Tia, love the hair, girl! Thanks for being a shining example that transitioning long term is always an option when choosing to go natural. Check out more of Tia’s videos (and her to-die-for hair) below or on her channel.
How long have you been natural? How long did you transition?
I transitioned for about 18 months and have been natural for almost 6 months.
What styles did you transition with?
The first couple of months of my transition I did roller sets and wore head bands to blend the two textures. My natural hair eventually grew out of this after three months, so I started doing twist outs, braid outs and other curly styles to blend the textures. I used perm rods on the ends of my hair to help blend my relaxed and natural hair when I did braid and twist outs.
During the last two months of my transition I started using curlformers and bunning. You can see pictures of these styles in my Natural Hair Journey:
What are your favorite styles to wear?
I like to do braid and twist outs, and I normally put it into a puff or I do a half up half down style. I have a video of my post BC styles on youtube:
What are your favorite products so far?
I like Giovanni’s direct leave-in, this is the only product that I have used during my transition and after my transition. I normally used the leave in every week after I wash and when I do braid and twist outs. Lately, I’ve also been using shea butter on my braid and twist outs, which give my hair my styles some hold and helps seal in the moisture.
What do you love most about your hair?
I like the versatility of natural hair. I am able to do a range of styles with body and thickness which I couldn’t have done with relaxed hair. My hair seems to be stronger without the chemicals and breaks less often too.
What was the manner in which you BC’d?
I didn’t have the traditional big chop, but I started cutting about an inch or so every month once I hit about 15 months post relaxer. I was completely relaxer free by July 24, 2011, which was about 18 months post relaxer.
List any opposition/problems you faced along the way.
In the beginning my mom was only in favor of me going natural, if I continued to straighten my hair with a flat iron or a pressing comb. I had to show her the beauty of different natural hairstyles on youtube and forums and explain to her that I was embracing the natural me and how my hair would be healthier. It was definitely a rough road, but she eventually caught on, and is now natural too.
Any advice for the newly natural ladies out there?
I think deep conditioning is very important in order to keep my hair moisturized. I deep condition my hair every other week and I spray my hair with water in between washes to moisturize my hair. In the beginning when I first became natural I had trouble doing braid and twist outs. It always came out different, and sometimes asymmetrical, every time I did it. I found a style that I could do, no matter how my braid and twist outs came out, which was a puff, and that helped me through the bad hair days.
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