CN: Were you a long-term or short-term transitioner, and why?
N: I was a semi-long-term transitioner. I transitioned for approximately 10 months. I initially decided to transition for a year, but I had to cut both my transitioning and hair short. I never had short hair previously. So, of course I was nervous about what I would look like, what my natural hair would feel like, if my head would look too large, etc. Even though I rarely did much to my hair while it was relaxed, it was part of who I was, and I was scared to lose it.

CN: When did you BC? What was your initial reaction to your natural hair?
N: I transitioned from March 2010 to Jan 2011. When I BC’d, my initial reaction to my natural hair was a mix of many emotions. I was a relieved because I no longer had to deal with transitioning and the straggly relaxed ends. I was excited to try all of the wonderful styles I had seen on this superb website. Also, I was unsure if I was even going to be able to do them. I’m a horrible hairdresser. I was scared for people to see my new hairdo. However, all in all, it was extremely refreshing, and I loved it!

CN: How did family and friends react to the new you? What was your response to them?
N: Some of my family was there when I BC’d because we had a “Big Chop Party” at my parents house. We ordered pizza and laughed at my crazy looking hair which had an afro underneath the relaxed ends which always makes someone laugh. They took turns chopping away. My mom did most of the chopping. We snapped pictures and recorded video. I have received mixed reviews. Most like it. A few hate it. Some have to get used to it. I have had some great supporters along the way, and I appreciate them 100%. If it wasn’t for my family, friends, and the online natural hair community, I may have relapsed!

CN: What was your transition routine?
N: My transition routine was rather simple. No heat! I tried many products, but I’ll just explain my go to routine. I co-wash with Tresemme Smooth & Silky, detangle in the shower with a wide tooth comb, moisturize with Cantu Shea Butter, and use Aphogee ProVitamin Leave-In Conditioner. Of course, when it got a little dry, I’d spritz some water on it!

CN: What was your staple hair style during the transition?
N: Any ponytail including a high, low, half up, and half down one.

CN: Why did you choose to go natural?
N: I chose to go natural because I began to hate the way my hair looked when it was relaxed. It was becoming thin and lifeless. I didn’t flatiron my hair for months when relaxed. I would just wash and go because I liked the way my hair would wave up, and it also had some thickness. I did not want to continue to ruin my hair. So I pondered the decision to become natural in late 2009, which was a failed attempt, because I relaxed in March 2010. That day, after my mom relaxed my hair, I got out of the shower and saw how limp and fragile it was while my scalp was still on fire. I made it my last time. The journey hasn’t been easy. What journey is? I’m happy about my decision, and I’m excited to see my future growth.

after!