CN: Are you a long-term or short-term transitioner, and why?
S: I am a long-term transitioner. I used my last relaxer on November 26th, 2009. I love how I look with long hair and am not as confident with short hair. Maybe it’s like my security blanket. I just feel like I look better with long hair regardless of whether it’s kinky, curly or straight. I just love long hair which is why I’m choosing to maintain a length of at least BSL until I’m fully natural. I will of course trim more if I need to, but I am trying my hardest to maintain a length of hair that makes me feel attractive.
CN: How did family and friends react to the new you? What was your response to them?
S: My family, including my mother, father, brother and boyfriend, don’t really care. I had my first relaxer at the age of 17 after begging my mother for a relaxer for nearly 10 years. Most of my family was used to seeing my natural hair.
CN: What is your transition routine?
S: My regimen has changed so many times because I change techniques and products according to my hair’s needs. For the first 6 months, I co-washed 3 times a week and was able to detangle with a coconut oil/evoo pre-poo. When my hair would no longer detangle and became mushy using that technique, I cut out the co-washing and started using a detangler from the dollar store. So every time my hair became resistant to something, I changed the routine. Always listen to your hair! I use what my hair likes. I do not use or not use certain products/ingredients simply because it does/doesn’t work for other people. The only things that have been consistent throughout my hair journey are low-manipulation styles and keeping my hair moisturized. I never let my hair dry out, or at least, I try not to.
CN: What is your staple hair style during the transition?
S: My staple hair style was braid-outs, braid-outs, more braid-outs and buns too. I’ve unsuccessfully tried twist-outs, bantu knot-outs and flexi-rod sets. I can always guarantee that my braid-outs and buns will come out looking decent. I occasionally wear wigs as well.
CN: How do you moisturize your hair to prevent breakage at the new growth line?
S: In the beginning of my transition, I co-washed often to ensure that my hair was moisturized. Then, I moved to “baggying” a few nights a week. Currently, I moisturize my hair with a spritz of water, evoo and glycerin. It works wonders because Michigan is humid year-round.
CN: Why did you choose to go natural?
S: I wanted my beautiful curls back. I wanted to be able to do a wash-and-go again and wear full beautiful twist-outs and braid-outs. I also just got tired of paying for relaxers!