to make day to day styling easier as the curls were defined ready for me to fluff up etc, but it wasn’t good to my hair. Then I permed straight for years and cut in endless styles, had half weaves too… But I always missed the curls when I was straight, but being a White girl, I guess at times, I often envied my friends and siblings naturally straight, long hair that could have so many wonderful styles, so I was aiming for something I didn’t and don’t have.
I also worked in jobs where I’m required to be in a suit and always thought I looked smarter with straight hair (some of you said you felt the same, weird huh?!).
However, being a White girl, I actually realize, that bloody hell, how lucky am I to actually have an afro! Its not the norm, its unusual . . and its pretty amazing and unique! My only regret is I can see my growth not as curly as it used to be 🙁 I hope in time it changes, I’m about a 3a/b with some tiny 3c’s at back underneath -and they’re so cute!
I’m now excited to see what my hair journey will be like . . . included are some pics from the past to present!
Straightened BC20 minute braid-out with backcombing