Tag Archives: hair story

Hair Crush: Fay’s HairStory

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Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
My name is Fay, and I am a single working mother of five (three girls and two boys). I have a lot on my plate, but I am grateful for it all. I live in Orlando, FL and am trying to embrace my culture and the redefine the ideal of beauty that has been forced on us for so long.

How long have you been natural and why did you chose to go natural?
I have been natural for the past 3 years. My decision to go natural came after really thinking about what we are doing to our scalps and hair with the chemicals that we put on them for the purpose of supposedly “making our hair more manageable.” I figured God gave us our hair the way it was and since He knows what He is doing, He must have figured we could manage it.

After making the transition, I realized that not only is our hair manageable, but it is versatile, diverse and, most of all, beautiful. We have been taught for sooo long that our kinks and curls and knots and twists are ugly, or to be tamed that we just took it for granted that straight was the path to beauty. But, like this world, beauty and hair comes in many forms. I am complimented wayyy more now with my natural hair by all ethnicities than I ever have been before. More importantly, I love what I see when I look in the mirror and I hope to be an example to my daughters so that they can say the same

Did you transition or big chop?
I did the big chop.

How did others (family, friends, colleagues) react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? How do they feel now?
My friends and family did not understand why I cut off all my hair (it was fairly long and permed) and insisted that I would regret it. They all felt like it was a waste of time, since they assumed I would just wind up perming it again. My response was simple … I was tired of sitting through the unneccesary pain of chemical straighteners (I have a very sensitive scalp). I also felt like, in this day and age, black women should embrace what makes them different and understand that that difference is not a curse, but something rare and beautiful.

What is/was your biggest hair challenge/obstacle? How did you overcome it or what are you doing now to try to address the problem?
My biggest hair challenge initially was my own mental block as to what to do with my natural hair as far as styling was concerned, because I love trying different hair styles and versatility. I overcame that with experimentation and realized that there are endless options when it comes to styling natural hair. There are cornrows, twists, curly fros, box braids, blowouts … I could go on and on.


What do you love most about your natural hair and/or about being natural?
I love the feel of it … the ease of it. My hair is healthier than it’s ever been.

What is your current regimen? Has it changed in any major way since you first went natural?
I wash and condition my hair twice a month. I use carrot oil to blow dry it and, after blow drying, I use coconut oil to twist it. I generally leave the twists in overnight and take them out the next day for an easy curly do that generally lasts all week. That’s pretty much what I’ve done since going natural.

What are your Holy Grail and staple products?
Definitely carrot and coconut oil. I recently added Shea Moisture Organic Coconut Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk. It moisturizes really well.

How often do you cut/trim your hair? How do you cut it?
I have not had to cut/trim my hair at all.

Has going natural impacted other areas of your life (i.e. health & fitness, style, environmental consciousness, etc.?) If so, how and in what ways has it affected your lifestyle?
After going natural, I found that it made me rethink a lot of other aspects of my day to day and was the impetus for me rethinking the way I eat. I wanted to be more natural/organic in that area as well.

Do you have a “hair crush?” If so, who?
My “hair crush” was definitely Teyana Taylor when I thought her hair was naturally that thick and georgoeus. I’m still not sure whether it is or not.


What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
I would definitely advise any African-American woman who is thinking about going natural to go for it. It may seem daunting at first, but the pay off is sooo worth it. The money it saves, the confidence it provides and the self-love it promotes. As your natural hair grows, so will your horizons as to what is beautiful about you and in turn your culture and black women in general. It’s cliche but true, “Black is Beautiful,” hair and all. Our daughters deserve to know that.

Natural in London, England: Rella’s HairStory

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Who are you and from where do you hail?
Hi! I’m Rella J. I was born and raised in London, England, but both my parents are Nigerian. I am a singer/songwriter/musician/university student/natural hair lover

What do you like most about your homeland?
I am a very proud Londoner. Mostly, I love the diversity. I have truly been spoilt growing up here and sometimes I forget that the London demographic isn’t necessarily an accurate representation of England. I love that there’s anything and everything to do and I love how many different cultures you experience by growing up here.

I wouldn’t really know how to describe London in a couple of pictures or sentences. It’s a really busy/bustling city, but then you have quiet residential areas and big parks all within 15 minutes of each other.


What is the hair norm for Black/Brown women where you live? If natural hair is not the norm, is it becoming more prevalent?
I would say that relaxers and weaves are the norm, but natural hair isn’t shunned. It definitely is becoming more prevalent and I love that. I love walking down the road and seeing more fellow naturals. But, I also look forward to the time when I don’t use the term fellow natural, if you get what I mean?

What was your hair like during your childhood and teen years? How did you feel about it? How was it perceived by others?
What was my hair like? I wouldn’t know. My childhood. I have very vivid memories of my mum calling me to sit between her thighs and get my hair done. The afro comb, the wooden parting comb and the tub of Dax or Blue Magic; weapons in the war that was doing my hair (lol). My hair was always hidden away in thread, single plaits and then canerows/cornrows. At 15, I graduated to weave and the only time I saw my hair was to take one weave down, wash and put the next one in. It was always something to be hidden away.

What prompted your decision to go natural?
At 17, I had been wearing weaves for two years and, one day, I was like, “So, am I gonna do this for the rest of my life?” I was sick of constantly being aware that the hair I was wearing wasn’t my own and feeling embarrassed if somebody touched it and felt tracks … when it was really windy outside, worrying if my parting was still covered. I was like, “I don’t want to live like this.”

Then, one day, I was on my way back from a performance and I was joking around with one of the musicians that had played for me. We started play cussing each other and I made a joke about his dreads, comparing him to another dude we know with dreads. And then, he was like, “But that’s not your hair.” That was the final push I needed. I went home and I was like, “I am never wearing weaves again, I want to wear my hair – however it is!”

What has your natural hair journey been like? How has your decision been received by family, friends and people in general?
It has been a journey, a learning process, and is ongoing. When I first told people that I was going to start wearing MY hair exclusively, some were completely supportive, some didn’t know why it was such a big deal and some didn’t think it was possible to do, because nobody really did unless they had more “manageable” hair. But, after a while, wearing my hair became completely normal to everyone.


What do you see as the challenges of being natural? Are there any things that you think are unique to where you live?  If so, what and why? How do you think they can be overcome?
At first, it was finding products and practices that worked for me and learning how my hair behaves. The accessibility of products was an issue, but now that natural hair is becoming more popular, more prouducts are available in the UK. And more product lines based in the UK are being created, which is great. I also found that once I trashed the mentality that I can only use “black” products on my hair, I had so many more options from which to choose. As for practices and learning how my hair behaves, that takes time, perseverance and trial and error. Also, once I stopped expecting my hair to do things it couldn’t, there was less disappointment!

What is your regimen? Do you use/prefer commercial or natural products? Are the products that you like and want to try readily accessible and affordable? Where do you purchase them? 
For the most part, I finger detangle, add my prepoo mix (coconut oil, honey and conditioner) then put my hair in twists. When I’m ready to wash my hair, I shampoo my scalp, rinse, take down a twist and condition, then retwist. Once out of the shower, I blot my hair with a cotton t shirt or a microfiber towel and finally I apply a leave in, seal with castor oil then braid. The next day, I take my braids down and normally do some kind of updo/ bun. If I can’t be bothered, I’ll wear a scarf or style the braids somehow.

I prefer natural products, because they tend to work better for me and I don’t really need to worry about what I’m putting in my hair. I get most of my products online. There are a few international products that I’d love to try, but shipping costs are crazy or the international price way more than the normal one. But, as demand increases, some products are becoming more accessible.

Are there salons that cater to natural hair where you live? Are stylists trained in handling natural hair? Do you go to a salon?
Specifically to natural hair? Not that I know of, but I haven’t really looked, because I do my hair myself. But, with London being the place that it is, I’m sure there is one somewhere.

What do you enjoy and/or love about being/going natural? Has the journey taught you anything about yourself?
I enjoy being able to take care of my hair myself and the independence it gives me. I love how completely my hair represents me. I love when  black people say to me, “I didn’t know our hair could look like that” or could be worn out. Or, when a black girl sees my hair and feels better about hers. I love that when I have daughters, natural hair will be completely normal to them.

Do you have a Hair Crush?
Every natural that I see. I love natural hair that much lol!

Who do you follow online?
Who don’t I? To name a few, you (obviously).
Natural Belle: www.hairspiration.blogspot.co.uk
Curly Nikki: www.curlynikki.com
Healthy Hair and Body: www.hairandhealth.blogspot.co.u
Unitedkinkdom: www.unitedkinkdom.blogspot.co.uk
YouTube: fusionofcultures, bronzeqt, MsVaughnTV, Girlsloveyourcurls, Naptural85, BlakIzBeautyful and many, many more (lol).

Anything else that you’d like to share?
Well, I guess if you want to hear any more about me, you can find me online.

Hair:
Blog: www.naturalinlondon.blogspot.com
YouTube: anaturalinlondon
Twitter: @naturalinlondon

Music:
Blog: www.rellajay.blogspot.com

YouTube: rellajmusic
Twitter: @rella_j_

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So, I found Rella’s hair blog several months ago and asked her to share her hairstory:). I also listened to one of her songs and was so impressed by her talent. That being said, she didn’t share any of her music, so I am ;). Check her out!

Tales of a Transitioner: Nancy’s HairStory

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Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
My name is Nancy and I go by NancyM when I comment on Hairscapdes and other blogs. I was born and raised in the Washington, DC area. I have a wonderful husband and 2 great kids. I love to spend time with family and friends.

When did you receive your first relaxer?
After begging my mom for a year, I got my first relaxer when I was 13 years old. I loved it and at the time, it helped me fit in with the other girls at my school, who all had relaxers years before me.

Why did you choose to go natural?
Several reasons; I really can’t point to one. My relaxed hair was well maintained and reached past mid-back length. I just wanted a change. Long relaxed hair just hangs there and really doesn’t do much (AND the longer my hair grew, the thinner it looked). I wanted something different. I also wanted more fullness in my hair, which was impossible for me with long, straight hair. Also, salon visits for me took HOURS because of the length of my hair. I was exhausted. LOL!

Are you a long-term or short-term transitioner, and why?
I’m a long-term transitioner. As of August 2012, I am at 18 months of transitioning. My original plan was to go for 24 months of transitioning, but now that I have more new growth than relaxed ends, the urge to chop is strong. I’m not sure that I’ll make it past this fall, but we’ll see … . My reason for a long-term transition is the same as many others: I didn’t know how I would look with short hair and I wasn’t ready to find out. At this point, however, my new growth is down to my shoulders, so that’s why I may chop earlier than 24 months. My transition has not been as hard as I’d thought it would be, but I credit that to all of the info that can be found online with quality sites like Hairscapades.com, CurlyNikki.com, and others.

What was your initial reaction to your growing natural hair?
First off, I really like it. To be honest, I didn’t know what I was going to get since I hadn’t seen my natural hair since I was 13. My initial reaction was surprise at the different textures that I’m finding on my head. So far, I’ve found looser coily hair in the front and nape and kinky-coily hair in the middle/crown. Also, I notice that my new growth can be dry and needs more moisture than my relaxed hair does.

How did family and friends react to the new you? What was your response to them?
Most of my family and friends didn’t notice that I was transitioning until I told them. However, I’ve received only positive responses. As my husband says, “Whatever makes you happy makes me happy.” 🙂

What is your transition routine?
My regimen is pretty simple:

  • Daily: Moisturize and seal (yes, I put some form of moisture and/or oil in my hair everyday); Sleep with a satin scarf AND on a satin pillowcase – this is a habit from my relaxed days that I will never change.
  • Weekly: Pre-poo with an oil and sometimes conditioner; shampoo wash; condition; apply leave-in; then roller or rod set ( I also use a hooded dryer at times to speed the drying process when I can’t air dry).
  • Monthly: Henna gloss; deep condition; then roller or rod set; Protein treatment (sometimes I do this quarterly); I also trim my relaxed ends as needed.

What is your staple transition hair style?
My staple transition style is definitely a bun or ponytail; however, I do the occasional braid out or half up/half down style as well.

What techniques/products do you to manage the demarcation line between your relaxed and natural hair? 
I manage the two textures by keeping my hair well moisturized. As I mentioned, I moisturize every day. I was a product junkie for the first 6 months of my transition, but these products have stood the test of time:

  • Shampoo: One ‘n Only Argan Oil Moisturizing Shampoo; Suave Naturals Almond + Shea Shampoo; Aussie Moist Shampoo; Tresemmé Naturals Moisture Shampoo
  • Conditioners: One ‘n Only Argan Oil Moisturizing Conditioner; Suave Naturals Almond + Shea Conditioner; Aussie Moist Conditioner; Tresemmé Naturals Moisture Conditioner or Moisture Rich Conditioner
  • Leave-ins: One ‘n Only Styling Cream; Infusium 23; Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine; Herbal Essences Long-Term Relationship
  • Moisturizers: Organic Root Stimulator (ORS) Olive Oil Moisturizer; Cantu Shea Butter Leave-in
  • Oils: Coconut oil (must have this oil on hand at all times); argan oil; olive oil; sweet almond oil; grapeseed oil
  • Henna: Jamila henna; I use the same method that CurlyNikki has posted on her site under Henna Gloss.
  • Protein: I use the ApHogee 2 Minute Reconstructor

Of course, I know that these some of these products may change once I’m fully natural.

What is the most challenging part of transitioning and how have you been able to overcome or cope with it?
The most challenging part of transitioning was making the decision to do it. I had been considering going natural for years before I actually did it. I think that the wealth of info on the internet and sites like this one really helped me conduct the research I needed to move forward with this decision … and I haven’t regretted it at all.

What has been the most fun/best part of going natural? What do you love most about your natural hair and/or going natural?
I LOVE HENNA! This has been the single best thing I’ve done to my hair! I would have never even tried it had I not read your story and Nikki’s story on CurlyNikki.com. Since I’ve started to henna back in August 2011, my dandruff has disappeared, breakage has minimized significantly, and my hair feels great. Also, I know this is going to sound weird, but my scalp looks so healthy when I part my hair. Oh, and the subtle auburn color is the bomb!

Do you have a “hair crush?” If so, who?
Sure! Well of course there’s you, CurllyNikki, Naptural 85, and Jennell of KinkyCurlyKoilyMe, just to name a few.

Who do you follow online (i.e. blog/website, YouTube, Fotki, etc.)?
Same as above and many others… The list is far too long. 🙂

What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
My advice would be to do your research, then go for it! For me, having the knowledge gave me the power to make the decision.

Hair Crush: Bri’s HairStory

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Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
Pretty simple. I am a fun, bubbly, energetic dancer, who is a mother of two and goes by the name of Bri Rose.

How long have you been natural and why did you chose to go natural?
I’ve been natural since birth. My mother refused to put a perm in my hair, so I really didn’t have a choice of being natural or not. However, I wore my hair in its natural state every now and then. I just started wearing my curls habitually a year ago.

How did others (family, friends, colleagues) react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? How do they feel now?
Well, since I’ve worn my hair naturally before, it really wasn’t a big deal. The only reaction I receive from my family or anyone that knows me is when I cut my hair. My family despises cutting hair in general, when it pertains to the women in my family, to the fullest. And my response to them is, “It’ll grow back.” But they (family/friends) embrace natural hair; they wear their hair natural as well too.

What is/was your biggest hair challenge/obstacle?  How did you overcome it or what are you doing now to try to address the problem?
My biggest hair challenge is to not get bored with my hair, and to not cut it when I get bored with it. I have yet to overcome this challenge! But, when it approaches, I will definitely put a sign on every door in my apartment that will say, “DO NOT CUT BRI!!!” For the time being, I map out when I get my ends trimmed, making sure beforehand that it’s necessary and not routine.

What do you love most about your natural hair and/or about being natural?
I love how much body my hair has in its natural state. As I’ve gotten older, my hair became thinner. However, when I wear my curls, I have a lot of body aka frizz. I love when my hair gets frizzy to a certain extent. I embrace frizz.

What is your current regimen?  Has it changed in any major way since you first went natural?
I really don’t have a set regimen and that’s mainly due to my schedule. I now basically go off how my hair reacts to styles. For example, if I do a twist-out and it doesn’t come out how it normally does on a regular basis, then I know it’s time for a wash. Or, if my scalp itches more than usual or my hair becomes limp, I know it’s time to wash. I learned quickly that my hair does not react well when it comes to regimens whatsoever, so I play it by ear.

What are your Holy Grail and staple products?
Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Threat Invigorating Shampoo, Giovanni Direct Leave in Conditioner, Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl and Style Milk, Kinky-Curly Curling Custard and Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner (used as DC).

 

How often do you cut/trim your hair? How do you cut it? If you go to a salon, would you recommend it?
Not too often. When I start to notice that simple styles are not holding or my hair is too frizzy, that’s when it’s time for a trim. When I do get a trim, I definitely flat-iron my hair since I have yet to find a salon that can consistently and properly cut curly hair in Chicago.

Do you have a “hair crush?” If so, who?
My hair crushes are IvyCharlaine, Taren916, Andreaschoice and ShamelessMaya.

Who do you follow online (i.e. blog/website, Youtube, Fotki, etc.)?
I follow Shameless Maya, Andreaschoice, MsVaughnTV, Naptural 85, Taren 916 and Ivy Charlaine.

Where can we find you online?
Follow me on Twitter: @BriRose26
Instagram: @BriRose26
Bloglovin: BriRosePleaseStayCurly

What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
My piece of advice to a new natural is to go natural because you want to. Don’t do natural because you think it’s the trend, because you will be discouraged way too easily. And surf the web, find what works for you. It’s going to be trial and error, but it’s worth it in the long run.

Much love,

Bri

Hair Crush: Valerie’s HairStory

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Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
My name is Valerie. I have been natural for 3 years. My whole life I was told that I had unruly unmanageable hair.  It has been a long hard journey. Once I thought I had everything down pat with the “Curly Girl Method,” I discovered that something still was not right. Well ladies, as if caring for curly hair isn’t hard enough, I discovered I am protein-sensitive as well. So, right now, I am on a journey to find what works best for my hair sans protein.

How long have you been natural and why did you chose to go natural?
I have been natural for a little over 3 years. I decided to go natural because I finally wanted to see what my REAL hair looked like.

Did you transition or big chop?
I transitioned.

How did others (family, friends, colleagues) react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? How do they feel now?
My mother was shocked at the fact that I actually went through with it and my older sister was negative about it (she is relaxed). I simply told them that I love the hair God gave me. My mother decided to go natural with me. My sister likes my curls, but always comments on how she liked my straight hair better.

What is/was your biggest hair challenge/obstacle?  How did you overcome it or what are you doing now to try to address the problem?
My biggest obstacle is the fact that I am protein-sensitive, which doesn’t allow me to experiment with a wide range of products. The way that I am overcoming this obstacle is reading the ingredient labels on products before I purchase them. A small obstacle is the dry patch of hair at my crown.

What do you love most about your natural hair and/or about being natural?
I am not going to lie … I love the attention I get because of my hair. Before, I felt almost invisible and insecure. Now, I can’t hide even if I wanted to.

What is your current regimen?  Has it changed in any major way since you first went natural?
**I do not use sulfates, silicones nor proteins in my hair.**

  • Wash 1 or 2x a week with a sulfate-free and protein-free shampoo; I wash in 2 sections.
  • Detangle hair in front of mirror with conditioner (saves water). I use a paddle brush for ends and a wide-tooth comb for my roots. I detangle in 8 sections, 2 sections in each quadrant.
  • Deep condition 1x a week with my Hair Therapy Wrap.
  • Put in leave-in conditioner (5 sections: 2 in the back, 1 in the crown and 2 in the front).
  • Seal with a oil or butter (I stop at this step if I want to achieve a twist out).
  • Rake and shingle in gel (for WnG).
  • Apply finisher.
  • Diffuse for a WnG or air dry for a twist-out.
  • Protect hair at night by sleeping in a satin bonnet.

What are your Holy Grail and staple products?
Shampoo: Cream of Nature Argan Oil Sulfate free Shampoo
Conditioner/Deep Condish: GVP Conditioning Balm/Curl Junkie Rehab
Leave-inL SheaMoisture SheaButter Leave-in, CJ Smoothing Lotion
Butter: Oyin Burnt Sugar or Sugar Berry Pomade
Gel: Koils By Nature Peppermint Gel
Satin Bonnet: Ebonnets by EboniCurls

What is your “go to” style? Do you wear protective and/or low manipulation styles? If so, how often and why?
My “go to” styles are twists and a beanie, WnGs and twist-outs.

How often do you cut/trim your hair? How do you cut it (salon, DIY, straight, curly, in twists)? If you go to a salon, would you recommend it?
I try to trim my hair every 6-8 months. My hair is trimmed while it is in its natural state by Luisa V., the owner of Luma Salon, 397 East Altamonte Drive #114, Altamonte Springs, FL. I would recommend her 100%. She has beautiful curls herself.

Has going natural impacted other areas of your life (i.e. health & fitness, style, environmental consciousness, etc.?) If so, how and in what ways has it affected your lifestyle?
No, not really.

Do you have a “hair crush?” Who do you follow online (i.e. blog/website, Youtube, Fotki, etc.)?
I am my own “hair crush.” But, I do follow a few people for their wonderful advice like DenimPixie and Naptural85.

Where can we find you online?
You can find me on my blog, Curls2Envy.com, and on my Facebook page, Curls2Envy.

What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
It’s just hair. It grows back. Do what you want with it. It’s your hair, no one else’s.

Anything else that you’d like to add?
I love my curls!

Natural in London: Paige’s HairStory

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Remember my review of the TLC Naturals products a couple of months ago? Well, here’s the HairStory of Paige, the “natural-preneur” (yes, I made that up!) behind the line!! She’s not only the president, she’s a client too ;)!!

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Who are you and from where do you hail?
My name is Paige-Ellean. I’m from London, UK, and I am passionate about kinky, coily and curly hair! I am also a formulator and owner of TLC Naturals, a luxurious hair and body product line, hand-crafted from the finest natural and organic ingredients.

What is the hair norm for Black/Brown women where you live? If natural hair is not the norm, is it becoming more prevalent?
Although the general norm for Black women in the UK is to wear their hair in a relaxed, permed or weaved state, there are a growing number of women embracing their natural hair texture.

What prompted your decision to go natural?
I got fed up of the use of chemicals on my hair and body and I also wanted to embrace my own natural hair texture. Coming from a background of the use of alternative therapies and the use of natural plants for cosmetic, medicinal and therapeutic uses, it only made sense to apply my herbal knowledge and expertise in caring for my hair.

Did you transition or big chop or are you currently transitioning?
I DID try to transition … very unsuccessfully for 3 years! I just didn’t have a clue at the time on the right techniques for caring for my transitioning hair. In addition, although I wore bantu knot-out styles to hide the two textures, I still suffered an immense amount of breakage. Finally, I had enough and went for the Big Chop in December 2009.

What has your natural hair journey been like?
My natural hair journey has been a wonderful experience of learning and self-discovery.

How has your decision been received by family, friends and people in general?
My family and friends were initially shocked, but after seeing the overall health and progress of my natural hair, I am pleased to say that I have converted a few of them over to the natural side :D.

What do you see as the challenges of being natural?
Acceptance is a major challenge for the natural hair community – from other people accepting our natural hair texture to we ourselves accepting what constitutes as being natural for us.

It’s bad enough that outside communities do not accept our hair and still have negative opinions of natural hair, curly hair and dreadlocks. It is particularly saddening when we ourselves bicker over what we think is natural … whether it is to do with the issue of curl definition or not, the use of chemical colours or not, the use of heat (e.g. hot combs, flat irons ) or not and so on.

Not everyone who embraces their natural hair will embrace a natural lifestyle – using natural products, using natural colorants, abstaining from chemical or mechanical processes that cause damage to the hair. This does not make them more or less natural. There should be no “I am more natural than you” vibe among us.

What is your regimen?
My current regimen includes wash day every fortnight: I prepoo with coconut oil, then I wash my hair, and deep condition afterwards with eggs, honey and olive oil. Once every 2 months, I henna-indigo my hair. I always follow my henna-indigo sessions with a deep condition and then a hot oil treatment, using TLC Naturals Shea Baobab Nourishing Hair Oil.

In between wash sessions, I rinse my hair weekly with ACV. Sometimes I brew some rosemary and add it to the ACV. I follow up with TLC Naturals Hibiscus Rose Moisturising Leave In Conditioner & seal with TLC Naturals Shea Baobab Nourishing Hair Oil. My hair style post-wash is normally a bun. If I am wearing twists or braids, I use the TLC Naturals Choco Shea Decadent Hair Butter.

I find that my haircare regimen is much more simplified than before and I have the TLC Naturals products to thank for that. My hair stays moisturised and retains natural curl definition for much longer than before and is also progressing at a better rate.
I have very fine and delicate hair along my edges and slow growing edges are the bane of my life. This is why I never do protective styles longer than a week and I never do small braids, twists etc. Once a week I apply TLC Naturals Grow It Hair Cream to my edges. It is made with MSM, Indian ayurveda plants, growth enhancing herbs and stimulating essential oils. The downside to this product is that I have new growth literally within 5-7 days. This would normally be a great thing, but my gray hairs ALWAYS pop up around my edges leading to extra henna-indigo sessions, which as we all know is not a 15 minute job.

Do you use/prefer commercial or natural products?
I prefer to use natural products – purely because I know that, a) they work and b) they are more healthier for me. I am not dying to be beautiful and I refuse to put my health at risk by using chemical-ridden products. Natural products don’t just make your hair look great, they improve the overall condition of your hair.

Are the products that you like and want to try readily accessible and affordable? Where do you purchase them?
I use my own products, naturally, which evolved from recipes that I have worked with consistently. I launched my product line and made my products available to the general public on the insistence of my readers from my natural hair blog, Care4Curls. They saw my hair bloom as I started making and using my own concoctions, so they naturally wanted a piece. I was only too happy to share. The products can be found at TLC Naturals (http://www.tlcnaturalsonline.com).

Are there any things that you think are unique to where you live? If so, what and why? How do you think they can be overcome?
I do not think there is any one particular thing that is unique to us here in the UK. The only problem I see here is access to quality products for natural hair care. Unlike the US, where there are dozens natural hair care brands to choose from, we only have a handful here. However, I can see this changing in the near future.

Anything else that you’d like to share?
I firmly believe in the efficacy of natural products and natural ingredients. Just like the body thrives when fed a healthy, natural and organic diet, so too does the hair bloom when “fed” natural and organic products. Like I said at the beginning, I am passionate about natural hair. However, natural or not, coloured or not, straightened or not, you can never go wrong when you use natural and organic products on your hair.

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Were your PJ senses tingling? Super-intrigued by Paige’s natural haircare line and itching to try it? Then have I got a giveaway for you!! Stay tuned for the announcement later today!!

Hair Crush: Tameeka’s HairStory

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THAT’S RIGHT!! The #CurlWhisperer herself, aka Tameeka McNeil-Johnson aka Jaded Tresses aka the woman who worked magic at this haircut party and this one … is back to share her very own HairStory!! 

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Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
A humble and blessed mother of three and wife, striving for the success, which I know is coming. Licensed Professional Master Celebrity stylist specializing in Natural Tresses for well over 15yrs.

How long have you been natural and why did you chose to go natural?
I have been natural since 2000. I chose to go natural after having a Paul Brown relaxer put in my hair back in 1999 that just made me a slave to the Dominican salons. I never wanted my hair straight, I just wanted to tame it a bit. However, it destroyed all of the life out of my hair;(. After a year of straightening, I gave up.

Did you transition or big chop?
I actually have done both, transition as well as the big chop, several times through the years. The first one was back in 2000. I slowly transitioned by trimming an inch and a half every 3-4 months. It took about 3 years to be completely natural. I was sooo stubborn at that time and did not want to loose my length *lol*. I had no patience for the other time, which was back in 2009. I had put a ” texturizer” type of gentle chemical in my hair back in 2007-2008, just to help tame it a bit because it was so dense. It looked great and everyone loved it. However, my hair changed shortly after the birth of my daughter in 2009. So, I just went to work one day and chopped it off! My husband, as well as others,  thought that I was nuts, but I looked cute! Lastly (I hope *lol* … ;)), my most recent big chop was just a few weeks ago, 18 months since the birth of my last child. My hair went whacky on me once again. The hormones loosened half of my head, literally one half side *smh*. And, of course I’m not happy with the dramatic difference in textures, so I decided to chop away once again and allow it to grow in a bit more uniform.

7/26/12: My most recent Big Chop.

How did others (family, friends, colleagues) react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? How do they feel now?
At first no one believed that it was my hair, because they were so used to me having bone straight hair. People couldn’t believe that all my curly tresses could straighten out as they did, so it shocked many. Everyone I ever met after going natural absolutely loves my wild hair. They either want it or state they wish that they had my tresses ;).

What is/was your biggest hair challenge/obstacle? How did you overcome it or what are you doing now to try to address the problem?
Wow. My biggest challenge was the pregnancy and the hormonal changes that ultimately affected my thick density and tightly coiled tresses. I have since big chopped twice, deep condition faithfully and have started back up on my prenatal vitamins to help promote faster hair growth, as well as add essential oils to my hair products and diet.

What do you love most about your natural hair and/or about being natural?
It’s what I’ve been blessed with, it’s healthier, fun, sexy and, although many are natural, I definitely stand out in a crowd. I love that my hair has versatility with being natural. I’m not the same ol’ Plain Jane. My tresses have attitude and represents me as a fun, free-spirited person.

What is your current regimen? Has it changed in any major way since you first went natural?
Currently, I wash and go, whereas in the past, I was subjected to diffusing the hair due to my gradual transition. As far as product application, that still remains the same. Just thorough application of my product throughout hair to define my tresses, so I can get as many days as I can out of my wash n go prior to pulling it up some way.

What are your Holy Grail and staple products?
I tend to play with lots of different things so that I may have good feedback for my clientele. I often use things they may have stumbled upon or suggest. I try just to see whether or not it may be useful for the next head of textured tresses that sits in my chair. As of now, I have Organix shampoo and conditioner and mask, Curlisto’s Natural Coils line, which is a cleanser, conditioner, leave-in, defining lotion and mask. I also have natural shea butter, rosemary essential oil and Vitamin E essential oil; I tend to add into other products sometimes. And lastly, Curlisto Unruly Paste and vegetable glycerin for shine.

What is your “go to” style? Do you wear protective and/or low manipulation styles? If so, how often and why?
My go to style is either a pull back with a “full fluffy fluff,” a slick back tight bun or a soft twist sloppy bun, it all depends on the length at the time. Unfortunately, my go to styles are worn more often than I would like considering I’m a mother of three and a very busy women catering to everyone else’s hair. 😉


How often do you cut/trim your hair? How do you cut it (salon, DIY, straight, curly, in twists)?
I trim my tresses about every 6-8 months, which is recommended. I have often provided myself with a trim, as well as see other stylist for maintenance. It would all depend on scheduling. I often have to fix/tweak my cuts/trims after someone else has done it ;(. As far as recommendations go, I would suggest that you really do your research on both the salon and the particular stylist. Keep in mind that what you read can be fabricated, so if you’ve read, as well as seen some photos and or heard from word of mouth, that’s generally the true testimony and should help make your decision easier. There are some very truly talented hair stylist.

Has going natural impacted other areas of your life (i.e. health & fitness, style, environmental consciousness, etc.?) If so, how and in what ways has it affected your lifestyle?
It just plain and simple makes it so much easier! No more 4 hour long tedious visits to the Dominican salon *smh*. I devote that time to my little ones. As far as work, I’m my own walking advertisement!

Do you have a “hair crush?” If so, who?
Chaka Kahn!!!!!!!

Who do you follow online (i.e. blog/website, Youtube, Fotki, etc.)?
Hairscapades
The Curvealicious Chronicles
YouTube (various)
Naturallycurly.com
Napturallycurly.com

Also any sites that my clients refer me to; I have to stay in the loop.

Where can we find you online?
Website: www.jadedtresses.com
Facebook: Jaded Tresses
Twitter: @JadedTresses
Instagram: @ JadedTresses

What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
Don’t knock it until you have tried it. You were blessed with your tresses, embrace them.

Anything else that you’d like to add?
Healthy hair is the best hair and will provide you with the most versatility. So, take good care of your tresses and your tresses will be good to you!

Newly Natural: Tahirah’s HairStory

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Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
My name is Tahirah, my friends call me Tai. I am a 22 year old art student,I love art, design, fashion, music, crafts and anything D.I.Y. I am not a talkative person, but more of a thinker and writer. But, all who know me know my true self comes through regardless. My motto is, “Actin non verba,” meaning action not words in Latin.

What prompted your decision to go natural?
I had been relaxed for about 10 years. I got my first relaxer at 11 when I was tired of wearing my hair in braids all of the time. My mother did a home perm for me until I was about 14. Then, I stopped relaxing my hair for a couple years; I just wet it and slicked it back with gel or wore a puff with a head band. I did not take care of it at all. At 16, I went back to relaxers, doing them myself, and commenced all other forms of hair damage, bleaching, dying and flat ironing … I ruined my hair. Fast forward to 2010 when I discovered hair blogs and YouTube videos. I decided to go on a long relaxed hair journey … which meant less heat, more conditioning and stretching my relaxers. I was on a six month stretch … yes, six months!

When I discovered natural hair blogs and vlogs, it made me realize that I didn’t NEED a relaxer like I would say when I saw my new growth. MopTopMaven’s blog was my first natural hair inspiration and many others followed. I reaserched and watched YouTube videos of beautiful women embracing their texture … so, I decided to try it since I had already gone so long without a relaxer. I thought my real healthy hair journey should not include damaging my hair with chemicals.

How long did you transition before you big chopped?
I transitioned for about 10 months before I big chopped. I had never had hair so short and I was insecure about parting with my BSL relaxed ends. I planned to go a year or two before cutting it, but with so much inspiration around me from online to when I went out, I would drool over natural curls so much that I needed to see my own.


When and how did you big chop?
I prepared myself with styles and products from product reviews and YouTube videos. I bought Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie and Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel. I had my scissors already and the day planned out. At about 9 or 10 at night, I cut the relaxed ends myself on June 21, 2012, a week before my 22nd birthday.

How did you feel immediately before and immediately after your big chop?
I was so excited before I cut it and, immediately after, I was kind of in shock about how I looked … it’s a lot to process when you have long hair down your back one day and a short ‘fro the next. I was happy, but it took me a few days to get used to it.

How do you feel now?
I am LOVING my hair now. I was so apprehensive for nothing, because it has been the best experience so far. I am fully embracing the short ‘fro and learning to just let go and let my curls be wild and free. I looks good whether or not I choose to do anything to it and revel in it.

What is your current regimen? Go to products?
Right now, I wash my hair once a week with Burts Bee Very Volumizing Pomegranate Shampoo and DC with ORS Replenishing Pack. I finger coil and rock a coil out or wash and go using Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie and Eco Styler Olive Oil gel. During the week, I spray my hair with water and seal with my mix of olive, coconut, grapeseed, jojoba and castor oils. I co-wash in between, if I feel I need to, with Tresemmé Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner.

What are your hair plans/goals?
My hair goal is to maintain a healthy head full of curls and see how long it can grow. Growth is not as important to me, since I fell in love with this length. But I’m looking forward to it.

Do you have a hair crush? If so, who and why?
I have quite a few actually … Amel Larriuex, Corrine Bailey Rae, Yaya Dacosta, Chaka Kahn …

Who is your favorite natural blogger, YouTuber and/or Fotkier and why?
My favorite YouTuber is Naptural85. I love her channel. Her tutorials are amazing! I even love the music she uses.


Hair Crush: Brielle’s HairStory

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Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
My name is Brielle. I am a super family-oriented person, very friendly and silly. I LOVE to laugh and I am loving.

How long have you been natural and why did you chose to go natural?
I transitioned for a year and a couple months. I can’t recall how long. But I got ALL the relaxed and DAMAGED ends cut off last year in June of 2011. So, I always say that I’m fully one year natural. Well, I have one year’s growth of relaxed free, heat damage free hair.

I chose to go natural initially because I had a permanent color and perm and my hair broke off tremendously, leaving me with a mushroom cut. I just decided that it was time to let the relaxer go. Plus, I’m super tender-headed and that new growth used to HURT, lol!

Did you transition or big chop?
I transitioned.

How did others (family, friends, colleagues) react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? How do they feel now?
EVERYONE except my older sister and two cousins (who were natural) was negative about me going natural, sadly, even my mother. I will never forget the day she said, “Wow, your hair is really nappy. Are you sure you wanna do this?” I was really upset, but I ignored the comment my best and kept pushing. Everyone kept telling me that my hair was trained to be straight, so it would never be curly like I wanted and I ignored them, because I knew they were wrong. NOW everyone comes to me for natural hair advice and they, “ooooohhhhhh” and “ahhhhhhh” about my hair, how it is so pretty and thick and full, and guess what? CURLY … lol. BAM!!!! In their face!

What is/was your biggest hair challenge/obstacle?  How did you overcome it or what are you doing now to try to address the problem?
My biggest obstacle was breakage due to excessive straightening and accepting my own natural hair. It was hard for me, because my hair was short and the texture was one I had never felt before. It was new to me and I was not comfortable. I overcame breakage by deciding to TRULY be natural and wear my own texture. Once I became comfortable with the curls, I slowly accepted my texture and began to like it. I just pushed through the days I didn’t feel “pretty,” because I knew that they were only temporary and not permanent days and that my hair would get to where I wanted.

What do you love most about your natural hair and/or about being natural?
I love my CURLS! I love being able to wear my hair in a curly state. I love people asking, “How did you get your hair like that” and I can respond, “I washed it and went” (Wash ‘n Go). And, I love being ME. I love not accepting the societal view of beauty. Being natural says, “I know I’m beautiful just the way I am, I will not change who I am for anybody but ME!”

What is your current regimen?  Has it changed in any major way since you first went natural?
My regimen is pretty simple. I co-wash in the shower twice a week with whatever conditioner I left in the shower at the time. I section my hair in half, detangle with conditioner, wash that out, squeeze water out of section, clip it up and out of the way and rinse conditioner out of the other side and clip it up and out of the way. Proceed with shower routine. After I shower, I get excess water out of my hair with an old t-shirt and start applying conditioner (usually Tressemme or Suave) as my leave-in to both sections, one at a time, smoothing in the conditioner. Then, I use a VERY SMALL amount of Eco-Styler Gel (about a quarter size) and emulsify on my hands. I smooth that through one section at a time, grab my spray bottle of water and spray my hair and shake my head to clump my curls. This Wash ‘n Go usually last about 3-4 days (I’m wearing a 3 day old Wash ‘n Go right now, lol).

It takes roughly 4 hours to dry and I wrap my hair at night. I know that it sounds weird, but I do! I just wrap it around, securing the ‘fro with bobby pins all around and tie it down with my silk scarf. I know it is weird, but one night I stumbled across this method by just trying something new and it works! LOL, my secret is out! Wrapping my ‘fro gives me bigger and fuller hair than using the Pineapple Method does.

The biggest and most major thing about my regimen that changed is that I no longer use sulfates or silicones. I am strictly Curly Girl and my hair is LOVING it. It was the best natural decision I have made.

What are your Holy Grail and staple products?
My staples are Tresemme Naturals, Suave Naturals, extra virgin olive oil,Eco Styler Gel, and tea tree oil.

What is your “go to” style (share a picture of it, if you have one!)? Do you wear protective and/or low manipulation styles? If so, how often and why?
My go to style has changed from the puff to the Wash ‘n Go, mainly because I have learned to master it, lol! I wear low-manipulation styles 90% of the time and, maybe once a week, a protective style. I wear low-manipulation styles, because I just haven’t quite figured out the protective style fit for my personal style. None seem to suit “Brielle.” Ya know, I love my hair free! I wear a protective style mostly due to weather.

How often do you cut/trim your hair? How do you cut it (salon, DIY, straight, curly, in twists)? If you go to a salon, would you recommend it?
I trim my hair every 6-8 months OR whenever I feel its needed. I cut it myself while wet and curly. I take a small section and curl it with my finger (finger coil) and snip the ends. Then I uncurl it, stretch it, check for evenness and trim it evenly.

Has going natural impacted other areas of your life (i.e. health & fitness, style, environmental consciousness, etc.?) If so, how and in what ways has it affected your lifestyle?
Health-wise, I became very conscience of what I was putting into my body because of the constant habit of “ingredient list reading” for hair products. So now, I am conscience of my calorie intake and I solely associate this with my natural hair. My style has changed due to my natural hair, because I honestly feel free. I do not feel hidden behind someone else’s perception of expectation of beauty and style. I wear what I like and I’ve never felt more FLY, lol! Going natural has influenced SO many women in my life. I am happy to be able to do that and I also proved so many people wrong about “not being able to go natural,” because my hair is beautiful and I LOVE it. So, my mentality has changed very much and I am definitely just a better person. I’ve learned beauty is not always outside, but inside. I feel going natural has definitely made me a confident being!

Do you have a “hair crush?” If so, who?
YES!!!!! lol. CIPRIANA from Urban Bush Babes.

Who do you follow online (i.e. blog/website, Youtube, Fotki, etc.)?
Blogs: MahoganyCurls,  UrbanBushBabes, AroundTheWayCurls, Naturalchickepi, Jamila from CollegeCurlies.

YouTube: Taren916, AliciaJames,Naptural85

Where can we find you online? I have a blog, coilycurls.blogspot.com (e-mail coilycurls@gmail.com) and am on Instagram as Bhaylee.

What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
To the person contemplating, GO FOR IT!! Because, say you don’t like it, you can still go back to your relaxer. But why not give it a try when there is nothing to lose? For those discouraged with their natural hair, BE PATIENT. It may not be where you want it right now, but it will be, especially if you have a length goal. We all know that healthy hair grows. Be patient with yourself. It will get better. We all go through a moment when natural hair can be discouraging.

Anything else that you’d like to add?
Be CONFIDENT and pursue your aspirations. I love to write and I always have. But, I assumed no one would ever read my blog or be interested. But it does not matter, because, at the end of the day, I am HAPPY doing something that I love and am very passionate about. If you love something, go for it. Do not settle. EVEN with natural hair, keep pushing until you make your goal!

 

Hair Crush: Michelle’s HairStory

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Remember Michelle (aka Mickie) from our first Grow Out Challenge? Well, she’s back with her HairStory … and a new blog!!

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Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
Well, my name is Michelle. I’m from Chicago. I’m a fashionista and Natural Hair Lover. Recent MHA graduate who is living and Loving Life.

How long have you been natural and why did you choose to go natural?
I transitioned for a whopping 24 months before I cut off my relaxed ends!!! (Long, I know. But, hey, it’s my hair right?) As long as it took, I got there. LOL!

June 2009 was the last time I got a relaxer in my hair!! One day I was visiting my boyfriend and his aunt was over. I noticed her hair was flawless. I asked her what she did to her hair to get it so pretty. She told me that she was natural! I had contemplated going natural several times, but thought that I wouldn’t be able to do it. She gave me the number to her stylist who specialized in natural hair and I made an appointment with her in September of that same year. I was tired of my hair looking brittle and feeling dry. I wanted to get my hair done for my birthday and her stylist (who is now my stylist) did my hair and I loved IT! After that, I noticed I had gone so long without a perm!! I started noticing my curly texture and I loved it!! I said, “The heck with a relaxer” and decided from that day on that I didn’t need that in my hair! I LOVE MY CURLS!!!

How did others (family, friends, and colleagues) react to your decision to go natural?
My family and friends were very supportive! My boyfriend was very supportive; he has locks, so he understands how I feel about my natural hair. My family thought my hair was beautiful and I actually inspired several of my family members and co- workers to become natural!! It feels so good to know that they wanted to go natural because of my journey!!!

What is/was your biggest hair challenge? How did you overcome it?
My biggest hair challenge at first was dealing with my two hair textures while transitioning. When I decided to transition, I barely knew anything about my hair, so I went to my stylist every two weeks and she styled my hair. I mostly wore it straight, because I did not know how to deal with my two textures. Once I learned different styles, then I began to try them on my hair. It took several attempts to get them right. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!!! I learned this quick!! Patience is KEY!!! I still go to my stylist to straighten my hair when I want to wear it blown out though :).

Left to Right: May 2011, June 2011, Aug 2011, May 2012

What do you love most about your natural hair and/ or being natural?
I love the versatility!!! You can be curly one day, straight another, twists on another day and an updo the next! I love that my hair is just that, my HAIR! Free of chemicals, and healthy! I love being natural and I love when people ask me what I do to my hair to, “get it like that” LOL! I love giving advice to new naturals or those considering going natural, because maybe it can help them in their journey.

What is your current regimen?
My current summer regimen is as follows:

  • Shampoo once a week (either Friday or Sunday) with Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus curl and shine shampoo.
  • Condition with TRESemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner.
  • Deep condition twice a month with JessiCurl Weekly Deep Conditioning Treatment.

Styles I’m rocking:

  • Twist and curl (with Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie) or;
  • Braid and curl.
  • High bun for the rest of the week.


Click on images to enlarge

What are your Holy Grail and staple products?

  • Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie!! MY FAVE!!
  • Jane Carter Nourish and Shine
  • Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Conditioner
  • TRESemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner
  • Jane Carter Revitalizing Leave-in Conditioner
  • Eco Styler Gel with Olive Oil
  • Cantu Shea Butter
  • Argan Oil

What is your “go to” style? Do you wear protective and/ or low manipulation styles? If so how often and why?
My go to style is the HIGH BUN!!! ALL DAY!!! This is the best style EVER!!! LOL. I wear braid and curls and twist and curls mostly. I occasionally will do mini-twists depending on how I’m feeling, lol. I have A LOT of hair! (And it takes FORever!!) I wear high buns, mostly because they are easy and you don’t have to do much and … they’re just SO CUTE!!

 

How often do you trim your hair? How do you cut it (salon, DIY, Straight, curly, in twists)? If you go to a salon, would you recommend it?
I try to trim every 6 months. I go to my stylist to do it; she does it while it is straight. YES I would recommend her!! SHE IS THE BEST STYLIST IN CHICAGO! Her hands are magical I tell you!! Her name is Nading and she just opened a new salon, Salon Pressure in Chicago.

Do you have a hair crush? If so who? CurlyNikki, MeechyMonroe, Pari Sade, Shelli Gillis (Hairscapades), Tracee Ellis Ross … ummm I think that’s it, LOL.

Where can we find you online?
Well … I recently started a blog happilyevernatural.com. I plan to cover everything from natural hair, fashion, transitioning, recipes, DIY jewelry, recipes, to different hair topics!!

Instagram: naturalista86
Facebook: Happily Ever Natural

Anything else that you would like to add?
I want to be an advocate for long-term transitioners!!! YOU CAN DO IT!!!! I know that transitioning is not easy, but patience is the key!!! Please check out my blog and Facebook page. Also, I will be starting a YouTube channel soon!! Be on the lookout for that!! Thanks for letting me share my story!!!