CN: Were you a long-term or short-term transitioner, and why?
N: I was a long-term transitioner. I transitioned for a year. I did not want to just cut all of my hair off, but now I wish that I could. All of the TWA’s that I have seen are so fabulous. I wish that I had one. Also, I believe that your hair grows more when you BC early as opposed to styling, heating, or braiding your hair with the permed ends still attached.
CN: When did you BC? What was your initial reaction to your natural hair?
N: I “BC’d” on March 14, 2010. It was very exciting. I had planned to do it a week later, but after I’d taken my braids out, I couldn’t stand the straight ends. When I cut it, I loved it instantly! I had never seen my natural hair and was happy with the results.
CN: How did family and friends react to the new you? What was your response to them?
N: My family supported my decision to go natural because of my motives. When they asked why, I explained the history of black hair and that the African techniques were lost during slavery. I also explained that a perm or relaxer is a corrosive, flammable, reactant, and that it is crazy to put it on my hair. Some of my friends wanted me to do it. Many at my school are negative about the change. My basketball coach asks me every day, “When will you do “something” with your hair like put a perm in it?” I simply told my coach, “This is the way that God made me, and there’s nothing wrong with it.” I reminded him that he never asks my other teammates to alter their straight hair.
CN: What was your transition routine?
N: I didn’t have a routine because I wasn’t aware that I should [have one] when I first started transitioning. Whenever I took my hair down, I washed and conditioned it with Pantene Relaxed and Natural shampoo and conditioner. I later found out that those weren’t healthy products.
CN: What was your staple hair style during the transition?
N: I had braids (micros) most of the time because I am a college athlete, and I sweat a lot. I wore it in rod sets also. I flat ironed my hair occasionally. The last time I flat ironed [my hair], I just flat ironed my edges because I had a sew-in. I regret doing that greatly because the front of my hair was permanently damaged because of it.
CN: How did you moisturize your hair to prevent breakage at the new growth line?
N: I didn’t moisturize until the last three months of my transition. When I started moisturizing, I used the Pantene products. I also purchased some Cholesterol conditioner. I was very delicate with my hair.
CN: Why did you choose to go natural?
N: I went natural because I wanted to achieve growth. I started surfing the web about natural hair and found out that it is a deep-rooted issue. Women were and still are being pressured to conform to the European standard of beauty. I believe that I am beautiful no matter what my hair looks like. I used to center my life around my hair. Now my hair is just an extension of my body. I am so happy that I found curlynikki and her subscribers because they have helped me with my confidence. Now that I rock my natural curls, my confidence level is through the roof!