CN: Were you a long-term or short-term transitioner, and why?
M: I was a short-term transitioner. My last relaxer was in July 2010. My transition was short because I was so tired of dealing with the two textures on my head, and I was very anxious to start working with my natural hair. Plus, I wanted to say, at least once in my life, that I had a short hair cut.
CN: When did you BC? What was your initial reaction to your natural hair?
M: I BC’d two days before my birthday on March 5, 2011. I had been anxiously waiting for the day to come. The days leading up to my appointment were an emotional rollercoaster full of feelings of excitement, anxiety, and fear. My initial reaction to my hair was pure elation and freedom. I was ecstatic to finally join the beautiful naturals I have been watching and admiring on CN and YouTube. I felt the freedom of never having to deal with relaxed hair ever again.
CN: How did family and friends react to the new you? What was your response to them?
M: Everyone was very supportive. My husband was the best. Whenever I would get a little skeptical about my transitioning process, he would constantly remind me that he didn’t marry me for my hair. My friends couldn’t believe I was actually going to cut my hair. I have always had long hair. So it was a complete shock to them when I told them I was planning to big chop. It’s comical to look back at everyone’s reaction. The day before my BC, my husband kept asking me if I was sure I wanted to go through with it because he didn’t want to have to deal with a potential breakdown. How thoughtful of him to think of himself. My stylist even said that she needed to make sure she was well fed and rested before my appointment because she didn’t know if I was going to faint or have a nervous breakdown. My mom reacted surprisingly well. Even though she wouldn’t go with me to the salon to get my hair cut, she actually liked my hair when I returned home from my appointment. I think it also eases her mind to know that I don’t plan on keeping my hair at this short length.
CN: What was your transition routine?
M: In the beginning, I washed once a week with Aubrey’s Organic Honeysuckle Rose Shampoo, detangled with Aussie Moist conditioner and a wide tooth comb, and deep conditioned weekly with Aubrey’s Organic Honeysuckle Rose conditioner. I used Shikai Daily Conditioner as a leave-in. Then, I would seal with coconut oil. I later switched to Giovanni Deep Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner, started adding olive oil to my deep conditioner, and cut out the Aussie Moist. Since I’ve started this routine, I have had stellar results. My hair is very soft after my final rinse.
CN: What was your staple hair style during the transition?
M: My staple style was the bantu knot out. I loved the curl pattern it gave me. It was so quick and easy, and it allowed me to have a cute style within a couple of hours when I did a dry set. However, the farther into my journey I went, it didn’t give me the same results as in the beginning. I started alternating with a roller set. The last week of my transition, I tried Haircrush’s (YT) pincurl style. I loved it. I loved it so much I considered transitioning a little longer just to try it out a few more times.
CN: How did you moisturize your hair to prevent breakage at the new growth line?
M: I deep conditioned every week, and every other day I used Shikai Daily Conditioner as a leave-in.
CN: Why did you choose to go natural?
M: It’s funny because where I live the natural hair scene is almost nonexistent. I didn’t have any examples of natural hair to refer to locally. I was just tired of going to the salon and spending way too much money for a relaxer. I thought about going natural once before but never thought about it again until this past July when it was time to touch up my roots. It was at that point I made the decision that I wasn’t doing it anymore. At the time, I had no idea what going natural would entail. For a month, I roller set my hair to hide the two textures but grew tired of that. So I made an appointment to get kinky twists. The night before my appointment I did some research on natural hair and came across KinkyKurlyQueen’s blog and instantly fell in love with her hair. I became extremely excited about what to look forward to once I was completely natural. I have a five-year-old daughter, and I always said I would keep her hair natural for as long as I could. I guess subconsciously I knew relaxing wasn’t a good option. Now that I’m natural and have learned so much from great sites like yours, I can take better care of my baby’s hair and later be an example to her of someone who loves their natural tresses. Thank you, Nikki, for sharing my story. Thank you to all of the beautiful naturals out there that have been an inspiration. I’m one of you now! Yay!