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Brenetta’s Transition Story

Thank you so much for Brenetta for sharing her Transition story !!!
Lexi- What made you decide to go natural?

Brenetta- I had been thinking about going natural for about year before I actually did it.  Several of my sorority sisters were already natural and I liked the results.  Plus, financially ” my money was funny and my change was strange” and I just couldn’t afford to go the beautician like I used to.  I also had a sorority sister who was natural and she was a stylist…so every time I’d go to her to get my hair done I’d admire her hair and tell her that she had to help me start my natural journey.
In August ’08 I moved from MS to accept a job in TX.  I was in a new place, with new people…why not go for a NEW ME?!  It also helped that my really close friend Carol was considering starting her natural journey as well.  So, I had my last relaxer mid-August and the rest is history!
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Relaxer days
How was the feedback from friends and family?

I told several friends and family members about my decision to go natural.  Honestly, most were supportive of the idea.  My biggest concern was how guys would respond to the change…especially since I was in a new place.  I have two really close guy friends ( we’ll just call them “A” & “B”) and one was really excited about the idea and the other was not! LOL…A wanted to know why, why, why…he insisted I was letting the new location “change” me already.  While B was calling me his little Jill Scott.

What styles are you currently using to transition?

While transitioning I was faithful to the flat iron and roller sets.  I had heard of several people wearing weaves, braids, wigs, etc.  Because I didn’t wear those styles with my relaxed hair I didn’t have the desire during my transition; though I’m sure it may have been a lot easier!!!  Knitted beanies and hats also helped a lot.  I had the basic colors: black, brown and grey; they went with almost anything!

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What products are you using to moisturize your hair while in transition?

Because my step-mom is a hairstylist I went her with a lot of my questions.  She suggested Mizani products for me to use.  I bought the Mizani Therma Smooth Shampoo & Conditioner.  It was about $60 for the two, but I loved it!!!  I also used the Olive Oil products like the spray oil, lotion moisturizer, oil sheen and replenishing pack.

There are alot of challenges that come with transitioning, what are some of yours?

The biggest challenge with transistioning for me was the time.  Washing, conditioning and flat ironing my hair was definitely a process.  I also got frustrated a lot because I couldn’t get my hair to do anything that I wanted it to.  That is where great friends came into play.  I could always call them to talk me off the ledGE! LOL

Do you plan to BC? (Big Chop) if so, When?

I did my BC in Jan 09, approximately 5 months after starting my transistion.  I considered doing it before then, but wasn’t sure if I was ready because I didn’t know how much growth I had.  You have to keep in mind that I have NEVER had short hair.  I didn’t get my first hair cut until I was in college and it was just a bob.  The day BC’ed I went to my stylist and she suggested trying something other than our usual flat iron and curl.  She said that one of her really close friends whom she went to beauty school with wore her hair in Braid-outs while transitioning and she thought it would be cute.  So…she braided my hair, but when we took it down it looked nothing like we expected.  The hair in the crown of my head was so thick that it didn’t even take to the braids!!! We tried ANOTHER style and it still didn’t work!!!  At this point I’m frustrated and almost fed up.  The actual friend whose style we were trying to copy ended up coming by the salon.  (which I think was a God Send)  After talking with her and my stylist I decided that day, January 24th would be the day.  I had no plans on cutting my hair when I sat down in the chair, but it happened and I was so glad that it did.  Indeed I was nervous, but surprisingly I didn’t cry…even as I watched my hair fall to floor below.  When my stylist finished cutting all the relaxed ends off she took me down the hall to one of her barber friends and he shaped up my TWA.  After spending about 8 hours in the salon, I finally left feeling FIERCE as ever thinking…”that just happened”!!!  I took a few pics on my cell phone and sent them to my closest friends and family and they were just as surprised as I was.

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What are your long term goals for your hair?

My long term goal for my hair is just for it to be healthy!!!  Indeed I do want it to get fuller and longer,but as long as it’s healthy I’ll be fine.  I do plan on experimenting with color in the near future since I’ve reached my year mark.  As of right now I have NO desire to go back to the creamy crack…I am absolutely HaPpY tO bE nApPy!!!!
What I have learned from this experience is exactly what India Arie said “I am Not My Hair”.  I’ve never had a problem with self-confidence, but it definitely went up a few notches once I cut my hair.  It helped me to realize that nothing or no one can define me…I define me!!!  It feels great to have people ask me “How did you do it?” and for me to be able to share my story with them is inspiring.  Indeed, it may not be for everybody, but I encourage anyone who is interested to try it….they may just be surprised.
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