My natural hair and I have had an “on again, off again” relationship. My sophomore year in college (1998-99), I met a phenomenal freshman who wore her hair in it’s natural state. Someone who was that confident and prideful doing something that was so touchy (at the time)- – I had to meet. She played a huge part in my decision to explore the “other side”. But how could I, why would I… SHOULD I?! My hair was one of the things that made me who I was, or so I thought. One of the things everyone complimented me on was my hair- – no matter the length, color, style, etc. It was always on point. So, I started thinking long and hard about ridding myself of relaxers. Ironically, doing hair was how I made money in college. This phenomenal freshman gave me the privilege of taking care of her mane. I braided it, twisted it, coiled it, and eventually I was head over heels. I knew this lifestyle was for me. I cut my hair gradually in the fall of 2000 and stopped getting touch ups. By the beginning of 2001, I BC’d with only 3-4 months of new growth. I loved it!…Until the in between length came. I hated it. All the while, people were in my ear with “OMG, I can’t believe you cut all that pretty hair”, or, “your hair was so pretty, why did you do that?!?!”
*SIGH* With all the forces against me, sadly I didn’t last a year. I relaxed my hair again in 2002. Looking back I can say that I was unequipped at that point in time. I didn’t have enough education about taking care of my hair, I had no support, I didn’t have the confidence or strength, and I just wasn’t ready! Period.
Fast forward to February 2005. Although I had just gotten a touch up, I couldn’t shake the thought of living a natural lifestyle. Inside and out. I really wanted to, but this time I needed to be prepared. This time I would study, so I lurked on sites like Fotki with a huge appetite for learning all I could about everyone’s experiences, rituals, etc. I read all I could about products, protection, and co-washing. I decided to transition for a whole year. March 2006 I BC’d and ironically although I “prepared” myself for this, I BOO-HOOED like a baby! It took a couple of days to get over the shock of it. One day I woke up and said, “This is you. Embrace it.” And I did. From that point on I wanted to show my Creator that I appreciated the way He created me. Ever since then, I’ve felt a sense of freedom, pride, and an extreme oneness with God. Now, everywhere I go I hear, ” I love your hair!!!!” Most importantly I love my hair! 🙂
Your hair is beautiful! I BC'd 5 months ago for the second time. It has been hard, but I'm sticking with it this time. I have a two year old daughter and I'm not going to allow her to relax her hair so I have to set an example. Her hair is down her back already, I want to do a twist out on her hair and yours is the neatest I have seen. What did you use? And how do you make it last?
Ebony! This is your long-lost friend from Birmingham! Your hair is SO beautiful! Please don't let this be the last we hear (or see) of you! I am so encouraged to keep transitioning. Before seeing your hair I was close to backsliding! LOL!~
Hello Beautiful People! Thanks for reading… I definitely appreciate your thoughts and compliments. I haven't done too much written documentation (working on it) but I have a few photos on Fotki… (eclark6 is my username).
None in particular. I mainly co-wash every other day and lube up with virgin coconut oil or a shea butter/cocoa butter mixture (50/50). I might actually shampoo every two weeks. The products I am using right now are Aveda's Smooth Infusion line. My favorites are Jane Carter Solution and products with Moroccan oil.
The braid out in the first and last pics were achieved by adding about 9-12 braids on damp to almost dry hair that's been thoroughly detangles. I don't do twist/braid outs on sopping wet hair because it can look TOO "done" (if that makes sense).
The second pic was a wash n go (about 1.5-2 years natural)
Third Pic was flat ironed hair (with ALL of Aveda's Smooth Infusion products).
@ SaBrina: I try to keep the skin regimen as simple as possible too. I stay away from as as many artificial products as I can. I cleanse with Dr. Bronner's Lavender Castile Soap (at your local Wholefoods, health food store, and even at Target), tone with the juice of organic lemons and purified water (1 part lemon 4 parts water), and butter up with a dab of shea butter (has natural SPF) in the morning and a dab of castor oil OR coconut oil at night.
Hope this helps.
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aww… this is so inspiring! I'm gonna keep up the transition!
I love your hair! Do you have a Fotki or blog?
I sooo love Ebony's hair. The hardest part of transitioning for me was going from shoulder length to 3 inches of hair. After 7 months of learning from sister naturals on this site and others and nourishing and tenderly caring for my hair, I rock a twistout much like Ebony's second picture above. The point I'm trying to make is stay with it new naturals and your natural hair will thrive and you will obtain length and hair like Ebony's that is more beautiful than any straight hair could ever be.
Your hair is gorgeous! I just BC'd last month. Yesterday,it was joke after joke about how long my hair was. I'm happy that I'm finally at a point where I don't take it personal and I think their jokes are hilarious.
Thanks for the inspiration! I can't wait to my hair grows back bigger and badder than before.
How did you achieve the braid-out in the very top and very bottom pictures. It loos so neat but full, and it doesn't look as crimped the ones I do.
Does she have a blog or a fotki or other album? Her hair is fiyah!
i LOVE your hair…so healthy and beautiful.could you plz share some info on how you take care of it and products.my hair is a little shorter that yours in the second pic.havin serious issues with styling.
Wow, gorgeous hair Ebony! I cannot wait until I get there… Right now I'm still struggling with scab hair 🙁
So beautiful …..
I super love your hair! Specially the one in the first pic. Thou its some kind of fluffy, but it has a perfect curl! Wish to experience having those kind of curls!
Thanks for sharing this story. Goes to show you thorough determination, the transition can be successful!! I love all of the pics esp the first and last. Ebony, please post your regimen! 🙂
I just wanted to let you know of some items that I'm wanting to get rid of if you're interested.
V05 Moisture Milk Conditioner Passion Fruit Smoothie "New Never Used"
Fruit of the Earth 100% Aloe Vera Gel 12oz Bottle "85% Full"
Pro Wrap Large End Wraps "98% Full"
Magnetic Rollers with the Clips different sizes/colors 75+ pieces "Used only Once"
Protective Mist Bodifier by Taligah Waajid "85% Full"
Vienna Hair Collection B. Marley Pony Length `19 inches
Have 2 Brand New Bags "Never Used" to be used if you're wanting to put in some Kinky Twists.
Pink Crotched Hat with Flower Attached on It New/ever Used
Afro Detangler Pick Comb New Brought "2", only need "1"
B & B Oil Moisturizer Hair Lotion with Castor Oil and Aloe Bottle 12oz "85% Full",
Good Product but still have another hair lotion that I need to finish up.
If anyone is interested in these please let me know you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Beautiful tresses and great story!!
Wow Ebony your hair is absolutely gorgeous. It is so thick and healthy, and its so black. You should add your input also for the Skin Regime on here thats listed a couple of categories down on the page, because it's flawless. Whether you have short or long hair, you have the facial features to wear it with such confidence. Thanks for showing these beautiful pictures.
What a great story, thank you for sharing. You and your hair look divine.
Thank you for sharing!
Beautiful!! This is my second attempt at transitioning so, I know how that is. It can be tough.
Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing your story.