Tell me about yourself!
My name is Somalia. I’m 20 years old from Charlotte, NC. I’m currently a junior at Wingate University majoring in nursing!
What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper & why?
I was a long term transitioner. My hair has been a big part of me and I was scared to just cut it all off and start new. I have never had hair that short before and at the time I wasn’t ready to start. I loved to use heat on my hair when I was relaxed and eventually I suffered from heat damage and a lot of breakage. I noticed for a while that my hair wasn’t growing and that it wasn’t healthy. I wanted to achieve a healthy head of hair and this motivated me to go natural. I watched a few videos on youtube from Vanessa (diimpulz). Her videos and her blog really pushed me to go natural and to love your hair every step of the way.
How long have you been natural?
I stopped getting relaxers in December of 2012, and I have been completely natural since February 2014.
When did you BC? What was your initial reaction to your natural hair?
I did my BC in February of 2014. My initial reaction was shock because I forgot how my hair texture was because I haven’t seen it for almost 9-10 years. Overall it was a very welcome change. I was surprised at how long my hair had gotten but the shrinkage was incredible! For the first time in a very long time my hair felt free and healthy. I loved it.
What have your experiences been as a ‘natural?’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?
My dad was elated that I was going natural. He hated that I ever got relaxers in the first place. Overall my mom and my friends were extremely positive about my transition from relaxed hair to natural hair. A lot of my friends almost didn’t recognize me at first with natural hair but they all loved it.
How would you describe your hair?
My hair is mainly 3C with a few areas with a different curl pattern. My hair is extremely curly but I usually wear it stretched. My hair is pretty thick overall except in the crown area.
What has been the most memorable part of your journey? Has it been easy or difficult or both?
The most memorable part of my journey was when I chopped the relaxed ends off and became fully natural. I felt as if I was almost a new person. It was a fresh start on my journey to healthy hair. There was something that was liberating about my BC. It was the first time that I was happy with my hair in a long time.
What were some of your favorite transitioning hairstyles?
I had two go-to hairstyles when I was transitioning and it was the straw set and jumbo twists. I was usually able to stretch those styles for about 2 weeks so they were great styles and they definitely kept my hand-in-hair syndrome at bay (lol!)
What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
I wash my hair every 1-2 weeks just depending on the condition of my hair. I alternate pre poos each time between olive oil/coconut oil for moisture and a DIY pre poo for protein. For the DIY I use an egg, a tbsp of honey, Greek yogurt (either plain or banana), a tbsp or 2 of mayo, and maybe a little olive oil. I usually use leave the pre poo on for a couple of hours then I get ready for the washing process. I co-wash my hair with either Aussie Moist conditioner or As I Am Coconut Cowash. I do use shampoo but only on my scalp and the shampoo that I use is the Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Sulfate Free Shampoo. I wash my hair in sections to prevent ssk’s and it’s very efficient. I mainly finger detangle my hair while the conditioner is in my hair but I may also use a denman brush if needed. For deep conditioning I love the Shea Moisture products! I use either the Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque or the African Black Soap Purification Masque. After the product is applied I may do a little more finger detangling and then place a plastic cap on my head. I then place a warm towel around my head and let the conditioner sit for an hour then rinse it out. I’ll put a cotton shirt on my hair for a few minutes and then I apply my leave in. My leave in conditioner is the Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioner. I swear by using shea butter on my hair. It keeps my hair moisturized for days. After I apply my leave in conditioner I apply my shea butter mix (raw unrefined shea butter + olive oil) to my hair and I’ll put my hair into 8-10 twists or braids and pin them down on my hair and let them air dry.
What do you love most about your hair?
I love how versatile my hair is! The possibilities are endless when it comes to having natural hair.