CN: Were you a long-term or short-term transitioner, and why?
A: I was short-term transitioner, but it felt like forever. I transitioned for 3 short months before I couldn’t stand the different textures anymore and cut off all of the permed hair.
CN: When did you BC? What was your initial reaction to your natural hair?
A: I did my final BC just this past weekend! I say final because I did a series of chops where I would have a layer of permed hair cut off every month.
CN: How did family and friends react to the new you? What was your response to them?
A: When I told my family what I planned to do, they were all against it. They thought I would look like a boy with extremely short hair. My hair was already short. So I don’t know why they freaked. I think it was because, like me, they didn’t know what to expect outside of my permed hair. I honestly did care about their reactions but not enough to not do it. I wanted my daughter to embrace her natural kinky curly hair, and that was my motivation.
CN: What was your transition routine?
A: When I first started, I didn’t know how to take care of my hair. I wasn’t very good at it before. My hair progressively became shorter and shorter every year. It went from being right above my butt as a child to right below my ears as an adult. I never did any intentional cuts to make my hair shorter. It was just so damaged all of the time, between all of the trims and breakage, it just ended up that length. I watched a ton of natural journey stories. I just followed what everyone did and used products they used until I was comfortable with the products I am using now. I would wash my hair with swimming shampoo, regular shampoo, and conditioner every other night. Then, I would roll the permed hair in small straws. It was beyond annoying having to do this every other day, but because I swim that often for training, I had to. I would take extra measures to put a heavy layer of conditioner in my hair before I swam. It was difficult because I never found anyone with a natural hair story that swam as much as I did. I used Giavonni Leave-In Conditioner, shea moisture, and olive oil in my hair. I went to the shop and had it deep conditioned every 2 to 3 weeks.
CN: What was your staple hair style during the transition?
A: TWA. I really couldn’t do anything else. I would Mohawk it back as much as I could. I thought this was cute, especially when I had permed hair.
CN: How did you moisturize your hair to prevent breakage at the new growth line?
A: I would put leave-in conditioner in my hair, shea moisture, and olive oil on it either every night or every other night. I’m still learning how to take care of it to be honest. Any suggestions are appreciated.
CN: Why did you choose to go natural?
A: I decided to go natural because my daughter was always asking me to straighten her hair because she wanted to look like the other girls in her class. She is the only African American girl nearly everywhere she goes these days. I absolutely love her hair, and it breaks my heart that she doesn’t think the way God made it is beautiful. I wanted to teach her to embrace her beautiful curls. How could I do that if I didn’t even embrace mine? Teaching her to love herself just the way God made her seemed a little hypocritical when I got a perm every 6 months. I didn’t realize that the journey would be so emotional and spiritual for me. I learned a lot about myself in my transition and journey. Ultimately, I learned to love myself like never before. I saw a natural beauty in me that I couldn’t see before because my beauty was always determined by my hair. When that was gone, I was forced to see my eyes, my lips, my freckles, and my smile. It sounds crazy, but before my journey, I don’t think I ever saw my face for what it was. Stunning!
I'm so sorry for replying so late!!! I had no idea that Curly Nikki posted my story until someone just told me. Apparently, I'd been looking in the wrong section for it. Thank you all so very much for your kind words. It's been 5 months since I BC'd and my hair is bananas! In a good way. The growth is so great!! I train for triathlons. Swimming is the part of my training that I work so hard on since I'm not a natural swimmer, and before last year I honestly didn't know how to swim!! I only knew how to not drown. LOL. Despite the swimming, it is still growing and looking awesome! My decision to go natural was inspired by my daughter, but turned out to be the biggest confidence booster. I love it completely? Thanks again Ladies, and God bless you on your journey.
Castor oil is quite heavy and a good protectant against chlorine.
Thank you April, I love your hair ad your inspiration for doing it. What a positive and beautiful image to present your daughter with.
thanks ladies. i always wear a swim cap. right now, my relaxed ends are really struggling. i think i'll big chop in a couple weeks, b/c its so hard to deal with. thanks for the tip about shea butter. what are some other heavy oils? i use coconut oil regularly and jojoba, but i'm thinking you mean something heavier?
Your Daughters hair is gorgeous and so is yours. I think you set a wonderful example for your daughter because I've met mothers who would put Just For Me on there three their old so it can be "manageable". It's good to teach children to embrace their hair early so you don't have to learn not to hate it later in life like I do. I mean I don't hate my hair now that I'm 10 months Natural but I did at first. But I commend you for being an excellent mother and a gorgeous example for other Naptural haired parents
I totally understand! OMG I totally do IT IS ENLIGHTENING to see yourself through our daughters eyes.
@ Najahf Learning to swim get a really cute swim capp and twist you hair and place under the cap! make sure to condition it really good if you dont wear a cap the chlorine and salts the put in can be killer if it is a public pool. I like all things retro so rock a hot pink one or even a patterned one 🙂
her daughter is so cute!
I've heard that applying shea butter or a heavy oil prior to swimming could lessen the damage done from the chlorine in the pool. Definitely make sure your hair is well-coated well before you jump in the pool.
It's great that you decided to go natural to boost your daughter's self-confidence and to encourage her to love her own curls and coils. BTW, your hair looks great and your daughter is such a cutie pie! I love her hair. Hopefully, she will forget about getting a relaxer because her natural hair is very beautiful!
i am transitioning and i've been having issues trying to figure out if i should cut it, b/c i am trying to learn how to swim laps. any suggestions? what are you training for? did the big chop make it easier? i never thought about putting conditioner in my hair b/f swimming. sorry for all the questions!
I too am transitioning, 4 months in, and my daughter is my inspiration as well. She's 2 and already noticed the difference between our hair. I want her to know & really believe that our natural hair is "good" hair & beautiful in its natural state. I absolutely love your twa. Makes me want to cut even more now!
Your hair is beautiful and my daughter was also a piece of my inspiration to go natural. She is only a year old, but I want her to know early that our curly hair is beautiful. Seeing how beautiful you are with your TWA makes me want to end my transition now…LOL!
What a wonderful transition story! You and your daughter have beautiful hair!