CN: When did you BC? What was your initial reaction to your natural hair? How do you feel now?
R: April 9, 2011 was the day that I chopped it off. I was actually planning on doing my BC in September. However, the day I BC’d, I had just finished washing my hair, started blow drying it, and became so frustrated dealing with the two textures. I decided I was done. When I arrived at the hair salon, my stylist tried to talk me out of it for about 20 minutes. I was almost convinced to get a bob cut instead of cutting off all of it. I thought I would have to go to a different hair salon, but she came around and did it. There was no reaction from me after my stylist cut it. All I thought was, “Phew, I finally did it!” I felt relieved. I wasn’t nervous at all. I was very pleased with the outcome. I’ve never seen my hair shorter than below my bra strap. It went from about 13 inches to 2 inches in one day! So it was a big shock for me, my stylist, and everyone. However, I love my TWA!!!

CN: What was your staple hair style during the transition?
R: I pretty much stuck with getting sew-ins or kept the majority of my hair braided in some style. I would get a sew-in for a month or 2. Then, I would take it out and get my hair braided in a style for a couple of weeks. After that, I’d go back to my sew-in. I went back and forth. It was easier for me that way because it became very difficult for me to style and keep the 2 textures of hair working together. I avoided even having to touch my own hair as far as styling it goes.

CN: How did family and friends react to the new you? What was your response to them?
R: My family and friends were extremely shocked but very supportive. They responded well to the change. I didn’t receive as much negative feedback as I expected from my family and friends. The first thing my boyfriend did was run to the beauty supply store to buy my first pik ever! Some people said I was cutting off what is paid for by a lot of people. For me, their opinions didn’t matter. I know I made the right decision for me.

CN: What are your plans for your hair?
R: I plan to grow my hair out naturally. I’m 25, and my hair has been permed for as long as I can remember. So I plan to just grow it back out naturally and enjoy getting to know my real hair all over again.

CN: Do you find it necessary to ‘doll up’ your look to feel more feminine?
R: I don’t find it necessary to “doll-up” anymore than I did prior to cutting my hair. I was always into makeup, but I didn’t go beyond my normal routine after I cut my hair. I don’t find it necessary to over accessorize and wear tons of makeup just to prove I’m feminine.

CN: As far as products, what do you use?
R: To keep it moisturized, I usually use Carol’s Daughter Healthy Hair Butter. Once a week, I do a hot oil treatment with the Tui Hair Oil, also by Carol’s Daughter. I like to keep it simple. I use the co-wash method about 2-3 times per week. Right now, I still like the conditioner I used to use with my relaxed hair which is Organic Root Stimulator, Olive Oil. It keeps my hair looking healthy. I haven’t really found a “natural” conditioner that I like for my co-washing. Once a week, I do a full wash with shampoo. I really like the Rose Mint Shampoo by Carol’s Daughter.

CN: How do you achieve definition?
R: I definitely haven’t mastered it. Usually I will wet my hair in the shower or with a setting spray and just use my Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk and a tiny bit of gel which is usually Eco Styler. Water is the most important staple hair product for me because once my hair is wet, the curls come out without anything else. I just use the gel/milk to keep them intact once it dries.

CN: How do you preserve your curls at night?
R: I have yet to discover a way that works for me. Hopefully, as my hair gets longer, I’ll be able to do a twist-out. I am researching a lot and just starting to learn what will work for me in the future. I think the next product I will try will be Miss Jessie’s.

CN: What do you love most about being natural?
R: Right now, I love the wash-and-go with my TWA. I can’t wait until it gets longer so I can have a puff! Being natural gave me a whole new excuse to reinvent myself and my style. I’m always out looking for a new bow to accent my TWA. This process has been exciting for me, and it’s only just beginning.