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Curly Nikki

Kameela- Currently Transitioning (20 Months Deep!)

By January 27th, 202144 Comments
Meet Kameela… 20 months in the game.
Kameela- Currently Transitioning (20 Months Deep!)

CN: Are you a long term or short term transitioner, and why?
I’m definitely a long term transitioner. My last relaxer was October 2010. This is my second transition. I tried in March 2010, but relaxed again in October 2010 out of sheer frustration. I had a matting incident that killed the dream! Nearly 8 hours of detangling later, I called it quits, and decided to relax. YES, 8 HOURS! Whew chile’!!!!! (but that’s another story). That next day, I called my stylist (who I hadn’t seen in months) and she fit me right in. I regretted that decision immediately! Literally, as soon as she turned me around in the chair I was like, “What have I done?”. My hair was banging, but lacked volume. It was bone straight and BORING! I wanted my volume back. So I basically started my journey over that day and BAM, here we are today.

CN: What has your initial reaction been to your natural texture and transitioning hair?
My initial reaction was YIKES! I think we all imagine having hair like Chili (TLC). Hahah… I had to learn to appreciate what I have. The best advice I read early on was to treat your hair as if it’s already natural the minute you decide to go natural. This for me meant less heat, less flat ironing, more shampooing & conditioning, and less blow drying (which I rarely did to begin with).

CN: How are family and friends reacting to your decision to go natural?
All of my family and friends support it. They actually love it. I really don’t get too many nay-sayers. My motto is, “no matter what my hair looks like, my face never changes”. Words to live by aye?!?! In other words, you’re still the same FAB person.

CN: What is your transition routine?
The first 9 months I basically wore a low ponytail/bun. And after that, I discovered the sew-in…. LOVED IT…. I WAS HOOKED. You couldn’t tell me I wasn’t Sasha Fierce. I wore that for six months straight getting it re-done every three months. My hair grew like a weed! NICE

Kameela- Currently Transitioning (20 Months Deep!)
Sew-In (Protective style)
Kameela- Currently Transitioning (20 Months Deep!)
Texture Shot at 18mos post

As for products, I absolutely LOVE Mizani Botanifying Shampoo, and Mizani Moisturefuse Conditioner. They are tried and true staples for me. They are a bit expensive, but well worth it. The shampoo smells great, and the conditioner has lots of “slip”. It leaves your hair smelling like a botanical garden. Also Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk Conditioner is a close second. I’m still searching for that perfect leave-in, but so far African Pride Shea Butter Miracle Leave-In conditioner is holding it down. I’m not big on using “all natural” products. If it works for my hair, I’m happy. I’ve also learned to ALWAYS wash my hair in the shower. It’s much easier than bending over in the sink and putting your hair “up-side-down”. For me, doing that creates too many tangles. I now shampoo, condition, and pull my hair into a low ponytail while STILL in the shower using a Denman detangling brush. You wouldn’t believe how much standing under the shower stream helps aid in this process! And ladies, If you don’t have a detangling brush, go get one, RIGHT NOW! #WINNING. Once I’m done, I rub leave in conditioner on the surface of my hair, tie it down, and go to bed. I ALWAYS wash my hair at night and let it air dry overnight while I’m sleeping. I never sit under the dryer or use a blow dryer. Makes life so much easier. The next morning, your hair is already styled into a low ponytail or bun. If I decide to do a twist out, I always do it on damp/mostly dryed hair (not soaking wet hair).  It helps with the shrinkage.

CN: What is your staple hair style during the transition?
Low ponytails/bun and sew-in weaves.

Kameela- Currently Transitioning (20 Months Deep!)

Kameela- Currently Transitioning (20 Months Deep!)

CN: How do you moisturize your hair to prevent breakage at the new growth line?
Four words- BLUE MAGIC HAIR GREASE! There’s a reason our moms used that stuff. Take heed ladies. IT WORKS! LOL…. I also mix Organic Coconut Oil into a bottle of Pink Oil Moisturizer. Good Stuff.


CN: Why did you decide to go natural?
Simple, my baby girl. I became a mommie in June of ’09, and looking at my daughter’s beautiful hair got me to thinking. Plus, I never liked my hair bone straight anyway. Not to mention, I’d get curl envy from looking at natural chicks in commercials, pics, magazines, and on the street. Naturals always seem to have a personal style like no other, and I wanted that.

Kameela- Currently Transitioning (20 Months Deep!)

CN: Any final thoughts?
As the saying goes, “It gets greater later”. Transitioning in the beginning is tough but just hold on. There will come a point in your transition when you’ll notice it becomes easier to manage, handle, wash, and style your hair. For me, that was around the one year mark. Once I had enough natural hair to fit into my ponytail, it was smoother sailing from there. Good Luck Chica’s.

Kameela- Currently Transitioning (20 Months Deep!)

 How far are you in your transition? Do you have any tips or words of encouragement for other transitioners?

44 Comments

  • Kimberly KaleidoscopicSoul Eph says:

    i luv this article:)

  • Hilary B. says:

    you are so admirable, for real. I could not do a 20 month transition. Kudos.

  • Alyx says:

    LOL @ at all the comments bashing on the only 4 negative ones. I think we got it after number 10 or so. Just an observation.

  • Anonymous says:

    Truth be told, stories like these are actually really good ways to encourage many women who balk at the thought of dramatically cutting their hair (e.g., if they have always been accustomed to long hair; if relaxing was never their choice to begin with, but rather a decision made for them during childhood; if they just like being able to quickly throw their hair into a bun/ponytail at a moments notice; etc). If shortly into their transition they decide to big chop, well the choice is all theirs. Due to past and present stories like Kameela's (btw–thanks for sharing), most of us are now aware of the myth that we MUST big-chop after we stop using chemical relaxers. Many of us gladly choose the transition route and all that it entails (i.e., longer detangling sessions and the lot) versus cutting our hair to unfamiliar lengths. What does anyone really have to prove about their own hair anyway? It's not so much about insecurity, big-chop or not, hair clearly grows and women with long-hair know this all too well, and don't have to be reminded (it is quite patronizing, in fact). Transitioning long-term is merely another way for many relaxed sisters to return to their natural tresses. We should be cautious not to knock this method (it has proven to work for a boatload of women who might otherwise continue relaxing). Long-term transitioners more often than not appreciate and value their fully natural hair and are typically well equipped to handle it in all its glory after the transition period (heck, working with two textures for so long is no easy feat). Keep the stories coming (diversity is a lovely thing–as we know, one size does not fit all)…

  • Natural Beauty says:

    Wow, I wish I had transitioned for longer. I guess I needed more knowledge and patience because after 7 months I just had to chop it off. But I chopped it off only to struggle with having several different textures and finding out what products worked for my hair. I could have saved a great deal of frustration if I had started to treat my hair from the beginning like it was natural. Good tip.
    Celebrateyournaturalbeauty.blogspot.com

  • LeeLee says:

    Thanks Anonymous 11:15 am 6/15…
    I have read hundreds of stories of ladies who big choppped and their hair never grew, some think by cutting their relax ends their hair will grow faster and that didnt happen…

  • Anonymous says:

    @LeeLee – there may be some truth to your statement. My sister's hair is well over 8 inches long – she keeps it cut, yet mine cannot get past 5 without snapping off.

  • Anonymous says:

    Kameela – your hair is beautiful!!!! And your baby was your inspiration, too? Well done!

    My sister was also a long term transitioner, she's an engineer and was going to school after work for her masters program. She pulled those napps back into a ponytail and kept it moving!!

    I big chopped instead. My 4c relaxed hair was thin, fine, porous, and extremely overprocessed. I flat ironed the heck out of it, tried flat twisting and it looked like I stuck my finger in an electrical socket. I looked like a perm victim. Sadly, I did not find CurlyNikki until after I big chopped.

    I wish I'd seen posts like yours before I chopped.

    You do you boo is my mantra – werk it girl!

    ~Thetruthisoutthere

  • LeeLee says:

    I think some of the folks knocking long term transitioners are hating and jealous that they didnt transition! They big chopped and their hair never grew and they had to resort to wigs n braids 'cause there hair isnt growing & now they are knocking those who will never experience a true TWA….long term transitioners!!

  • Anonymous says:

    WOW at these comments…..You would think people would be supportive of one another. No matter the journey (BC or Transition), the destination is the same. I'm just wondering, if not letting go of relaxed ends (the loss of length)equates to insecurity, does adding hair also equate to insecurity (Kinky twist, micro braids, faux puff, corn rows, weaves, etc)? This can be viewed both ways. Personally, I think its about choice.

  • Anonymous says:

    its about personal preference, not an insecurity. She actually in my opinion presents her self in her story to be a very secure and strong woman and mother. If she doesnt want a twa on her head thats her head let her do what shes comfortable with! Clearly, she doesnt find short hair appealing on her.

  • Anonymous says:

    For all who are hating because SOME of us have a difference of opinion re chicas who can't let go of their relaxed ends, go bite it (are we stepping on some toes)! NOT being any natural hair police; of course, it's their hair but as said before all the long transitioning hair drama is just utterly ridiculous. It's not patience, it's insecurity. Patience would have been to ride through the first attempt not run back to the relaxer just because of being scared…HUMPH

    P.S. No one said the young lady wasn't beautiful, she's a cutie.

  • Anonymous says:

    ^^^^ NATURAL HAIR POLICE ALERT, NATURAL HAIR POLICE ALERT!!!! HIDE YA KIDS, HIDE YA WIFE! Come on y'all with all of this negativity and trying to throw someone under the bus with your "all knowing natural hair lingo" <— that's sarcasm in case you didn't catch it. Leave this beautiful girl and her transition story be, my GOD!

  • Anonymous says:

    Isn't the Big Chop cutting your hair very short and starting basically from scratch?

    Letting your hair grow out for 2 years (excuse me 24 months) and then cutting off the last inch of relaxed ends is called Transitioning isn't it?

  • Anonymous says:

    If you are 18 months in, I don't think it's Big Chop anymore.

  • Anonymous says:

    Lol! Grease girl I used the ultra sheen blue grease and use another one by ultra sheen. As long as you wash your hair on your scheduled time once a week or one every two weeks your good to go.

    Megan Montgomery

  • RazzyYazzy says:

    I got my last relaxer October 2010 as well. I just big chopped at 18 months. My hair got to the length that allowed for easy bunning of my natural hair. I was originally planning to go 24 months. It's cool to find someone who is at the same point of their hair journey. Let us know when you big chop. Keep going!

  • Bobby says:

    @Anonymous 8:01pm thanks 4 sharing your story, we hardly hear stories from ladies who big chopped and regretted some probably do and wont admit…

  • Form and Fashion says:

    BEAUTIFUL!! I feel your struggle!!! Keep it up!!! I am still in my transition…about 19 months…almost done!!

    Love,

    FORM & Fashion!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Great story! My relaxed hair was mid back when I started my transition. I ended up transitioning 24 mths & have no regrets. I did what I wanted to do w/MY hair. I personally think ppl who feel negatively about it are just envious that they didn't have the discipline to stick it out. Do you 🙂

  • honeybrown1976 says:

    I'm 25 months into my transition. Ignore the naysayers. Enjoy your journey!

  • Anonymous says:

    Well said Anonymous 8:01.

  • Anonymous says:

    I've never been one to comment (so please forgive this lengthy post); however it drives me bonkers when I read negative comments in response to someone’s personal hair decisions. I’d like to think this site was intended more for inspiration and support, yet it seems there are some who find comfort in tearing folks down. Whether one chooses to big chop or transition long-term…it is their personal choice…commendations are more in order for them choosing to no longer relax. I myself intended to transition long-term, but chopped after only 8 months because I saw someone else’s beautiful head of short-cropped natural hair and thought I might be ready to chop. Guess what…I didn’t love it on me at the time, but I made do with my decision to chop as I saw fit. For months, I ended up rocking just one style—a high bun and headband (or shall I say a bun beefed up with fake hair). All that when I could have simply rocked my own hair with more versatility had I waited…yep relaxed ends and all–(shoot I was relaxed for many years, what would it have hurt to transition a bit longer—I took exceptional care in ensuring that my ends weren’t scraggily (I also enjoyed the fact that I could swiftly and easily bun in a variety of ways with my length). I am happily 26 months post-relaxer, and absolutely love my natural hair! We must be honest that some women are more comfortable or simply find it easier to work with longer hair—no matter the texture—while some are quite comfortable with shorter dos and rock them fiercely. Far be it from me or anyone else to judge. Women, including this lovely lady Kameela, sharing their story on curlynikki and similar sites serve as great inspiration. It would be sad for negative comments (which are entirely unnecessary) to deter other women from sharing their personal hair journeys. Can we put a muzzle on the hate?

  • Anonymous says:

    Great story and good for you 20 months! 🙂 I'm in my 12 month and thinking about cutting it very soon, and as some of you I think you should cut when you feel comfortable with the length of your hair, or if you like transition and doesn't think it's difficult then you have the right to have the two textures as long as you want!/ european reader.

  • Annie L. says:

    Congrats Kameela! And what an adorable little girl you have!

    I really liked your story of self-acceptance: you got another perm and realized that whatever benefits used to come with it, just no longer measured up to the love affair you had developed with your hair. I admire that you seem to already know what's working for your hair and lifestyle and kudos on being the No. 1 natural hair role model to your daughter! Please update us with your BC pics – 5 years from now! Just kidding, Lol!!!!

    P.S. I can't get down with Blue Magic (I can still smell it even 26 years later!) but think your twist out looks heavenly, tks for putting yourself and your story out there!

  • Anonymous says:

    Patience is a virtue that not everyone possesses; It's encouraging to read about someone who's able to transition for a long period of time; I'm currently 7 months in and plan to continue until I have about an inch or 2 of relaxer left; It goes to show it can be done, so thanks for your story; To each their own; Thank God for individuality and personal choices that every person has the right to make. More importantly, it's great that so many women are embracing their natural god-given hair at whatever time they decide to whether it be a process or abruptly the destination is the same; Lets support the common goal that we all have- to be NATURAL!!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Your hair is lovely and healthy. Your daughter is very lucky that she has a mother who is embracing herself. Great example!

    I truly applaud your long term transition effort. It speaks volumes about your ability to be patient and to let the old hair grow away gracefully while caring for and embracing the new. Big chopping isn't for everyone, but not everyone has the patience to do what you did!

  • Anonymous says:

    People Kill me with "oh thats too long to transition" is there a book that states how long one must transition? ITS NOT YOUR HAIR!!! You do as you please with your hair. Everyone's story is not the same, Everyone cant have the same transition. Everyone wont big chop etc. I was a long term transitioner 24 Months, I grew my relaxer all the way out… I always had long hair so I didnt want to cut it all off.. People do what they feel comfortable. I dont understand why its a crime to be a long term transitioner? Im just saying! sheesh come on ladies encourage one another!! Were all here Natural, beautiful, and doing the darn thang! YOU GO GIRL YOUR STORY WAS GREAT!

  • Anonymous says:

    I am 16mths in and like her will cut when I am comfortable.

  • Bobby says:

    To all the haters against long term transitioning: why do you care what someone does with THEIR HAIR?!! Everyone has different reasons why they never big chop, and they dont have explain it to you or anyone else!!

  • Anonymous says:

    What is it with the negative comments. To each their own. Its HER head, dang!

  • Anonymous says:

    What is with people who are so against long term transitions? It's her hair and she's doing a great job. Kameela, thanks for sharing your story.
    —Mrsdjrass

  • Anonymous says:

    still have to cut off the relaxed ends why put yourself through all of that (gives a false sense of a looser curl) and sooner or later you will have to deal with the two textures tangling and possible damage resulting. Cut it off and be done with it

  • DiscoveringNatural says:

    Wonderful story. My goal is to transition until I am comfortable with the amount of new growth I have. I'm loving the process and learning new things about hair care. – discoveringnatural.blogspot.com

  • Anonymous says:

    Great story for us transitioners, 9 months in for me…I would love to read a story of a long term transitioner who hair isnt long enough for a low pony tail, someone who has limited styling options. My hair has gotten so thick I cant put it in a ponytail anymore…I just rock my braid outs…and the humidity is just terrible on my hair!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Yaay, so happy to be featured. Thanks Nik!!! I chose to transition long term because as a mom, we don't always have time, or the energy, for long styling sessions. I like being able to pull my hair into a ponytail at a moments notice. I appreciate the positive remarks, and I hope my tips have helped. Happy growing ladies!

  • Anonymous says:

    I admire you for transitioning for such a period of time. When I first went natural I had said I wanted to transition for at least a year before doing the bc, but I only made it 5 months, but being pregnant at the time & it was summer I didn't want to damage my hair by getting frustrated with it. So I believe I made the right decision at the time. You & your little girl are beautiful with beautiful hair, happy growing.

    Brooke B.

  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience! I also transitioned for a long period, nearly 24 months, because it was right for ME. There is absolutely nothing "ridiculous" about a long transition. Every woman's relationship to her hair and her experience becoming natural is, and should be, highly individual.

  • Anonymous says:

    Transitioning for that long is utterly ridiculous.

  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks for sharing your story. I'm in my 16th month of transition. My tips are: Patience is key! Don't let other's opinions sway you. And, find a good conditioner, because detangling is a beast!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Great story and tips for others. I'm currently 2 weeks away from my 24 month transition mark and I'm so anxious to chop! All I keep saying is "2 more weeks, just 2 more weeks". lol I'm so ready to be completely natural and just in time for the summer! Wash n go, here I come!

  • DeAndra says:

    You and your daughter look beautiful!! Thanks for sharing your story!

  • Shemsa08 says:

    What a beautiful bun 🙂 !

  • ashlei says:

    girl you better werk! this is very encouraging! I just reached my one year mark in transitioning and im still going strong!

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