Christina J Natural Hair Journey
How did you transition and what was your transition style?
Rewind back to July 2011 when I was in my last year in college; my hair was relaxed, caramel-blonde colored, and extremely damaged. I didn’t have much money to get my hair done, so my hair grew out without me knowing that I was becoming a naturalista. Once I had two textures on my head, I realized that I needed to do something. I did not have the courage to big chop and my family was surely against me cutting my hair. So from April ’12 to Oct ’12, I transitioned – while trimming my hair every month. My hair was chin length at the time, but I eventually tapered my hair with only 3 inches on top. During my growing phase, I did some long term protective styles like Senegalese twists. When my actual hair was out, I would do roller sets, faux hawks and work the tapered cut. It was tough working with two different textures though. Then in October ‘12, I cut the last few bits off. As of now I have been a naturalista for almost 2 years!
Why did you decide to go natural?
I decided to become a naturalista because I was depressed by how the chemicals damaged my hair and I needed something fresh for my hair. I’ve always loved natural hair and decided that’s the journey I wanted to learn and love. I’ve really learned to embrace my natural hair with love, beauty, and dignity.
When was your first perm?
Oh wow! I remember I was 12 and I surely did not want one, because I did not know what it was. But my mother said I would be happy. So I got one…and I did not like how thin my hair looked and I was not happy. I wanted my curls back…a few weeks after that my relaxer application, my hair started falling out…I went from armpit length to ear length. But my mother insisted that I get perms…
What are your hair goals?
My short term goals are: to massage my scalp with castor oil, deep condition once a week, and only use my fingers for detangling.
My mid-term goals for 1 year are: go from shoulder length to bra strap length, to maintain healthy hair, and DON’T BE A PRODUCT JUNKIE
My ultimate goal is: to reach waist length!
What is the biggest challenge you face with your hair?
I do become overwhelmed with my hair sometimes. Just doing my hair, maintaining my hair, and redoing my hair every week can take a lot. So when I feel this way, I get my fav long-term protective style – Senegalese twists- and keep them for 8 to 10 weeks. After that, I feel refreshed and ready to take on my natural hair again.
What’s the craziest thing you ever done to you hair?
There was a moment in the beginning of my hair journey when I got a partial STRAIGHT sew-in. You guessed it…I relaxed my edges. I had the style for 7-8 weeks, but the imprint of the relaxed edges was still there. So I cut the entire nape hairs, hair around my ears, my crown to three inches of hair. It took about 6 months for my hair to grow back natural again. This was the worst decision I have ever made for my hair…all for a style! I decided that I was never, ever, ever going to make that decision again. During the duration of the crown being relaxed, it was very difficult because my styles were limited to protective styling and not out styles.
What are your staple products?
I love Shea moisture products! I use Shea Moisture Curl and Shine shampoo and conditioner, Eco Styler Olive Oil,Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Masque, and Shea Moisture Smoothie. Once month I use Suave Daily Clarifying Shampoo and ApHogee 2 Minute Reconstructor. I do use my own refreshing mist: 1/2 water, 1/2 Aloe Vera Juice, 1 tsp castor oil, 1 tsp vegetable glycerin, and 5 drops of lavender essential oil.
What is your advice to women who are considering going natural?
Think of a style you can do: bun, flat twist up do, two strand twists and stick with it. It is better to master one style, grow your natural, and maintain your length than do many styles, use many products, and get confused with everything. Check out YouTube videos and blogs to get you started on your journey just to get information others have already researched. That will help you tremendously. Wherever you are at in your hair journey, love yourself continuously. Do this for you and only you. Yes, learn to care for your own hair and stay on the path for healthy hair; but priority is to keep a positive attitude about yourself and your tresses.
Where can folks find you on the web?
I have my own site: desiremynatural.blogspot.com. This blog entails information about keeping a hair diary, roses and dud styles, being a kitchenista, trouble with partials, shower drains, natural hair history and more! I can also be found on IG: natural.desire