Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
I’m 33 and I work in IT. I’m funny, sensitive, smart and enjoy meeting new people.
What prompted your decision to go natural?
I noticed my hair was lacking body and shine. It was always the same length. It wasn’t as thick as I remembered it and it was … just blah.
How long did you transition?
In college (back in the late 90s), I tried going natural 2 or 3 times … each time, only lasting a semester or two. My hairdresser didn’t encourage transitioning; either BC or relax, so I would give in and relax. Eventually I changed hairdressers, but kept getting perms. In 2007 I started getting a light relaxer; putting the perm on, but not working it through. By September 2008, I decided to stop all together. It took 11 months to fully transition.
What was your initial reaction to your growing natural hair?
My initial reaction was “Wow! Look at those waves.” Then I was like, “ummmm … soooo now what?”
How did family and friends react to the new you? What was your response to them?
My immediate family did not like it. They were used to seeing me with nice, neat relaxed hair and couldn’t understand why I was going natural. Initially, I explained that I was trying something new and wanted to see my hair in its natural state. After a while, I stopped trying to explain. Now that I have mastered a few cute hairstyles, they like it. LOL. My friends didn’t care either way. They all have different types of hair, so it wasn’t a big deal. They do send me links to natural hair sites, etc., which is so cute and supportive. My ex-girlfriend was very supportive, although there were plenty of jokes when I was learning how to deal with natural hair in August humidity.
What is your current regimen? Go to products?
I pre-poo/shampoo as needed. When my scalp starts to feel tight or the style looks old, it’s time to wash. I know it’s a no-no, but I shampoo. I use a dye bottle with 1 part Head and Shoulders/1 part water. I apply it directly to my scalp. I pre-poo with EVOO for a day or two. Deep condition with a EVOO/Coconut oil mix or any one of the deep conditioners I have from my permed days. I like the Huetiful Steamer too. I sleep on a satin pillowcase and use a satin scarf. My favorite product is Karen’s Body Beautiful Butter Love. I use it from scalp to ends several times a week. It’s also a really nice hand/foot cream. That and EVOO are my go to products.
What are your favorite styles?
I’ve mastered the cute ponytail and braid-outs. I can stretch a braid-out for up to 2 weeks. I think once I get better control over my edges, I’ll have more updos in my arsenal.
What are your hair plans/goals?
My goals for 2012:
- Complete The 2012 BGLH “Protect Ya Ends” Challenge.
- Take a break from braid-outs and learn more styles.
- Learn how to trim my ends.
- Grow my hair to APL.
- Incorporate KimmayTube’s conditioner.
- Eat better/exercise/lose weight and it’ll reflect from the inside out.
What was the most challenging part of transitioning?
Whew! Good question. The most challenging part was and still is my edges and kitchen. The texture is totally different than the rest of my hair. It’s just … rough and frizzy, lol. My mom refers to it as my “daddy’s hair.” I’ve learned to work with it. I apply extra conditioner and moisturizer to those areas. My scarf and gel help a lot when I need to lay them down. I also have a (2 inch) section of hair, right in the front that’s bone straight. It took about 6 months post-transition for me to realize that’s how it grows; it is not heat-damaged hair, so I stopped cutting it.
What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
Go for it! Find a stylist or learn a few styles to get you through transition or go for the BC! It’s not about long hair; it’s about healthy hair. Remember to moisturize and deep condition often. Everyone’s natural journey is his or her own. Don’t let the opinions of others affect you. It’s your hair :).