Where are you from and how is the natural scene there?
I am from Louisville, KY. There are not many black women with natural hair in this area.
How long did you transition and how long have you been natural?
I transitioned from October 2004 to May 2005. I have been natural since May 2005 (11 months so far).
When did you decide to go natural and why?
First, I was interested in growing long hair. I discovered the site The Long Hair Care Forum in April 2004. On this site, I saw many women with non-chemically processed natural hair. After viewing several albums of women with natural hair, I didn’t see a reason to relax again. I felt like “Hey, I can wear my natural hair too.”
Plus, I hated getting relaxer touch-ups anyway. I would cringe each time before getting a touch-up for fear of the burning and scars on my scalp. But I continued to let my mom relax my hair because I thought this was something black women were supposed to do. I thought this was the only way to take care of our hair. Later on, I saw something deeper than just curiosity. I felt like I should be wearing my hair in its natural state for this is my God-given hair texture. I was born with natural hair… why not appreciate it?
How was your transition?
I transitioned 3 times… the first attempt to transition was in late April 2004, then I relaxed my hair in July 2004. I decided to transition again. Well, I failed once again by relaxing my hair in October 2004. I don’t know why I kept relaxing! Then on Thanksgiving, I was inspired by my aunt who transitioned to natural. So for the third time, I planned on transitioning and wanted to wait until October 2006 to cut off my relaxed ends.
I was still obsessed with length and afraid of what I would look like with short natural hair. Well, I did not wait until October 2006 to cut my relaxed ends off. I decided health was more important than length. During my transition, I would wear my hair in buns, roller-sets, braid-outs, phony ponies, and wigs. My new growth was extremely thick. My relaxed ends started breaking off at the demarcation line in different sections of my hair. So in May 2005, I did the big chop. It was a relieving experience!
How much support did you receive when you decided to go natural?
The only support I had was from online hair sites like Long Hair Care Forum, Nappturality.com, Motowngirl.com, individual hair albums, and my one and only boyfriend. Once I cut my relaxed ends off, I experience the most negativity with my family… especially from my father (a never ending story). I was also bombarded with a load of questions from peers and some strangers. It seems like I got more attention with natural hair. During this time, I was so confident with my decision that I did not let any negativity bother me. It was not worth it. I also had an equal share of positive compliments as well.
How did you feel about your natural hair in the beginning?
After I did the big chop, I could not stay out of the mirror! I was fascinated by how I looked with short natural hair. Plus, I was still in shocked from having the guts to cut all my hair off. I was never really worried about what others had to say.
Has there been any difference in your life from going natural?
I would like to incorporate a lifestyle of consuming and using natural foods and personal care products. I am still working on this.
What has been the best thing about being natural?
The best thing about being natural is that I do not have to worry about getting my hair relaxed. I also like the versatility and uniqueness of my natural hair. I can’t keep my hands out of it!
What is your favorite hairstyle and why?
My favorite hairstyle is the stretched out afro puff. I love how my afro puff shows off my crown and glory. I also feel beautiful with this particular hairstyle.
How do you take care of and maintain your hair?
I take care of my hair all by myself. I’ve never been a fan of salons even when I was relaxed. I sometimes let my mom style my hair.
Styles I have done so far: coily twa, afro puff, afro, cornrows, two-strand twists
The main products that I currently use: Crème of Nature Shampoo (red & white bottle), LeKair Cholesterol Plus (orange cream), and Blue Magic Coconut Oil Grease.
Other products I use from time to time: S Curl No Drip Activator Moisturizer, Suave Humectant Conditioner, Citre Shine Gel, and oil sheen spray.
If you were stranded on a deserted island and had to choose 3 things for your hair, what are three things you would have to have for your hair?
Blue Magic grease, wide tooth comb, and a scarf-headband
What advice would you give someone who was thinking of going natural?
Gather as much knowledge and advice as possible. Learn from other women with natural hair. Realize that going natural requires a mental transition as well as that physical hair transition. Forget about what other people will think. Do what you want to do. Strength, patience, and perseverance are keys to natural hair success!
Any final thoughts?
I would like to thank everyone who has supported me and my decision to return to my natural hair!
Check out Poohbear’s hair journal!
(The password is Christ.)