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Curly Nikki

Ebony- A Story of Transition

By January 27th, 202117 Comments

Ebony- A Story of Transition
CN: Were you a short-term or long-term transitioner, and why?
E: I was definitely a long-term transitioner. The last time I used a relaxer was in September of 2008, and I transitioned for 16 months. I have always had long hair. So, I couldn’t fathom walking around in public with short hair. My long hair was pretty much my identity. As crazy as it sounds, I was one of the few dark-skinned girls that I knew with long hair. Before going natural I didn’t have much confidence in myself. I thought my hair was one of the few things that made me beautiful.

CN: When did you BC? What was your initial reaction to your natural hair?
E: I never really BC’d. I did two mini-chops. The first was in July of 2009, and the second was at the end of January 2010. The first time I cut my hair, I was slightly mortified. I had never cut my hair, and now I was going to cut off 4 inches. However, after my first mini-chop I realized my hair was curling a lot better after cutting off the relaxed ends. To my surprise, no one even realized that I had cut my hair. After my last mini-chop, I felt a sense of relief. Now I was finally all natural, but I was slightly disappointed. I had totally different expectations about what my hair would look like when I was finally natural. Watching some of the YouTube “greats” made me hope that my hair texture would be similar to theirs. Now I’ve just learned to accept the hair that God has given me.

CN: How did your family and friends react to the new you? What was your reaction to them?
E: Well, when I first told my mother I was going natural, she told me that I wouldn’t do it. She had been giving me a relaxer since I was about 5, and I had no clue how to deal with my natural hair. As I transitioned, my family, mother and grandmother especially, would always make comments to let me know that they didn’t like my hair. Sometimes my hair probably didn’t look the best. It was often trial and error. It was similar to learning how to do your hair as a child. I had to go through that process all over again. But now, everyone loves my hair. My mother has been natural much of her adult life, but she has always worn a very low cut. She would just put some gel on it. I never really considered her natural for some reason. I guess it’s because she gave it no thought. Now, she has decided to let her hair grow out and called me the other week to tell me she was doing a twist out. My 13-year-old little sister has decided that she is going natural now as well. It feels great to have inspired others to accept their true selves.

CN: How did you moisturize your hair to prevent breakage at the growth line?
E: Looking back, I really don’t think I took special precautions to make sure my hair didn’t break. Until the summer of 2009, I was flat ironing my hair multiple times a week to try to disguise my new growth. I’m still trying to grow out the heat damaged hair as a result, and I’m not sure if I’ll ever flat iron my hair again. I guess I was just lucky to have very resilient hair. I’m still working on properly moisturizing my hair.

Ebony- A Story of Transition

CN: Why did you choose to go natural?
E: My choice to go natural was months and months after I got my last relaxer. To be honest, I would still have a relaxer today if I didn’t have a stylist who would discourage me from getting a relaxer when I thought I needed it. I was always told that you should get a relaxer every 8 weeks, but my stylist prolonged it for 12 weeks. At that point, I decided to see how long I could go without a relaxer. It turned into 5 or 6 months. Then, I knew I needed to decide what I was going to do. I think your blog was the first thing I found which led me to YouTube. I remember spending hours and hours on YouTube watching stories of transition. It was at that point, in the summer of 2009, that I decided to finally commit to going natural. Going natural was one of the best things that I have ever done for myself. It has encouraged me to lose weight and overall increase my confidence. My confidence has not just increased because of my weight loss, but because I have truly learned to accept and love myself. Thanks so much for reading my story.

Permed Straight 2007

Ebony- A Story of Transition

Fully Natural!

Ebony- A Story of Transition


  • Annabel says:

    "Youtube greats", your natural hair is great, absolutely fabulous. You give me lots of inspiration for my transition! Thanks for sharing!

  • Lorry says:

    I'm so happy to see a long-term transition story. I've actually just decided to go natural and am about 3 months post relaxer. I already have a bundle of new growth in the crown of my head and am excited to make the transition to natural. I am definitely doing the long term as I could not imagine cutting off all of my hair. It's been fairly long all my life. I have a younger sister who is 14 and has never had a perm, and she has long, gorgeous hair. My mom permed my other siblings and I at a really young age. For me it was when I was younger than 5(currently 19..will be 20 on the 20th!! :-)). I've always hated that she did so, because I admire my younger sister's unpermed locks and long for my hair to be similar to hers and to be rid of those monstrous chemicals. I've been researching transitioning, and I hope to prevent as much hair loss due to breakage as possible. Wish me luck!! 😉

  • Tomika says:

    I have to say that your story is enlightening and inspiring. I too am a long-term transitioner but I am a bit frustrated with the permed ends of my hair and NEVER considered a "mini chop". I am 10months post relaxer but thinking about bc-which I don't feel is right for me. But I could mini chop and shape my hair the way that I want too…Thank u for your story and your truth. Keep loving yourself and inspiring others. 1Love

  • Anonymous says:

    your hair is beautiful! Thank you for your story. You are a true inspiration for long term transitioners like myself.

  • Anonymous says:

    Love your curls! Congrats! ~KF519

  • Ebony_Essence says:

    Thank you Nikki for sharing my story. And thanks to all the ladies for all the wonderful comments. Its always great to see other long-term transitioners. Alot of people think the only option they have is to Big Chop, but transitioning long-term really wasn't that hard for me.

    Like I said, for the first 6 months or so I was doing the same thing to my hair as I normally did. With the exception of having to hit my roots with the flat iron everyday after working out. Once I decided to go natural, ALL I did was braidouts. The texture of my hair made it easy for my "new growth" to blend. When I first started transitioning I used a lot of Cantu Products. I started out doing my braid outs with a shea butter mixture. I felt like it was the thing to use since everyone SWORE by shea butter. I later found that my hair hates to be weighed down like that. Luckily, I came across Nikki's Trader Joe Tea Tree and Lotta Body mixture and modified it to my liking.

    As for my routine now. I wash once a week with Creme of Nature, and co-wash 1-2 times a week (depending on how motivated I am)with Aussie Moist Conditioner. Then I twist out my hair. It progresses from a nice twist out to a big curly fro, that I usually end up slicking back the front with . For my twist out I use use Trader Joe's Nourish Spa Balance Moisture Conditioner, and a mixture of Lottabody Setting lotion and coconut oil. I tried some of the products like Kinky Curly and Shea Moisture. Ive found that I dont need to spend a lot of money to make my hair look nice. I can just make my own mixture at home.

  • GGmadeit says:

    your hair is fab!!

  • Anonymous says:

    excellent story!

  • Anonymous says:

    Your hair looks great. I had a similar experience and appreciate your honesty in this story. Also, your hair looks fantastic!

  • Anonymous says:

    Great post! I too can relate to not wanting to big chop. After my last relaxer in May '09, I wore braids starting in July '09 and each time I rebraided I would clip my ends. I just couldn't envision myself with a twa. Plus the braids protected my hair fabulously. Aren't we glad that transitioning embraces unique experiences for all of us?

  • Elizabeth says:

    Could you share your routine…pretty please?! As a fellow "long-term transitioner" I would love to know your routine. Also during your transition how often did you flat iron your hair?

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow! I can relate to your story in so many ways. It will be a year in March that I've been transitioning and I just don't know if I can big chop just yet. I too have had long hair all my life and can't picture myself chopping it all off, but who knows. I love your hair!

  • Kendra says:

    I really enjoyed this entry. I too can relate to this transition process as I didn't big chop. I transitioned gradually and didn't become fully natural for 25 months. This was refreshing as there seem to be more BIG CHOP stories…don't get me wrong, I love them. But this was a great change! Would like to see more of these!

  • modest-goddess says:

    you look beautiful with natural hair

  • mood_indigo says:

    Great story; I felt like I was reading about my own journey because there were so many similarities. Congrats!

  • Anonymous says:

    Great style and great profile story! Kudos!

  • Unknown says:

    Can we get some info on her fly style in the fully natural pic?

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