CN: How long have you been natural?
N: I have been natural for about 3 years now, and 2 of those years have been filled with flat irons, blow dryers, and all types of bad hair products. I have been fully natural without all of them since May 2010.
CN: What is your current regimen?
N: I really don’t have a current hair regimen because I’m still in that first year of the learning stage. I’m trying to see what works for me. Right now, I shampoo my hair with Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap. If I really need to clarify, I will use Giovanni’s Tea Tree Shampoo. I condition with Yes to Carrots Mud Mask Conditioner. I love that stuff. If I am deep conditioning, I use Organic Root Stimulator’s Deep Conditioner. I only use the really good stuff once a week. During the week, I don’t shampoo my hair, and if I do a co-wash, I will use V05 Moisture Milks, Aussie Moist or Herbal Essence Totally Twisted. Honestly. I don’t use hot oil treatments often. I think I’ve used them 4 times in my entire life, but that’s something I need to work on. I haven’t tried making my own shea butter or have I used it. I use Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie for moisture on my hair daily. Cantu is definitely my staple leave-in conditioner. For a styler, I use Carol’s Daughter’s Hair Honey. I trim my hair at least every 3 months because I’m very scissor happy, and I’ve always been that way. If I am sitting at my desk and a piece of hair doesn’t seem right, I’m quick to grab the scissors and just cut it. I know it’s horrible. I recently tried Apoghee’s Protein Treatment, and I was beyond blown away with the results. I will be adding that to my regimen every 8 weeks or so.
CN: How do you maintain length and moisture?
N: I co-wash my hair at the very least twice a week if I’m wearing a wash-and-go. I like to keep my hair moisturized. I also use either Taliah Waajid’s Leave-In Conditioner or Shea Moisture’s Hair Mist to refresh my hair daily. As far as length is concerned, I wear twists in my hair a lot. They never last more than a week since I’m so anxious to create a new look. I braid my hair a lot also with added hair to give my tresses a break.
CN: Were you a long-term or short-term transitioner, and why?
N: I began transitioning in 2008, and at the time, I had no idea it was called transitioning. I just knew I didn’t want to get perms anymore. By the time I cut off all of the damaged ends in 2010, I was completely natural.
CN: When did you BC? What was your initial reaction to your natural hair?
N: May 2010. My initial reaction was, “OMG! What did I do?” I had just stepped out of the shower and started cutting. Once I was done, I didn’t know what products to use afterwards. So my hair was just dry. I had to sleep on it before I cried. The next morning I did some research and was able to find some products in my cabinet I could use. I got dressed, styled my hair, and was in complete love with it.
CN: How did family and friends react to the new you? What was your response to them?
N: Everyone was more shocked about the actual texture of my hair than about my cutting it and now wearing it curly. I am always doing something outside the box and out of the ordinary. So that wasn’t a shocker. I think the surprise of the texture of my hair was unbelievable to a lot of people, but they embraced it and were very supportive. I still hear comments behind me at the grocery store or on the metro about whether or not it’s my hair.
CN: Anything else you want to add?
N: I would just like to say that I check curlynikki.com daily, and it’s great to see so many women embracing their natural hair. For some it can be a very scary thing to go outside of the norm. Having a place to go where we’re all on the same page is amazing, and I thank you for that. My blogs are a work in progress because I get sidetracked sometimes, but I can be found at the following:
CN: Why did you choose to go natural?
N: I chose to go natural because I want healthy hair. I don’t care about length. I do believe that I am my hair, not in a negative sense, but it is a reflection of me. If I’m having a bad hair day, or I’m annoyed, I will put on a hat in a second. So I do believe your hair tells a story about you, and by becoming natural, I want my hair to tell the story that I am choosing to take care of me. I’m not afraid to go outside of the norm and be who I naturally am.