How did you transition and what was your transition style?
I transitioned by keeping my hair flat ironed. I have to admit, I knew nothing about heat damage at the time. So, flat ironing was my choice. I would have my hair flat ironed monthly. My sister used a flat iron that had temperature control settings other than “hella hot” – LOL. She used a low setting. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the low temperature did not completely straighten my hair. It did blend my two textures, helping to prevent breakage at the line of demarcation, until I was ready to big chop.
Why did you decide to go natural?
It was because of my daughter, that I began my transition. I watched her hair morph into lifeless strands from relaxers. There were no balding spots or sores – just limp, lifeless hair. I made the decision not to relax her hair and to keep it braided. I now know this was the start of her transition.
After a year with braids, she started to wear her natural texture and that is when the teasing began. Kids can be so cruel and the constant teasing from the other kids devastated my daughter.
As a parent, one of the hardest responsibilities that come with the job is to see your child hurting. Now comes the time to pick up the pieces. All of the teasing and name-calling was because her hair did not look like their hair – anymore.
I constantly told her that she was smart and beautiful, not just beautiful on the outside, but a beautiful person. I explained, as best I could, that God made us perfect. Our hair is exactly how it is suppose to be. If He wanted us to have straight hair, He would have given it to us. But He didn’t. So be happy with what you have.
There I was with long flowing relaxed hair, giving encouragement to my daughter – who was natural with short tightly coiled hair.
That did not make me feel good.
As a parent, there are two things that I have to remind myself of: children will usually do as you do and hardly ever do what you say.
I feel like I should be the best example for my children – if not me, then who?
Now, feeling extremely hypocritical, I came to a pivotal point and a decision needed to be made. Either I stay relaxed and relax her hair again or she stays natural and I transition. Now, four years into my natural hair journey, I have no regrets.
When was your first perm?
I would say that my first relaxer was probably eighth or ninth grade. Until sixth grade, my hair was pressed and curled. I had my first jheri curl when I was in the sixth grade. I kept the curl until the eighth grade. I refused to go to high school with braces and a jheri curl. LOL!
What are your hair goals? (short term & long term)
My short term hair goal is to eat a balanced diet and exercise more. My long term goal is to grow and maintain at least middle back length natural hair.
What was/is the biggest challenge you face with your hair?
Up until my personal 15 week challenge, I would have said, nothing. But now, as I am seven weeks into my 15 week challenge, I would definitely say eating healthy and working out five days a week.
What’s the craziest thing you ever done to you hair? (permed/natural or otherwise)
During my eighth grade year, I shaved my natural hair into an asymmetrical fade. I also think I was probably the first person in my school to wear the chimp bumps all over my head with rubber bands. LOL!
What are your staple products?
Currently, Hydrathermal Natural has my complete attention. Their products are really working for me and living up to their claim.
What is your advice to women who are considering going natural?
My advice to women that are considering going natural are to take 7 simple steps:
- Know exactly why you are going natural and wanting to wear your natural hair.
- Have a plan that will guide you through your transition.
- Set goals to help you stay focused and take action to keep your plan real.
- Become a life learner of natural hair.
- Make a commitment to keep an open mind about your natural hair.
- Create a regimen and make it a priority, make it important.
- Be patient. I know this is easier said than done, but it will help keep anxiety down.
Don’t fret, your hair is growing.
links to where people can keep up with your journey
Blog: Natural Hair Community