Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Chamille ~Before and After

How long were you thinking of going natural? What's the story ?

I considered it for a while. In 2005 I went an entire year with no relaxer, but I kept it either pressed or in kinky twists. I went back to relaxers, and then during the beginning of 2009, I was approaching graduation,I was considering moving out of state, so I wanted to know how to take care of my hair in general because it was getting really thin. After my last relaxer in April, I "found" youtube as a resource. After that I was determined to have healthy, natural hair and truly know how to care for it. I also felt empowered to show others that black hair is beautiful in its natural state, and we can have hair as long as we care to grow it.

Was your transition a long or short one?

May last relaxer was at the end of April 2009 and my big chop was November 30, 2009. So 7 months.

We all know how important it is to moisturize our hair
while in transition,what products did you use to keep
your hair moisturized?

I wasn't using the best products during my transition, because I was still learning. During that time, I was more focused on styles than health. I used "Jam" on my edges, Optimum hair lotion, and Pantene Relaxed and Natural Hair Lotion, sometimes Blue Magic. My hair typically was more greasy than moisturized.

What was your staple hairstyle while in transition?

Braid-outs for most of the time. I got braids for a few months, then Kinky Twists, and then I did my BC.

When you decided to Big Chop,how did you feel about your cut? And how did people react to it?

I felt relieved because I made that "big step" and I knew I wouldn't go back, but I truly hated it and that probably had a lot to do with people's reactions. My sister told me it was ugly..after that my boyfriend (who I refused to show my hair and hid under a hood) felt it and told me I was bald-headed, my grandma (whom I live with) frowned her face and always had negative things to say (even to this day, but she's getting better). Overtime, once it grew out a bit more, and I started trying styles, my boyfriend and friends liked it, and now the rest of my family likes it and I get compliments all the time. But it was really rough for a while.

Did you have any regrets?

I think cutting my hair without talking to my friends and family first. If I could go back, I would have either transitioned longer, or really sat down with the people closest to me about my reasons for going natural, and how important it was to me. I think if I had done that and gave them more facts that I knew, they wouldn't have been AS negative. My little sister is just rude so she still would've reacted like that. But it's important to get a few people on your side because it is a VERY emotional process, even to this day. My grandmother hurts my feelings a lot, and its sad that people can only look to one standard of beauty. But having friends who support you (even on the Internet) helps a lot.

What are your long term goals for your hair journey?

I would like to find some products that my hair REALLY loves, learn how to part (I am horrible at parting my own hair) and eventually have healthy, strong, bra strap length hair (hopefully by the end of 2012).

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