big chop

What country do you live?

Guyana

How would you best describe your hair?

Naturally Coily

What is your hair type?

4a

straight hair

What was it like for you growing up with textured hair?

When I was much younger I remember when my mother combed my hair she always had a bowl of water next to her because my dry hair was so stubborn. Where I come from, Guyana, South America, straight hair was always the standard since we were last colonised by Britain, so the relaxer was everything and I ended up getting one really young (probably around 7yrs old). I hated my natural hair so much that as soon as my roots started looking too puffy I'd get a relaxer. When I got older flat irons became LIFE. I'd rather be late to school than go with my bangs frizzy, I thought I had a big forehead too so bangs were essential.

What made you decide to embrace your naturally coily hair?

Eventually, I caught on to the natural hype and being more careful when it came to my hair. I'd deep condition, stay away as much as I could from heat, use sulphate free shampoos, stretch my relaxer you name it. While I was stretching my relaxer once I thought, I wonder what my natural hair looks like. And BAM! I went into transition mode. After a bit of transitioning I hated having two textures. I was disgusted with my relaxed ends after seeing how beautiful my natural hair was.

lee 1

How have your family, friends and co-workers reacted? What was your response to them?

Oh gosh, well most of the people in my family liked it, but my mother still says things like "look how long and nice your hair was" but she eventually warmed up to it. I still have an aunt that asks why my hair is so "hard" and why I haven't relaxed it yet any time I see her.

How did you transition to wearing your natural texture?

One wash day I had put conditioner in my hair and I was just looking at it and I thought to myself "Girl you're really about to use your deep conditioner on those relaxed ends?" Uh Uh. You won't. I grabbed a pair of scissors and did my big chop myself right then and there. I transitioned for a little less than 2 yrs so I had a fro when I cut off the straight ends.

lee 3

What is your current hair regimen?

I prepoo the night before using oils, conditioner and honey, wash my hair with something sulphate free either a shampoo or co wash or apple cider vinegar and deep condition once a week. I clarify twice a month especially if I've been co-washing because I get a lot of build up. Then I do a twist out (no heat) or shingle then use my diffuser.

Are there any techniques or methods that have made a big impact on the way your hair looks?

Not using sulphate free shampoos and heat every week I've noticed is crucial to my length retention. In terms of styling shingling really shows my texture and my hair always looks perfect.

Any advice you’d like to give other women who may be in the transition phase or need some encouragement in their hair journey?

Be proud and patient. That's the hair you were created with, don't let anybody tell you smack about it. Waiting drove me nuts while I was transitioning but don't rush it and don't let detangling frustrate you!

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