CN: How long have you been natural?
I’ve been happily natural for a total of 14 months.
CN: Were you a long term or short term transitioner, and why?
I was a long term transitioner. My last relaxer was in August 2009. With the help of my cousin Sophia, I was rid of my permed ends by August 2010. By this point, I had a little over 6 inches of hair on the crown of my head, and about 5.5 inches on the nape and sides. I’m a young adult and I can admit to my insecurities- the reason I transitioned for a long period of time was because length retention was important to me, for whatever shallow reasons. I did value at times holding on to my permed ends for the simple fact that I wanted the satisfaction of “owning” more hair than none.
Relaxed and transitioning
CN: What is your current regimen?
Daily, I moisturize my hair with a homemade spritz (peppermint and lavender oils with water). As well as reseal my ends with castor oil and/ or shea butter.
Twice a week I co-wash with Giovanni “Tea Tree Triple Treat”. Even with a price-friendly conditioner, I will still use Giovanni for my final wash.
Once a week, I turn into a kitchen beautician. I use an applicator bottle to apply olive oil evenly throughout my scalp. I will wash my hair by deep conditioning with an avocado and coconut milk smoothie-like concoction. I then rinse with diluted Apple Cider Vinegar and water (great for removing build-up and restoring the PH balance of the hair.) Again, my conditioner of choice is Giovanni.
Every 6 weeks- I do a protein treatment with ApHogee or a bentonite clay mask.
CN: How do you maintain Length? Moisture?
I maintain length by detangling in sections of 4 or 6 and ONLY on the day of my weekly wash (in which I use a Jilbere comb and Denman brush). This doesn’t work for everyone- but my coarse hair type is best detangled when it has a good “slip” by way of lots of conditioner..! My moisture routine is listed above.
CN: Night time routine?
Simple. I place a satin bonnet over my head after spritzing and quickly resealing my ends with oils.
CN: What would you tell a new natural, or transitioning diva?
So much to say! I fear sounding like a “Natural Hair Nazi”, but I cannot stress enough the awesomeness of natural hair. From the countless beneficial health reasons- to the versatility of rocking your hair- transitioning or embracing your big chop is quite the (fun) journey. The best way to have fun with it is by creating visuals for yourself. Looking up women who have your hair type and a desired style or length you’d like to reach, will boost your esteem and benefit you greatly.
CN: What’s the best thing about being naturally glamorous?
I’ve always had larger facial features. Fuller lips, big cheeks, and a BIG forehead. Large hair just fits the bill. LOL. But on a serious note- For half my life, my hair was in the hands of my wonderful mother. For the other half, it was in the palms of my beautician. Now, 22 years later- it is in that of my own. No intent to sound cliché, but the liberation in that alone is well worth it.
CN: Anything else you want to add?
Yes. I would like to add that quite often, Black women downplay the abilities for their own hair to grow. Long hair does not lie in genetics or a “magic” hair product. It lies in length retention and patience. Hair grows an average of half an inch a month- it is up to us to apply good hair practices to protect our ends. Length is NOT what makes the natural hair journey- but I do like to aware women that it IS an option that they do have.
Stay blessed ladies. And thank you Miss Nikki for allowing me to share my story. If anyone has any questions- you can find me at: www.facebook.com/ms.sojo Yes- I reply to anything written on my wall!