What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper& why?
I was a “salon visit every 2 weeks faithfully” type of girl up until I left for college in 2007. That’s when everything started to go downhill. I didn’t know how to care for my hair on my own. I was color treated and relaxed and had no idea about the importance of deep conditioning, keeping heat off of your hair, etc. Needless to say, my hair broke completely off on in 2008. I had thoughts of not getting relaxers then but I was scared. To make a long story short, my hair bounced back. I stopped coloring for about 2 years and in 2010 I decided to bleach my hair again…and my hair began to shed…again. It was then that I decided I was done with relaxers. I knew my hair couldn’t thrive being double processed so thus began my journey. I was a long term transitioner just because I prefer to have style versatility with my hair, so cutting it all off was never an option for me. I thoroughly enjoyed my braid outs and buns AND watching it grow really long.

What are (or were) some of your favorite transitioning hairstyles or current dos’? 
I was the self proclaimed braid-out queen! I would braid my hair individually and roll the relaxed ends and rock it for days! As far as current favorite hairstyles go, I prefer to wear my hair BIG. Whether it be in a twist out, braid out, blow out…just as long as I can fro it out I don’t care.
How would you describe your hair? 

My hair is very thick but it’s not hard to manage at all. If I had to put it in a category based on the hair typing system, I would say it falls in the 3c/4a group. I don’t have to spend an excessive amount of time detangling, which is ironic considering the amount of hair that I have. If it’s not really humid outside, my hair can hold styles really well and retains moisture for a good amount of time. It also grows pretty fast, I haven’t taken exact measurements, but ya know…I just know, lol.

What has been the most memorable part of your journey?Has it been easy or difficult or both?!
The most memorable part for me was when I got the rest of my relaxed ends cut off. I remember going home not having a clue of what to do with this new texture. I remember thinking to myself “Alondra, girl you might have made a mistake…what are you going to do?!” To fast forward to present day and seeing how far I’ve come is especially rewarding. As far as the journey goes, it has definitely been a mixture of both easy and difficult. I’m STILL learning, still making mistakes, still accidentally stumbling across awesomeness, lol.

What have your experiences been as a ‘natural?’ Any memorable reactions from family or others? 
My mother did not want me to go natural. She’s old school so she believed that I should keep my hair straight. She didn’t discourage me though. She would just make sure she said “Alondra, I love when you wear your hair straight…” in the sweetest voice. On the contrast, my other family members LOVE my hair. My brother, dad, cousins, everybody! I know I’ve influenced a couple of them to go natural or at least consider it. It’s a good feeling.

What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
Oh boy…my regimen is very simple yet complex. I just listen to my hair, so whatever it needs at that particular time, I provide! But for the most part, my focus is MOISTURE MOISTURE MOISTURE! As long as my hair isn’t dry, it will thrive. Here’s my regimen for the most part:

• If I need to shampoo (if I see that my hair is really dirty) I’ll use Elasta Q Olive Oil and Mango Butter moisturizing shampoo. Then I’ll deep condition with Organix Argan Oil of Morocco Intensive Moisturizing Treatment AND As I Am Hydration Elation deep conditioner (I mix the two). I’ll then sit under my Huetiful Hair Steamer for optimal moisture.
• If my hair isn’t super dirty and I just want to restyle it, I’ll co-wash with Pantene’s Truly Natural Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner.
• No matter if I shampoo or co-wash, I always follow up with Giovanni Direct Leave In Conditioner. That is, hands down, the BEST leave in conditioner for my hair. Period. Holy Grail for sure.
• I always style my hair with Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie. That’s also on my list of holy grails.
• Lastly, whether I’m using it as a pre-poo, to seal in moisture, or with styling my FAVORITE oil is Unrefined Virgin Coconut Oil.

Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words? 
Do NOT look at other women’s hair and compare yours to theirs. Be open to the advice and tips that you’ll come across, but understand that you have to get to know YOUR HAIR. Everything that works for one person may not work for you. Have fun, experiment, stay encouraged and just LOVE YOUR HAIR!

Where can people find you for more information?
Find me on Instagram! @Color_Me_Diva (personal page) and @MyManeThang (natural hair page). I also have a blog called “The Single Woman” www.thesinglewoman.weebly.com

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