CN: Were you a long-term or short-term transitioner, and why?
A: I was a short-term transitioner. I transitioned for about 8 months. My intent was to transition for about a year and half. However, my hair was not having it! My natural and relaxed textures were drastically different in thickness. So, my relaxed ends became limp on my little afro underneath. Eventually, the majority of my hair broke off. This was when I decided it was time to cut it.
CN: When did you BC? What was your initial reaction to your natural hair?
A: I did the Big Chop on April 22, 2011. I felt so free when I first cut my hair because the transitioning process was such a hassle for me. Being in college and having to use a huge amount of time to do your hair is very frustrating, especially when you have to air dry your hair. This means you always have to do your hair at night so it can dry while you are asleep, and sometimes that didn’t fit into my schedule. I was just glad it was all over, and I was finally all natural!
CN: How did family and friends react to the new you? What was your response to them?
A: I actually had a huge support system in my family for which I am extremely grateful. My cousin and her daughter stopped getting relaxers. Later on, 2 of my other cousins stopped getting them. Then my mom and I decided to stop getting them. I had plenty of positive reinforcement throughout this whole process. My older brother is probably the only one who makes jokes about it, but he’s always harassing me so that doesn’t faze me. I just transferred to the college I am attending now. I don’t have many friends there yet. However, I received a variety of reactions at school. Some people never said anything and/or didn’t notice. Someone thought I had just curled it. The majority of people I know gave me positive feedback. There are a lot of naturals at my school. Therefore, it wasn’t that big of a deal. I will say that some people may not have seen it because I did it right before exams and wasn’t out as much. I didn’t have time to do my hair and wore my beanie a lot. Also, I just recently came home from school, and a lot of people in my hometown haven’t seen it either. Those that have seen my hair, have given me positive comments. Overall, everyone seems to like it, and I am extremely happy and grateful for that.
CN: What was your transition routine?
A: Hot oil treatment with Carol’s Daughter Lisa’s Hair Elixir. I wash with Hair One Cleansing Conditioner for Dry Hair (Olive Oil). It is an awesome product, and I still use it. It’s like a generic Wen. I know most people detangle after their conditioner, but Hair One was the only thing that would detangle my hair during my transition. My hair was deep conditioned with Pantene Curly Line Deep Conditioning Treatment. Cantu Shea Butter was used as a leave-in. I used Tea Tree Oil to oil/seal my hair with Africa’s Best Herbal Oil.
CN: What was your staple hair style during the transition?
A: Two-strand twists and roll with sponge rollers.
CN: How did you moisturize your hair to prevent breakage at the new growth line?
A: Cantu Shea Butter really helped. Sometimes I wouldn’t put it on in an attempt to not weigh my hair down, and it was extremely dry without it.
CN: Why did you choose to go natural?
A: Honestly, I had always been curious about my natural hair texture. I got a relaxer at a very young age because my mother didn’t know how to deal with my thick hair, and I had never really seen what my natural hair looked like. I was always amazed at the waves that formed at the root when I hadn’t had a relaxer in a while. Last semester in Fall 2010, I had a 8am class. I lived at home and had to get up early in order to be ready. Anybody that knows me, knows that I am not a morning person. Trying to do my hair in the morning was getting frustrating. After a while, the “bummy” look had run its course for me because I like to dress up. So, I got micro-braids about halfway through the semester. This was around the time my family members were starting to transition. I figured this was a perfect time to go natural since I would have a support system. After having my braids for about a month, I decided that when I took them out that I wasn’t getting a relaxer. I began to transition from relaxed to natural, and the rest is history!