For the Long Haul: January 2011
For the Long haul: SKY
To kick off the New Year, we have an amazing transitioner to grace our pages!
She has been transitioning for ~30 months now and she has inspired me to continue reaching for greater lengths whilst on my transition. This KISS and Fotki member has a tail-bone-length hair when stretched and her new growth is thick and thriving. Well, now that I've got your attention, read on to learn more about Sky and her transitioning tips!
Are you natural or transitioning?
I am transitioning from relaxed to natural.
What is your hair type?
I don't understand hair typing nor does it matter to me so I'm guessing its 4a with some 3c? This is how I describe my hair; multi/highly textured, course, kinky, wavy, frizzy, curly, soft and thick.
What made you decide to transition and why long-term?
I missed the versatility of my natural hair and I wanted my thickness back.
How long are you planning to transition for?
For as long as my relaxed ends can hang on for without looking too ridiculous.
No special date.
Do you have a goal length for ending your transition?
Since I don't plan on ending my my transition any time soon, I'm not sure, but if for some reason I changed my mind and set a date I would prefer my new growth to be at least mid back approaching waist before I end the transition (hopefully).
Any naturals who inspired you during your transition?
I made the decision to go natural before finding this great online hair community. But eventually after searching online for natural hair care products I accidentally found ladykpnyc's youtube channel, which led me to rusticbeauty, richeau aka (empressri), Afrohairsecrets, Str8isis, IRRISISTABLBTCH. Those were the first naturals I found and I was blown away.
Then ladykpnyc had her fotki link on her youtube main page, which is how I found fotki, and these other inspiring naturals: blessedmomof3, sera25, chicoro, leobodyc5, ladylibra1982. These are the first set of naturals that truly inspired me to stick with my decision in going natural. There are so many other naturals that inspired me as well, like CelinaStarr and brwnskinbeauty. Whenever I feel frustrated or annoyed I just look at their albums and I'm focused - lol!
What is your signature transitioning style?
My very lazy hair style which is the braided bun.
What are your top three hair products and why?
Why only 3?? lol
-Pantene pro-v restoratives time renewal replenishing mask. (Also called Pantene Pro V Restore Beautiful Lengths Replenishing Mask)- I use this for detangling and manageability. After using this before and after shampooing my hair is incredibly soft and it melts my tangles away like no other. It is the best for detangling.
-My concoction of Coconut oil, vegetable glycerin and water spritz mix- After shampoo and conditioning, this mixture adds shine, softness, manageability and
it allows my styling products to work a lot better. Coconut oil helps to strengthen my hair because it prevents protein loss.
- Shea butter-I use this on damp hair after applying a leave-in/spritz mix to seal in the moisture. By using it this way my hair stays moisturized for days so I won't have to moisturize daily. It also helps to minimize my frizzies, works great for braidouts, and stretches the hair out so that the new growth can blend in with the relaxed ends. Since shea is a heavy product depending on how you apply it, my hair is easily weighed down but I like the weighed down feeling for my transitioning hair because it is very thick and when my hair is weighed down it is easier for me to manage. Shea butter is awesome!!!!
Any techniques you’ve found invaluable during your transition? Do share!
-Before shampooing, I let the water run through my hair while detangling with my
-I divide my hair into 6 sections.
-Then I use my favorite creamy, slippery conditioner to detangle with fingers, then I proceed with a wide tooth comb and denman to get rid of shed hairs that the wide tooth comb did not.
-I twist or braid all the sections very loosely, rinse out most of the
conditioner and proceed to shampoo.
-I shampoo in the same 6 sections mainly focusing on the scalp and glide my
hands down the rest of the hair to ensure all hair is cleansed.
This method greatly decreases tangles, knots, snarls and a headache! I don't always detangle before I shampoo, I will only do so if my hair is extremely tangled. Oh and it also helps retain lots of length. Less tangles, less hair in the drain!
I've also leaned that what used to be my lazy go-to hair style is now one of the main reasons why I am able to retain so much length. After I moisturize my pony tail, I will divide it into two plaits then wrap them around each other into a nice braided bun. Because my ends are all tucked away in a bun, it stays moisturized much longer which aids in retaining length.
How did your family/friends react to your transitioning?
Well, no one really noticed a difference because I hardly had it in straight styles. My hair was always either in a bun, braid out or pony tail while relaxed and these are the same styles I do now. Also, I relaxed only once a year so no one knew I had a relaxer unless I mentioned it. My new growth and relaxed ends blended really well together. No one in my family really cares, so I don't talk about hair unless they ask. Almost everyone is natural in my family so it is like the norm.
My hubby had no idea I was transitioning, I had to explain everything in details to him, it was so funny.
Most of my friends are all natural too and have no idea that I'm transitioning, my hair looks the same to them as it did when I was natural. Basically hair is not something that is always discussed among my family and friends but if they ask questions I am always willing answer.
Any words or wisdom for ladies, who are currently transitioning or thinking of taking that step?
I have so much to say!
-Firstly,you must have a lot of patience and be more than willing to put in the time and effort that comes with transitioning. Be prepared for both good and bad days, trial and error right? Appreciate it because this process will allow you to fully understand your hair, which in the long run will only make your hair flourish! It is very important for you to understand your hair, know what it needs, how to care for it and what will make it strive.
-Research, research and more research. There is now such a wealth of knowledge
on the web regarding hair so go out and take advantage of it!
-While going through this process you may develop your own little tricks or techniques that works for you. It does not matter if these techniques seem unconventional or weird. As long as it does not cause any harm, then do what works for you! It's all about using the common sense approach. It's that simple.
-Every hair journey is unique so with that being said: never compare your hair
to others, it is fine to look for inspiration, admire other hair textures or
look at other regimens and tweak it to make it work for you but do not compare
your hair to others. Its just a waste of time and energy.
-You can have fun experimentingwith products and tools but you don't have to jump on bandwagons. Simplicity will get you very far because less is always more.
-Products won't make your hair magically grow but it is a combination of how you use nourishing products, tools and PROPER hair care techniquesthat will allow your hair to grow and be healthy.
-Focus on hair retentionvs growth rate.
-Last but not least, enjoy your hair with all the experiences and have fun with
it! Always remember that your experiences and your journey is meant to be
unique, it is not meant to be like anyone else's. Do what makes YOU happy!
Thank you for having me on your blog :)
Thank you for sharing such pearls of wisdom, Sky! Here is a link to Sky's Fotki page. I hope you enjoyed this interview as much as I did!
9/25/2012 11:52:36 pm
Very INFORMATIVE and just FANTASTIC! I was looking for the related information. Thanks a lot it is very useful for me. Would love to read some pieces on the topic.
10/30/2012 06:39:32 pm
Thanks for stopping by and commenting. =)
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I'm Lola - a hair obsessed doctor who stumbled into running long distances and baking all the cupcakes.
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