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Curly Nikki

Michelle- Tales From a Current Transitioner

By January 27th, 202117 Comments

Michelle- Tales From a Current Transitioner
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, 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!

Michelle- Tales From a Current Transitioner


  • anonymous says:

    That's pretty mean. Why does HAIR have to be a competition to naturals? I'm transitioning and some of y'all's attitudes towards what WE want to do with OUR hair is very ignorant and rude. What bravery are you looking for? I too am doing a long term transition, and I'm NOT chopping off my lovely 16 inches to seem "brave" . How can you assert that someone's hair is long enough, and question why they want it longer. There is no rule book. "I don't know why people are so concerned with how a person decides how they go natural!" – ditto!!

  • Michelle says:

    For my stylist info you can visit her name is nadling. Thanks

  • Michelle says:

    Thank you ladies for your positive comments! I just want to say that everyones transition story is different. I just wanted to share my story. When I first went natural I did wear my hair straight alot, but I have since learned of alot of new styles and wear my hair all types of ways. I love twist outs, I wear my hair like that most of the time. Everyone is different and I respect everyone and how they choose to go natural. Thanks nikki for allowing me to share my story.

  • Anonymous says:

    while I think its GREAT that your embracing your natural side, "straighting and blowing-out" your hair most of the time can be DAMAGING! I don't think your quite ready "Mentally" for the change yet (at least it dosen't sound like it to me) but Kudos for taking the plung! Just a few more permed inches to go!:)You will get there yet!

  • Anonymous says:

    I am looking for a natural hair stylist to do my hair for my wedding. Please share your stylists' info. Thanks and great story.

  • Anonymous says:

    I've been looking for a Chicago stylist as well, please share! Nikki, seeing you have so many Chicago followers how about doing a meet & greet here!!

  • Levone says:

    Great story! I'll have to send the link to my niece as she is planning on being a long term transitioner as well (she's close to a year now). I just have to make sure she keeps up with the mini chops as I feel it will help her with retaining length.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am also in Chicago & haven't had any luck with natural hairstylist. I would love her info as well! : )

  • Anonymous says:

    Let's not give any energy or attention to that negative comment. I've been looking into wearing my hair straight. I've been reading about "heat training". I heard blow drying your hair (not too often)reduces breakage because you aren't detangling all the time. Might be something to consider.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think going natural is "brave" period. To go against something that is considered the "norm" should always be considered brave.

  • Anonymous says:

    Peace to all my beautiful sistahs…Did anyone watch Oprah today? "Be responsible for the energy that you give out" Lets be peaceful and encourage positive, healthy changes regardless of our journey to that point. Peace and Love to all..


  • Rexie says:


  • Rexie says:

    Exactly…there is no such thing as a good or bad transition story. Everyone has their own personal experiences and preferences in terms of cutting their hair or not cutting their hair. IT IS THEIR CHOICE.

    Michelle, I also am in the cicago area and have been looking for a natural hair stylist. Would be nice to check yours out. Thanks

  • Anonymous says:

    Why does there have to be "bravery" in her story? I don't know why people are so concerned with how a person decides how they go natural. It is much like the foolish debate of transitioners VS big choppers. This site is meant to educate and inform. If you don't have anything positive to say then keep quiet. It reminds me of the post earlier of why black women don't support each other.

  • Anonymous says:

    Dumb transition story and certainly there's no bravery in her story, just get it cut why hold on to a few inches, it should already be long enough…how long do you want it to be!

  • Ashleigh Hearn says:

    Your hair is very pretty! I would love your stylist's contact info as well I am 6 months post relaxer myself and I am getting frustrated with the two textures I almost cut it all off today.

  • Zenia Johnson says:

    Hi Michelle!
    I'm thinking about starting my transition to natural hair, but I'd like to consult with a stylist who works with natural hair. I'm in the Chicago area too, can you get me the contact info for your stylist? Thanks!

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