Khadijah's Transitioning Journey

12:18 PM Keenya Kelly 2 Comments

How long have you been natural? 
I stopped perming my hair January 2005. When my hair became natural, not sure...I've considered myself natural since 2005.
What made you decide to go natural?
I decided to go natural because I hated going to the hair salon and I got tired of perms. I wanted a new look, I wanted locs, but I didn't want to cut my hair all off, so I decided to grow out my perm aka transition.

When deciding to go Natural what were some of the determining factors about the path to Natural that you were going to choose? 
None. I just wanted to go natural and I didn't have anyone to ask for tips, and at the time I wasn't heavy online so I just continued the same routine I was doing when I had a perm.

What did you do to transition to Natural? 
My regular hair routine: Wash- air dry- flat iron and wear my hair in a bun and braids or twist outs every now & then.

It has been said that when transitioning it’s important to watch the Demarcation line, can you explain what that is? 
The demarcation line is where the two textures meet. Is it important? Maybe to some, to me it wasn't. 

Did you incur problems with your demarcation line? 
I've always been a deep conditioner girl, so I didn't have any problems with my demarcation line.
Experience any breakage? Not breakage, more like split ends and now shedding. Sometime in the midst of my transition period I decided to get my hair dyed at the salon. Worst move ever. I've been dying my hair by myself all this time and this one time I went and she bleached my hair, and I had major dryness and split ends after, which i've been combating ever since. 

What products did you use and why did you use them? 
I've used tons of products. Going natural is a trial and error thing. Like I stated, I wasn't heavy on hair blogs to read their suggestions back then, so I tried any and everything and I've learned what my hair likes and what it doesn't. Now I know my hair loves sulfate and silicone free shampoos & conditioners. Eco styler has been my friend even when I was  permie, and it still is. I used to add oils to my hair when I was a permie as well but now, my hair acts out when I add oils so that now is a no no. 

Where did you find these products? 
I read on another blog about a sulfate/ silicone free shampoo and I went right out to Target to purchase it and i've been finding it at my local beauty supply store when I stop in to get my gel as of late.

It has been said that Relaxed hair requires different products than Natural Hair…can you explain that? Truthfully, I never really paid attention to what I put in my hair when I had a relaxer. All I remember is that my hair was ok with oils when I had a perm, and now it hates it. 

Why did you opt out of the Big Chop? Doing the big chop never crossed my mind. 

What did and do your friends and family think about you going natural? 
No one thought much of it because I always spaced out when I get perms. I normally get perms every 6 months, so when I told them I was going natural, it was a "oh I figured". Plus being the type of person I am, everyone expected me to have locs when I graduated high school anyway..

Did it matter to you? No, other's opinion about MY hair never mattered.

Have you ever had self esteem issues? Never. 

What's your favorite thing about being natural? 
My favorite thing about being natural is I can run in the rain and not having to worry!! lol. Seriously. I spent a month in Jamaica over the summer and it rained for a few days and I walked so slow in the rain without my umbrella, I felt great! it was like "yea i'm not ruining a perm"
Least Favorite thing? 
I have no least favorite thing about being natural. I love being natural.

What products have you been trying out on your hair? 
Being that my hair is shedding, someone recommended Castor Oil, and so i'm giving it a try, but only on the day I wash my hair, I add it in today then braided my hair. Gonna let my hair air dry and style it tomorrow and see if I like it or not.
I also plan to try henna in the near future. My hair is was dyed jet black over the summer and I need a touch up and what more beneficial way to do that than to go the henna route.

What's your Fave? Why? 
My favorite product(s) right now is Curls cleansing cream and SheaMoisture Curl & Style Milk, and I cannot forget my EcoStyler gel, that's my ride or die right there.

Least Fave? Why?
Least fave would be the jojoba oil and let's jam gel my mom bought me the other day. Since i'm not into wasting anything, i'm going to use the jojoba oil for hot oil treatments and the jam i'm try with my twist outs and see if they're a keeper.

What's your hair type?
You know..I don't really subscribe to the hair typing thing, only because I'm not sure which category my hair belongs, but I have heard others say I'm somewhere in between 3c - 4c

It has been said that its important to deep condition, is that the case when transitioning? 
Yes it is!! deep conditioning is everyone's friend, not just transitioners. You're hair will become stronger, feels softer and become manageable after a deep conditioning session.

How often do you deep condition your natural hair? What do you use?
I deep condition every week. I've used eggs, mayonnaise, honey and peppermint oil mixed together. Now i'm giving SheaMoisture deep treatment masque a try.

What was your weekly regimine when transitioning? 
Wash on Saturday with sulfate & silicone free shampoo, deep condition, condition and add a leave in to 2 braids left to air dry. Sunday - I leave my hair as is. If I have to go out, I wear a beanie/ hat. Monday, comb out and style, which is more than likely a a bun. every night I comb out and wrap it with 2 hair pins and cover my hair with a satin bonnet. repeat the same style throughout the week, sometime I switch it up and do a twist out or a french braid, and every 2-3 days I add SheaMoisture Curl&Style Milk to moisturize my hair.

What would you say to someone considering going natural or one struggling with their natural hair?
 If you are considering going natural, GO FOR IT! you won't know how it feels until you've done it, and if you don't like it, you can always  try a new style, but definitely go for it, being that you've been thinking about it.
If you are struggling with your natural hair, don't give up! this is not an easy road but there are blogs, Facebook pages, twitter friends who are always willing to assist you if you have any questions about a product or style, don't ever give up and take the easy route out (perm) because you're frustrated. If a lot of naturals did that when they were frustrated, they wouldn't be natural anymore. It is not an easy road, just don't give up, you've been doing great thus far. 

Any final comments:  
One thing I would definitely tell someone transitioning is: don't be afraid to try it all. Trial and error will benefit you in the future. After cruising a few natural hair blogs and Facebook pages (which is definitely your friend in your time of need), I decided to try a few products and styles. Not every style works for me, but if I didn't try, how would I know? same thing goes for products, if someone suggests it and you can afford it, give it a try, if it doesn't work the first time, try it again in a month or two, and see what happens. Maybe it will work then, or you'll find some way to make it work. Don't ever waste your products, that's money you spent! And if you find out that its definitely not working for you, there's some nice ladies on hair forums that's willing to swap with you. Whatever you do, make the most of whatever you bought. 
Last but not least; everyone's hair grows at a different pace. One major complaint all across the board is how to grow hair, there's no true remedy, just take care of your hair and have patience because no two heads are alike. 
Good luck!


  1. Your story is an inspiration to others...please let me know if you know of other women.