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
|Sew-In (Protective style)|
|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.
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.
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.