Chela Borne's Transitioning Journey

12:41 PM Keenya Kelly 0 Comments

 How long have you been natural?
It will be 3 years in December.

What made you decide to go natural?
I was tired of my hair breaking off.  Every time I went to the salon, it seemed like my hair was getting shorter and shorter.  In 5 years, I went from shoulder length hair to ear length hair.  Not many people in my area were natural and I had no information on how to start.   I had one friend who was 1 year natural at the time.  That was the only push I had for my hair troubles.  When I moved from Virginia to Georgia, I worked in an area where I was surrounded by natural salons plus one of my co-workers was natural.  That’s when I started.

When deciding to go Natural what were some of the determining factors about the path to Natural that you were going to choose?
Since I was in a professional setting, I wanted something that looked nice, but was low maintenance.   Since going natural was new to me, I didn’t want to back slide like I did when I first started.  I was still in research mode, and I wanted to make sure this was the right step for me.  So, I decided to wear protective styles.

What did you do to transition to Natural?
I wore Micros, twists and weave for 15 months.  After I took them out, I would get a deep condition and trim my relaxed ends.
 It has been said that when transitioning it’s important to watch the Demarcation line, 
can you explain what that is?
A demarcation line is the meeting point between the natural hair and the relaxed hair.  This line can be very fragile.

Did you incur problems with your demarcation line?

Experience any breakage?
I experience breakage around my edges when I first got micro braids.  Once I saw this, I switched to another protective style.

What products did you use and why did you use them?
I had protective styles, so I couldn’t really use too much products.  I would cleanse my roots with Taliah Waajid Moisture Clenz and moisturize with Taliah Waajid Protective Mist Bodifier since I couldn’t wash my hair.

Where did you find these products?
I found them on Taliah Waajid’s official website.  At the time, they didn’t sell them in stores like they do now.

It has been said that Relaxed hair requires different products than Natural Hair…can you explain that?
I’ve actually heard that you can use the same products but focus more on natural oils and butters.  This can be used for either natural hair or relaxed hair because we are still aiming to moisturize our hair.  The only difference is actually using the chemicals to straighten your hair.  As far as the tools used to style it, I noticed when my hair was relaxed I could use fine tooth combs and brushes.  Once I went natural, I switched to denman brush and a wide tooth comb for less stress on styling my hair.

Why did you opt out of the Big Chop?
I wasn’t comfortable with having short hair again.  I wanted to be comfortable in my own skin first before I made a big step.
When my firm started to cut our hours, I didn’t have enough money to continue with my protective styles.  I had a very supportive hair stylist and she taught me some easy styles that I could do once I did the big chop.  So in January 2010, I did it!

What did and do your friends and family think about you going natural?
My friends and my husband (who was my fiancé at the time) loved it.  Every time I posted a new picture, I got so many positive reviews.  The only person who did not like it was my Mom.  She would call going natural “just a faze” or would sprinkle “getting a perm” in a few conversations.

Did it matter to you?
It did at first because we are very close, but at the end of the day, I had to look at my health.  What was more important, spending more money and having damaged hair? Or having healthy hair?  I think my move to Georgia made it easier to filter the negativity.

Have you ever had self esteem issues?
Yes, especially in high school. 

What's your favorite thing about being natural?
Versatility! One minute you can have curls, the next twists, and finally straight hair.  I love all the options!
Least Favorite thing?
Just because you are natural, doesn’t mean that your hair doesn’t go through the same issues as if you had a relaxer.  Close to the time of my wedding in May 2011, my hair started to break off really bad:
-I was stressed
-I didn’t wrap my hair like I should have
-I didn’t get trims because I was trying to save money. 
I avoided the trim for my wedding hair style but I knew that the next visit would be my 2nd chop. 

What products have you been trying out on your hair?
A little bit of everything!  After listening to my hair and getting recommendations, I’ve switched products throughout my natural journey.  I wish I would have known about managing hair by moisturizing and sealing my hair when I first started instead of focusing on products.
While I was transitioning:
Taliah Waajid Moisture Clenz and Taliah Waajid Protective Mist Bodifier

After the Big Chop:
Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil
Kinky Curly Come Clean and Knot Today Shampoo and Conditioner
Kinky Curly Curling Custard

After I found out about bad ingredients in products:
Suave Shampoo and Conditioner
Organics Carrot Oil Cream – Deep Condition
Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil

My Staple since June 2011:
Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Shampoo and Conditioner
Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque – For deep conditions and leave ins
Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie – For Moisturizing
Shea Moisture Curl & Style Conditioning Milk – For Seal

What's your Fave? Why?
I entered a contest for Shea Moisture products and actually won in June 2011!  They sent me the wrong product and gave me another line of Shea Moisture products.  So I’ve been using both the Organic Raw Butter line and the Coconut & Hibiscus line.  This is the only product that not only moisturizes my hair, but keeps it nice and soft.  I have not looked back since.

Least Fave? Why?
Kinky Curly Curling Custard.  It did nothing for my hair except for leaving it dry.

What's your hair type?
3c at the back half of my head and 4a at the front half.
It has been said that it’s important to deep condition, is that the case when transitioning?
Yes!  Especially since I was wearing protective styles between 4 weeks – 3 months at a time.

How often do you deep condition your natural hair? What do you use?
I deep condition every time I wash…every 1 - 2 weeks.  I use Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque.  Sometimes I use it as a leave in conditioner.

What was your weekly regimen when transitioning?
Since I wore protective styles, I would cleanse my roots with Taliah Waajid Moisture Clenz and moisturize with Taliah Waajid Protective Mist Bodifier.
What would you say to someone considering going natural or one struggling with their natural hair?
Don’t listen to anyone else but yourself.  At the end of the day, you are the one that is wearing the hair.  And as the months and years past, natural hair gets easier to manage.

Any final comments: 
Do not just take care of your hair, but take care of yourself.  They all help each other make you the unique person that you are.