My name is Shauntrice and I am a recovering creamy crack addict who transitioned to natural hair for almost two and half years. Here’s my HairStory and regimen.
1. How long have you been natural?
Let’s just switch this to how long you have been transitioning, shall we? I have been transitioning for 2 yrs and 5 months and just did Part 1 of my big chop (not really a big chop but cut my relaxed ends) on Feb 12th. I’ve scheduled my appointment for the 2nd and final B.C. and am stoked!
READ: Tips for Transitioning To Natural Hair Without The Big Chop
2. Why and how did you go natural? (Did you transition? What products and styles did you use?)
I became a bit of a product junky, trying Miss Jessie’s and loads of other special shampoos/conditioners but realized it wasn’t right for me. After about 2 months of transitioning, I decided to only Co-wash and deep conditioned weekly along with my Ayurvedic Pre Poo treatment. The products I used were mainly Olive Oil and Vatika Oil for sealing, VO5 Moisturizing Conditioner, Aveeno Nourish and Shine Conditioner and Organix Coconut Milk Nourishing Conditioner for cowashing, Organic Root Stimulator’s Hair Mayonnaise Treatment or Shea Moisture’s Deep Treatment Mask for deep conditioning and Kinky Kurly Knot Today or Giovanni Leave-In for my leave in conditioner. Sheesh that was a mouth full O_o
3. Did you transition long term or do the big chop? Why?
Obviously, I was a long term transitioner but it was what I was most comfortable doing.
4. Tell us about your hair regimen. What products and techniques do you use? How do you keep your hair moisturized?
Well, for two years of my transition, it was strictly Ayurvedic Pre Poo, Cowash, Deep Condition and Style once a week. I would stretch it to 2 weeks sometimes, if my rod set was thrown up in a ponytail or something that stretched wash day. I listed most of the products I used but there are a couple changes. I now only do the Ayurvedic Pre Poo (consists of Brahmi Powder, Amla Powder, Fenugreek Powder, Kalpi Tone, water and a little olive oil) 1 or 2 times a month. It is a bit messy and time consuming because after I apply it all over my hair, I have to sit for an hour. O_O Ain’t nobody got time for dat! (in my Sweet Brown voice) Plus, the house smells like an Indian Restaurant after it <_< (side eye).
After that Pre poo, I cowash with VO5 Moisturizing Conditioner and Tresemme Moisture Rich Conditioner and then Deep Condition with my Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Mask. I usually sit under my hooded dryer with this for about 30 minutes and then rinse and apply my Kinky Kurly Knot Today and proceed to twist-n-curl or rod set with Shea Moistures Curl Enhancing Smoothie. I’ll sit under the hooded dryer for an hour (because it takes forever for my hair to air dry) and then go to bed. In the morning, I take down my style with Vatika Oil for extra shine and moisture and that’s it. You can see more of my actual styles and techniques on my blog http://circassianbeauty.
5. How would you describe this experience?
Very trying and a complete adjustment to what I normally thought was beautiful hair. I have always been opened minded to everything-except my hair not being relaxed and now I feel like this is who I really am and it suits my personality to a T. I have had a few skeptics along the way and even some doubters that I’d be hindered at work from moving up or even being accepted but I wanted to do it for myself and prove that theory wrong. My experience has had its moments of me wanting to go back to straightening, chop it all off, dye it and even weave it up permanently but I’ve stuck through and am glad for the trials and tribulations!
6. What was others response to your naturality?
My husband encouraged it and so did a couple of my closest friends (one of them even went back natural with me ) but my family was a little skeptical and was looking at me crazy when I told them. I think they were just curious to see themselves though so they weren’t too negative. I got loads of compliments at work from other races but there were those who looked at me crazy too. Especially when I was having a Diana Ross moment where my hair would poof up from the humidity! I take the bus to work and have to walk about 2 blocks or so to get to the stop and that is where a lot of my hair mishaps would occur. Houston is not the city for always keeping a perfect bantu knot-out or curls!
7. Who was your biggest influence/support? How did they provide support during your natural hair transition?
8. What have you learned since being natural (about yourself, your hair and other people)?
I’ve learned quite a bit about self-esteem and how being natural doesn’t mean you are some fist-pumping Black Panther all of a sudden O_o People assume all kinds of things but it’s mainly from other black women. I’ve learned that other races are very curious (and by curious, I mean like to touch and awe) about natural hair and always wonder how you do something to your hair to make it look like that. I’ve learned that there are LOADS of gorgeous curly haired women out there! YouTube and the internet have opened my eyes to all the super cute styles and ways to wear your own hair and it includes more than just straightening it and throwing a curling iron in it for change. I’m still not too keen on the hair typing-mainly since I don’t know mine-but I feel like I know that can cause more problems too. I learn how to care for my hair through trial and error and trying things from curlies who have a similar look as my hair. I’m sure I’ll be learning more once my 2ndB.C. is complete.
9.What advice would you give to those transitioning or concerning natural?
Get to know your hair at your own pace and on your own terms and DO NOT apologize for it. The end goal is the same. If that means you crawl a little longer before you walk, so be it! There is beauty in natural hair just like in relaxed hair, so don’t feel like you’ll lose that if you B.C. or transition. Surround yourself with positive influence and do lots of research. Other than that-go for it! You may just fall in love with your hair again.