On a random day, I'm handling my business as usual and get into a conversation and it goes off into a tangent about guess what...HAIR! (I can't get away from this stuff and I love it!) She was a relaxed sister who has wanted to go natural for quite some time. She began to ask me questions about the products I use, my routine and any recommendations I could provide. I love talking about HAIR!! So, the conversation was a wonderful one. She was a little apprehensive about the BC (Big Chop), so I recommended a few transition styles to her and even one of our featured salons for a consultation!
All Tressed Up had the pleasure of sideline coaching this beautiful woman into a natural beautiful woman. Random check-ins to see how she was maintaining, what her hair was looking like...just supporting a sister; that's all. After her BC, I met with her again to get learn more about her transition experience.
Q: What prompted you to go natural?
A: I actually wanted to go natural for the last ten years. I had always been attracted to textured styles. What really made me bite the bullet, was a bad highlight job. After severe damage and the inability to get touch-ups, I decided not to return to the relaxer.
Q: How did your family and friends react to your decision?
A: My husband is very supportive! After the big chop, my friends couldn't keep their hands out of my hair! Some hate it and are trying to persuade me to relax it again.
Q: So when exactly did you do the BC?
A: March 17th. This was not planned. I actually wanted to transition for a full year, but managing two textures was too much for me. My stylist was very patient with me, but on that day I told her that if she didn't cut it, I would. I just got tired of it.
Q: How long had you been relaxing your tresses?
A: I had been relaxing my hair for nearly twenty-five years. I can remember getting a Vigorol or straightening comb in middle school. I had actually never seen my texture before now.
Q: Now that you are natural, what have been the greatest challenges you've faced?
A: I am so excited about my texture that I don't want to try other styles. Right now, I'm wearing my afro and I love it. I see so many other styles, but I'm kind of stuck on this style because it is so easy to manage and because its so new. I also wonder how my new look is being perceived at work. I still have the tendency to get a roller set before big meetings as a safety. So far, I have received positive feedback about the natural me.
Q: What advice would you give to other women wanting to go natural?
A: Just do it! I wasted ten years thinking about it. Be sure to talk to people. Be determined that this is what you want because it is so tempting to turn back to a relaxer.
Q: How has this transition changed your attitude?
A: Every time I see my reflection or an image of the new me, I am shocked. I actually saw a recent photo of me and asked, "Who is that black woman with the afro?" (laughs)...and it was me! I often forget about it. I am also forced to be more confident about this change and I love the fact that so many went through this process with me. I'm very excited.
Q: How do you feel about being natural?
A: I feel free. When it's raining outside I watch all my friends duck for cover, but I know that the rain will actually make my hair look better because moisture is a good thing. It's also freeing in the sense that I don't have to worry about my hair as much when I workout. So, I guess to sum it all up; I am free and excited about being natural!
Q: What is your optimal length?
A: Originally, I wanted it to grown long, but right now I am really enjoying my little afro. I've even gotten it cut again since the BC because it grows so fast! I'll be able to make a true decision at the end of the summer.
Q:Are there any other 'natural' changes you aspire to make (or have already made) as a result of this new natural hair journey?
A: Well, I've had a few dietary changes. I now have a gluten, dairy and sugar free diet. I'm not so sure that those changes are as a result of my natural hair journey though. I'll say that it all coincided. The diet changes came first - by force and that may have made me more receptive to the natural hair journey.
Q: This natural journey usually results in soooo many product purchases. So far, what have been your favorite products?
A: You are so right! It can get really expensive! I have tried Mizani Curl Elixer and Miss Jessie's, but I can't say that they are my favorites. I do like the Shea Moisture Conditioning Mask and the Herbal Essence Hello Hydration. I am always on the lookout for great curling products!
I commend her for making the decision to go natural! She stayed the course and now is looking even more gorgeously and naturally beautiful! No matter what stage you may be in, it is always nice to hear about the journeys of our sisters. They could be inspirations or confirmations depending on who you are. I hope you enjoyed it! I am eternally grateful for the opportunity.
All Tressed Up...a natural obsession with all things hair and beauty.