Friday, April 10, 2009

Haute Transition

~New Jersey~

How long have/did you transition?

I am in my 7th month of transitioning after having relaxed my hair for about 12 years since I was about 9 years old. My last relaxer was in September 2008.

What is your daily hair regimen?

I just recently changed my regimen from Hello Hydration for co-washes, Lustrasilk Shea as a leave-in, and Africa’s best oil to seal to Aussie Moist and Olive oil. I co-wash my hair usually every other day with Aussie Moist and I use that as a leave-in as well. I seal my hair with olive oil, just a little bit, however, because if I use a lot, it seems to dry out my hair. I also try to take hair vitamins daily. I take MSM (3x a day) Flax Seed Oil (3x a day) and Biotin (2-3x a day). I must admit, though, that I usually fall behind on my vitamins during the weekends because my schedule changes drastically from work and school to more free time, so my vitamin schedule gets thrown off balance.

How do you protect your hair at night?

If I’m trying to do a twist out or a Bantu-knot out (both of which have never turned out right so far) I wear a silk scarf. If it’s just a regular night, I put my hair in a high bun, I guess it’s a bun version of a pineapple— which is, as many of you know, where you pile the hair to the very, very top of you’re head and put it in a loose pony tail.

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three hair items would you have to have?

I love this question! Well, as a transitioner, I would bring:

1. A brush

2. A hair tie

3. and some kind of conditioner

How do you tackle negative comments about transitioning to Natural?

Well, luckily my mom and my sister are both natural and my boyfriend is supportive because both his mom and sister are natural, though they use heat. And my friends are enthusiastic to see what my real hair looks like—and because most of my friends do not have afro-textured hair, they are kind of jealous that they can’t experience the joy of seeing their natural hair come out in all it’s kinky, curly, coily glory : ).  

What made you decide to become a curly girl?

The about me section in my fotki offers a more detailed story. But long story short, I was in an African American History class this past fall semester and I was doing research after reading two slave narratives and found that black people are some of the most unique mixture of people with ancestry from every corner of the world. From then on, I wanted to embrace my blackness, as funny as that sounds,  and stop being ashamed of my nappy-ness. Plus, I felt as though I would be robbing myself and my future children the pride in possessing these beautiful black features from our hair to our toes.

Do you have a goal length?

Currently, I’m going back and forth from wanting to do a BC to wanting to wait and just let my hair grow. If I do BC, it will be well after a year into my transition (so technically not a Big Chop haha). As for length,  I want my natural hair to be about the same length as my relaxed hair which is a good 12 inches—I haven’t measured so this is just a guess.

Do you have staple treatments (i.e. henna, deep treatment, bentonite)?

I just use Pantene Pro-V relaxed and natural hair mask once and a while in the shower. But as my hair grows I am afraid of breakage so I think I’m going to do longer deep treatments and sit under my hair dryer. 

How have you handled your worse hair days?

Brush, water, gel, hair tie….stat! Actually, my hair tied back in to a bun or pony is my main hairstyle, but when I do venture out and try a twist-out or a Bantu-knot out, I have those things on hand because it never turns out right lol!

How do you retain moisture?

Because my hair is always in a bun or a pony, I usually don’t even give it time to properly dry so my hair stays pretty moisturized for the day in between co-washes.

What would be your advice to someone thinking of transitioning?

Stalk fotkis, natural hair blogs, and hair forums! The lovely ladies that have made fotkis of their natural hair/ natural hair journey have inspired me so much that whenever I get discouraged I look at their beautiful hair and it only makes me more determined. Frequently visit the hair blogs, like this one, and the hair forums like because they offer a lot of valuable information on a regular basis which has helped me get this far without chickening out.  I would also advise a person to make a fotki and document their transition to natural by taking pictures. I, too, find that the when I get discouraged I like to look at my pictures to see my own progress and though it is small it is still noticeable and that makes me smile : ).  

 If you make any homemade concoctions would you like to share?

I do use this homemade spritz its chilled brewed green tea mixed with a bit of olive oil. I spritz my hair with that whenever I feel it is getting too dry or when I want to spruce up my bun or pony tail

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