CN: Were you a long-term or short-term transitioner, and why?
N: I was a short-term transitioner. I transitioned for about three months before I finally did the BC myself. I officially began my transition shortly after my last perm, but I still pressed my hair on a regular basis.
CN: When did you BC? What was your initial reaction to your natural hair?
N: I did my own BC on October 25, 2010. Two days before my BC, I had set my hair in tiny two strand twists which I initially planned to rock as a twist-out. While looking at my hair, I was admiring the hair coming out of my scalp that had a chance to thrive at long last. I caught a glimpse of my scraggly, dead relaxed ends and was immediately disgusted. I removed the twists, then washed and conditioned with Organix Coconut Milk Shampoo and Conditioner. Then, I proceeded to chop. My reaction to my natural hair was “FINALLY!” I was so in love, and I still am. I felt liberated, free and light-headed because the weight was in a bag now. At first, I was scared to debut the baby fro to my family. Then I thought, “They’ll see it anyway.” Afterward, my mom evened it out. I knew she didn’t cut out the rest of my perm. So, when I returned from fall break, I asked my best friend, who is also fiercely natural, to cut out the rest of the relaxer.
CN: How did family and friends react to the new you? What was your response to them?
N: At first my family was shocked and a tad upset because I had long hair all of my life. Most of the females in my family have long hair as well. I let them know it didn’t matter what they believed because God and I loved me. It wasn’t what was on my head but rather what was in it that mattered. Then, they were more accepting. They love it, and have been just as excited as I have been while watching it grow. I believe I have even inspired members of my family. One of my cousins announced today on her Facebook page that she’s going to transition again. I will definitely be recommending curlynikki.com because your site has helped me through tough times with my transition and maintenance of my natural hair.
CN: What was your transition routine?
N: My transition routine was to co-wash once a week with either HEHH or Organix Coconut Milk Conditioner, then set my two strand twists with Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Hair Masque or the Curl Enhancing Smoothie. On the weekends, I wore twist-outs and re-twisted at night. Sunday was my wash day. Wash and fros and two strand twist-outs are my favorites now. I do a flat twist out every once in a blue moon. I try to keep it as simple as possible now because I’m in school.
CN: What was your staple hair style during the transition?
N: My staple hairstyle during my transition was two strand twists and twist-outs. I loved three strand twist-outs as well, but it was too time-consuming for the amount and length of hair I had. As an undergraduate student, I just couldn’t spare the time. One of my favorite styles was flat twists on the top with my hair pulled into a high ballerina bun. I can’t wait to do that again because it was fun.
CN: How did you moisturize your hair to prevent breakage at the new growth line?
N: I would co-wash often and keep my hair in twists most of the time. I finally got coconut oil after my BC, if I recall correctly. I tried to seal my ends, but I figured it was useless because of the damage which is why I made the decision to chop.
CN: Why did you choose to go natural?
N: I wanted to go natural since I started college in fall of 2008. I didn’t know anything about transtitioning or being natural at the time. I actually didn’t begin until the summer of 2010 before my junior year. I was convinced by my mother and aunt, who both have a beautician’s license, that it simply would NOT look right because of the difference in textures. I continued to relax my hair because I thought they knew what was best for my hair. I had finally come to the realization that it was not something they had the right to choose for me. I also wanted to see how I looked when I was created, because I believe we were all created in God’s image and likeness. I could not be happier with the person I have allowed myself to be after years of relaxing. Thank you for letting me share my hair story!