Were you a slow transitioner or a Big Chopper & why?
My hair journey as a slow transitioner was a very interesting one. I was a covering an Avon beauty event back in July 2010 and my hair stylist told me flat out to stop relaxing my hair because the chemicals were killing it. I honestly didn’t think my hair was that bad because I thought I was taking good care, especially because it was relaxed. But after talking with him, I took a chance. I went back to see him and over the next six months he deep conditioned my hair, trimmed off the relaxed ends little by little, and texturized my hair. After my third visit I realized that if I wanted to go natural I had to go all the way so I stopped the texturizing. By August of 2011, 13 months after my last relaxer, I chopped off the rest of my relaxed ends myself. Though transitioning this long was hard, especially towards the end, it was the best thing for me. I’ve never done anything drastic to my hair and I feel that if I had Big Chopped it would’ve been a major shock to my beauty system! The process also helps me appreciate my hair even more and celebrate how far it’s come!
Had you always embraced your texture?
No, I didn’t. Though I didn’t start relaxing my hair until my early twenties, I pressed and hot ironed my hair to death! As long as it was straight I loved it, which isn’t a healthy relationship to have with hair.
How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? How did they react to the new you? What was your response to them?
My family and friends were supportive of my decision though in the beginning it was a bit hard to accept because my hair was going through so many changes. But they supported me nonetheless, especially my husband who met me with straight hair. He helped me get through those early days when I was so frustrated I wanted to give up. He was awesome!
Describe your hair (fine or coarse, thin or thick, highly porous, low, etc.)
My hair is fine but I have a lot of it so it’s dense, especially in the back. My curls are loose in the front while the middle and back of my hair are really tightly curled accounting for much of the shrinkage I get on wash days.
What’s your current hair routine? How often do you wash, condition, and style? favorite products! Deets!
I shampoo and condition my hair every week. I used to shampoo every two weeks but I found my hair wasn’t responding so well to the cowashes so I’m ditching them for now. I just started using Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk Shampoo and so far I love it! It smells fantastic and leaves my hair super soft. Another favorite shampoo of mine is Shea Moisture’s Moisture Retention Shampoo. For conditioner I use Hello Hydration by Herbal Essence (this stuff is amazing!) or, if my hair is especially dry, Aussie’s 3 Minute Miracle mixed with a little honey. I always detangle my hair in the shower when it’s drenched in conditioner.
As for styling, I wear Wash and Go’s about 90 percent of the time. If my curls are looking a little tired, I’ll do a high puff or if I’m craving something different I’ll do two big flat twists on each side. My must-have styling products are Shea Moisture’s Curling Smoothie and the Curling Souflee, Cantu Shea Butter’s Repairing Cream and Deep Treatment Masque, and good old fashioned olive oil as a sealant.
How do you maintain your hair at night?
I do mini pineapples and sleep with a satin bonnet. If my hair needs a little more definition and moisturizing, I’ll put a little of the Curling Smoothie on and do big twists.
How do you maintain healthy length?
I leave my hair alone! Just washing it and leaving it be has helped it grow and stay healthy. As long as I stick to my routine, my hair is happy!
What’s the best thing about being curly?
The versatility and the ton of volume I have! There are so many different styles I can do that I couldn’t do before while still having the option to wear my hair straight if I want to. Because my hair is fine, when relaxed it was nice but had zero volume. I got trims, layers, all that and nothing did the trick. Now that it’s natural I have the big hair I always wanted plus it is the longest my hair has ever been!