CN: Were you a long term or short term transitioner, and why?
E: I was a long term transitioner. I travel a lot from Los Angeles to Mississippi and the African-American Hair world in the West and the South is a “Tale of Two Cites.” After living in Los Angeles for 5 years, I noticed that hardly any Black women were perming their hair! And even though they weren’t perming and relaxing, that still didn’t keep them out the beauty salon every 2 weeks. West coast women were addicted to getting their hair pressed and flat ironed. While I did notice their hair to be in better condition then women in the South, I decided to hop on the “No-Lye” train. So, I was pressing this mane of mine and wearing weaves throughout the year. Well, it wasn’t until September 2010, after I had taken a 3 month old weave down, that I made the decision to go natural. My “anticipated” BC date was December 1st, 2010.
When did you BC? What was your initial reaction to your natural hair?
I BC’d, Saturday December 4th, 2010, HOWEVER, I had to basically start all over 17 days later. Initially, I cut it myself and it was so uneven and unshaped that I had to get it re-cut… so…..Tuesday, December 21st, 2010 is where I start my actual hair journey. My reaction (the first time) was….um….didn’t really have one. I cut it, went to sleep, woke up feeling light as a feather. Now, the second time…I was mad, pissed, but satisfied. My aunt cut it the second time, and she cut more then she had to so…(but low key, I think she purposely put some bald spots in my head).
How did family and friends react to the new you? What was your response to them?
This is an easy one…EVERYONE HATED IT! But the funny part was, EVERYONE knew that I could give two cents who liked it or who hated it. My best friend in college told me I was ugly. She was about to cry… that’s how much she hated it! My mom is supportive and everything is always “whatever” with her so her crazy self BC’d the night after me then had braids put in the next morning. My ex told me I look like someone from “Good Times”, my cousin told me I’m ‘trying to be a white girl’ by washing my hair everyday. OH, and everybody tells me I need a line/edge! I keep reminding them that its not a style! So, all in all, everyone HATES IT!
What was your transition routine?
Half Weaves (bangs out). I always used heat protectant when I flat ironed my hair. But I don’t recommend half weaves when transitioning. That hair that has been flat ironed/pressed will be a different texture than the natural hair that hasn’t been exposed to heat. Try to transition with full head weaves, braids, wigs, etc.
How did you moisturize your hair to prevent breakage at the new growth line?
No gel! I used Vonte Silk Effects. Most Beauticians on the West Coast use this on edges. It’s some pretty good stuff. No flaking, No drying, but don’t hold all day either.
Why did you choose to go natural?
I had one main reason for going natural. “Long Term Business Move.” When I was in the entertainment industry a few years back, I would always get compared to a certain well known actress. It wasn’t a bad thing but it wasn’t helpful either. And although, I never tried to look like this certain actress, I did strongly resemble her, so I decided that before I enter back into the industry, I’ve got to create my own identity and that’s what I’ve done. I BC’d December 21st and I love it, love it, love it! Can’t wait til it grows out…OH, and since the BC, I haven’t heard one person say “Oh my Gosh…you look just like…..” I love it! 🙂
-Find me at:
www.ericamsingleton.com (not a blog, my actors website) or follow me at naturallyerica on youtube