I didn’t always love my curls. To me, maintaining natural hair was a struggle.

“I love my curls! I love all the amazing styles that I can create with my hair, from a twist-out to a wash-n-go."

This is what I hear most bloggers say. However, I didn’t always love my curls. To me, maintaining natural hair was a struggle. I remember as a child getting a relaxer put in my hair to make it “manageable” and to create the various straightened styles.

I didn’t care how my hair was straightened, I just wanted it to look 'pretty'.

Before I began my natural hair journey, I continued relying on relaxers, hot combs, and straighten irons to make my hair 'pretty'. I thought of becoming natural, but it was a fear of mine. To me becoming natural was considered brave, so I always went back to straighteners. I was naïve and didn’t care how my hair was straightened, I just wanted it to look great.

August 2012: my last relaxer

I received my final relaxer in August 2012 after a poor treatment from a stylist who left me with relaxed roots, natural midsection, and relaxed ends. At this point, my hair had to deal with two demarcation lines (the point in which your natural hair meets your relaxed hair) and I realized I needed to put those hair straighteners to rest. I felt that I had no choice but to transition and needed to start over.

On a learning curve

I began searching the internet for others on a natural hair journey, took all that I learned, and applied it to my own routine. For the first time, I was learning how to take care of my hair. Going natural allowed me to learn how to style my hair the right way; I stayed away from heat styling and learned about protective hairstyles such as Bantu knots and twists.

In November 2013, my natural hair had reached neck length so I finally cut off the remainder of my relaxed ends. Because of my transition to natural hair, my hair has become much stronger, longer, and healthier. I can say and really believe that I love my curls.

My Transitioning Holy Grails

These were my go-to products that helped keep my hair healthy while I transitioned.

1. ORS Hair Mayonnaise is a great deep conditioning treatment. After I applied ORS Hair Mayonnaise, I grabbed a plastic heated cap and sit underneath hooded dryer for 10-15mins

2.  SheaMoisture Coconut Hibiscus Shampoo is a light cleansing shampoo that gets rid of the dirt and product buildup without stripping away your hair’s natural oils. I applied this shampoo right before my deep conditioning treatment.

3.  Tresseme Naturals Conditioner has no parabens, no sulfates, this is one of my favorite conditioners. It's great to use as a co-wash mid-week or a rinse out conditioner.

4. Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-In is still a favorite on my list. It's the best leave-in conditioner to give your hair slip and resist tangles. Used right after conditioning treatment to add moisture.

5. SheaMoisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie is a top moisturizer for those with thick, often dry hair, and my go-to for twist out and braid-outs. I used right after leave-in conditioner for extra  moisture.

My Transitioning Styles

  • Twist-Outs
  • Bantu Knots
  • Flexi Rod Set
  • Roller Set
  • Sleek Bun  

Did you slowly transition or big chop?

photo courtesy of LL28 -- Getty Images