CN: Are you a long-term or short-term transitioner? When do you plan to BC?
M: I’m a long-term transitioner. My last perm was in July 2009. I have been without a perm for a year and 7 months. I decided to become a long-term transitioner because I have always had long hair and did not want to completely do the BIG CHOP! I have had the majority of my permed ends cut off in the process, and I call those the medium chops. I have had about 5! I’m almost completely down to no perm. My hair has been growing relatively fast.

I did not BC and probably never will. However, I have cut off a lot of the permed hair which I call medium chops! I ask my stylist to cut off some of my ends about every 2-3 months. My reaction to my natural hair is that I love it. The texture is so great! I will keep chopping the ends until my permed hair is fully gone. Since I have done mini-chops, I will most likely cut off the rest of the permed ends this summer!

CN: How did family and friends react to your decision to transition to natural?
M: My mom is always saying, “So you still don’t have a perm? Wow! Your hair looks amazing!” My hair looks so much healthier without a perm! I found a stylist that specializes in natural hair, and she has helped me with my natural hair journey. My boyfriend is really encouraging. He started his lock journey about two years ago. My friends love my hair. They still can’t believe I’m almost all natural! My sister is thinking about going natural. She always looks at my hair, and says, “So, still no perm.” I smile, and say, “Yep! No perm over here! Stay off that “creamy crack”!”

CN: What is your transition routine?
M: My transition routine consists of going to my stylist every two weeks and experimenting myself. I am very busy most of the time. I work and go to graduate school part time. So, I don’t like to mess with my hair a lot, but recently I have been braver in experimenting with my own hair! I do love going to my hairstylist! She is doing a great job helping my hair with its natural journey! She is one of the best stylists in Chicago!

Most of the time, I get my hair blown out straight. I recently started getting a twist-out! I love this style! It’s so manageable! I love wearing my hair twisted, and when I take them down the kinks/curls are beautiful. My stylist uses Mizani hair products on my hair. When I do wash it, I use Mizani also. I have used Miss Jessie’s Curling Meringue to style my hair and will be trying Design Essentials products which my stylist has used on my twists. After I wash my hair, I twist it. I also wear it in a high bun. I want to try kinky curly on my hair next!

CN: What are your staple hair styles?
M: My staple hairstyles have been blowouts and straightening my hair. I love twist-outs too! I think the twist-out is my summer style. I like the versatility of my hair. I like wearing it curly and wearing it straight. I love not having a relaxer. My hair is so much healthier without it. I felt free to experiment and try different styles with my hair!

CN: How do you moisturize your hair to prevent breakage at the new growth line?
M: My stylist uses great products to make sure my hair is staying moisturized! She uses Mizani products, Keracare, and Jane Carter Nourish and Shine. I make sure to deep condition my hair when I wash it. I use shea butter on my ends. I’m still learning and experimenting with different conditioners that work best for my hair. I have been reading a lot of blogs, especially curlynikki.com, for pointers and different techniques.

CN: Why did you choose to go natural?
M: I chose to go natural because I was tired of my hair not growing and always breaking off. It seemed like with a perm, my hair was always the same length. I would get a perm, and my hair would feel dry and unhealthy. When I went away to college, my hair really broke off because I was doing the perms myself and not taking care of my hair like I should have been. So recently, I decided that it was time for a change. Since I have not had a perm, my hair has grown a lot, and I love it! It’s softer and more manageable! I am happy that I found this website, and it has helped me a lot! I wanted my natural curl pattern back and my curly thick long hair! I love it. I will never perm my hair again! It feels so much better without chemicals! Natural hair is so beautiful, and I love every bit of it! Thank you CN!